Friday, October 11, 2013

crate centerpiece

i made a centerpiece for my dining table!  aaaand its not made out of pallets.  but very similar.
as i was driving leisurely home one day, i passed a headstone/granite memorial storefront as i an wont to do.  not really.  theyre just surprisingly common due to the number of cemeteries around my neighborhood.  regardless.  i noticed behind the shop they had some pallets and random bits of wood piled around.  so 3 weeks later [yeeeea] i called and asked what they do with their stuff.  well turns out, they sell the pallets back to the headstone engraver/etcher/whoever, but the crates the headstones come in just get thrown out, and i was welcome to take them, but they disappear quickly.

fastforward another few weeks, and i finally passed the shop when there were some crates by the dumpster.  always planning my next 7 or 12 projects, i took a gander.  turns out, crates are surprisingly sturdy.  not as heavy as a pallet, but dense.  and fortunately quite a bit smaller than a pallet, as the largest crate barely fit in the mini. 

but i got my wood discards home.  and ... another week later, started hacking them apart.
let me just say... crates are held together with a lot of friggin nails.  and they were 3" nails.  with nice little threads for optimal holding power.  and some were ever so slightly weathered in. but basically i bashed the wood slats off the frame, hit the nails from the back side, tried to use pliers, and ended up using the claw on the back of the hammer for its actual intended use.  pryin' shit.
some nails.

this next part you'll have to image as i neglected to take any pics, even though it was in the halfway done stage for another week. [keep in mind i work 7 days/week now so it takes me a shitload of time to do anything]  i used 2 slats about 4' long each, and aligned them ...surprisingly not parallel.  then i screwed in [with my awesome new why-didnt-i-buy-one-of-these-sooner impact drill/driver] a bunch of ~12" slats, perpendicular to the long boards.  and they were definitely approximate.  aaand i promptly ran out of screws.  but lo and behold ... i work at home depot.  so i went and bought some the next day and ...continued a week later. [if the parallel and perpendicular parts arent making sense, see below]

once i had the 4' length covered, i chopped off the incredibly uneven ends with my circular saw.
sawdust eeveerryyywhere.  its in my hair.  and i found some in the pocket of my cardigan.
i used a giant file/rasp/planer thinger to even out the boards, which made lovely curlicues of wood shavings and smelled nice and woody.  no really.  it smells pretty nice in my basement right now.
i planed the top pretty evenly, and filed down the sharp ends and corners.  then i sanded the crap out of the centerpiece.  and procured some stain.  which i hope is similar to the dining table color. 
read the directions on the stain.  mine said to do one coat, let it dry for 15 minutes, and then wipe off excess.  cake.  done.  i havent decided if im doing a second coat and a protective clear-coat.  its a damn centerpiece.  it already has the "weathered" ie used/abused look, so a little wear wont hurt it.  plus its not like i cant do it later.  but voila!

stay tuned for what i put on the centerpiece.  expect pictures in 2-3 months at the rate im going...
tools i used:
  • discarded crates
  • large claw hammer
  • pliers
  • tape measure
  •  2" wood screws
  • impact drill/driver
  • circular saw
  • safety glasses
  • ear plugs
  • wood stain
  • paint brush
  • sanding block/sponge
  • rasp/plane tool - giant cheesegrater
  • sidewalk chalk
sidenote - i plan to put anti-scratch pads on the bottom of the centerpiece so it doesnt scratch the table.  i did plane and sand the bottom, but the table is old and uneven.  hopefully the giant chair-foot pads stick to the bottom..

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. it finally doesnt smell like furniture stain... and its decorated and stuff

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