Posted on Leave a comment

Palletwood Block Tealight Holders

Palletwood Block Tealight Holders - dyed

We have been working on some palletwood block tealight holders and have regularly shared pictures of the progress on Instagram.

Well now now we can share some completed examples. They started out as pallet blocks. Nails that couldn’t be removed were hammered deeper below the surface.

I cleaned up the end grain on the table saw and then gave them an all over light sanding. The holes for the tealight were cut and the edges were given a round over. Next, my favourite part, all were burnt using the Shou Sugi Ban technique. Then it was over to colour master Shalini for colouring. Finally they were finished with Tung Oil.

These examples and more are available in our online shop and also at our stockists in Stamford and Spalding.

Posted on Leave a comment

Colourful Incense Burners

Reclaimed Wood Incense Burner
Incense Burners from

Using up some offcuts to make incense burners. Cut a groove in each with the router, drilled a hole at about 45 degrees at each end of the grooves.

Then gave them a strong burn and an aggressive brush.

Shalini did her colour magic and now we have a bunch of pretty funky incense stick burners.

A selection of burners available at Pearl & Ruby – Interiors, Gifts & Artisans in Spalding & Fun Funky Living at A & B in Stamford

Shou sugi ban Incense burners made from pallet wood now available at Pearl & Ruby - Interiors, Gifts & Artisans
 in Spalding.

Update 22 August 2020 – Some incense burners added to our online shop. More coming soon.

Reclaimed Wood Incense Burner
Posted on Leave a comment

Storing my Pallet Wood Planks

Storing my Pallet Wood Planks

Thanks to my friends and other people my stock of pallet wood planks is growing steadily and they need to be stored somewhere dry. So it was time for a bit of re-organisation in the workshop, starting with the old log stores on the back wall.

The idea was to fit old scaffolding boards across the top of that space so that the planks could be stacked on them. While leaving enough space underneath for my power tools workbench to be wheeled in and out when it’s needed.

Here are before and after pictures so you get the gist of what I mean:


the old log store before being modified


the old log store after being modified to store pallet wood planks

This wasn’t to much of a job to achieve once I had cut out the red pallet from the bottom where the workbench lives now. Also put in a couple of posts to support the middle of the scaffold boards as there is quite a bit of weight on there now.

Problem is that now I need even more space to store these pallet planks as I have lots of pallets to break down. The storage rack above the workbench is full as you can see, there are over 200 pallet wood planks up there.

lots of pallets to be broken down

So far I have stripped 8 of the pallets shown above and they have yielded a lot of planks as you can see below:

more pallet wood planks to be stored

My only option now is to start ultilising the outside log stores which are available because we are not going to be burning logs much more.

pallet wood planks stored in outside log stores

However, using these old log stores has given me another small project, I now need to make some sort of doors to go on the front to keep the pallet wood planks dry.

I have a system in place, any planks stored inside the workshop on the racks has been thoroughly de-nailed and is ready for use. Any that is stored outside hasn’t been de-nailed, it’s a simple system, but one that I hope I can’t mess up!

So there you have it, my solution for storing my pallet wood planks, hope you found it useful and maybe it gave you a few ideas.

Posted on Leave a comment

Pallet Wood Guitar and Spitfire Clock Update 25 August 2019

Pallet Wood Guitar and Spitfire Clock Update 25 August 2019

Been having a bit of a push to try and get  some “in progress” projects completed. One of these is the Spitfire clock that I have been making for a friend who wants to gift it to someone. The clock face itself was pretty much complete apart from 3 applications of Danish oil and them a few coats of wax to seal it.

Pallet wood Spitfire clock

Then it was just a matter of fitting the clock mechanism and fitting the hands and that was that, job done!

Below is a close up of the Spitfire, it was first traced onto the clock face and then burnt into the wood using a Pyrography pen. 

Moving onto the Long ongoing project, the Pallet Wood Guitar clock. I have been thinking for a while about how I was going to make the frets on the guitar neck. Initially the idea was to cut grooves and insert copper wire as frets. But in the end this was not possible as I couldn’t cut the slots for the frets near the bridge end of the neck.

So I resorted to my found activity of Pyrography to save the day. As you can see in the picture below, the frets and scales have been marked with pencil. So now we are going to use the Pyrography pen to burn the frets and scales into the wood.

using pyro pen to burn frets and scales

Next we turn to the guitar body as the pickups and clock face need to be fitted into place. Below you can see the clock face ready to be fitted. I used epoxy to glue the clock face on to the body, once the glue had set I applied some onto the back of the clock face from behind just to make it very secure.

copper clock face to be glued into guitar body

With the guitar laying flat on its back it was the ideal time to glue the pickups in place, I used wood glue for this.

Once all the glue had set I gave the hole thing a rub down with some fine sandpaper so it was nice and smooth before applying the first coat of Danish oil. The picture below shows the guitar clock prepared and ready for the oil to be applied.

assembled guitar clock ready for finishing

At the time of writing this, the guitar clock has now had three coats of Danish oil applied to it. Tomorrow I hope to start applying the first of three coats of wax.

I mentioned my new found interest of Pyrography earlier, this addition to my “skills” box is proving invaluable. Aside from the projects above which both have Pyrography used in the them, I have also made two signs. One is a practice job, shown below and the other is for a local business. I can’t show you that one yet as the new owner hasn’t seen it yet. I will share it in the near future with you.

pallet wood stuff sign

So there you have it, a quick round up of activities for the last week, the Spitfire clock completed and ready for delivery next week. The Guitar clock should be complete in the next couple of days and then it can be hung on our living room wall.

These project amount to at least one shipping pallet being saved from going to landfill or being burnt and upcycled into something useful.

Posted on Leave a comment

Power Tool Workbench Update

power tool workbench power bank

Not long after I had built the power tool  workbench and started using it I realised that having 3 power cables going from the bench to wall outlet was  pain. The solution was simple, purchase and fit a power bank. it was just a matter of me remembering to buy one when I went to the shops.

Anyway I found a good power bank at our local Lidl store. It has six outlets and a good length of cable to connect to the wall power socket. So now it’s fitted on the back of the power tool workbench and all the static tools are plugged into it. Everything is now much tidier and more importantly safer because there is no longer a mess of cables stretching to wall sockets.

Here is a picture of it fitted to the back of the workbench.

rear view of power tool workbench

If you would like to learn more about the construction of this bench you can find a post I wrote about it here: Power Tool Workbench made from Upcycled Pallet Wood

Posted on Leave a comment

A Reciprocating Saw to help Dismantle Pallets

reciprocating saw baled

Yes I finally got myself up to date recently our local Lidl store had Reciprocating Saws in stock so I treated myself to one, specifically for dismantling pallets. The one I got was cordless and I have to admit it is very powerful and now makes cutting through the nails a breeze. In fact I almost feel like I am cheating, but joking aside this tool has made a massive difference.

a reciprocating saw helps with dismantling pallets

I described in an article a while ago how I dismantle pallets to salvage the wood, well jump forward a few months and now the pallets are stripped so fast in comparison and with a whole lot less effort.

I still use the lump hammer and cold chisel to separate the wood and create a gap big enough for the saw blade to slip into. But now instead of pulling a hack saw backwards and forwards, I just press a button and job done!

Reciprocating Saw battery consumption

I have two 20 volt lithium batteries for this saw and I find on average I can break down about 3 pallets per battery before it needs recharging. So with two fully charged batteries there is normally enough power available for a decent pallet dismantling session.

One thing I would recommend though, is to have a couple of spare blades to hand for the the reciprocating saw. I find sometimes the tip of the blade will knock against a nail and the blade gets bent although you can straighten them out. It does seem to affect their efficiency though, also try and have a couple of different lengths of blade as this will make your job easier.

I believe these reciprocating saws are also known as Sabre Saws and are a great addition to your tool collection. They can be used to cut just about anything as there are a wide range of blades available: Sabre Saws available on Amazon

Posted on 2 Comments

Wood Gluing Clamps made from Pallet Wood

wood gluing clamps made from pallet wood

It wasn’t long after I started working with pallet wood that the need arose for the pallet planks  to be glued together. Up to four planks side by side was OK as my clamps were big enough, but anything more than that I and I was stuck so to speak!

It wasn’t long before I found myself consulting the University that is Youtube for ideas, in the end I used several ideas to come up with the finished items. My criteria was that I should be able to clamp up to 10 pallet planks side by side. The clamps should be able to exert downward pressure to stop the planks buckling and also horizontal  pressure to push the planks together. They should also be relatively easy to build and should be constructed from wood I already had, pallet wood!

As you can see from the picture below the clamps are constructed from the thicker pieces of wood found on some pallets, I needed 6 such pieces and fortunately I had them. First job was to decide were to drill the holes for the pins, each pair of bars would use 2 pins. Below the bar has been marked out with 7 pilot holes which will be made much larger later for the pins. One of the problems with this wood is that it has a large number of nails embedded in it, these can’t be removed because they have been cut flush to the wood when the pallet were disassembled. With this in mind the holes have to be drilled so the nails are avoided.

drilling holes in clamps

These wood gluing clamps have been made in matched pairs mainly because of the nail problem previously described, so all the way through the build the clamps were marked as 1a, 1b, 2a,2b,3a and 3b. So next the tow bars 1a and 1b were clamped one on top of the other. Then the pilot holes were drilled through to the bottom bar, this ensures correct alignment of the holes in both bars. The same process was applied to the other two pairs of bars.

Now all of these pilot holes needed to be drilled out to 25mm so the pins would slot in. I used a 25mm forstner bit in my pillar drill to drill out all of these holes. It took a while because there are 28 holes in all and the bars are quite thick wood.

28 peg holes drilled in clamps

Now the pins had to be made before the project could move forward because the bars need to be held in alignment on top of each other in their matched pairs. The pins are made from an old broom handle and are around 6 inches long. With these made they could be inserted in the holes to hold the bars in place. In the photo below you can see two bars with the pins in place.

picture showing pins in place in clamp bars

Horizontal pressure sorted now for the vertical downward pressure

OK so the horizontal pressure problem is almost sorted, now  to address the vertical downward pressure. I decided the way to do this was to have a handle at each end of the bars with a threaded rod fixed into the handles. The threaded bars would screw into a fixed nut on the bottom face of the lower bar. As you screw the bar to tighten, it forces the the upper bar downwards onto the lower bar.

3 sets of gluing clamps made from upcycled pallet wood

In the photo above you can see the handles with the threaded bars at each end of the wood gluing clamps. The photo also shows the pins inserted and the 3 sets of wedges that are used to help exert the horizontal pressure.

You may be asking yourself, why go to all this trouble when you could buy some sash clamps or pipe clamps to do the same job. Well the simple answer is that I want to upcycled materials as much as possible in everything I make. Apart from the threaded rod, nyloc nuts and t nuts, everything in these 3 pairs of wood gluing clamps is upcycled.

I will write another post soon to describe how these wood gluing clamps actually work.

There are more images available showing how these clamps were made, too many to include in this article, you can find them here Wood Gluing Clamps Image Gallery

Posted on Leave a comment

Power Tool Workbench made from Upcycled Pallet Wood

A workbench for my static power tools

In an attempt to try and get some sort of organisation in my workshop I decided to build a power tool workbench made from upcycled pallet wood. The idea was to get the chop saw, pillar drill and planner/thicknesser all in one place and all at a comfortable working height for me. I find leaning forward to work at a standard height bench gives me back ache quite quickly. So my ideal workbench is quick a bit higher than the norm! Ideally this bench should also have a lower shelf where the portable power tools could be stores in their respective cases. Finally this power tool workbench should be on castors so it can me around in the workshop.

So now we know what we want lets go and build it. I started off by making one of the sides, as you can see below. There are no fancy joints, the whole thing is screwed together using rather large screws. Once this first side was assembled, everything else could evolve from it.

Power Tool Workbench made from Upcycled pallet Wood

Next part of the build was to build end struts and join them to the existing side structure that has just been completed. You can see what I mean from the picture below, the whole thing is on it’s side at the moment while it’s all screwed together.

workbench frame being assembled

The picture below shows the power tool workbench main structure completed and in the upright position. One of the joys of using recycled pallet wood in projects is that nothing is ever “straight”. Just look at the long piece at the top on the left, very warped but for  this job it’s fine.

Workbench frame assembled

Now we need to be looking at making the top for this bench. Again this is going to made from upcycled pallet wood, but this time we are going to be using the planks. First thing to do is try and select enough planks that are roughly the same thickness so we get a fairly level top. I say fairly level because it doesn’t have to be absolutely level.

fitting the workbench top planks

As you can see in the picture above, some of the top planks have already been fitted and others have been selected for use, although they will need cutting to length and then they will be screwed to the frame.

the workbench now has its top fitted

The picture above shows the top completely fitted and the castors screwed on the corners on the underside. So now we are getting there. Next job is to place the power tools onto the workbench to ensure there is enough room, as shown below.

workbench front view

Fortunately the guesstimations worked and there is more than enough room for everything, with ample space for the pieces of wood being worked.

workbench side view

In this picture the bottom shelf is still to be fitted although in reality it has already been fitted. I will take photo at the next opportunity and add it to this post.

So there you have it, a custom built power tool workbench made completely from upcycle pallet wood. This workbench cost next to nothing to build, apart from the four castors at a couple of quid each. Right at the start of this project I decided to leave the wood rough and not sanded. I couldn’t justify the extra time spent on sanding etc when really there was no need for it.

This power tool workbench made from upcycled pallet wood is in almost constant use and it’s doing the job great. I am also really pleased I gave some thought about the height as I haven’t felt any backache at all after working at this bench. That’s the real beauty of doing it yourself, you can make it to “fit” you.

I do hope  this has been of interest to you and given you some ideas, I haven’t provided any dimensions because you should really build this to suit you and your workspace.

Posted on Leave a comment

Making Progress with those Two New Clocks

cutting out a spitfire clock face

On August 2nd I made a short post about two new clocks I had started working on. Well there has been progress made on them!

As you can see below the High Perch Phaeton Carriage has been cut out and the outline was traced onto the wood. Then the outline and details was burnt into the wood using the Pyrography tool.

Making Progress with those Two New Clocks

The small fan you can see on the table above isn’t there to keep me cool. It’s there to draw away the fumes that are created during the wood burning.

Below is another view of the Phaeton Carriage standing upright. We will be routing out a recess at the back of this for the clock movement to fit into and then it can be mounted.

Making Progress with those Two New Clocks

The other clock was a round one, 12″ diameter featuring a WW2 Spitfire. You can see from the picture below that it was cut out using a router. You can also see the outline has already been traced onto the clock face, this will be burnt into the wood using the Pyrography pan. The hole in the centre that’s currently being used for router anchor screw will be drilled out to 8mm for the clock movement to be fitted.

Making Progress with those Two New Clocks

Since taking these photos earlier today the Spitfire has now be brunt into clock face. The hole has been drilled out to 8mm and the wood has had it’s first coat of Danish Oil.

So quite a productive weekend, another update about these two new clocks will follow in due course as more progress is made.