This is a two-compartment locking storage bench (well, the locks are getting installed after the urethane cures fully) that has an approximate 70/30 split and was made ENTIRELY from used pallets. It was built from need – in our neighborhood, packages are frequently stolen from your front porch, and I didn’t want to pay for an ugly, plastic locking box that wouldn’t compliment our 1928 Craftsman California Bungalow.
Yes, it’s far from perfect, but I’m a nurse, and have never done woodworking projects until this summer, and am learning!
The total cost was $17.00 – only for the stainless steel screws used on the front areas! No, that’s not a typo! We happened to get a couple of pallets that were obviously nicer oak, so we’ve been saving them for a while until we were inspired. The inspiration came from the one pallet railing that was a piece of pine still quite raw – it had bark and tree limbs obviously still intact instead of just a couple of knot holes. We loved it! The old bark even had those worm holes still evident.
So… without a planer or any fancy tools other than a 10″ miter saw, a table saw, and a couple of orbital hand sanders along with an impact & screwdriver set I bought myself recently (Makita XLTs that are lighter for a woman’s hand/wrist) and a couple of weeks working at my job, I created this. It is primarily pine frame with oak faces, and a couple of other random types that I can’t identify but could tell were different by the smell and texture as I sanded. I stained it with a leftover light cherry stain from our oak floors and sealed it with leftover urethane we had from remodeling our house as well. I made a point of using the forklift supports for the armrest handles and on the bottom/sides of the bench and purposely liked the imperfect boards. The whole point of a craftsman is to let the natural beauty of the wood shine, and too-perfect isn’t beautiful to me.
The most difficult part is that I DON’T have prior construction knowledge, nor do I have all the tools to use the wood to the fullest. I can’t plane it, and I don’t have a good router, and I don’t have a real stable area indoors to build, so I’m at the mercy of the elements. However, it’s good enough, and I like its rustic charm. My neighbor offered me 400.00 to buy it, so it must not be too terrible! That was a terrific ego boost and is encouraging me to learn more and to keep having fun with pallets.