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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here is a project I just finished made without any joinery other than simple butt joints.

I built this shelving unit for my wife’s high school reunion silent auction fund raiser. I hope it generates a lot of interest. Funds raised go towards scholarships for the students.

The dimensions are 30×18 x 9 inches deep. We found some wire/burlap baskets that look pretty good. Three coat/robe hangers make this a multi use piece.

Oh, I forgot to mention. The wood used to build this project was salvaged from two pallets! :) I saved almost all of the boards, milled them, and assembled with glue and brad nails. The wood is pine with some oak pieces. More on the pallet dismantling procedure can be found here.

The stain is Rustoleum Kona. The finish is Parks Pro Finishes Semi Gloss Clear poly applied with a HVLP sprayer. The end result is a rustic look yet it looks like a piece of furniture with very little resemblance of the original pallets.

I think this would be a good project for the woodworker just starting out with minimal tools, or the more experienced woodworker with the tools needed for the job. The overall size can be altered to fit your needs. Even though I used pallet wood, lumber purchased at the big box stores can be used with minimal amount of cutting required.

A table saw or a circular saw with a straight edge, or preferably a ripping jig, could be used instead. About the only requirement is to make accurate cross cuts.

I used a band saw to cut the curves, but a jig saw would work just as well. I used an oscillating spindle sander to sand the curves.

Here are the steps to build this shelving unit using the pallet boards.

Step 1
Mill enough 2x4 lumber to create a glued panel 9 inches wide x 18 inches long. Make two of them. Mine were roughly 10 x 20 inches long. I cut them to final width and length before cutting the curves on each end. These will be the end pieces.

Step 2
Make a template using 1/2 inch mdf for the curved portion so it can be used to mark the top and bottom of both end pieces. To make my template, I drew a grid of 1 inch squares and then added a couple more of 1/2 inch and one 3/4 inch. See pictures. Since the ends are 9 inches wide, I used the centerline (4 1/2 inches) for the template. There really isn't anything technical about the template. I used several different things to help create the curve. Use your imagination and sketch out your design. Cut it out and sand the curves smooth.

Step 3
Use the template to draw the shape on the top and bottom of both ends. I taped the two end pieces together and cut both at the same time on the band saw. While they were still taped together, I sanded the curves with the spindle sander.

Step 4
Prep the boards for the back. For this project, I cut 6 pieces 30 inches long for the back. They are about 1/2 inch thick. I had previously run them through the planer and ripped off the rough edges so they would be a fairly good fit.

Step 5
Assemble the back to the ends. With the two ends ready and the pieces for the back prepared, I glued and nailed the back pieces to the ends. Note: You can adjust the width of your project simply by cutting the pieces for the back to whatever length you desire.

Step 6
Cut and install the framework for the shelves. I made the frame pieces 1 3/8 inch x 3/4 inch. A center piece three inches wide was added for strength. The shelf boards are only 1/2 inch thick, so the frames make for sturdy shelves. Note that I made the front of the frames inset by 1/2 inch. Why? Just because. The shelf is even with the edge of the end piece so I thought the frame would look good if it was set back a little.

Step 7
With the frames in place, cut and nail the shelf boards in place. The boards vary in width, and I had to rip the front board to fit.

I have a lot of pictures taken during the project. I hope they help you build one of these. It would please me if you could and post pics of your finished project.

Thanks
Mike
 

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Here are some more construction pictures.

Note that I used chalk (see first picture) to mark the pieces to orientate the two ends so they would be assembled as mirror images of each other, and the tops would also match. I marked the two pieces before I cut the curves on the band saw. It is very easy to get confused when the top looks like the bottom! :grin:
 

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Shelving unit

Congratulations on both a great project, brilliantly executed, but also a wonderful presentation, with clear and sharp images, all nicely illustrating the text. Many thanks for taking the trouble to document the process, really interesting.
 

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Thank you for taking the time to help us beginners. It must be painful to have to document a simple project to such excruciating detail, but that's exactly what I need to see.

What I have learned most recently is that a major part of my frustration in getting started is working with crappy dimensional lumber. To date I have yet to attempt a project with anything but Lowe's garbage lumber. Without the benefit of a planer and jointer, boards just don't fit together well.
 

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Great, Mike! As usual another simple project but very elaborate, easy to follow by beginners like me and others, ecologically correct(salvaged wood) and for a great cause. I can say only congratulations and Thanks too much!
Sid.
 

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Great, Mike! As usual another simple project but very elaborate, easy to follow by beginners like me and others, ecologically correct(salvaged wood) and for a great cause. I can say only congratulations and Thanks too much!
Sid.
+1 :wink:
 

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Very nice, Mike. Well documented and presented.
 

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What I have learned most recently is that a major part of my frustration in getting started is working with crappy dimensional lumber.
Mike, that's the situation I had been in and was the whole reason to buy a thicknesser. Since then I haven't looked back. I can now have any dimensioned lumber that I need and that does make life a whole lot better.

There are those who would say 'well you could use a hand plane', but my experiences with hand planes all resulted in non-square lumber and wasting much more than I used. Now I get the power tools to do the work for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Mike, that's the situation I had been in and was the whole reason to buy a thicknesser. Since then I haven't looked back. I can now have any dimensioned lumber that I need and that does make life a whole lot better.

There are those who would say 'well you could use a hand plane', but my experiences with hand planes all resulted in non-square lumber and wasting much more than I used. Now I get the power tools to do the work for me.
Yes ma'am. I agree.

There is another option. I have used the "project panels" sold by Lowe's. I haven't seen them at our local Home Depot.

I will work up a cut list or two and post them here as soon as I can get a round to it.

Remember the toy box I posted recently? That was made using the panels. All you have to do is cut it to the desired length and width for the parts needed.

Cut list coming soon.
Here are pictures of the project panels.
 

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I must quickly add to my last post above, I admire all those carpenters, woodworkers and cabinet makers who do use hand planes. I remember my dad spending a lot of time building things back in the 60's and 70's and back then there were very few hobbyist woodworkers with tablesaws or planers. It was all done with hand tools and he was great at it.
 

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I appreciate the projects and the discussion re the quality of lumber typically found at Lowe's and HD. Mike's suggestion of the project panels is a good one but I would also encourage one to visit the more traditional lumberyards, assuming there are any in your respective areas. I'm fortunate to live within a few miles of several and buy the majority of my wood there as opposed to the big box stores. For specialty lumber the area also abounds with special "wood" shops.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Here is the cutlist for the project if you use the project panels. They are sold in several different sizes.

Two panels are required:
1 ea. 3/4 x 20 x 48 inches
1 ea. 3/4 x 16 x 72 inches

The original project had 1/2 inch shelves and 1/2 inch boards for the back. You might take that into consideration and use something else if you have it available. I have seen 1/2 inch stock at Lowe's in shorter lengths that could be substituted.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Here is the cutlist for the project if you use a soft wood such as poplar or white pine or any other species for that matter.

Two boards are required:
1ea 3/4 x 10 x 96 inches
1 ea 3/4 x 12 x 96 inches

The original project had 1/2 inch shelves and 1/2 inch boards for the back. You might take that into consideration and use something else if you have it available. I have seen 1/2 inch stock at Lowe's in shorter lengths that could be substituted.
 

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I appreciate the projects and the discussion re the quality of lumber typically found at Lowe's and HD. Mike's suggestion of the project panels is a good one but I would also encourage one to visit the more traditional lumberyards, assuming there are any in your respective areas. I'm fortunate to live within a few miles of several and buy the majority of my wood there as opposed to the big box stores. For specialty lumber the area also abounds with special "wood" shops.
Amen to that, Jon!!!
Support your local merchants, or regret it when they're gone.
There's something about being served by folks that know you by name, and appreciate your business.
 

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Amen to that, Jon!!!
Support your local merchants, or regret it when they're gone.
There's something about being served by folks that know you by name, and appreciate your business.
wish more could remember this....
 

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wish more could remember this....
So true. Interestingly, I've talked with several wood workers who find these yards and shops "frightening" because they assume that you know what you want and are to brusque to be helpful. In my experience that is way off base. I say that not because I'm that knowledgeable but because they have always been very willing to be of assistance. Just remember, they want/need your business. The big box guys don't.
 
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