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Blog entry by Pallirondack posted 12-23-2012 05:46 PM 1508 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have discovered a true love of building things, mostly with recovered lumber. The vast majority of my recovered lumber is in the form of recycled wooden pallets. I enjoy the challenge of designing and crafting different pieces, drawing on the available, free plans I can find online, coupled with my own modifications along the way.

I am not a pro, finish carpenter so my creations are primarily rustic, outdoor patio/deck style pieces that should last a very long time if the end user takes care of them. I lean to over-building something instead of leaving it to chance that a child (or inebriated person) will use it in a way for which it was not designed. I have twin 4 year-olds so I KNOW that stuff happens.

My wife is waiting patiently for me to build a headboard creation for her, as well as a multi-purpose entertainment center, drawing on the style and design of the bookcase I built for a client earlier in 2012. I just worry my skills are not up to the task of my ambition. And time is forever at a premium (note, earlier mention of twin four-year olds) and my 13 year old son does not show any real interest in learning either. Oh, and work…to actually pay the bills.

So I am wondering what are small, easy projects that I can do to practice my woodworking craft but not command so much time. Does anything like that exist? And things that can be sold, too, to help fund my woodworking hobby.

Thoughts? Input? Just throwing it out there for the ever-expanding internet to perhaps circle back with some insight and suggestions.

-- David, Spring Hill, FL -- making projects from recycled pallets

6 comments so far

View Budmon's profile


27 posts in 3489 days

#1 posted 12-23-2012 06:21 PM

commend you on your using resourced wood – lot of stuff going to dump that should not – as a retired architect design has never been an issue for me but rather I have issues as to which are the better techniques to get the end project. As a woodworker I am more of a newbie. I like this forum for this reason and others. For me it is easy , but I would suggest that when you see something you like – study it – look closely at it and it’s proportions. The testosterone bunch might not want to admit it but woodworking is art – makes no difference if building a 2×4 picnic table or a Stickley table reproduction – the level of attention the maker gives to the wood grain and texture, proportions – and when the recycling, resourcing, and functionality of a piece makes a counter statement to the mass manufactured imported crap in Target and WalMart then all the better

-- Bud, North Carolina

View Pallirondack's profile


66 posts in 3621 days

#2 posted 12-23-2012 07:06 PM

I agree….I think what I do is totally art…lol…just not very good art. ;-) I do exactly that….I look at something, figure out how I would do it (for example if it has dovetails and I can’t do that) and/or how I would make it better/different to fit my needs. Moving beyond my rustic-geared skills is what I’m trying to do. Time. I just need more time.

-- David, Spring Hill, FL -- making projects from recycled pallets

View Don W's profile

Don W

20385 posts in 4026 days

#3 posted 12-23-2012 07:18 PM

All my life I have found the small easy projects uninviting unless its actually something I want. To learn however I’s best to take something you think you can’t build, then figure out how to build it. You will probably surprise yourself.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View clieb91's profile


4267 posts in 5393 days

#4 posted 12-23-2012 07:29 PM

Time is always an issue for must of us. I actually have found that I prefer the smaller projects and things I can do some experimenting with. The stuff I make the most are games and some toys. These help me to refine some of my skills. It would seem that you have two people that would welcome a few of these things if you were to make them. I looked over your projects and you have some good stuff with the reclaimed wood. What about trying a smaller version of some of the stuff you want to make and gear it for the kids. These items are also salable and anyone that has kids is usually looking for something that will hold up to them. The other thought for some training is some various stools. I have made a number of different types and they can be as simple or complex as you want them to be.

Sorry to hear that your oldest is not interested in the shop perhaps the twins might be though, my daughter has been in my shop with me since she was about 3 working on projects since 4. It’s a great way to spend time together. Hope these help some.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30678 posts in 3796 days

#5 posted 12-23-2012 09:20 PM

Regardless what we say, and there is lots of projects you can do, you will find yourself creeping into more complex projects just because you can. I will bet that you can find a lot of great things to build. Let your imagination guide you.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Pallirondack's profile


66 posts in 3621 days

#6 posted 12-24-2012 09:12 PM

Thank you all for the comments. I truly appreciate them.

-- David, Spring Hill, FL -- making projects from recycled pallets

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