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Free Pallets + Tedious Work = Free Bench

April 8, 2012

This project all began at my day job. I work in a produce warehouse, so I am around pallets all day long. I started to notice that some of them used thick blocks instead of rails to hold the weight. I began collecting these blocks and after about a week, the trunk of my car was filled!

The first order of business was to pull every nail out of every block. I wasnt about to risk having a nail hit one of my blades, so I took my time. If a nail broke in the block, I discarded it.

After pulling every nail, I  jointing one face and then screwed it to a sled, so that it could be run through the planer.

After I had 2 sides of every block jointed and co-planer, I began the glue up. It took about 7 blocks to give me an average of 22″. This 22″ is my goal for the finished depth of the bench. As for the length, that is contingent on how many of these sections I end up with. So with all of the initial glue ups dry, it was time to prepare these sections for their final glue up.

I turned to my #5 to take down all the high spots before I would attempt to run them over spinning blades. I used a high angle of attack (55 degrees) on my blade to prevent some of the tear out that I knew would take place from cutting across the grain.

The bench is going to end up being just over 6 feet long and the longest clamps we own are only 5 feet. This is probably for the better, doing 2 separate glue ups allows you to be more focused on making sure everything is flat.


As you can see in the next picture, all of the time I spent properly milling these blocks has paid off.

Nice even squeeze out across every joint!

 After both sections are glued up individually, we will attach clamping blocks near the center, which will enable us to use smaller clamps and bring this beast together! After that, it’s on to flattening (I may want to re sharpen my blades to prepare for all of this end grain)


Until next time, “stop cutting corners….mitre them!”


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