LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.

Project Information

So my sister-in-law has found herself in need of a hobby. I, of course, suggested wood turning because I find it to be fun, creative, and almost therapeutic at times. She is very interested and gave me the go ahead to start collecting the things she would need for the new hobby (she will reimburse me). Craig's List yielded a Delta Mini/midi lathe for a negotiated price of $200 (someone left it in a rental property and after several months the property manager sold it, it looks like it have less than 10 hours of use on it). A cheap grinder from Harbor Freight (we will replace the grinding wheels) and I will let her get a start with my chisels until she decides what kind of turning she likes best and purchases her own. But all of this will require a decent workbench to go in her garage (which also houses a couple of cars most of the time, so it has to be compact and sturdy). But compact and sturdy usually also means spendy. I am trying to keep the sticker shock down so I decided that I would make her a bench out of salvaged lumber from pallets. I am very pleased with how it turned out. It has some serious weight to it. It should the legs are roughly 3X3 hardwood, the bench top itself is a little over 1.8 inches thick and 20X41. The aprons are a little over an inch and a half thick and five inches tall. It is all sealed with Waco Danish Oil. The only thing I am not crazy about is how close the grinder is to the tail of the lathe. It will fit but I think it will feel crammed. So I have decided to add an extension with a couple of pipe fittings where the grinder can sit. I just need to put the wheels on it now so she can lift one end and wheel the other. When I first made it I cut it to the same height as my lathe bench and then realized she is a good 6 inches shorter than me so I trimmed it down to her size.

I am quite pleased with it and I think I have less than $20 in it between glue and bolts. The wheels will add another $10 but a nice study hardwood bench for $30 is a bargain in my book.

Gallery

Comments

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Looks like a butcher block top. Never thought of gluing pallet material together like that. Great job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
Proof there's no such thing as ugly wood. Nicely done, Todd. Hell, even if she doesn't get into turning, that bench is good enough for inside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
949 Posts
Great job! Especially love the way the table top looks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,205 Posts
Awesome use of the pallets. What a great job… Always fun to look at these type of projects and how nice they come out! A+++++
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
It's too nice for a garage. I'm going to start looking for pallets now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Awesome!!!!! I've cut some pallets before and that's a lot of work getting all of it ready to glue. THEN gluing all of the irregular lengths…many many steps and days. That was a lot of work but a beautiful bench came from it. Good job Todd!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,611 Posts
Great bench, best use of pallet wood I've seen so far.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Thanks for all the great feedback everyone. I am really happy with how it turned out. Tim the prep and glue up wasn't as bad as you might think. Because i kept it to 41 inches long, only 3-4 of the strips are spliced together (but they do stand out). The rest span the full length. I cut everything to about 2 inches thick and then made sure all the gaps were on the bottom side. Taking the pallets apart is a real chore but I have to give a big shout out to fellow lumberjock Izzy Swan, his "Pallet Pal" (http://www.thinkwoodworks.net/#!menu/ch8j) turned that chore into a breeze. I think I ended up using the better part of five pallets. The first one I took apart took me an entire afternoon. But I downloaded his plans and built the pallet pal and took apart the other four pallets in an afternoon. You get some cracking in the wood but the butcher block style hides most of that and it does not impact the structural integrity. I highly recommend it. Again, thanks for the feedback everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Man oh man are you lucky. All of the palets we get down here in the Deep South are painted,or impregnated with a deep Blue paint. No way of sanding it off, nor putting it through a plainer. What a beautiful bench.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,771 Posts
Certainly made a nice table top and you stole that lathe at $200! I'm a little concern that the table with the tools on it looks like it would be top heavy. Do you have a way to fasten it down? Hope your S-I-L will post some of her work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Great looking bench top! Pallets are one of my favorite sources of wood….I live near an international port in sc…if you can find stacks . Of pallets at importers and distribution centers, you would be amazed at the different types of wood that are "common" in other countries. ..especially south America/Asia. Its like a treasure hunt sometimes and usually they will give them to me or trade for another pallet. I always pick up a couple of nice pine ones that are free somewhere else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
790 Posts
That's a great job and I'll bet your sister in law is WOWed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
Lock great! Congratulations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
Wonderful! I love that top - what an incredible recycling effort. I need to find a source for some hardwood pallets…

Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
you wouldn't even know they are pallets
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
How in the world did you get the pallet wood to be flat enough and straight (not cuped, bowed or warped) enough to face join them together in a butcher block style? Did you use a jointer or planner on the faces? Great idea and use of pallet material by the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Dale I used a table saw to put a straight edge on anything at least two inches wide, I ran them through the planer until everything was flat (I think they were just shy of 1/2 inch when that was done) and I ran them through a jointer on one side to make sure the top was flat and square. Then I did the glue up in four larger pieces about 5-6 inches wide each with my best pieces of hardwoods on the outsides. When those dried I ran them through the planer until the top was flat and smooth. Then joined the four sections with my biscuit jointer. and sanded the joints with a ROS. I was especially thankful when i would get a board 5 or 8 inches wide because it meant I could get three pieces planed at the same time (then rip them to width later).
 
Top