The Barrel Lampshade from Pallet Wood

We stopped to get donuts the other day and found an abandoned pallet sitting by the side of the road. While Markie went in to get tasty, sugar bombs, I grabbed a hammer and a pry bar out of the back of the rig and ripped apart the pallet to put the wood in the back of the Jeep. The de-nailing process took a little longer, but when I was done I had a nice stack of boards.

Now, the question was… what to build?

I’ve been playing around with a barrel design — basically it started as a math problem (if I make eight 45° cuts, I get a square… 45X8=360…. so if I just make enough cuts that add up to 360 I’ll eventually get a circle) and I really wanted to try to make a lampshade.

So I cut a length into 2 inch widths with a 10° angle… 18 of those and you end up with 360°. Only I wanted room for my reclaimed plastic cup shade…. so I cut 9 at 6 inches tall, and then 18 at 1/2 inch tall, leaving room for every other panel to be lampshade material.

I tied it all together with steel bands and the finished product is really rough, but I kind of wanted to see it looking like pallet wood, not a finely finished bit of carpentry. I’m sure I’ll make another with a lot of sanding and glue and woodstain, but considering I built the whole lamp, including the base, in less than 5 hours, I’m pretty happy with the outcome

And, if you’d like to take a peek into my shop, here’s a 25 minute or so “process video” showing how long it takes to make that first cut (then it goes a lot faster).

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