As we gain experience as woodworkers, we begin to get a feel for the properties of all types of wood species. We understand that sawing hard maple is completely different from sawing pine.
The way to achieve success when building with pallet wood is to understand the material you are working with. Think of it as a separate species, in a way, and you won’t fall into the trap of trying to revert the individual boards to their original, freshly milled, lumberyard states.
All the use and abuse they have been through in their lifetimes show in every nail hole, rust stain, gouge and split. Work with those features as if they were the grain on an ebony board. Design projects around those defects. Emphasize and highlight them! Those pallets worked hard to earn those blemishes.
The Bath Cabinet
When designing this cabinet, I wanted it to say, “simplicity”. There is nothing complicated about the construction or the design. “Rustic” refers not only to the quality and condition of the wood, but to its humble purpose.
If you build with pallet wood, you will discover that the boards come in all different widths and thicknesses, so if you use my plans, observe the measurements loosely. Use the boards you have available and work them into custom dimensions.
I used my router to square up the edges of my boards for gluing together into wide panels. If you don’t have a router or a jointer, you can make do by just by sawing straight edges on two boards and gluing them together. Like everything on this cabinet, nothing has to fit together perfectly. In fact, if you strive for absolute precision (the way so many woodworkers learn) you will end up very frustrated. Remember to use the wood as it wants to be used!