Salvaged Pallet Wood Dovetail Box with Hinged Lid

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Project by BerBer5985 posted 938 days ago 2828 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I keep building boxes mostly because I enjoy them and their neat to give away, but because I don’t have a dedicated workbench (or really an open table to work on other than my table saw) to work on and it limits me because my shop is so unorganized right now and I need to build my workbench. So instead of doing all that, I build boxes ;). This box was made of salvaged pallet wood, my guess is poplar, but no clue.

I actually screwed up a few times on this one, but was able to fix it so it would work. The first screw up was I mortised the hinges into the box first and not the top making it very difficult to set the hinges in the top, so I cut the top of the box off (hence why there’s one less pin then there was originally. Then because the hinges at lowes are so thin and you have to mortise on a angle, I mortised too deep on the one side and box was binding and wouldn’t close all the way. So I planed the back of the lid top down with the smoothing plane on a slight angle, reattached the top, and voila. Then, this was the first attempt at shellac and the first 2 coats were applied with a 2” Nylox brush from Lowes which gave me a lot of runs, so I sanded them down as best I could, then went and bought a gold taklon brush from the art store. Much easier and smoother, but still showing a few runs from the first 2 coats.

The other thing on this was everything but the original jointing and dimensioning was done by hand including the roundovers. As I progress, I’ve been adding one more element to each box to make it a little more complicated. After I build my bench and get my shop completely organized, I’ll start with some small furniture and cabinets and what not. So the morals of my long winded story with this box is:
1)Use quality hardware if you can (makes it so much easier to set correctly.)
2)Use the right finishing supplies
3) Always mortise the hinges in the smaller piece first

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

9 comments so far

View clieb91's profile


3263 posts in 2559 days

#1 posted 938 days ago

Greg, Great salvage from a pallet.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View terry603's profile


319 posts in 1537 days

#2 posted 938 days ago

i like the size,looks great

-- may not always be right,but,never in doubt.

View jumbojack's profile


1176 posts in 1248 days

#3 posted 938 days ago

Man I love reclaimed wood. I am a pallet hound. I see hundreds a day, and save the one or two I see to work on later.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View bugz's profile


773 posts in 1288 days

#4 posted 938 days ago

You have to love taking scrap and bring out the beauty of the wood. Great looking box.

-- Bob, Lewistown, Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View a1Jim's profile


112008 posts in 2201 days

#5 posted 938 days ago

Very nice box good job.

-- Custom furniture

View tomd's profile


1737 posts in 2394 days

#6 posted 938 days ago

Very nice looking box, like the color and grain.

-- Tom D

View neffcustom's profile


10 posts in 941 days

#7 posted 938 days ago

Wow, from a pallet?! Very nice job. I love the grain. What finish did you use?

View BerBer5985's profile


420 posts in 1044 days

#8 posted 938 days ago

Thanks guys! The finish is just 3 coats of zinzer bullseye clear shellac.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

View Roger's profile


14311 posts in 1428 days

#9 posted 937 days ago

mighty fine recycled pallet

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

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