Pallets

General wood working tips, tricks and ideas. Anything that doesn't belong elsewhere can be discussed here.
gucu
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Pallets

Postby gucu » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:40 am

Hi

I am fairly new to what might be called semi skilled woodworking. So I am learning. In the past I have made chairs and outdoor furniture using pallets. I have recently started a project to create a pedestal desk using pallets. And this is where I have learnt the limitations.

After cutting lengths to size and starting my glueing, I discovered I could not find a square anywhere in my project. I continued add best I could and will look at it again this morning. Last night looking at the project I started to see the problems I was encountering. The wood we twisted down it's lengths - not massively but enough.

I have watched numerous YouTube videos about jointers and planers to know what they do but I would like specific advice from skilled woodworkers please?

1. Should I have started the project using pallet wood?
2. What would be better?
3. Should I have recognised the need to joint the wood before starting the project?
4. And finally should I have s jointer/planer add standard or should I get a hand planer out and learn by hand.

I am going back to retrieve what I can today! Any advice would be gratefully received. Thanks

Rich

davidpidge
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Re: Pallets

Postby davidpidge » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:25 pm

I would never recommend using pallet wood for anything other than rough exterior 'rustic' style furniture. It's low quality softwood and probably has a high moisture content unless dried for use before hand. Either buy prepared timber from a decent timber merchant....
https://www.timbersource.co.uk/ (These guys have an online calculator so you can get an idea of cost.)
.. Or prepare your own with a planer/thicknesser. Obviously this gives you the chance to adjust timber as you need to or if it cups etc. you can adjust.
Even a hobby level bench top planer and separate thicknesser would be useful.

Is the desk painted or oiled/waxed? Tulipwwod is easy to machine and inexpensive but only good for painted furniture. general redwood (pine) is a pain in the ar*e for many reasons (shrinkage/knots etc) otherwise you want more expensive hardwoods generally.

will1983
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Re: Pallets

Postby will1983 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:13 pm

I think the only reliable way to use pallet wood is to use it as cladding around a structure constructed of plywood.


Well that or on the fire. :D

gucu
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Re: Pallets

Postby gucu » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:34 pm

Thank you for both replies. I am coming to understand that. My lack of knowledge led me to believe I could do something with reclaimed wood - but not reclaimed pallets maybe.

Rich

gucu
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Re: Pallets

Postby gucu » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:36 pm

davidpidge wrote:https://www.timbersource.co.uk/ (These guys have an online calculator so you can get an idea of cost.)
.. Or prepare your own with a planer/thicknesser. Obviously this gives you the chance to adjust timber as you need to or if it cups etc. you can adjust.
Even a hobby level bench top planer and separate thicknesser would be useful.

Is the desk painted or oiled/waxed? Tulipwwod is easy to machine and inexpensive but only good for painted furniture. general redwood (pine) is a pain in the ar*e for many reasons (shrinkage/knots etc) otherwise you want more expensive hardwoods generally.


Thanks for the link and thanks for the advice. I don't know how I would finish I just wanted to have a go at building something that would test me. I will be looking into planers and thicknessers. Time to start again!

Rich

Reg Prescott
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Re: Pallets

Postby Reg Prescott » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:26 am

Hi Rich.
A source of good quality cheap timber is your local auction house. There will be some small auction houses that sell house clearance items where you will be able to pick up dining or refectory style tables for very little money, plenty of good quality seasoned and dimensioned timber to be salvage here. Also the better auction houses have their fine art sales but regularly have 'general sales' where the sell off the pieces not good enough for their fine art sales, here you will be able to pick up large Linen presses or compendium wardrobes that are in too poor a condition for the trade to want and too poor for the general public to fix up. The last 'breaker ' I bought was an early nineteenth century linen press for £40, this gave me pine backboards, Brazilian mahogany sides, oak drawer linings and beautiful cuban mahogany curl veneered doors, not to mention the hardware too.

gucu
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Re: Pallets

Postby gucu » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:08 pm

Hi Reg

That is a brilliant tip. Thanks for telling me.

Rich

Meccarroll
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Re: Pallets

Postby Meccarroll » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:50 am

gucu wrote:Hi Reg

That is a brilliant tip. Thanks for telling me.

Rich


As you seem to like the idea of using and re-claiming wood for projects it may be a good idea to buy a moisture meter for wood. My moisture meter is a cheap Brennenstuhl from amazon. I read a few reviews about it and it came out quite good for accuracy. I have used it quite a lot and tested it's accuracy and I'm fairly happy with it. It is sold and branded under different names and the price varies according to who's name is on it but it is still the same moisture meter. Read a little about moisture content of wood also the selection of timber. Most general carpentry/joinery craft woodwork books contain enough elementary information for you to gain an appreciation of whats required (about 5 or six pages).

If you look at a lot of cheap imported pine furniture the wood is often of low quality but it can and does still hold up to a service life. Using wood from pallets can be problematic because it's so varied in quality but if you spend some time looking at furniture in shops and the construction methods you will start to appreciate what wood you can and can not use.

gucu
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Re: Pallets

Postby gucu » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:19 pm

Once again I thank you for the tip. I'll make it a priority to buy one.

Rich

Meccarroll
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Re: Pallets

Postby Meccarroll » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:38 pm

gucu wrote:Once again I thank you for the tip. I'll make it a priority to buy one.

Rich


I'd look into timber moisture first then decide if you think you might find one useful. I got by for many years without a moisture meter and so have many professional joinery workshops got by without one too. It can be a useful tool if you use timber from unknown sources or use timber stored outside. They don't have to cost a fortune and can be useful but are not entirely necessary if you take the time to condition the wood prior to use. It's your choice.


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