This was a simple side project because I saw one board from a pallet that was quite unusual. It was damaged and splintered on one end, so it was functionally useless, but it was OAK, and it was beautiful! The one damaged end was split and broken in a way that made me think of it as a giant key, so I kept it. I finally got around to it, but didn't want to do just a boring rack with nothing exciting to look at, so I decided to have some fun and do some carving with a new saw my husband bought me. I free-hand drew some flames on one end after enhancing the key shape on the damaged end. When I got the flame end carved, I then decided to make it more fun and backed it with a thin strip of old redwood I had from when we demolished an old shed on our property. The cup hooks are reclaimed from other things as well. When I got it all cut, sanded, and prepped, I applied a light cherry stain and quickly wiped it off for a hint of color, and did no staining on the redwood at all. When it was dry, I applied four coats of an oil-based shiny polyurethane, sanding in between each application. I then used a drill press to make the rows straight, and then pre-drilled small holes for the cup hooks to prevent splitting the wood since I know it's at risk to splinter more. I avoided the weak center split that is evident at one end, and also applied a good wood glue to the cracks before I sealed it all up. I then installed two small eye hooks, and then the husband mounted it on the wall for me. Fun, simple, and it's unique.
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