This is a custom-built table request that I just completed, made from shipping pallets. Three kinds of wood from different pallet sources were used in constructing the table: pine, oak, and cedar. Overall dimensions are 30” x 30” x 15”.
The surface of the table top is sanded smooth, but left intentionally uneven, as the pallet planks used to construct the top varied in thickness. The requester wanted the sides to bare the markings and stamps typically associated with shipping pallets, and the wood overall retained the markings, flaws, scars, and wear from years of industrial use, from the elements, and from the pallets original manufacturing.
I am working on a custom request for a customer who wants a small rolling pallet table, and these are some pics from the very early stages of that process.
I first located the pallets I wanted, then had to cut them down to fit into my car (I don’t have a truck yet!) Once I get them home, I begin to completely disassemble them. These were tougher than usual to break down because they were held together with the kind of heavy duty pallet nails that were never meant to come out. Plus, many of the nail heads broke off, making things even more interesting. And lastly, that sure is some dense, hard-ass oak!
My first goal is to salvage as many of the nice main pallet ‘runners’ as I can, i.e. the ones with text, stamps, or colors that I can use to incorporate into the design. I also salvage as much of the deck wood as I can.
Next step will be to start milling down all the wood into usable pieces, and begin the construction of the table top. More details and pics to come…
Boy howdy am I behind on posting updates. But, the good news is that I’ve been busy down in the shop, and I’ve just posted a batch of new lamps and a new bench. Number three in the slat lamp series has emerged.
This one is quite a bit larger than the first two models, and features a very simple arrangement of redwood slats. The cool thing about these slats is that they not only vary in thickness and outside surface angle (they slant in slight different directions), but all the pieces feature the rough saw marks from when the wood was originally milled down from its rough state. These saw marks have a consistent texture and angle all the way around the lamp, adding a nice visual detail. The slats are spaced far enough apart to allow direct viewing of the Edison-style bulb inside. This lamp features the same cloth twisted cord, antique style plug, and polished sockets as the other lamps.
Next up is this simple pendant style lamp made from an antique wiring spool that I came across in an architectural salvage yard. In a similar vein of simplicity, I also ran across this old cooking lid in the same salvage yard. I cleaned it up and sanded it to get this polished aluminum look. I love the beehive-like layers in the design, and the piece looks nice with the antique style socket and bulb.
This is one that I suspect I’ll be making more of for sure. It is made from an old drawer that was removed from an apartment remodel. I removed the handles and cut it down to the length that you see here, but otherwise left it as is. All the old nails, paint and glue marks, and other imperfections are all visible. The worn utilitarian look works well with this antique style electrical hardware.
Here is a slight deviation from what I have been making so far…this is a tabletop accent lamp that is meant for highlighting a surface like the one you see here, a hallway table, etc. it’s made from an old shipping pallet that has this cool red paint still visible. Other than cutting the pieces to size, all of the original dents, marks, and imperfections are left as is. This lamp features a big ‘ol 25W Edison style bulb, twisted cloth cord, old style wall plug, and an inline on/off switch.
And the last of the lamp posts for today is yet another deviation. This time I am posting a lamp that already existed, but was in pretty rough shape. I took the lamp apart, cleaned everything up, then re-assembled it with new wiring and hardware. This is a great classic modern style lamp. This was my first attempt at refurbishing an existing lamp, and I look forward to doing more projects like this
And finally the last item that I posted today was the second bench/table creation, this one made from a combination of shipping pallets (the legs) and a salvaged redwood plank that I found off of Craigslist. I sanded everything down just enough to remove the dangerous splinters, and all of the imperfections are definitely visible but add lots of character to this piece.
I just put a new version of the slat lamp up on the Handsome site. This one uses albizia wood from the recycled futon frame that I used in the first lamp, but also pieces of salvaged redwood and shipping pallet wood. The significant difference between this lamp and the original slat lamp is that this one has only one layer of slats, and through the gaps you can see the Edison-style lamp inside. Another, much larger version of this Edison-style slat lamp will be on the site early this coming week.
I’ve just completed this bench made from salvaged pallets. I was fortunate enough to have these two contrasting colors of oak on hand, which works nicely for the top. The imperfections and markings of the pallet wood’s past life are all present, and the only finishing I did to the piece was to sand it down to get rid of the splinters and to add a very light coating of linseed oil.
The bench is called ‘wee’ because it is a bit smaller than you might think in the image….it finished out at just over 30 inches long by 14 inches tall and deep. I’m happy with this piece, and I look forward to making more items from salvaged wood. The alternating and contrasting oak planks worked out nicely here. Definitely some wabi-sabi going on here with the nail holes, saw marks, and slightlycupped planks. This was my first try at making these kinds of joints, and for the purposes of this bench, turned out ok.
I recently finished a rolling pallet table/cart, which is currently serving as a coffee table in our living room. The table is low profile with two locking casters. It is made from recycled wood shipping pallets, and many of the cool stamps from the pallet manufacturer are visible, as are many of the imperfections and marks from the pallet’s use over time and my reworking the material in my shop. I can definitely see making larger versions of this in different configurations.
My neighbors requested a simple shelf for their living room, and I was happy to build one for them. They gave me the exact dimensions and layout for what they wanted, and settled on the type of wood they wanted to use. Technically, this is the first item completed for a customer at Handsome (everything else is still in one prototype stage or another). My neighbors seem happy with the final result - it was a great feeling to watch their reaction to the piece when they saw it, and to walk away happy with their new shelf.
This project allowed me the experience of building something to someone else’s specifications, and also allowed me to utilize a new tool that I just acquired, called a Kreg pocket hole jig. This tool allowed me to fasten the wood in such a way that no screws or hardware are immediately visible, which gives it a cleaner and simpler look.