Picture frame shelves pt.II

L-shaped shelves

First order of business: break down stock. I had a strange looking plank with some wild grain in it, and thought it would be a perfect candidate. I first chopped it in two equal lengths. Veritas crosscut saw and a bench hook made quick work of that – and afterwards I could just shoot the ends to square them off, without lifting the board off of the bench. That’s hand tools for ya!

The plank was not uniform in thickness. I planed one side flat and true, then ripped the boards close to thickness on the band saw thicknesser. Because the band saw thicknesser leaves the offcut in large chips one can use on the fire pan when barbecuing bacon cheese hot dogs.

Which is important to do! Anyway. A well tuned band saw with a good fence makes such jobs very easy.

Afterwards, a few swipes with the smoothing plane to clean it all up. But on one board, the grain was rather wonky, so I resorted to my No. 80 cabinet scraper and a card scraper to clean it all up.

LOOK at all those medullary rays!

To square the edges, I put some gash between the plank and the Veritas planing stop, and secured the other end with a holdfast. I then could shoot the edge using the bench as a huge shooting board. Easy and quick method.

I ripped the boards into three strips of wood – a wide strip for the vertical piece of the L-shaped shelf, a smaller one for the horizontal and a small batten to form a “lip” to hold the picture frames from sliding off the edge.

I used tape to act as a hinge during glueup. It is a simple method that ensures that the parts line up and don’t slide around. A tiny bead of Titebond was applied to the corner, then the “book” was closed.

I used an aluminium (aluminum? Empty soda can carcasses?) square tube as a clamping aid, ensuring a dead square glueup. The parts were 6 side square – 6s or “six square” – but clamps has their own opinions and they usually win. Not this time.

After 30 minutes, I removed the clamps. I cleaned the squeeze-out and scraped the corner with a card scraper to ensure that there is no glue residue that can mess up the finish.

I then glued and clamped the small “lip”. I used a piece of wood to apply even pressure along the length of the thin batten.

I planed the surfaces smooth and gave the shelves a light sanding to remove any sharp edges, then applied two coats of Osmo Top Oil 3068 Natural. There’s a bit of white pigment in that version, and it keeps the oak light in color.

After the finish had cured for a couple of days, I mounted the shelves on the walls. You’ll find images on the last page of this article.

And here the tale would’ve ended, but I was asked to make more shelves. And of course I could!

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