Introduction: Cardboard and Pallet Shelf

Cardboard construction projects have interested me ever since I saw them on Instructables. I thought I'd try my hand at a hybrid cardboard and pallet board shelf for my typewriter table. At first, I tried to just use a cardboard shelf, but saw that it wouldn't last long without some kind of reinforcement, but making a complicated system with cardboard wasn't in the cards for me. I thought it too complicated. Then I remembered that I had some thin pallet wood that was only 1/2" thick and thought that would be just the thing.

The next question was, "Well why not just use the pallet wood itself." Well, laziness came into play. I had no interest in spending a couple of days sanding the pallet wood and painting it so it wouldn't deliver slivers in my hand every time I touched the shelf.

Then I thought it would be easy to just glue cardboard to the surfaces to prevent slivers, and I wouldn't have to paint or sand anything.

So, this is the project I came up with.

Disclaimer: There are a few photoshopped pictures here, because I didn't actually take pictures of my project along the way, but the "fake pictures" serve to show the process, nonetheless.

Step 1: Materials and Equipment

- wood from a pallet, I used one from a shingling job that was done on my house. It had 1/2" boards--just right.
- cardboard
- Liquid Nails (from Lowes)
- paint, OK, I did have to paint a little and I had some that was very thick and about to turn hard. It was used for the bottom side of the rails.
-1 5/8" deck screws

-box cutter
-saw, a handsaw is OK, but a table saw is best
-drill to drive the deck screws
-clamps for gluing the cardboard
-duct tape

Step 2: Construction

First, I nailed the pallet wood onto two rails as shown in the photo. I cut out the notches to fit the typewriter table. Your design is bound to be much different from mine, so I will spare the details.

I trimmed both sides and cut notches to fit my typewriter table.

I glued the cardboard to the pallet with Liquid Nails and used some clamps and boards to make a tight fit.

I also cut cardboard to fit the bottom of the shelf.

And, finally, I painted the rails and used duct tape in various places to prevent slivers in my hands when I handled the shelf.

Step 3: End Result

Here are the photos of the final result. These pictures are real, no photoshopping here.

Top view and bottom view of the shelf showing the painted rails and some strategic placement of duct tape.

End and side views of the shelf in place in the typewriter table.

The shelf is very, very strong, and as my dad would say, "Strong enough to hold a pig."