When I am considering a pallet project, I turn to social media for ideas, feedback and planning. For this and other hobby topics, social media can be a wonderful resource. However, one drawback can be lack of originality or variety. So often, when I find a pallet project, it looks like all the others. People are using pallets to build things to look like…well…pallets. I have to ask myself, who really wants to have a pallet in their living room? Their bedroom? The kitchen?
Pallets are built to be utilitarian–functional. If you really look at and study them, pallets are really very ugly. Pallets have a hard life. In factories and warehouses, we pile them full of inventory. We haul the around as quickly and efficiently as possible with skid loaders, pallet jacks and fork lifts. As a result, they get broken, damaged and splintered. Even worse, we tend to spill chemicals on them. Stain them with paint.
When I receive a load of pallets, I have to sort through the good, the bad, and the down-right ugly! I know that many people want the pallet look but many others don’t. For me, it’s not so much about building out of pallets for the sake of building out of pallets. Rather, I aim to build functional, beautiful products out of the WOOD from pallets.
You see, pallets are typically made from quality hardwoods. Often, workers build them from the scrap in the factory or warehouse. So, while they may not look good, they have good “bones”. I aim more for the reclaimed look than the pallet look. Assembled properly, I can make an old pallet look more like an old wall. Also, finished properly, oak pallets look like quality hardwood.
I recently saw the following post:
The picture on the bottom shows only a fraction of what can be done with old pallets. You can definitely tell it was built from old pallets. However, with a little sanding and few coats of stain, it could look like a piece of fine furniture. The joy for me comes from the smell of freshly cut oak pallets. Even old pallets smell freshly milled when you cut them apart.
So, from me, you’ll find more of the second picture and hopefully none of the first!