Not a Pallet Wood Wall

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Project by lysdexic posted 03-01-2017 03:48 AM 1566 views 3 times favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Not a Pallet Wood Wall
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Not a Pallet Wood Wall…..

So, my wife wanted a pallet wood wall. Ugh. I wasn’t excited about this for a couple reasons. First is the wood quality. You don’t know what species of wood you’ll get and you don’t know how dirty it is. Plus there’s always a chance for metal, nails or staples to be buried within the wood. I just didn’t want to run that crap through any of my woodworking machines. The other reason is I’m not too keen on the shabby chic aesthetic. You just don’t know how long that trend will be popular.

Next she had the idea of using Barnwood. That’s pretty cool. She actually brought home a load of wood she purchased from an antique dealer. But that ended up being nothing more than old siding with lead paint. I was not that concerned about the direct health risks to my family. More like, I was concerned that if I ever sold this home, a crackerjack inspector would point out that we had hazardous material in our home. Then it would be official. I could see myself spending $$ on an socially deviant, hazardous waste abatement crew – think Stef.

Finally, I realized I was not going to get out of this. Therefore I decided to purchase some ambrosia maple, which is the same as our hardwood flooring, from Penn State Hardwoods in Conover North Carolina. It came in varying lengths and widths up to 13” but all of it was 4/4” thick.

The plan was to re-saw all the boards to proximally three eights inch thickness. But first I needed a straight edge which I accomplished with my homemade track saw.

Next I ripped the boards on the bandsaw to three different widths so they could all line up during installation. The milling did not have to be perfect because remember the standard was a pallet wood wall. Plus, the display surface was gonna be the reason surface without any type of sanding or prep work.

I also needed to up my game as far as re-saw capability. Some of these boards were 13 inches wide. I ordered a new bandsaw blade from Highland woodworking. Then I built a resew fence from scraps and used a hard board as a feather board. I was anxious about how well I could re-saw all these boards on a 1.5 hp, 14 inch bandsaw but the process went remarkably well.

Finally in order to pop the grain and give a bit more finished look I applied a couple coats of tongue oil. After that it was time for installation. I received help from my brother-in-law and my son who also graciously produced a time lapse video of the process. He took 1942 pictures to make the video.

I hope you enjoy and thanks for looking. Oh, and give my boy a thumbs up on his video efforts. He’ll appreciate it.


-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty

40 comments so far

View Hammerthumb's profile


2712 posts in 1666 days

#1 posted 03-01-2017 04:00 AM

Wow Scotty. Really nice job on the wall!

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View CL810's profile


3631 posts in 2679 days

#2 posted 03-01-2017 04:11 AM

Very nice Scott. You guys work fast

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View ToddJB's profile


7466 posts in 1821 days

#3 posted 03-01-2017 04:13 AM

Solid job, Scooter. I had my concerns when you initially laid out the idea, but this came out great. You were right – you always are.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


14379 posts in 2309 days

#4 posted 03-01-2017 04:30 AM

What a huge improvement, well done! Oh, and I spy that little lamp turned on under the bench, and heart your bandsaw… Did you make that MCM-inspired cabinet under the tv by chance?

Did the tape locations of the tv actually play into the layout of the wall? It’s not apparent, and I’m easily confused by such details.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View lysdexic's profile


5211 posts in 2313 days

#5 posted 03-01-2017 04:31 AM

Thanks fellas. A lot more time and effort went to the placement of the boards than I expected. They needed to be varied but balanced. The variables considered were width, grain. color, thickness.

Al the boards started out over 7” wide and long enough to span the length of the wall. They were ripped to 7 1/2”, 4 5/8” and 2 3/4” widths.

It is hard to tell from the pics but the boards have different thickness/depth..

Finally, the lengths are cut to join at the studs only to break up the pattern.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty

View lysdexic's profile


5211 posts in 2313 days

#6 posted 03-01-2017 04:35 AM

What a huge improvement, well done! Oh, and I spy that little lamp turned on under the bench, and heart your bandsaw… Did you make that MCM-inspired cabinet under the tv by chance?

Did the tape locations of the tv actually play into the layout of the wall? It s not apparent, and I m easily confused by such details.

- Smitty_Cabinetshop

Good eye Smitster. That is the lamp of Ja. I move it down there when I need extra room. Otherwise it lives on that side of the bench top.

Yep, the tape just gave me an idea of what boards (least desirable) would be hidden by the TV.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty

View lysdexic's profile


5211 posts in 2313 days

#7 posted 03-01-2017 05:06 AM

Another thing….I didn’t realize that there is an “accepted” pleasing pattern to installing the joints. In this case they start from upper right and proceed to lower left. Like this

If you watch the video we loosely followed this pattern.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty

View chrisstef's profile


16577 posts in 2697 days

#8 posted 03-01-2017 11:36 AM

That came out really cool there scoot scoot. The ambrosia was a perfect choice. I plan on watching the video the next time i leave elbow marks on my knees.

-- Something, something, something.

View SPalm's profile


5292 posts in 3572 days

#9 posted 03-01-2017 01:16 PM

Very nice Scott. It all ties together suprisingly well. The white trim against it looks great.

I am impressed,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View AZWoody's profile


871 posts in 914 days

#10 posted 03-01-2017 02:43 PM

I love it. I have a garage that’s being made into a game room and that would be a great look.

View helluvawreck's profile


26764 posts in 2557 days

#11 posted 03-01-2017 03:17 PM

This is a great accent for this room and it contrasts nicely with the cabinets. You did a fine job on this project.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View tyvekboy's profile


1625 posts in 2704 days

#12 posted 03-01-2017 03:37 PM

Very nice upgrade. Turned out Great!

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View terryR's profile


6759 posts in 1999 days

#13 posted 03-01-2017 03:49 PM

Came out great!
I hope the wife wants it for a few years!

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View AnthonyReed's profile


9167 posts in 2131 days

#14 posted 03-01-2017 03:52 PM

+1 nice improvement.

What is the origin and theory of the “accepted” and pleasing pattern?

Thanks Yo.

-- ~Tony

View JayT's profile


5345 posts in 1901 days

#15 posted 03-01-2017 04:08 PM

Nice job, Scott.

Very classy upscale take on the pallet wall trend. Don’t let my wife see it. ;-)

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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