Are you a serious fan of any of the sci-fi, horror, or fantasy shows out right now? Then show 'em the love AND upcycle discarded products in the process!
I made this TWD Fan Art "Lucille" Bat & Display Shelf from discarded pallets that were leaning against a trash can in my neighborhood. I wood-turned one of the support boards (the stringer boards) that happened to be 4x4 x 36", and then found two boards with a lot of character to make most of the display shelf. Scraps of pine were used for the supports, and then Pure Color Sustainable, NON-VOC stains were used (leftover from other projects) to first color the bat, and then to add the . . uh . . "character".
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Step 1: Hunt Down a Pallet or Two & Get Started.
This is me - finding some discarded pallets (and Lucille is in this batch)! When you get home, use your safety equipment and follow the manufacturer's directions on your power tools/hand tools.
1. Dismantle the pallets. I used a reciprocating saw (Sawzall by Milwaukee) to quickly cut through the nails with a wood/metal blade.
2. Separate the pallet stringers (the support boards) the same way. You MUST remove most of the nails from this board - it is CRITICAL, as it will be put on a powerful wood lathe and you could chip blades, or incur serious injuries if you aren't careful! I used a small hole saw and simply drilled down a bit since I knew I'd be removing material. When I exposed the nails enough to grip with a Vice Grips pliers, I gently removed them. I found the centers on each end by drawing a line across the diagonal points - where they intersect is the approximate center.
3. Take the stringer to the table saw and set your angle - cut the excess points off and begin the rounding-off process withe the table. I put it on the lathe and it was still rolling around crookedly so I stopped it, and trimmed with a draw knife and that was faster for me.
Step 2: Wood-turning the Pallet Stringer - Use Your Calipers
4. I installed the bat onto my older, but well maintained Craftsman 36" lathe. Then I secured both ends tightly. I used a youth-sized aluminum bat as my template, and a cheap set of calipers to check measurements from one to the other, turning on the lathe and transferring points to start chiseling and stop chiseling. I measured about 8" at a time because of the tool's rest length.
TAKE YOUR TIME! You're better off taking off thin layers and checking more often than just gouging away! Continue to transfer measurements - from large end of bat, it's actually consistent for several inches, so I turned it first.
5. At the first sight of taper, I measured the start of the taper and then to the thinnest point before the handle and transferred those marks, cutting the materials out slowly and carefully.
6. Finally, I measured the handle portion and the end piece, carefully turning and smoothing over the end of the bat.
7. When the carving was complete, I used sand paper at 80-grit, then 120-grit and then to 330 grit.
8. I cut the ends closely with the chisels and finally sawed it loose from the wood lathe; sanding both ends smooth.
Step 3: Make Your Display Shelf!
9. I used pallet deck boards. Optional: Remove the nails with a punch and hammer - or leave them in for character . I chose to plane mine so I removed the nails and planed the boards to the same thickness. I specifically looked for unusual boards with more defects, spalting (occurs naturally), knotholes, and bark - the "live edge" parts that prove it was once a tree. When I found two I loved - found AFTER I planed - I hand-sanded down to 600 grit. I took a pine board scrap, cut it into two pieces and glued it together. I traced around the fat end of the bat on one piece, and then around the handle end. I cut the larger end to the length I wanted, carefully shaving off very small amounts at a time until I got it centered on the back board. Then I simply took the other set that was glued up and held it up so I knew how far to cut down to keep the bat level. I carved these with a band saw, then sanded progressively to 600-grit.
10. I attached them together with good quality stainless steel screws and simple butt joints that I also used Titebond Glue on.
11. While they dried, I applied the first coat of polyurethane to the sides facing up.
Step 4: Burn, Baby...burn! Woodburn, That Is...
12. Next - PYROGRAPHY! You can use a fancy wood-burning kit, but I had an old soldering iron that's just too heavy for fine soldering work. I hand-designed a drawing for the logo, and then used old-school carbon tracing paper to transfer it onto the bat, approximately where I remember they put them. I woodburned it in, and then freehand-drew the barbed wire around the fat end of the bat.
13. After all the pyrography was complete, I gently sanded with 330-grit to knock down any high points.
Step 5: Making Lucille a "Dirty Girl"
14. After pyrography is complete, I sanded down to 600-grit by hand.
15. TIME TO STAIN! I used Pure Color's Sustainable Stains & Finishes because they're NO VOC, they dry to touch in 30 minutes, and they've got a gorgeous array of products in innovative packaging and excellent support. No, they didn't pay me to say that. It's just my review! I made a mixture of stains, starting with French Oak, and added lava, Cherry, and more to create that middle brown tone. I purposely applied it heavy and light, letting it sit for a moment before I wiped it off.
16. Lucille is a THIRSTY GIRL! At least according to Negan... so we had to satisfy her a bit. I mixed their cherry color, lava color, and their blue color to create a blood, and flicked it over the bat. I used the brush and then a syringe to create the drips and purposely put in hand prints as well. I hung it up from the handle to dry.
Step 6: Seal It All!
17. Time to apply PureColorinc's awesome color line. Here's where I had a bit of fun.There were still a few light spots, and I was staining another project at the same time, so I used a bit of glaze from another project to create high- and low lights. To make a glaze, I simply mixed in a bit of color into the polyurethane. It's all water based so I can thin or thicken it at will. It's brilliant stuff! I applied 3 coats to the bat and the shelf, sanding between each with a gentle emery sponge.
18. The final step - and the only one that'll cost you - is to buy some bat tape. It's optional, but I liked it because the bat seems a little delicate to me, and that beefed it up a bit. I started wrapping from the bottom of the bat to about mid-way up until it started getting thicker, and turned back around. I think it went up part way up on the third turn.
19. Allow everything to DRY! Once dry, you can place Lucille in her place of honor!
Participated in the
Trash to Treasure Contest 2017