Introduction: Pallet Plank to Tea-bag Box

My wife has recently grown a fresh love of tea. With that in mind, I realised we'd given our tea box away to charity a while back. Solution: time to make one!

As I like a challenge, I decided to use a single piece of reclaimed pallet wood to make the box - lid and handle included. All in all, it's been a fun and relatively simple wee project which took me an afternoon - including working out how to use my new mitre saw!

Note: I've added a 'quick guide' which I drew up before making the box. You can download it in this step!

Step 1:

Step 2: Tools and Materials

To make the tea bag, you'll need:

Tools

  • Compound mitre saw (or mitre saw with 45 degree mitre box/bench hook)
  • Optional, but very helpful: Large clamps (i.e. larger than the width of your pallet plank)
  • Optional: Scroll saw or jigsaw

Materials

Step 3: Cut Your Plank Into Squares

At first, I wasn't keeping photos, sorry about that!

First up, measure the width of your plank - mine was 13.5cm. Starting at one end of your plank, measure and mark lines every 'width' along the plank. e.g. for my plank, that was every 13.5cm. As our cube-shaped box has 6 faces, we'll need 6 squares.

Use your mitre saw to cut the plank into your 6 squares.

Note: If using a compound mitre saw, you can clamp a piece of wood as a stop block, measured 13.5cm from the blade's cutting point and just feed and cut until you have 6 squares.

Step 4: Bevel Your Square Edges

Again, sorry about the lack of photos!

Next up, set your mitre saw to 45 degrees (or, if using a mitre box, turn the pieces on their side).

I found it helpful to test-cut a piece of wood to find where to cut in to mitre the edges at 45 degrees.

If using a compound mitre saw, lower the blade to full cut and fix a low-profile stop block just shy of flush to the blade. Now, each piece should mitre perfectly into the corners!

Mitre all four edges of each square at 45 degrees (see photo!)

Step 5: Gluing the Faces Together

Now, starting with one of the square faces sat on the side (large face down), glue each side 45-degree edge to 45-degree edge (see photos). If you have clamps, this can be a great time to clamp the whole structure together!

If, like me, you don't have large clamps, then I found the side could be wedged in using heavy objects like spray paint cans to hold the sides in place!

If you have any gaps where the faces meet, mix up some wood glue and saw dust and pug the holes/gaps with it.

Step 6: Adding the Handle

Taking what's left of the plank, mark out a shape for the handle you'd like to use. I went for an octagon, but you could quite easily use a hole saw bit on a drill to bore a circular handle out!

Use your saw/drill to shape the wood to your desire shape and then glue it on top of the large face of the remaining square you cut out.

Step 7: Optional Step: Adding a Letter 'T'

OK, I said we'd only use a sheet of pallet wood, which we have... so far... but as the box was drying, I thought it'd look nice to add a letter 'T' on the side! Realising this letter T would stand out like a sore thumb (and not realising it would have made a cool handle), I decided to cut a letter 'T' out of a sheet of 5mm birch ply I had lying around.

I made up a template in Word, printed it off, ran masking tape around the birch plywood piece and stuck the template on using a tacky glue stick. Then, I used my scroll saw to cut out the letter T, peeled off the tape and used wood glue to fix the 'T' on the side of the box.

The left over 'T' shape cut also makes a nice stencil for spray painting!

Step 8: Sanding and Finishing

Next up, give the finished box a good sanding down, paying attention to your edges and any ares you filled with glue/sawdust to make sure they're sanded down and any excess glue's sanded away. The spray lacquer doesn't take well to glue.

Finally, add a few coats of spray lacquer (allowing 20-30 mins between coats for full drying) and you're done!

Allow the smell to dissipate, then add tea bags and install it in on your kitchen side board to your wife's (hopeful) happiness!

Note: You can download both the PDF template and the Word template (which is editable!) if you want to adapt it.

Comments

author
Doreen42 (author)2015-08-03

Just as a caution, pallets might have been fumigated with insect killing products, especially if they have travelled overseas.

author
pfred2 (author)Doreen422015-08-03

Heat treating is far more common than chemicals. There is even an article on this site about it

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-determine-i...

Pesticides are only lethal to insects anyways. So unless you live on digesting pallet wood you should be safe.

author
Cairdy Crafts (author)pfred22015-08-04

Thanks for the note of caution, pfred2. I checked all my pallet wood before planing it down but always good to be safe!

author
pfred2 (author)Cairdy Crafts2015-08-05

It'll never hurt you. That was something my boss in a demolition outfit I used to work for said about everything. He was right about all of it too! As long as you do not make a steady diet out of pallet wood you'll be just fine.

author
Cairdy Crafts (author)Doreen422015-08-04

Thanks for the note of caution, Doreen :)

author
pfred2 (author)2015-08-01

Looks good.

author
Cairdy Crafts (author)pfred22015-08-03

Thanks very much :)

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