Posts Tagged ‘pallets’

My previous blog post featured a clock I built from recycled material. Turns out I am still feeling the re-use theme and decided to carry it through to the next project. This time it is a rustic kitchen table built from old pallets.

Our household has been in need of a kitchen table upgrade for years. We had gone shopping for plank style tables previously and found things we liked but still had yet to take the plunge. I am not much of a wood worker however I figured that since the theme was “rustic” it would open things up to not have to be perfect.

I liked the idea of basically using garbage to make something cool. I had access to plenty of pallets and although the wood is of the lowest quality you can get I could see some potential. I was up for the challenge of creating something that one would never suspect was build from junk.

The tooling required to handle this size of wood project was beyond what I was equipped to deal with so I needed to improvise. The idea was to build a plank style table in small sections. I wanted to incorporate some metal into the design so I planned to separate the smaller sections of wood using aluminium accents.

The design, and process, is not over complicated however it did turn out to be very time consuming. Prepping pallets into useable pieces of lumber is not a quick task. In the end everything came together and I have picture to prove it. So I’ll stop typing and let the show begin.

The project started by collecting an unknown amount of pallets and breaking them apart. I estimated a couple of truck loads should do it. Turns out I ended up with approximately 20% extra.

The garage floor turned into a war zone as I was de-nailing all the wood, sorting through usable pieces and trimming off bad sections of the pallet wood

I laid out the usable wood to get an idea of how much I was going to need. This is where I required my second truck load.

All the wood then got run through the thickness planer. I varied the thicknesses depending on how much thickness I had to work with. I wanted to mix things up with the look of the table.

After hours of planing I ended up with good, usable, neat stacks of wood organized by thickness. The 2 garbage cans are only half of the shavings I collects from planing.

Next I moved onto the table saw to trim all the boards to just over 3 inches wide.

The idea was to build 5 plank sections. Here I started to jigsaw puzzle the wood together in order to come up with a pattern and sections that would equal 8.25″ wide.

Next came the gluing and clamping of each section.

I only had a limited number of clamps so I was required to wait until each section dried before moving onto the next.

A picture that is lacking for this post is the one where I ran all the glued section back through the thickness planer in order to achieve an even 3″ thickness. As you can see I edged the 2 sides of the table with cedar. Since all the sections are going to get bolted together I cross drilled every plank assembly. The end sections received countersunk holes in order to accept the 1/2″ nuts.

Here everything gets bolted together using threaded rod. In order to add an extra dimension I sandwiched 1/4″ 6061 brushed aluminum flat bar between each plank section.

The idea was to built a rustic table top and not a china cabinet so with the slab complete I proceeded to distress the wood using the pictured weapons.

Time to cover things up. The top received a total of 3 coats of dark ebony stain before being topped with 2 coats of a polyurethane clear coat.

This is what the countersunk threaded rod holes looked like. They obviously required some cover up.

I machined aluminum press in plugs to cover up the hardware and also tie in the aluminum flat bar with the sides of the table.

With the table top complete it was time to move onto the base.

The table base was going to be constructed of metal and was also going to have some curves applied to it. Here I pulled out the homemade metal bender and curved up some .250″ x 4″ mild steel sections.

Using 2″ x 4″ rectangular tube for the base I created some visual lines. I marked the floor so that I could build two assemblies to the same dimensions.

Trying to incorporate different materials and sizes I decided to implement some curved 5/8″ rod. Using a different bender I radius-ed the stock.

Mocking things up it is starting to look like my vision may have some potential.

I drilled holes through my 4″ flat bar in order to thread the 5/8″ round bar through it. The assembly then got jigged up on the bench and ready for welding.

This is what the welded up base looks like. Time to clean up the welds.

With both based fabricated I built some cross supports to help with stability. Everything was made to bolt together.

Since I am limited by the size of my oven for the things I powdercoat in house I was forced to send the table base out to a local company. They did a fantastic job.

Final shots of the completed table set in place.

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So I had a desire to try my hand at a recycled material project. I really don’t know why, just had an itchin’. There has been a local club that has worked at creating a strong presence in the area as a place for anyone to come and participate in building and creating things. They are a fantastic group run by great people. Finding a permanent home in order to work from has been a priority lately so I decided to build them a shop warming gift for when they eventually secure a location.

I have access to lots of pallets and 55 gallon drums so I thought I would integrate those materials into a clock for the new shop. I didn’t have a really firm plan in place other then I was prepared, mentally, to let the fine details slide as I know that dealing with these materials things would not come out perfectly. I wanted to create an old school, vintage/retro, style clock that would be something you may see hanging in an old service station covered in dust.

So the following pictures take you through the process of what eventually turned into a shop clock. It just morphed into what it is today. I think it worked out to my liking and possesses the feel and look I was going for. On with the show.

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Once the pallets were all broken down and de-nailed all the good lumber sections were run through the planner to bring all pieces to the same thickness.

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All the planed boards were then run through the table saw to even up all the widths.

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Four sides done, 2 to go.

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All the lengths now went through the chop saw. Turns out I overestimated the amount of pallets required for the project. I will have extra.

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The dimensioned lumber was glued and clamped. My planer can only do 13 inch wide sections so the clock face would need to be done in 2 sections

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With the sections glued they were once again sent through the planer to flatten things up.

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With the 2 dimensioned sections they were now glued, clamped, and joined as one block.

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Broke out the jigsaw and trimmed out a 16″ diameter section from the glues pallet blank.

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The clock face was going to protrude from its metal surround therefore it needed to have a step cut into the circumference. Please note the quality looking radius guide I built for my router, you can tell I put a lot of time into it.

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Instead of hand routering out a pocket on the backside to accept the clock mechanism I opted to do a cleaner, and more precise, job using the mill..

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Since this is a recycling project I needed to come up with a clock surround. Opted to use the base of a 55 gallon drum. I bent a scrap section of 1″ flat bar and tacked it onto the barrel to act as a plasma torch guide.

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Slicing the base off a drum using the plasma torch takes less the a minute. Using the guide a clean line can be achieved.

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Trimmed off base is going to lend itself perfectly for the feel of the clock.

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Using my homemade plasma torch circle guide I sliced a hole out of the middle of the barrel bottom to allow for insetting of the pallet clock face.

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Here the 2 recycled materials are mated together. The look turned out to be what I had envisioned.

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Here we skip over a bunch of fabrication photos in order to get to this point. I wanted a “wing” type sign look to the whole project. I plasma cut out a backing by hand using guides. Then I fabricated “feathers” out of sheet metal.

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I struggled coming up with a good plan for the “numbers”. I finally settled on sprockets and machined round stock joined by round bar.

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With all the fab work completed it was time to move onto the finishing stage. The clock face received stain to give it a retro type look to it.

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A few coats later it achieved the look I was hoping for.

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The face was going to have the local clubs logo applied to it. I built a template on the computer and then cut out a stencil using my vinyl plotter.

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The logo was going to get airbrushed into the clock face. The stencil gets applied to the face, everything else was masked off, and then paint was applied using an airbrush.

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Here is what the airbrushed logo looks like. The vintage feel is what I was going for.

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With the wood portion complete it was time to finish the metal sections. The “feathers” needed an old school look so I decided to apply a rusting solution to them. Here they all got cleaned and sanded before receiving the treatment.

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Using a solution of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar I mixed up, and applied, a solution to the feathers. it took 2 treatments over 2 days to achieve the desired results.

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Rusted out feathers. Perfect.

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When it came to finishing all the metal everything was hung and then shot with a clear coat in order to preserve all the natural finishes.

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With some assembly complete the project was finished. Overall length is close to 4 feet. 2 mounting holes were drilled into the base at 32″ centers in hopes that if it gets mounted on stud walls 2 studs will contribute to the support.

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