Saturday, January 21, 2017

WSBO, Wall shelf build-off 2017, considerations.

With just a week to go for the biggest event since the American presidential inauguration 2017 takes place, it might be a good idea to start making a few plans regarding the build.

I have decided that I want to replicate the shelf that I made for my 9th grade sloyd exam. It is a small shelf intended to be mounted in a kitchen, with a dowel beneath it for holding a towel or holding a set of hooks that can be used for hanging various utensils.

The overall dimensions of my shelf will be pretty much like the old one that I made. Back then we had 3 hours to complete the build as far as I remember, but we were supplied with processed stock, so basically we only had to do the joinery.
I quickly scribbled down the measurements of the original before going to sea, so I have those to go out from.

This time I have to do stock preparation too, and I figured that I could perhaps use my new Stanley combination plane to make some decorative moulding as well.
As a small challenge to myself I think I will try to see if I can complete the build without using any metal fasteners.

I might try to make a sliding dovetail for the corners to attach to the underside of the shelf.
The corners and the backside of the shelf will then be glued to the back piece. I can then add a few pegs to reinforce it.

The dowel will be wedged into place.

My overall plan of action is to find a decent set of pallet sides during the coming week for the stock.
Come Saturday the 28th, I'll start with crosscutting the shelf to the approximate length, and the set of corners. The dowel will probably be ripped from the shelf piece.

The parts of the back piece will be made from the same length of wood, and I'll rip it to the correct width.
Next there will be some planing to do. The shelf and the corners are approximately 5/8" thick, and the parts of the back piece are 3/8". The dowel too is 5/8".

I am toying with the idea of decorating the back piece with a moulding along all the edges. I'll probably have to make a bit of testing first though.
If I choose to make mouldings, the back piece will be a little more difficult to assemble.Instead of a regular half lap joint with square cuts, it will require the corners to be cut of in a 45 degree angle, so allow the moulding to follow the side around the corner.

If you haven't already signed up for participation it this event, there is still time to do so.
The requirements for entering are very accommodating:
-You have to build the piece in the weekend of January 28/29.
-You decide what you want to build.
-You decide how you want to build it (hand tools, power tools, genetically modifying a plant to grow into the shape of a shelf, carve a shelf out of a rock etc.)
-Share the process online via social media (#WSBO), blog, and/or forum.
- There is no registration fee, and the WSBO is open to all inhabitants on this planet. So whether you live in Andorra, Zimbabwe or in a place that starts with a letter in between - you can participate.

Please check in on the page of Chris Wong and see the full details.

Sketch of the shelf.

Sketch of mouldings.


  1. Looks like a fine project. I predict it will take you about 45 minutes and will have at least seven secret compartments.

    1. :-)
      But I think that I will try not to make any secret compartments this time. But who knows..

      Right now the spill plane seems to be coming along all right.


    2. I know, you'd like us to THINK there are no secret compartments...

      If you told us, they wouldn't be secret anymore!

      Your kids will have a blast trying to find them.

    3. I'll have to work faster than usual, if I have to complete the project in the assigned time and still make secret compartments....

  2. Are you going to be limited to one pic posts when the time to build comes?

    1. Hi Ralph.

      No I don't think so.
      Last time I participated in the SSBO (shop stool build off), I made a couple of entries, each with several pictures.
      If I am not mistaken, you can only send in two pictures of the completed project to be used for judging in the contest if you wish to try to win a prize.
      At least that was the case of the shop stool event.

      A great thing about Chris Wong's build-offs are that the rules are very few.
      I think you can do a video on Youtube if you want to, as long as you just share some of your build progress.
      Someone used both Instagram and Blogger and Facebook etc. last time, but since I haven't got any of those I just stayed on my blog.


  3. Your grade 9 Sloyd exam... That's pretty cool!
    Sure whish they were still teaching basic hands skills in school nowaday :-(

    Bob, with Rudy licking his chops after eating a treat

    1. Hi Bob.

      Sloyd was a huge class at my grade school. It was mandatory in 4th and 5th grade as far as I remember. Then in 6th grade needlework was mandatory.
      In 7th grade you could start to choose voluntary subjects. I think you could have two of those classes per week, each subject was a double lesson.
      I had sloyd and metal work.
      In 8th grade and 9th grade it was the same system, except that I think you had a bit more lessons in each subject.

      I can't ever remember a time when sloyd was not offered as a class. There was always plenty of pupils signing up for it.
      There were 4 teachers who could teach the class, and my dad was one of them.
      I actually had him as my teacher for many years.

      The Danish sloyd education has changed for the worse in my opinion. nowadays it is called craft and design, but in reality it is very little craft and more a mixture of "art" class, needlework and sloyd. So a lot less emphasis on the actual hand work, and more attention to the process.

      My dad always had that notion that whatever his students made in sloyd, it had to be something that would be useful at home. Like a small trivet, a cutting board, a breadbasket etc.
      Looking at the stuff the make today, it doesn't seem that they do that way anymore.

      I guess that part of the explanation is that a lot of the old time sloyd teachers reached retirement age, and not so many of the new teachers had been educated in teaching sloyd.
      The politicians made a public school reform, where they decided that all the handwork classes should be combined into this craft and design instead. So that was sort of the end of it.

      I am still considering offering the public evening school, that I can teach a class or two during their winter season. Normally they have classes once a week, but I couldn't do that due to my job. But they also have shorter classes that run in the course of a weekend. And I could do that. It might also be better at keeping the attention of the children with 2 x 4 hours of concentrated work instead of 2 hours every Monday evening.

      Jonas who misses his dog..