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141K

Rustic Pallet Wood Trunk

141K
This rustic trunk was made out of some 1x4 pallet lumber that I picked up from a local farmer. The whole box except the top are 3/4" in thickness, with the top being 7/8" in thickness. To fasten the trunk sides together I used old fashioned fine cut nails that I dipped in vinegar to give a rustic appearance. I also dipped the hardware in the vinegar to add a little patina as well.
For the finish, I went with a nice semi-gloss polyurethane.
Time: 8 Cost: $75 Difficulty: Easy
If you want to watch how I made the trunk, check the video out above. If you want to see some awesome step by step pics, keep going!
Before we begin, here's a rough part list for you if you want to build along.
These are the 1x4 pallet boards I picked up for a quarter each from a local farmer.
  • rustic pallet wood trunk, pallet
With the side panels cut to length, I edge joint each side and glue them up to make the panels.
I do the same with the rest of the panels which include the front, back, sides, bottom, top, and false bottom.
  • rustic pallet wood trunk, pallet
With the panels glued up, I did a mock up of where the parts go to get an idea of how it's going to look. The trunk is huge, but looks awesome!
  • rustic pallet wood trunk, pallet
To join the panels to make the box, I nailed the sides to the front and back panels using BT&C fine cut nails.
Before nailing them in, I dip the heads of the nail in some vinegar to add some rust to them. This was to add some age to the nails so it would match with the whole project of "rustic".
This is what the nails ended up looking like after the vinegar dried.
On each of the 4 box corners I attached 2 corner brackets (one at the top and one at the bottom). They came painted a flat black from the store so I used my random orbit sander and 220 grit sandpaper to remove the paint. I then dipped them in the vinegar to once again form some rust on the surface of the brackets.
This is what they ended up looking like.
  • rustic pallet wood trunk, pallet
On each of the 4 box corners I attached 2 corner brackets (one at the top and one at the bottom). They came painted a flat black from the store so I used my random orbit sander and 220 grit sandpaper to remove the paint. I then dipped them in the vinegar to once again form some rust on the surface of the brackets.
To seal the rust in and to prevent it from rubbing off, I sprayed a coat of polyurethane on them.
  • rustic pallet wood trunk, pallet
I cut rabbets along the bottom of the side and front/back panels for the bottom panel to sit in.
  • rustic pallet wood trunk, pallet
As you can see, there's now a groove for the bottom panel to sit in. If you don't want your bottom panel to be inset, you can always just nail it to the bottom edges of the trunk box.
  • rustic pallet wood trunk, pallet
With the trunk box and bottom put together, I lightly sand the surface with 180 grit sandpaper. The goal here is to NOT sand away the rough appearance of the wood as that's what makes it look "rustic".
  • rustic pallet wood trunk, pallet
I installed 6 little blocks on the bottom inside of the box to hold the secret compartment lid.
  • rustic pallet wood trunk, pallet
With everything built, I applied 2 coats of spar urethane with a brush.
  • rustic pallet wood trunk, pallet
And finally, I made and attached 2 leather handles to assist in lifting the trunk.
Thanks for checking my trunk out! If you enjoyed this build, check my YouTube channel out where I build all kinds of things: https://www.youtube.com/simplecove

Materials I used for this project:

  • 1x4 Pallet lumber   (Local farmer)
  • Fine finish cut nails   (http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com)
  • Corner brackets   (Amazon)

To see more: http://www.simplecove.com/232/rustic-pallet-wood-trunk-with-a-hidden-compartment/

  • Brenda  S.
    Brenda S. North Brunswick, NJ
    on Dec 2, 2016

    So cool! :)

  • Jill Smith
    Jill Smith New York, NY
    on Dec 7, 2016

    I love this storage idea - I'm going to Home Depot NOW!

  • Christina aka Queenopearls
    Christina aka Queenopearls Sarasota, FL
    on Dec 8, 2016

    Brilliant!! Absolutely brilliant! The "fine finish nails" look very similar to horse shoe nails. :) I had to google to see the difference. What exceptionally cool nails!! And so well used in this project. Thank you for all the details.

  • Rczaikowski
    Rczaikowski
    on Dec 8, 2016

    It turned out beautiful ,one suggestion put a safe hinge on that lid!!!

    • Sean Walker
      Sean Walker Versailles, KY
      on Dec 10, 2016

      Thanks. It doesn't need safety hinges because I don't have kids in the house and it stays shut.

  • Dana
    Dana Gatesville, TX
    on Dec 8, 2016

    Awesome job!

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!