From pallet, to box

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Project by NoTalentRookie posted 05-07-2010 03:36 AM 8326 views 7 times favorited 43 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well….I’ve been a member here for a while, but only in a lurkin’ kind of way.

I figure it’s time to join the party, and I guess posting this project is as good a way as any to get started.

I’m pretty tight when it comes to the woodworking budget….so when I see a pallet with some decent looking lumber in it at work, it comes home with me. In the first picture, you can see my method of harvesting the wood from the pallet. I don’t waste time trying to pull nails, nor do I take the chance of missing one and the steel getting into my blades. I just cut the flats from between the runners, and throw the rest in the kindling pile. My fireplace doesn’t mind a few nails in the kindling. :-)

The second picture is all the flats from this one pallet. As you can see…not all of it is usable. Some is just too warped, too checked, or too thin to be of any use, so it finds it’s way to the kindling pile as well. The third picture is what I was able to use. This is it after jointing, and planing.

Pictures four, five, and six are the box I made from the pallet. It’s the first box I’ve made, with an inset lid and pins for hinges. It was a learning experience for sure. Credit must go to member “Andy”, cause without his tutorial, I probably never would have figured out how to make the lid work.

The box ended up being about 13” x 8”, and about 2 1/2” high. I lined the inside with black velvet material. The finish is about 3 coats of Minwax poly, thinned 50/50 with mineral spirits and wiped on.

Well…there you go. I’ve spent so much time looking at other peoples projects on this site, I just figured it was time too post one of my own.

Thanks for looking, and I always welcome comments on how I could have improved.

43 comments so far

View 2xmahi's profile


62 posts in 4521 days

#1 posted 05-07-2010 03:39 AM

great looking box…well done


View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4898 days

#2 posted 05-07-2010 03:39 AM

what a way to make your first post in what is it ? 4 years on LJ? touche!

thats an awesome box!

do you know what the darker wood is? since it’s on a pallet it’s hard to believe it’s walnut, but it looks like it…

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View rance's profile


4279 posts in 4410 days

#3 posted 05-07-2010 03:42 AM

Very nice box. You did well, no, very well.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View NoTalentRookie's profile


21 posts in 5407 days

#4 posted 05-07-2010 03:45 AM

I’m not sure of the species, it’s not near as dark as other walnut I’ve worked with a little, but it could very well be. I didn’t notice what part of the world the pallet came from, it could be some exotic Martian species as far as my knowledge can tell. :-)

View NormG's profile


6573 posts in 4253 days

#5 posted 05-07-2010 03:56 AM

Great box.

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 5240 days

#6 posted 05-07-2010 04:13 AM

You’re a rookie no more and I’m not sure you ever were without talent. So, I’m thinking you’re going to have to change your name. lol

Nice work on the box. I harvest most pallets the same way unless it’s something real exotic. Then I spend the time pulling the nails and being careful to get them all.


-- Jim

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 4354 days

#7 posted 05-07-2010 04:18 AM

nice save on some wood. I have tried to use pallet wood. I made a door for a shop cabinet in the winter. During the summer it developed a lot of gaps and cracks. It is now the front of my kindling box. It look great there. I guess I should try again after seeing your box.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View FordMike's profile


155 posts in 4720 days

#8 posted 05-07-2010 04:21 AM

you’ve got talent just keep at it challenge yourself and don’t forget to it’s ok to fail just don’t get hurt. Best wishes FordMike

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 4280 days

#9 posted 05-07-2010 04:52 AM

Great box and presentation on your project. Nice way to recycle.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4423 days

#10 posted 05-07-2010 04:55 AM

Inspiring AND beautiful.

Nicely done !

-- -- Neil

View bigike's profile


4058 posts in 4538 days

#11 posted 05-07-2010 04:55 AM

great work, needs no improvements at all. I use the same wood as you do but yours looks alot better than mine this is why i mix what i get from the pallets with store bought wood. Very nice i was gonna post the same thing from the pallet to a box or picture frame you beat me to it. LOL ;)

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View bigike's profile


4058 posts in 4538 days

#12 posted 05-07-2010 04:58 AM

you might be surprised at some of the wood you get from the pallets i’ve gotten cherry,maple,lots of oak,pine,sycamore and some i don’t know what it is but it’s very hard and has very nice figure.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View Houtje's profile


311 posts in 4221 days

#13 posted 05-07-2010 05:57 AM

A nice box, weel done
I allways use pallet wood.
To keep the boards compleet I use a lever to make a small gap between the bloks and the boards.
Than use the reciprosaw between them and cut the nails through.
I use a small metal detector from bosch ( it’s not so expensive)and find the nails how are left in the wood.

Keep on going to make beautifull things

View Brian Anderson - UBWoodman's profile

Brian Anderson - UBWoodman

60 posts in 4202 days

#14 posted 05-07-2010 07:12 AM

View a1Jim's profile


118267 posts in 4826 days

#15 posted 05-07-2010 07:29 AM

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