The picture frame shelves

Feeling the tension build!

Each shelf need a small strip of wood to act as a stopper for the picture frames. I ripped some 10x10mm strips and planed the band saw marks off.

Two of the shelves developed a twist (not surprisingly given the Musa acuminata influence before). I decided to try to build some tension into the shelf by shimming the low side, thus twisting the shelf in the opposite direction. I glued the strip of wood and clamped down. I hoped doing this would straighten some of the twist.

Did it work?

Yes! And no. I managed to get some of the twist out, but not all of it. I could’ve cut off the back part and reglued it, but the slight twist won’t matter. In fact, I think just screwing the shelves to the wall will straighten them out – and the wall may not be that flat/straight either.

I rounded over the edges; these are going on a wall which we will walk past. Better not have any sharp corners in such places.

I broke all the edges with a hand plane and gave all corners and edges a light sanding to smooth everything. I then brought the shelves in for some scrutiny by Balthasar, Melchior, and Caspar. And one of their camels. ‘Twas almost time to stow away Christmas, but not quite yet. 🙂 Some people close related to a green-faced Carrey character toss Christmas out as soon as the new year’s turkey cools off. Not in our home – not until a week’s worth of procrastinating later or thereabouts.

I fixed a few issues and then drilled and countersunk holes for screws. They will be hidden behind the picture frames, so I did not conceal them in any way. Using two combination squares, I marked the positions for the holes.

I finished the shelves with Osmo Top Oil 3068, which has a hint of white. This will keep the light color of white oak without yellowing the wood. A day later, the shelves were ready to use.

We ordered lunch and grabbed the girls, some tools and the shelves and paid my in-laws a visit. With the shelves on the wall and all the picture frames placed, we enjoyed a nice meal and some quality family time together.

This was a fun and quick project. The shelves made a huge difference. The wall of pictures now looks more interesting visually. And I earned a few “MIL* points”.

*Mother-in-law

(images anonymised due to GDPR restrictions)

It does not need to be an elaborate, time consuming project – sometimes the simple ones makes a huge difference. In this case, each shelf should be like a butler. Discrete, organizing and enhancing the experience by being in the background – and yet not invisible.

And in this case, I think that the pictures displayed outshine the project pieces to the nth degree. I am perfectly fine with that!

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