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i’m making… a planter from pallets

February 1, 2012

I’ve seen many planter boxes made from re-purposed palled wood and have been dying to make my own. This is a project that’s been nagging at me for months.

The office next door to my work often gets large shipments of supplies and leaves the pallets out in the parking lot. I took home a couple of the best ones they’d left out, and the Kebinator gave me what was left of a shipping crate he had. Some time ago I started dismantling the pallets based on some YouTube videos and with a bit of advise from my Grumpy Da. This past weekend I took apart the shipping crate and then sorted through the wood. Some was too damaged or cracked to use, some pieces had termite damage. All those went into the yard waste bin. I removed as many nails as I could and those went to the recycle bin (because I’m not a super Mexican that can remove and reuse nails flawlessly yet :9 ) I’m sure I have some pics of that process somewhere, but can’t find them at the moment.

Anyway, here’s the beginning of either the front or the back side:

first frame and the scrap wood

first frame and the scrap wood

le tools

le tools ❤

I cut some 2×4 pieces to… I don’t remember either 2′-6″ or 26″ haha. and then bridged those with two 4 foot long 2×4’s. They are joined with 2″ screws. The problem after that was all the wood I had for filling in the sides were shorter than 4 feet, some shorter than three, but damnit I want a four foot long planter. Then I realized I had several short pieces of the siding wood a bit longer thn 16″ so I decided to do an offset brick pattern with 16″ and 32″  long siding pieces. I used two leftover 2×4 pieces to support the siding edges beneath where they join (see the third pic below). First I cut all the siding and laid them o the frame so I could adjust the 2x supports underneath to just the right spot, and to move the siding around so it’d fit as well as I could make it. Once I was sure each piece was in the best place they were nailed down with a nail gun, oh what a lovely and dangerous toy 🙂 The long siding was also nailed at the center for more strength. The siding varies in thickness from 3/8″ to 3/4″, hey gotta use what I can get.

the other frame

the other frame

a finished side

an almost finished side

the extra supports

the extra supports

As you can see it’s not perfect. There are still many gaps between the siding pieces, and a big one in the top support. I will either nail more skinny siding on the inside or use landscape fabric to line in when I’m done.

a big gap

a big gap

So’s that’s as far as I got. It took a while to finish tearing up the shipping crate and arrange the siding pieces… and there was the unscheduled Itis induced nap. But I’m happy. This weekend I hope to finish the other 3 sides and the bottom. And I guess I should sand it at some point as well.

*Note: Felis catus boycotted this project on account of all the noisy power tools in use.

You can flash forward through my progress on this project at Phase 2, Phase 3 & Phase 4


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