Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Caribbean Charm

     I am in love with crates. Plain and simple. It might very well be considered an addiction.
One of the problems I have had in the past is sourcing these little beauties for reclamation.
Most of the crates that find locally are pretty flimsy. They are great for planters or light duty shelving projects but not great for furniture.

     Not long ago I decided to build my own crates so that I can use them to build cool industrial chic furniture.
To date my favorite piece is this Caribbean Blue end table I like to call the "Beach Comber"

     Most of the crate and pallet based furniture that you see on the internet really looks like shipping materials  With this table I wanted to add something to the mix that I hadn't seen.

     I have the privilege of owning a decent band saw, so I designed my own table legs. To do this I drew the profile on a sheet of 8.5 x 11 card stock, cut it out and traced it onto four pieces of scrap  2x4 lumber. I cut them out on the band saw and then used two four inch wood screws to attach them to the bottom of the crate.

     This little gem took about three hours total and will easily bring $75 to $100 depending on the size.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Little Boxes

All of the wood I use in my work is sourced from pallets and shipping crates. I don't spend any money on my lumber if I can help it. This really brings up the profit margin on the work I do.

One of my favorite repeat projects are these small boxes and trays that I do.

There really is nothing to them. I cut all of my reclaimed boards to size on my chop saw.
Once I have my boards cut I butt join the corners and attach the bottom with glue and a brad nailer.

This is a simple and profitable project. People love them and are willing to pay anywhere from $10 to $25 depending on size. If you don't want to make your own you can buy one from me here ant my shop.

The "Barn Wood" Dilemma

     A few months ago I responded to an ad on Craig's list for barn wood. Supposedly there were tons of it. Imagine my surprise when I showed up and it was in the form of a century old barn, still standing and relatively sturdy. My lack of tools and access to heavy equipment trumped my imagination and I was forced to pass it by.

     I decided that there must be a cheap and easy way to distress new wood in such a way as to look like it came from an old barn. Where did I turn? Pinterest of course.

     I was directed to this great blog post on how to weather wood using vinegar and steel wool.

     The coffee table above shows the wood before treating it with the aging solution. I followed the directions the first time and the in subsequent attempts increased the time the steel wool soaked in the vinegar.

     The results were fantastic. The longer you leave the steel wool in the vinegar the darker and more aged your wood will look. I've used it on several large pieces and numerous small boxes and crates.

     Below is the finished product. The photo really doesn't do the finish much justice. In person the wood grain really pops and the effect is so convincing I've had people ask where I sourced my wood. When I tell them that the wood was reclaimed from newer pallets and shipping crates they are amazed.