Every woodworker loves to receive FREE WOOD, such as pallet wood. But like most things that are free, there is a catch and that catch is the free wood can dull or even ruin some of your good woodworking blades so special precautions are needed. Even after you have dis-assembled a pallet, and you think you have removed all the screws and nails, there could still be some left that only a woodworking metal detector will find (click read more to see links) ... OR, even worse, there are almost always little rocks and dirt that are ground into the wood that will dull or ruing a blade instantly.
I love to use pallet wood for certain projects, it gives a great look with little work, but most often when I am using pallet wood I will only use my circular saw, my jig saw and my reciprocating saw. Blades for these units are reasonably prices and easy to get. I NEVER run pallet wood through my jointer, planer or bandsaw, and only occasionally with a throw-away blade will I use my table saw.
To me, the trick with making pallet furniture is to make it look elegant, despite being made from pallet wood. In the case of making this bookshelf, in order to make the bookshelf look less clunky, we decided to change up the end pieces ....
... We didn't want a thick heavy 2x4 looking piece on the ends, nor did we need that kind of strength. Instead, we wanted a rough looking shelf, but still with some design elements to it.
We liked that some pallet wood, particularly the bottom 2x4 pieces have cutaways in them to accommodate the forks from a forklift or pallet jack. By using this design element incorporated into the sides of the bookshelf we were able to make a pallet look, while reducing the weight and bulk of using 2x4 sides.
Copyright Colin Knecht