Spring cleaning is a grand idea for sure, but I also feel any kind of purging is therapeutic and good for the soul. I’ll be honest and say that I’m a hopeful person with the optimistic outtake on life most times. However, reality can set in and give a sort of rude smack. Am I right? Well, first take a look at my reclaimed pallet wood stash.
Several years ago, JC, brought home hardwood pallets made of ash and a bit of cherry and maple. While the idea is wonderful to save them, having time to make use of them is another issue. I’ve held these aside with hopes to treat myself to a massive butcher block cutting board for my kitchen. You can also see how I’ve used it HERE to make a bee skep. So, early this winter, I decide it is now or never since I’ve been asking my husband for this as a gift for many years now for Christmas or birthday. Better to just do it myself as it will never happen otherwise.
As most fun girls do, they treat themselves to things every once in a while. However, in my case I have to mainly have necessity determine my purchases. When we were working on our kitchen remodel, I purchased a bench-top planer to help us get the job done quickly. I love these kinds of gifts. You know my motto: #toolsoverjewels
Likewise, it’s come in handy for so many DIY projects. Here’s a peek at some of the pallet wood I pull out that is still quite shaggy.
Ain’t it purdy? Take a look at one board after I planed the wide sides. Wow!
What’s more is that you get all sorts of good wood shavings to use in the garden. Also, note that this pallet wood is not chemically treated. Make sure you look for an “HT” for heat treated wood.
Then, while I’m doing a celebratory dance at finally getting somewhere for this project to be complete, I realize the wood is not maple (as I took a closer look at the grain). HUGE downer…ash is not a good wood for making a cutting board. While it’s super solid, it’s more porous deeming it a safety hazard for holding bacteria. BOO. So, I set it aside and decide to wait until another idea strikes.
That’s what leads us to today. Finally, I’m back at it as we’ve reached a heat wave of a whopping 24° F. Time to break out the flip-flops…not. I take an inventory of thickness of the wood and find that 5 of the boards are 1 ¾” thick, while the rest are 1 ½” thick. Talk about serious awesomeness!
Also, notice the notch in the wood. Each board has that so I need to rip the boards on my table saw as wide as I can. However, I did call JC in to help with this as the saw was acting up and making me nervous. I still have nerve damage in my two fingers I buzzed while remodeling in our mudroom.
My goal is to use the wood length and width to its fullest with having little, if any, waste. You can take a peek at my past builds here in my project gallery. After some sketches, I come up with this…at least for one side. The short pieces are scrap from ripping the thicker pieces with the notch.
Not only do we have nail holes left from the original pallet assembly, but also this gorgeous grain.
Next, to assemble, I use my pocket joint jig and get even more sore. haha. In addition, if you see some lady walking down the street all bent over and moaning with aches, that would be me. Holy smokes is this wood hard to cut and drill! Plus, it doesn’t help I’m terribly out of shape.
Then, I wise up and break out my impact drill to lighten my load. An impact drill is like asking your Dad to open the wickedly stuck jar lid…more force and strength. Booyah! Here’s the bare bones assembly of the reclaimed pallet wood from using every inch of the length and width thus far.
While I could make this into many things from here, like a console table with hidden storage and shelf below, or maybe a shoe rack with tilt shelves. What would you do with it? Instead, however, I want to make it into a chest for storing blankets, laundry, memories…you get the idea. So, in order to do that I need to cut side panels out of luan (a thin plywood). Then, to contrast the beautiful wood grain in the ash, I paint the panels a soft green.
In the meantime, while the paint cures I use hemp oil to protect and dress up the wood. I had a little helper who did wonders to make the job fun too. My daughter kept saying, “The wood is so pretty!” Smart girl.
Also, notice I’m leaving some of the wear on the pallet wood to create a textured style. Who doesn’t love a story-telling way?
Last, with JC’s help on the table saw again, I make a lid for my reclaimed pallet wood chest from scrap plywood cased in a mitered edge of 1″ pine ripped to fit. Likewise, I paint it in the same green. Finally, all it needs is some hinges and we’re good to go.
Can I just say I am a little skip-happy with not only being able to build my vision, but also that I get to share it with you. I hope you like it!
With little to no scrap, my goal was to build a simple, yet functional piece that had a Shaker-ish sorta look to it while offering storage. It can serve in any room in a home while hiding the daily grind goods we all have.
Additionally, nothing makes you feel better than adding your own mark to your work. I’m marking all the things with my branding iron. hee hee. Tell me…what would you store in this chest?
Also, if you can believe it, I even have some lumber left that I’m eager to make up into something else fun. Any ideas?
If you’d like to add it to your home story, you can find it and more available in my online shop.
In order to inspire others, pin, share, forward this post. Let’s pull up our sleeves and DIY!
Up next, here’s a few bits I found at a local ministry’s thrift store. Any guesses? Check it out HERE.