Making a 3X3 out of 1x4's??

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Forum topic by trippcasey posted 03-05-2013 01:57 AM 7524 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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72 posts in 2128 days

03-05-2013 01:57 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question trick refurbishing joining

I have lots and lots of pallet wood. I use this because I dont have money for good hardwoods, and because I dont have the skill set to pay for good hardwoods and screw them up learning and developing skills. Most of my pallet wood consists of 3/4” thick slats anywhere from 2.75” to 6” wide, and a few gapped up 2×4’s that I tear up stripping the slats off of. Believe it of not, some of the stuff I make out of this wood looks pretty darn good after lots of squaring it off, sanding, and some stain or poly.

Anyway, I want to make a headboard out of some of this wood that hasnt been treated. It looks rustic, and in my eyes, very nice. To do this, I would need some posts and was curious about what would be the best way to make them with what I have? I thought about cutting 4 pieces at 45* bevels, and glueing them together around a piece/pieces cut and glued together to fill the center. I would have a solid post here to be able to cut mortises into, and no visible edges or glue lines. What would you do in this case, being forced to work with what you have?

-- I almost post pics....until I see the daily top three...then I delete my post.

5 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3175 days

#1 posted 03-05-2013 02:40 AM

It’s work to get it all milled accurately and glued together tightly, but should be fine.

That is done with quarter sawn oak so the rays in the grain on all sides match.
I have several antiques where the legs are built up from smaller pieces.

It is actually better for resisting warpage and bowing if a leg is made from several pieces and assembled with the growth rings opposing each other.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4422 days

#2 posted 03-05-2013 02:51 AM

Your idea will certainly work in theory, but it’s not going to be easy getting those miters cut and glued up just right. Personally, I would just laminate the pieces face-to-face to build up to the size I need. You’ll have visible glue joints on two sides, but they really wont be as noticeable as you might think.

Check out my projects. Every table I’ve made has laminated legs.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4097 days

#3 posted 03-05-2013 03:47 AM

people knock making furniture out of skid material.

I dont

Charlies suggestion would bring the least grief

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2894 days

#4 posted 03-05-2013 04:07 AM

Some of those bigger pallets have 4×4 skids under them. That’s what the posts on my headboard are made of. Otherwise, I’d laminate them as I think you’ll have trouble doing the miter glue up cleanly.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View bandit571's profile


21789 posts in 2887 days

#5 posted 03-05-2013 04:16 AM

Yes, one could just laminate a few layers together, but….

Resaw a few into 3” wide strips, maybe 1/8” thick. Once the glue line side has been smoothed out and flattened, glue these strips over the glue lines. Almost like a veneer effect. You could even resaw from the face sides, and then match the grain on the glue line sides.

I am sitting at a desk made from both pine pallet sticks (the hutch part) and beech/Sycamore barn wood parts. Other than nail holes and barky areas, looks like “Store-bought Lumber”.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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