Introduction: Pallet Style Drink Coaster Using Popsicle Sticks
I wanted to create a coaster using popsicle sticks. After searching Instructables I came to this one:
So I wasn't the firtst one who came up into the same idea :) But what I noticed is that pallet from above Instructable does not actually look like current standardized EUR-pallet - it's because of a solid wood used on the edges. This is a variation of an old standard called "2 way entry pallet" but nowadays there are "4 way entry pallets" in a common usage. So, being inspired I decided to make one by myself using only popsicle sticks (and hot glue as a connector).
Because of my popsickle sticks dimensions, I decided to make a variation of pallet type EUR 6 as described on official EPAL-pallets with 7 bars on top (in my case popsicle sticks):
The only change I have made is my pallet is a square instead of a rectangle. I wanted it this way because it fits better as a cup coaster. But still, in my opinion it looks very-very similar to original one.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- At least 17 popsicle sticks (I took mine by eating ice creams with my kids :) )
- Hot glue gun
- sharp knife (e.g. utility knife for cutting carpet)
- Saw (I used saw for cutting metal)
Step 2: Making Cantilevers/supporters
We need 9 cantilevers. To make a them, we need to glue 4 sticks together to achieve required level.
There are at least 2 ways to achieve it:
1. Cut popsickle stick first and then glue them together
I tried this method and it is actually quite hard to glue them together because pieces are very small and we need to keep them aligned and glue them evenly. So I think the other method works much better
2. Glue 4 sticks first and then cut them
Try to glue sticks as aligned as possible. It is actually not so important because we will anyway cut it into small pieces and small errors don't matter. For cutting, the best working for me was using a saw. I used one to cut metal because it is very thin which fits to make this project.
Step 3: Quick Prototyping
After making cantilevers, I decided to build whole pallet without gluing anything just to have a rough view on what I wanted to achieve. It looked promising :)
Step 4: Cutting Rounded Edges
Depending on what kind of popsickle sticks You have, probable You need to cut rounded edges as I had to. I used clumps to hold the sticks so cutting was relatively easy with a sharp knife.
This is also a moment when You can decide about the dimensions of Your mini pallet. I wanted my pallet to be a square, but it does not fit to the standardized EUR 6 pallet (600mm x 800mm). Luckily, EUR 6 pallet narrower dimension is the one which is determined by the length of popsickle sticks on the top. So You can achieve required proportions just by cutting 10 sticks to expected length (7 sticks on top and 3 sticks on the bottom).
If it would be the other way, You either needed to make sticks narower (cutting sticks to expected width, which is not an easy task), put them closer to each other or remove 1 or 2 sticks from the top. In this case EUR 6 pallet is no longer any of EUR pallet. Even standard EUR pallet with 5 bars on top has them aligned in different orientation.
Step 5: Sticks Alignment
Cutting rounded edges is not very accurate. So we need to align sticks so all of them have roughly the same length
Step 6: Final Assempling
We need to polish a little all our cantilever and edges of our sticks. Then we can start to glue everything together according to design of pallet EUR 6. Remember to remove excessive glue poping out from the connections.
Step 7: Final Result
I was very happy because of the final result. It looks very similar to original EUR 6 pallet just with a much smaller scale.