Step 10: Dowel

Test the dowel fit and cut it to size.
I think this is a great idea, but as a woodworker I would recommend a few changes. First do not use olive oil as a finish. Over time olive oil and vegetable oil can become rancid ruining the finish product. A food safe mineral oil or walnut oil (just be careful because some people are allergic to walnuts) would be the best choice as these both look good and are food safe. Second a lot of pallet wood is not treated, but are various types of hardwoods. I have seen everything from cheap mahogany, cherry, oak, poplar, to even the walnut that it looks like you used. You mainly want to stay away from softwoods (pine, cedar, spruce, etc) and the exotic woods (many of these have toxins in them). Also certain types of wood like walnut and Ipe have been known to cause allergic reactions in people (I once saw a man swell up so much from using Ipe that his watch started to cut into his wrist). Cherry and maple are two the best readily available hardwoods for food usage (stay away from nut woods). Lastly you can get away with not using the epoxy by carving a piece of wood in a dumbbell shape (or turning it on a lathe would be easier), squishing one end with a clamp, sliding the piece squished end first through the hole, and then wetting the squished end. This will cause it to swell back to its original size holding securely.
That squishing and wetting trick sounds awesome! I've come a long way since making this. I'd had very little woodworking experience, and have since worked on multiple projects and taken two classes, one of which I'm an assistant for this semester, I've also got a new woodworking furniture project Instructable in the works to be published pretty soon. It's a footstool, involving mortise and tenons, turning on a lathe, sliding joints for a hidden shelf and upholstering.<br><br>Thanks for the feedback! Most people have said this wood was some type of mahogany. And I'm actually using the last of it on that footstool I mentioned, for the legs. I ended up finishing this piece with mineral oil, and would definitely avoid the epoxy in the future. The design would be cool to rework a bit too, make it smaller and more conveniently portable.
Neat. Good job. <br><br>However, be very careful using pallet wood like this... Most of it is pressure treated.
Thanks! What does that mean? How would it affect working with it?
If by pallet wood, you mean wood that was used to make pallets with, the kind that products are shipped on, yes it could be treated. Pressure treatment means it is put in a pressure container with poisons that prevent rotting and termites, pressurized to force the poisons into the wood.<br>Using wood like this for eating utensils could be very unhealthy.<br>If you mean something else by &quot;pallet wood&quot; it may be ok.
It was a bunch of about 2.5' x 2&quot; x 2&quot; sticks that I got from a woodworking store. They said it was pallet wood, but I don't imagine it'd been used for anything, unless they'd cut off any parts where hardware had been. It's all just rough sawn. So I just say pallet wood because the guy from the store helping me did.
I have a feeling he is just suggesting you keep it as a nice art piece and make it out of different wood if your going to eat with it. Nice work though
Sounds like he was talking about the quality of the wood, not where it came from. Given that it's pallet wood, if it isn't pressure treated, it's going to want to splinter -- a lot. Cool Project.
Thanks! It's definitely dry, and very light, it made me kind of afraid to work with it, it was so weak or thing feeling. It's pretty sturdy though, not that it's gotten much use, but it hasn't had any splintering issues. It's been oiled and kinda just kept on shelves so far.<br><br>I don't think I'm gonna eat with it, not after some of these comments, but I'm definitely thinking of making more stuff, especially after the success of this and other (non-Instructables) feedback.
But thanks for the input. I'll keep that in mind in future projects with this wood just in case.
very good! i like the drawings. olive oil makes a great wood oil, i have used it many times with no ill effects.
Thanks! I could have just used photos and explained it, but I didn't have any process photos, and got inspired :P. I'm definitely intrigued by olive oil. Maybe once I finally make a cutting board or something.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Stylish-Chopsticks-With-Toothpick-Storage/<br><br>i used olive oil on the project in the link.
Sweet! I noticed this, I was checkin' that out. Cool idea.
Thanks, i thought it was too. one of those ideas that gets into your brain out of nowhere, already fully planned out. i love those ideas, but they are very rare.
Yea, they're pretty sweet. When they're not planned, I've got my sketchbook on me wherever I go though. :P
i think my sketchbook was eaten by my dog.

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Bio: My passion for making has blossomed and expanded since its inception. The ability to realize my imagination and work as a part of a group ... More »
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