Monday, April 20, 2015

From pallet to booze shelf in 3 easy steps.

Do you ever visit those "crap for sale" on facebook? I think Rochester has 14 of them in various forms. A friend and constant reader saw a wine bottle shelf for sale on one and "liked it".

So I says: dude, if you want one, I can make one cheaper than that. 

I was wrong about that, but I sold it to her at that price anyway.

Spoiler: it's way more than 3 steps, and not many of them are easy.

1. find a pallet
2. get it home
3. disassemble
4. sand
5, add bottom shelf so bottles don't fall out
6. add extension blocks for glasses shelf
7. measure, mark and cut shelf for glasses
8. stain
9. varnish
10. do all the other things you forgot to do before:
such as...
  1. add screws to mounting board
  2. drill mounting holes
  3. make sure all boards are secure, remove extra/bent/broken nails

It's not hard to find pallets. The trick is to find them with good character. Colour, contrast, just broken enough but not too broken. I've glued lots of boards back together. 
Where do I find them? Often, the plumbing company across the street leaves them out on Monday I walk across the street, pick up 2 and carry them home. Or the lawn mower/small engine place a mile away, or the electrician down from the mower place, or construction sites, etc. A hundred other the bed store, along the highway, Northern Tool, KMart....

FYI pallets are a great source of free lumber, but it is not really free. It takes a lot of work to disassemble the things, and it uses up sanding discs much faster than fresh clean wood. It's harder on router bits, saw blades, gloves. It takes more glue, more varnish, more stain. 

I found plans for a dis-assembly tool, called the Pallet Pal, made by Izzy Swan. I'll be honest, when I first saw the guy, I thought WTF? What the hell kind of name is that? But he probably didn't choose the name, and he's creative and smart as hell, so I'm jealous. I bought the plans he had for sale and built a pallet pal, and it works pretty good. The plans only contained one error that I noticed, I suggest you check his site for all sorts of fun stuff.  I made this from yellow pine, which I got from the plumber's dumpster. It came from loads of pvc pipe, the groove in the wood is used to hold the banding that secures the pvc.
Sand it. I generally just use 80, sometimes 100. Very rarely 120. We just need to take off the worst of the dirt and roughness, and splinters, etc. We really don't want it to be really smooth, or have uniform colouring. Stain it if you so desire. 

Nail in or on a board to keep the bottles in. the bottom of it should be stained, and maybe the edges too.

Measure, mark and cut the slots for the glasses, stain it too. When all the stain is dry, put on a couple coats of varnish. I generally prefer a coat of gloss and a coat of satin. On some projects I just use one coat, but I know that I won't be doing much dusting of it, and I'm not too fussy. I always brush these, it'd take way too many coats of the spray to be enough.
 on the right is the 2nd one I made, on the left is big enough for 2l pop or the big liquor bottles.
 this one is pictured below, the before pic
 used biscuits to mount the glasses shelf
 the little is totally customized, at only 24", 6 slots. All wood came from pallets

 dropped it, had to disassemble and repair before delivery
 drilled hole in wrong spot. turned the plug on the lathe and glued it in. next pic is same board but sanded.

 after pic of the very rustic pictured above

shop cat

If you desire such a shelf, of any dimensions, and BTW, I'm working on one that will be 7' long, please do contact me.

A list of songs that I've come to dislike and re-like in the past couple of months

In no particular order:

1. Boston: Amanda
2. Passenger: Let her go
3. Asia: Only Time will Tell
4. Scorpions: Still loving You
5. Cars: why can't I have you

3 of these I've known since the 80's, but never looked at the lyrics...and my ears don't hear them until I've read them. Make sense?