Shutter and Pallet Wood Cupboard - Part 1

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Blog entry by ~Julie~ posted 06-08-2011 10:53 PM 3275 reads 4 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This blog posting shows the order and way in which I create something. I hope it helps others…

I found a few shutters at a local place where they sell previous used items of all sorts. I also have a huge amount of pallet wood in storage just waiting for me to make something out of.

Here’s a rough sketch of what I have in mind:

What I need to do is work around the door. Since the door is already made (normally I make a door to fit an opening) I need to make the cabinet so that the shutter door will fit inside it properly.

The shutter is:

I have to remember to leave a gap around the shutter door, for it to be able to swing and not get stuck in the opening. So the door cavity will be about 10 1/8” wide x 23” deep.

The shutter will sit between two square legs like this:

And the back will need to be wide enough to be as wide as the door cavity PLUS extra on each end so that I can make a tenon that will fit into the leg.

So, the back piece as well as the side pieces of my cupboard will fit into the legs.

The sides and back are made from gluing side-to-side strips of pallet wood that I have planed. Holes remain from the original use!

I failed to mention earlier that I had some 2” x 2” lengths of wood that came with the pallets. These would be the four legs that would run from the top of the cupboard to the floor. I took them to the jointer and planer to see what final widths I could get out of them. Some were crooked and had large pieces ripped out of them. I kept working at four of them until I could get them to be fairly straight and cleaner looking. They will have holes in them from where the pallets were put together originally, but that’s what makes them reused wood. The final square legs are 1 1/2” x 1 1/2”.

That being said, the front legs need two mortises in each one to hold a top rail and a bottom rail that the shutter door will fit between.

Here’s the top mortise in the left side leg that the rail, or cross piece will fit into:

I used scrap pallet wood for the cross pieces and made them 1 1/4” wide and put a tenon on each end to fit into the mortises of the legs:

These will be glued into place after the sides are ready. But it will look like this:

The bottom of the cupboard will fit up to the back of the bottom cross piece.

So, so far we’ve got this for the front:

Next the four legs need to have grooves cut into them to fit the side and back panels.
I’m using a 3/8” diameter router bit to make the groove. Since the legs continue down past the bottom edge of the panel, the groove has to stop before the end of the leg. It works out to a groove of 24 1/2” long. You can see in this photo the groove for the left side panel:

For the back two legs there will be two grooves, one for the side and one for the back:

The panels then have a little taken from each edge to make the correct width tenon to fit into the leg grooves:

I’ll stop there and try and finish up tomorrow!

-- ~Julie~

8 comments so far

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4347 days

#1 posted 06-09-2011 12:47 AM

Okay now you’ve piqued my curiosity… I have got to see the rest of your process… I have a stack of pallets behind the building I am in now that need to have something done with them…

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View ~Julie~'s profile


623 posts in 4149 days

#2 posted 06-09-2011 01:29 AM

You should “Google” pallets… people are making all sorts of things with them. Recycling/reusing is the in thing! I joint and plane just like any other wood, but many people use them as is. There are holes in my creations but since it’s pallet wood that is accepted. Not fine woodworking but a fun way to create original things.

-- ~Julie~

View chrisstef's profile


18133 posts in 4121 days

#3 posted 06-09-2011 01:54 AM

Id argue with you about it not being fine woodworking … looks damn fine to me! Jokes aside ill be watchign this one in anticipation. Nice work Julie theres a standing tree somewhere that thanks you.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 3953 days

#4 posted 06-09-2011 02:18 AM

There it is! Nice tutorial Julie! :) Put a white prim finish on this and it will sell. At the last show my shutter table and the shutter with the star wreath hanging on it were the first things to sell. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 5242 days

#5 posted 06-09-2011 02:29 AM

I just spent the day breaking down used shipping crates from a local lawn equipment dealer.

Here’s a shutter table that I made.

-- 温故知新

View patron's profile


13721 posts in 4456 days

#6 posted 06-09-2011 02:30 AM

great blog julie

and a fine cabinet

nothing wrong with free wood

well done

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Joe Watson's profile

Joe Watson

317 posts in 4661 days

#7 posted 06-09-2011 04:21 PM

nice work creative use for a pallet. i like recycling them too.

-- Got Wood?

View hjt's profile


906 posts in 4253 days

#8 posted 06-10-2011 04:15 AM

Julie – you never cease to amaze me. i always look forward to reading about your projects.

-- Harold

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