Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New house, DIY Book Cases, Made from Beer Pallets

     Again, sorry it's been a while. My wife and I bought a large house and it took a while to get settled. The books were stashed away in boxes in the closet just begging to be released. We purchased a smaller book case for our new office, and although it was one of the better book cases I've had in recent memory, it still... well it sucked. I felt like the shelves were too close together, or not enough shelves, or both. That and that weird cardboard backing is the worst. I feel as if the whole case is just.. wobbly. Considering I work for a beer company, and we have access to an unlimited supply of broken pallets, the choice was easy. (And cheap!) Guys, keep your wives away from pinterest!

   The first day consisted of me just ripping in to pallets with gusto. Armed with a mini-sledge and a pair of pry-bars, I was ready for the task.. kind-of. It was back breaking labor. My stepfather, pictured in the background drove all his amazing tools from Arizona to Florida to help me build my dream book case out of beer-wood scraps. After the first 6-8 pallets, and sweating through three shirts in 90 degree weather, we decided the circular saw would be the best way to go, and we would just buy the 2x4 pieces of wood instead of scrapping them.

     Ferring strips were purchased, as they were long enough and really cheap compared to 1x8's. All wood was separated from the scrap pallets in to piles, and were cut in to different shapes and sizes we needed for the job. Almost three full days of the project itself was prep: Staining, Cutting, running for more pallets, etc.

Staining sucks.

Really sucks.

What a mess. My garage was full of wood.

    My wife helped where she could in between watching my son, and fixing us glasses of water and the occasional sandwich. We put in over 10 hours each day, only stopping for bathroom breaks and food. This went on for five days.

     Framing everything and measuring where the shelves were really got me excited, like this was really going to happen. My own bookcases!

     After getting most everything cut and stained in the garage, it was assembly time! The book cases are 8 1/2 feet tall, so were a huge pain in the ass to get in the house without banging in to anything. We clad the cases with more scrap wood blocks and pallet pieces we had stained the night before. Thank god for the nail gun!

     Starting coming together really fast at this point. The cases being over 200 pounds each, were mounted in to the studs of the wall with anchors at several different points.

     When taking a lunch break during the last bit of framing, we decided to hook up a projector and get a feel of where we wanted that to be. Found out that we would have to get rid of our old 55" monster Sony Wega and put a temporary TV in it's place until we got a replacement, or hopefully a ceiling mount for the projector setup I have.

     Holy shit it's done! The base boards were trimmed and put back in place, and the base of the bookcase was red oak saved from a keg pallet, which we had ran through the planer to get rid of all the nasty old beer on there. That is a 36 inch TV in the middle, which will be replaced here in a few weeks as time permits.

     I was able to fit around 1700 books in the case, with room to grow. I saved a ton of wood if I need to ever make it bigger...

Time: 65 Hours over 5 days
Cost: $120 in random parts, wood
Injuries: One broken toe


  1. You have a great website, and the book shelves look real well built.
    J Watson @ Dothan AL.