Slowdown Stool: A Poplar Pallet Adventure

  • Advertise with us
Project by spunwood posted 10-24-2010 02:06 AM 4535 views 5 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I checked out a local dump and found some great huge pallets of what I later discovered to be poplar. They were a gray color when I found them. They belonged to a stage manufacturing company, and they let me take some. Perhaps I will visit again.

They sat for a while in the garage and eventually I began the prep process. I drill around the nails and attempt to pry them apart as carefully as possible with headphones, mallet, prybar and drill. It is pretty labor intensive, satisfying work.

They have been sitting in the garage for a while. But recently our three year old has begun to show interest in the potty. Suddenly, I felt it imperative to build a stool so that he might wash his hands and also possibly place the potty seat on the commode.

Also, more importantly, I was overwhelmed by a project which suddenly had become much more intimidating, so I guess I thought a quick success would be a good ticket.

I leaned a little too far on the “quick” part and ended up rushing in ways that were both unenjoyable and unsafe:

-Twice, I cut through a naill in a board which I forgot to pass through the metal detector I borrowed from the inlaws.

-once I ruined a piece by cutting it wrong through sheer carelessness.

-once, while checking the table saw blade for damage, I touched the on swith instead of removing the safety key and actually flicked my nail with the blade as it spun to a start. Thank God. I only had a slight scratch on my nail, not a cut or wound. What in the world was I thinking.

Finally, when I realized I was ruining the fun and tempting the fates. I was able to step back and relax.

In the end, I am very happy with the stool. The finish which Stephanie kindly applied was a clear coat. I wish it hadn’t darkened the stool (do they all do this?) but now believe to be quite attractive. Also, I would have spent more time on sanding and scraping if I had know the flaws would be so obvious. I do like the nail marks left in the top. It is all joined with nails and glue. Boy is it hard to sink a nail unless you pre-drill and use a big enough drill bit.

The pictures show: finished, unfinished…before assembly (with extra triangles for step), and a spalted piece of wood (I think).

And hey, free wood.

I can really identify with the saying someone has that says: Never let power tools know that you’re in a rush.


-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

8 comments so far

View JonSnc1's profile


46 posts in 3518 days

#1 posted 10-24-2010 03:03 AM

Really nice looking stool, has a lot of character. The finish probably came out darker than expected because you didn’t go through all the sanding grits, I’m guessing. But I think it would not have been as nice if it was truly a clear finish. Poplar can use a little color.

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 3340 days

#2 posted 10-24-2010 03:07 AM

thanks man.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 3478 days

#3 posted 10-24-2010 05:01 AM

Looks good, great job recycling wood that otherwise would go to waste.
You learn quickly from those close calls…or else

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View Radu's profile


333 posts in 3548 days

#4 posted 10-24-2010 05:11 AM

I really like its character. Great use of recycled material. Off to my favorites it goes. Good job. Thanks for sharing.

View learnin2do's profile


891 posts in 3356 days

#5 posted 10-25-2010 07:31 AM

this is just marvelous!

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3361 days

#6 posted 10-25-2010 08:38 AM

That is a nice heavy piece.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View glatzenator's profile


42 posts in 3067 days

#7 posted 08-16-2011 05:31 PM

Yeah, that looks solid. I like it!

View Lotidus's profile


110 posts in 3178 days

#8 posted 09-16-2011 08:05 AM

What I like most about this project is that you went through alot of the same things I go through when working on a project. I get about an hour a day in my shop a little more on my days off. I feel rushed all the time. I feel like there are alot of different techniques I should be proficient in by now but I havent had the time to practice them yet. But I keep going and Ill get there eventually.

thanks for the project.

-- Lotidus

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics