My 2016 / 2017 Pallet Up-Cycle Project



Introduction: My 2016 / 2017 Pallet Up-Cycle Project

About: I'm a DIYer and creator likes to build, capture, and share my creations.

Full Video of the build is below which can be found on my Youtube Channel, followed by full steps and materials list / tools list that you'll want to have to complete.

Step 1: Gather Materials and Get Psyched!

My buddy has a cool little bar in his condo and sent me a reference photo of a cool piece of bar art he saw up North in California and asked me if I could build it for him.

Of course...I said yes!




      Step 2: Source and Prep Materials!

      For this project, I wanted to keep it cheap and simple for my buddy's sake. I sourced pallets from a local shipping guy in my neighborhood - I think I gave him $20 for 5 of them. The wood is very diverse, in all forms of quality and shape, and makes for a cool up-cycled project.

      I spent the better part of 4 hours breaking down all of my wood and cutting it into manageable strips. Most, if not all of them had nails that would have taken a lifetime to remove; so, since my project didn't call for super long strips of wood, I chose to just break down my wood but cutting out all of the pieces that had nails - and it worked out just fine!

      Step 3: Rip Your Strips

      Next, I used my taper jig from Rockler (incase you were interested in getting one) to cut all of my pieces into 1.25 inch strips. This was arguable the most time consuming part of the project. Expect to spend a few hours doing this, and always exercise the highest of safety when doing repetitive cuts on the table saw! The final photo shows how many strips I ended up cutting - I'm guessing it was close to 100 total.

      My design didn't really have set dimensions to it, so I just made as many as I could with the material I had and would work backwards on the final design of the martini glass once it took shape.

      Step 4: Glue Ups!

      Glue ups for this project took part in multiple phases, as, at the time, I lacked enough clamps to do it all at once! Standard woodworking issue!

      For my chevron pieces, I glued up 10-12 strips at a time at 45° so that ripping them later on would be easier. No finish nails or anything for this step, and I didn't own a thickness planer at the time either, so the surfaces were not super clean when it came to gluing up but it was fine for this project. I worked my best to keep everything flat in this process as well. My biggest mistake here was not using enough glue - I've since never made this mistake again!

      I also glued up 10 strips together straight (or at 90°) that would be used for my martini cut out eventually. More on that later!

      Step 5: Chevron Rips!

      Fast forward 24 hours, and I once again was at the table saw ripping my chevron glue ups in 2.5" strips on my taper jig. The jig really helped line things up properly, and in the second photo, you can see all of my final strips laid out.

      I wasn't sure exactly how I'd want to laminate these together. Originally I was going to use pocket hole screws, but found a piece of scrap plywood lying around, so instead I glued them all down on to it and used about 150 pounds in weights to hold it down for 12 hours while it dried. Still not sure if this was the right method but DIY is all about experimentation and learning for the next project!

      Step 6: Sanding and Squaring Up

      After it dried, I went through the grits on my belt sander and orbital sander to flatten out the top of the chevron. This worked out quite well and the surfaces were actually quite smooth. I also squared up all of the sides on my table saw. The rip was quite large for my saw so I recruited my pops to help me out for this one. Made things much easier!

      Step 7: The Martini Glass

      You can see there are quite a few gaps in my chevron laminations in the first picture. I'm not really sure how I could have avoided this given the amount of clamps I had at the time as well as my available tools to line things up more properly. I have no regrets in my process, and know of a few ways I can clean it up to look better, but definitely have a few ideas where I'd change things up next time.

      Without going into too much detail - having a few long clamps to pull it all together laterally while I weighed down the pieces likely would have solved all of my problems.

      The three pics above show the sequence of me drawing out my martini glass, using a power drill and my jigsaw to cut out the pieces, and then my miter saw to cut out the martini glass inlay. This was a bit of trial and error to get everything to fit, but no real work around for that without a CNC machine!

      Step 8: Hammer in the Inlay

      Once everything was squared up, I hammered in my inlays. I intended to use glue in this stage, but it was so tight on my dry fit test that I legitimately could not remove it, so I just went with it!

      Step 9: Seal the Cracks and Stain!

      Like I said before, I had gaps that needed fixing, and I used wood glue and saw dust to fill in all of them.

      To do this, I premixed my solution in a cup and used my finger to fill in all of the gaps, but I actually recommend adding a ton of glue to your cracks then rubbing in saw dust - it is a bit easier to apply.

      Once I added the mix and let it dry, I scraped off the excess with a firm wire brush, sanded down again, and added a thin coat of Minwax's Summer Oak stain to help make the glass and background stand apart better. It came out great!

      Step 10: Making the Boarder

      I bought an 8' piece of 1 x 2 and stained it with Minwax's Special Walnut, then measured the length and width of my piece and cut out the boarders on my Miter Saw. You can see that I am using mitered edges for it - it came out very clean. Measure three times, cut twice, right?

      I glue up all four sides onto the piece and uses finish nails to hold it in place while it dried. Nearly done at this point!

      Step 11: Toothpick and Olive

      While the stain dried on my piece, I cut off my 3/4" dowel for my olive using a coping saw, cut out the pilot hole with my 3/4" spade bit, hammered it into place (again, no glue - too tight to even get out!), and then proceeded to do the same thing with my toothpick using a thin piece of scrap wood and a chisel.

      Without a router, this took a bit of patience and finesse, so do not get discouraged if you don't have those tools. I didn't, and it worked out well!

      Step 12: The Booze!

      As a last minute addition, I painted on some clear polyurethane to part of the glass to give the appearance of a clear liquid in it - it is subtle but I think it actually looks pretty sweet!

      Step 13: Hang It Up, Admire Your Work, and Have a Drink!

      And then I was done and placed in its final home at my friend's condo.

      This project was soooo much work but as a unique piece of pallet art, you can't really get much more custom and interesting (in my humble opinion!).



        Thanks so much for reading and watching. I'd be so grateful if you could subscribe to my Youtube Channel for future projects!



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