In this Instructable, I'll show you how to build a piece of scrap wood wall art using Maple and Walnut scraps. This simple wooden art project adds a ton of style to any space, and you only need a table saw and pin nailer to make it.
Don't miss the build video above for a lot more information!
Step 1: Gather Materials & Tools
If you use pre-milled lumber such a 1x2s or something similar, the only tools you really need are a table saw and pin nailer. This is a really simple build with awesome results.
Materials Used On Scrap Wood Wall Art:
- Hardwood scraps or 1x2s
- ¾" Plywood Arrow
- Pin Nails: http://amzn.to/2utJpv2
- 1 Quart Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish : http://amzn.to/2utJpv2
- Heavy-Duty Mirror and Picture Hanger : http://amzn.to/2utJpv2
Tools Used On Scrap Wood Wall Art:
- Arrow PT23G Pin Nailer : http://bit.ly/arrowcrafted
- SawStop PCS 1.75-HP Professional Cabinet Saw : http://bit.ly/arrowcrafted
- Festool Kapex Miter Saw : http://bit.ly/arrowcrafted
- Powermatic PJ-882HH 8-Inch Jointer : http://bit.ly/arrowcrafted
- Powermatic 15HH 15-Inch Planer : http://bit.ly/arrowcrafted
Step 2: (Optional) Mill Your Scraps
The lumber I used on this build was a pile of rough Maple and Walnut scraps I had been hanging on to, and since the wood was rough, I needed to mill the pieces. This means that I needed to flatten the two faces on the planer and square up one edge on the jointer so that the pieces could be safely ripped on the table saw.
Make sure to mill all of your pieces to the same thickness on this step, as the thickness here will be the width on the final piece of art, since we'll be rotating the strips we rip in the next step before attaching them to the plywood.
Step 3: Rip Strips on the Table Saw
I started by ripping my pieces of Hard Maple into two even strips on the table saw, about ⅝" wide. Again, the width of the strips here will be the depth of the strips on the final piece, and we want the depth of these pieces to be staggered. This gives the piece a much more interesting look than if all of the pieces were the same depth.
After ripping about half of the pieces into ⅝" strips, I moved the fence over ¼" and kept ripping strips until I ran out of wood. I ended up with three different widths of strips, and this made for an awesome looking piece of art.
Step 4: Cut Plywood Backer Board to Size and Bevel Edges
I used a scrap piece of ¾" plywood for this build, but ½" plywood would work fine as well. I first cut my piece to about 28" square, then tilted the table saw blade to 45 degrees and cut a bevel on all of the edges of the board. Cutting this bevel makes the edge of the plywood disappear when you're looking at the artwork from the side.
Step 5: Cut One Square End on Each Strip
My buddy Grant, who was hanging out in the shop with me, cut a square end on each of the strips at the miter saw while I worked on the plywood. The strips need to meet up cleanly in the middle of the art, hence the need for one square end. We left the opposite ends of the strips rough and jagged and I really think this added a lot to the look of the piece.
Step 6: Arrange Strips on Plywood & Attach With Pin Nails
With the strips cut to size, I started arranging them on the plywood. I made sure to alternate the different sized strips, both depth and length, to give the piece a random appearance. Once I had the pieces arranged in a way that I liked, I used a pin nailer to fasten the strips to the plywood. I just kept adding strips until I filled up the plywood.
Step 7: Apply Finish
For the finish on this project, I used Waterlox. I lightly sanded the pieces before finishing and then applied the finish with a foam brush. I applied three coats in total.
Step 8: Hang Artwork
To hang the artwork, I used metal hardware that's similar to a French cleat. You attach one half to the artwork and then attach the other half to the wall. This cleat supports up to 200 pounds, which is good since this artwork ended up being really heavy. I made sure the cleat was level and attached the cleats to each other, and the artwork was done!
Step 9: Enjoy Your Art!
I'm really happy with the way this piece turned out. It was a simple build, I don't think it took me more than about 3 hours, but I love the result. It looks great in my den and is really a focal point of the room.