Reclaimed Wood Pittsburgh Skyline




This was a reclaimed wood project that I made to hang on the wall of my apartment.

It was made from reclaimed scrap and pallet wood.

This procedure could be adapted to fit any city skyline.

Step 1: Laying Out Image and Selecting Wood

To start I found an image online, and formatted it so that it would print at 36" wide.

I then went through my scrap wood bin to find pieces that fit the general width and height of the buildings.

I arranged them on top of the image and rough cut those that were too long to fit the general height of the buildings.

Finally I laid out all the rough cut buildings and checked to see if I was happy with the variety of colors and thicknesses of the pieces.

Step 2: Cutting Out the Buildings

The next step was to do the detailed cuts on each of the buildings.

I printed a second copy of the skyline, and then cut the paper to the width of each corresponding piece of wood.

I then taped the images to each piece of wood, and carefully cut out each building on the band saw.

As each building was cut I laid out the skyline. Eventually leading to the final skyline layout shown above.

Step 3: Constructing the Background

The next step was to construct the background that the skyline would be attached to.

First I selected the pallet boards I wanted to use, trying to get similar thickness boards.

Next the boards were stained, four were stained gray, and one blue (to represent water under the bridges).

After staining the boards they were cut to the same length as the skyline.

Lastly I assembled attached the boards to two strips along the back using a nail gun. During this step I constructed a temporary fence, to make sure that the boards were square.

Step 4: Painting Bridges

Before moving on to assembling everything I had to paint the bridges the iconic Pittsburgh "gold".

I watered down some acrylic paint I had leftover from a previous project, and applied it to the bridge pieces.

Step 5: Attaching Buildings

Now that everything was cut, painted, and stained I was able to start attaching the buildings and bridges to the background boards.

I used a 2x4 and some quick clamps to make a temporary fence to make sure the bottoms of all the buildings were flush with the bottom edge.

I then used a pin nailer to attach all of the buildings to the background boards.

Step 6: Preparing Frame

The next step was to prepare the boards that would become the frame around the skyline.

I first measured the height of the skyline and boards, to ensure that the frame was around 1/8 of an inch taller than the thickest building.

Once that height was determined I ripped down the boards to the correct width.

The boards were then stained using a dark mahogany stain.

Lastly I cut the boards to their final lengths and mitered the corners.

Step 7: Constructing the Frame

The last step of this project was to actually construct the frame, and attach it to the background boards.

I assembled the frame around the background boards gluing and nailing together each corne

While I glued the pieces together, I used masking tape to hold the frame together at the corners

Lastly I went along all edges of the frame nailing it to the background boards.



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12 Discussions


1 year ago

As a fellow Yinzer, great job! Would you mind sharing the skyline image?


1 year ago

Awesome project great way to show off the city of Pittsburgh

Lizabeth G

1 year ago

Brilliant reflection of the Burgh.


1 year ago

That looks beautiful! I love the contrast with all the different colors of wood :)

3 replies

Reply 1 year ago

I completely agree with Swansong, the detail that you included with the colors and the varying depths, really sets this design apart from others! I hope this design wins the Reclaimed Contest! Everyone should vote for this! Good job dbauer3190!


Reply 1 year ago

Thanks for your support. Please Vote!!!!


Reply 1 year ago

Thanks, I played around with a lot of pieces until I had a variety I liked.


1 year ago

Love it! As a fellow Yinzer, I need to make one of these for my place for sure!

1 reply

1 year ago

I am definitely going to make one of these for my house!