In a world of digital technology, the ability to connect with some of the most talented and skilled laborers is right at our fingertips. Every day I am beyond blessed to be able to meet accomplished artisans from around the globe. So, you can imagine that when David reached out to me to contribute an article to his blog, I was elated. I am all the way across the country in good old New York, but I can still swap ideas with someone who is basking in the California sunshine.
In keeping with the theme of David’s past contributors, I wanted to write about something I’ve been passionate about since I was the age of 15, when my father handed me my first hammer and told me to help him rebuild an old home; the use and function of reclaimed wood. More specifically, pallet wood.
From the age of 15 to 18 I worked as a counselor at a summer camp, and also held a few retail jobs. Needless to say, I was pretty broke. I couldn’t afford to go to my local shop and pick out lumber for building. However, my passion to build was burning, and I knew there was a way for me to create the things I wanted by resourcing from my local community. That’s when I stumbled upon it, my first pallet. My initial question to my dad was, “why would anyone throw out this perfectly good wood?” His response?
“You’re definitely my kid”.
Pallet wood is one of the best (and sometimes underrated) ways to resource wood without breaking the bank. Being that I’m now in graduate school, I still look for ways to save money on projects, and, nevertheless, turn to pallets as my partner in crime. They can be planed, sanded, stained, or even used in their beat up glory. How can I not hold them in high esteem when the uses are infinite?
Pallets are great for a multitude of uses; picture frames, candleholders, headboards, side tables, planter boxes… the possibilities are endless. Plus, with so many pieces of wood floating around, you’re bound to be able to give someone a lesson on different types of wood just by the feel, look, and smell of the reused planks. Furthermore, there’s no better way to help someone become familiar with power tools than by having them pick apart a pallet and turn it into something fresh.
In our digital world, limitless ideas float right at our fingertips. So, what’s stopping you from using that power to find inspiration in the every day treasures you pass on the street? Moral of the story, if you want to introduce someone you love to the world of woodworking, deliver them a pallet and watch their gears turn. You’ll be amazed at what they can do.
Here are some great links that I found on the web for inspiration, I hope you love them too.
**Sam’s favorite sites**