Leaning Wall Shelf: Episode 1

Leaning Wall Shelf Episode 1 Keyframe

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To get started with the leaning wall shelf, Paul discusses the wood and sizing options, then lays out and shapes the sides. The shaping defines the appearance whereas the angled cut on the foot and back of the side determines the leaning angle of the project.


  1. mydelight on 31 January 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Love this project! Is there a measured drawing of this leaning wall shelf? The lumber looks to be thicker than 3/4 inches.

  2. Paul Bowes on 31 January 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Another nice project underway.

  3. kevin winsor on 31 January 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Did you use a rip saw on the angled cross cut on the bottom of the side?

    • Philip Adams on 1 February 2018 at 9:44 am

      Probably a cross cut. You can use a rip cut with fine teeth, but this is quite a lot of wood to cut through, so slightly larger teeth are useful. When you go for larger teeth (less than 10tpi), a crosscut specific saw is useful.

  4. bsddude on 31 January 2018 at 6:22 pm

    I love the design, I will probablely chicken out and use the band saw for that curved cut though.

  5. kevin winsor on 31 January 2018 at 6:36 pm

    Keep working that hard on those long cuts you will lose all your relaxed muscle!

  6. David B on 31 January 2018 at 7:08 pm

    Gotta say, it is refreshing and enjoyable to watch Paul wrestle with a bear of a board like that! It’s always good to see that even the best are human!

    • Gary BALCOM on 26 January 2020 at 5:22 pm

      yes, but I’m really surprised he didn’t get out the saw benches or low horses for that, it seems like it would have been much easier.

  7. Farred on 31 January 2018 at 7:45 pm

    This is probably NOT something I’ll build, but as always, Paul creates projects that build skills, so I have no doubt I’ll enjoy and get something out of it.

  8. Dario Payne on 31 January 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Hope you’ve got a defibrillator in the workshop.

  9. jakegevorgian on 31 January 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Wonderful project, Paul. You and the team keep up the great work.

    Love the humor, btw!

  10. Terrence OBrien on 31 January 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Do the backs if each shelf touch the wall? Hard to determine from the preview.

    • David B on 31 January 2018 at 11:06 pm

      No. Look at the plans to see the side profile. The design also helps insure that the shelves don’t tip over forwards.

  11. Harvey Kimsey on 1 February 2018 at 12:24 am

    If I didn’t know better, I would say Paul is making a boat!

  12. stevenrey56 on 1 February 2018 at 4:24 am

    My wife walked in and saw me watching this. Then she says, “You’re literally watching some guy sawing wood.” And I couldn’t argue. And I didn’t feel bad either.

    • Tom Davies on 1 February 2018 at 12:13 pm


    • Don Trust on 1 February 2018 at 4:00 pm

      That’s funny. My wife does handmade quilts, and I always kidded her about cutting apart perfectly good fabric only to sew it back together. Than I made my first cutting board a few years back. She looked at it and said “It’s pretty, but all you did was cut apart a bunch of wood and glue it back together”. Touche!

    • Lee Sinclair on 3 February 2018 at 11:00 am

      Ha ha ha that made me chuckle

  13. rayc21 on 1 February 2018 at 1:09 pm

    I like this project, not to say the other projects are not, this one to me looks very smart and a nice design. It’s going to keep me busy for a few weeks when I get started.

    Thank you Paul and Team.

  14. Blacklabretriever on 1 February 2018 at 9:05 pm

    Think I would have broken down and used a jigsaw or bandsaw if I had one on that long cut!

  15. Barry B on 2 February 2018 at 6:29 am

    when Paul is doing the layout he refers to the height used to calculate the foot angle as 56″ (28 X 2).
    The drawing shows this dimension as 66″…..which is correct?


    • Philip Adams on 11 June 2018 at 11:26 am

      Hello Barry,
      So sorry for the long delay in responding. The correct dimension is 66″ and we will correct the video. Thank you for pointing this out.
      Best, Phil

      • mike forbes on 8 October 2019 at 6:14 am

        So the foot angle is calculated by measuring up 33? Somehow I messed up the angle or it was the 26. My foot angle was allowing the wall to be flat. I had not cut the shelves yet, so regrouped and changed the foot angle and used it for my shelves. It turned out fine.

  16. Steve Mees on 2 February 2018 at 5:48 pm

    I like the look of this project – particularly the way the front curve in the upright matches the front curve of Paul’s relaxed muscle!

    (And my wife laughs at me every time she realises I’m watching a man saw wood!)

  17. William Gaines on 8 February 2018 at 1:16 am

    How did Paul make the long tapered stick for laying out the curve?

  18. Wendy Heemskerk on 25 May 2018 at 2:44 pm

    hello I would see this video only I must have a membership or credits and therefore I do not have a card. it would be nice if it could also be done with paypal

  19. Gordon Dayton on 13 March 2020 at 1:48 pm

    Cutting the long curves with a hand rip saw surely provides good cardio, and it may be easier to shoot that way too, but is there a technical reason for not using the band saw for that? Oh, I just realized that the venue is different from previous videos, so maybe the bandsaw is not in this shop and maybe that is the reason as well.

    Either way, since I don’t have a scrub plane yet, it might be easier to get a fair cut with a band saw that needs less cleanup. Thats why I ask.

    • Paul Rowell on 13 March 2020 at 2:35 pm

      I think that Paul wants to show that you can do it without the need for a band saw – part of his philosophy of just look what you can achieve with a small number of hand tools…

      So to answer your question there is no technical reason why you shouldn’t use a band saw if you have one.

    • Benoît Van Noten on 13 March 2020 at 2:43 pm

      No scrub plane.
      Adjust your plane for thicker shavings but thin enough to pass through the plane mouth.

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 16 March 2020 at 2:53 pm

      Hi Gordon,

      Thank you for your question, I passed this on to Paul and his response is below:

      We always lean towards the use of hand tools and less towards the use of machines because the majority of our audience will have hand tools and not machines.

      Kind Regards,

  20. Roger on 13 March 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Fabulous video to give me a positive end to an awful week with Coronavirus devastating so many lives, largely though increased anxiety.
    Thanks for such a detailed look at how to make the project which has already got me thinking that I should do this instead of making another Table saw-cut MDF version for my grandson as requested by his parents.

    BTW, what should we use the 3rd thin piece of off-cut for after the cutting board and 2 spoons? Perhaps a “spurtle?”

  21. Eric Lundholm on 15 March 2020 at 4:57 am

    I love this one, hope it finds its way onto a wall in the house.

  22. Philip Haley on 15 March 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Anyone else having problems with sound/visual synchronisation and occasional breaks in sound, or is my computer on the blink?

  23. steven newman on 24 March 2020 at 3:57 am

    They did make a type of saw that would indeed saw a curved line….usually referred to as a Ship’s Saw….used by a Ship’s Carpenter.

    • Larry Geib on 24 March 2020 at 4:50 am

      Henry Disston made at least three types of handsaws designed to cut curves. The ships saw is just one, and it probably cut the largest arc. It had a closed handles. The other saws for cutting curves had open handles.

      Disston made a saw they marketed as a jointers saw, which looked a bit like a tenon saw with a 4” wide plate Without the back. The curves you could cut with that saw are pretty large arc also the saw was really a panel saw for the affluent woodworker

      Next in line was a saw called a table saw which was maybe 4” wide by the handle and 2” wide by the tip which was made to cut, well, circular tables. This is not to be confused with the motorized loud whirly thing Made by firms like delta, powermatic, and Sawstop.

      for even tighter curves is the compass saw which comes to a point has a somewhat thicker plate than other saws to stiffen it, and came in rip and crosscut variants. You really need both if you want to cut circles with it. People nowadays mistakenly call a compass saw a keyhole saw. That’s the next saw down the line. A compass saw is much to large and cumbersome to cut keyholes.

      finally, there was the keyhole saw, which was small, thin, and cut on the pull stroke. This saw was called a pad saw if you could retract the blade into the handle to make it shorter. You might want to just cut the keyhole on one side of the lock mortise, and you might want to turn the blade around for a cleaner cut if the keyhole wasn’t covered by an escutcheon.


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