Through this instructables, you will be creating a shelf/bottle rack made from recycled pallet wood. Pallets are a readily available source of free or almost free lumber. Check with local businesses that receive shipments, or look on your area Cragslist for pallets in the free section. The rough wood makes for a nice finish. This project can be completed using only hand tools and needs almost no previous experience in woodworking! Finish your project in a wood stain that fits your décor to add a rustic touch to any room.
Tools needed will be:
· A hammer
· Sand paper
· Hand saw
· Paint brush
· Eye protection
· 1 Pallet
· Wood stain
· Paint thinner/mineral spirits
· Dry wall anchors or other forms of hanging the finished product
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Step 1: Acquire a Pallet
Get a pallet that is in good condition, this will make constructing the shelf much easier. Look for things like missing or broken boards, missing nails or extra nails and screws, and wood that is sturdy.
Step 2: Cut the Pallet
Put on your gloves and eye protection! With the boards facing horizontally, cut the stringer boards. Use your hand saw to cut the bottom of your pallet off about 14 inches from the end. If your pallet has slots for a forklift to pick it up like mine does, you can cut it at the top edge of this where the curve starts. Next, Cut the top and bottom deck boards off next to the edge of the inner stringer. This gives you the final shape of the shelf. You can make your shelf the full width of the pallet, but I cut mine to 23 inches. Save extra parts of the pallet for replacing broken boards and to create the bottom of your shelf.
Step 3: Pull Nails
Use your pry-bar and the claw of the hammer to pull any nails that might be sticking out. Be careful with rusty nails. If the head tears off, you will need to cut off the remaining part or try hammering it the rest of the way into the board.
Step 4: Straighten Nails – Optional Step
I am reusing the nails that I pulled from this pallet to assemble the shelf. If you choose to do this as well, you may need to hammer the nails straight. This is easy to do, just lay them on a flat surface and carefully hold the nail so that the bend is facing upright. Use the hammer to pound down raised parts, rotating until it is reasonably straight.
Step 5: Replace Boards
My pallet had some cracked boards, so I pulled them off and replaced them with spares from rest of the pallet. If you need to remove a board without damaging it, it might be easier to pull up on it from one end. This will twist the nails, but is less likely to damage the board. Prying up on the board from the side usually splits it as the nails pull through. If you need to, drive the pry-bar under the board first to get ahold of the nail rather than damaging the board.
Step 6: Add a Bottom to Your Shelf
In order for your shelf hold bottles, it will need a bottom. Use spare boards from your pallet. Cut them to length and nail to the underside of your shelf.
Step 7: Clean Up Edges
If your cuts didn’t come out straight, you can use the hand saw to trim and clean up the ends of the boards.
Step 8: Sand
Use 220 grit sandpaper over the entire shelf. This will remove splinters and make the final product much smoother. You may need to use 180 grit paper for rougher areas, then follow with 220 grit. You can sand as much or as little as you like to get the finish you want.
Step 9: Stain
Use a wood stain to finish the whole shelf. Pick a color that gives the desired look you want. I used Minwax Provincial. Brush the stain onto the wood, making sure to work it into the corners well. Wait 15 minutes, then wipe the entire surface with a clean rag going in the same direction as the grain of the wood. Mine came out great with just one coat, but two or three coats may be necessary.
Step 10: Hang
You can use drywall anchors to hang the shelf on any wall. It is a good idea to find a stud to screw the shelf into, but it is not necessary with heavy duty anchors.
Step 11: Enjoy!
Now it is time to fill your shelf, pop open a bottle of red, and enjoy your hard work!