Over the last few months – about every few days we get a comment or two on the canning cabinet or buffet hutch we built out of old shipping crates and pallets on our blog :
www.oldworldgardenfarms.com A lot of people want to know the particulars. So we created a post on the how 2′s of building things with pallets or shipping crates – with a little extra information on the canning pantry. It's a great project – cost very little – and lets you store over 200 jars of canned goods!
We have actually made two of them – the first we built from pallets – the second from some old shipping crates and pallets. But for both – the only tools we used were a Sawzall, Nail Gun, Construction Adhesive (liquid nails heavy – duty), 3″ coarse drywall screws and a drill with a Phillips #2 screw bit (for drywall screws)
For the canning cupboard, we started by tearing apart about 4 pallets to use for the sides and shelving boards. We learned early on to not waste time trying to pull the nails from boards and remove every little speck of everything. It's time consuming, you damage way too many boards and it takes forever!
We use a sawzall with a long demolition construction blade and simply slice through the nails. Leave all of the remnant flat nails in the boards, not only does it add lots of character – its super quick. If you place the pallet up on end you can slice through all of the nails in about 15 seconds. Just repeat the process until you have cut them all and you end up with 15 to 25 single boards to work with for every pallet. (depending on pallet size and make-up – you usually get boards about 3 to 5″ wide by 30 to 48″ long). With shipping creates – we just disassemble the sides with the sawzall and then you have ready-made building panels to work with. Whatever you use – pallets, shipping crates or old barn wood – the important thing is to have simple straight boards to build with.
Anytime we make anything with pallets – whether it's the canning cupboard or the buffet hutch – we will then use the left over 2 x 4′s that make up the pallet's inside rails to build the carcass structure. They are durable – and although heavy – they are free and make the structure strong. Speaking of the structure – we always use coarse drywall screws and heavy-duty construction adhesive to assemble. The screws hold tight and the adhesive holds forever. Don't worry about anything other than the framing being straight. Once again if there are some left over bits of nail that have been sawed off smooth – let it be – it just makes for a great patina when stained or painted over.
Once we have the structures carcass built – we just simply use all of the straight boards cut from the pallets to cover. For this we will use the nail gun for speed and looks – but you could just as easily use a hammer and nails. Once you have trimmed it out to your liking – you can paint, stain or leave natural – and you have a unique conversation piece.
The biggest piece of advice – don't sweat the details! The biggest mistake people make when using reclaimed lumber or pallets is tot try to make it too perfect. It's far better to not try to sand everything super smooth - or take out every little crack or dent in the wood. Let them be - it just makes it look that much better.
If you like this - please visit our little blog (oldworldgardenfarms.com) for more of our projects. And if you can -help us spread the word about our farm and site and make sure to like us on Facebook! Thanks so much, Jim and Mary
I would definitely want to add sliders on to the shelves too. My brother is a carpenter by
trade. I know he could get me the slider units a bit cheaper than normal. For any who would want to do so...I would not reccomend having the sliders pull all the way out...Canning jars are heavy and might put too much weight on them and break the sliders or shelves. Just a thought anyway.
Instead of thinking about the cold winter months ahead, stay positive and think instead of next spring and summer's garden. Actually, much like a great lawn – what you do now and in the
coming months can make a huge difference in the success of next year's garden. Here are four things you can do NOW to really jump-start your 2013 garden.
1. DON'T COMPOST YOUR TOMATO AND PEPPER PLANTS
Although contrary to what we normally do – which is compost everything we can – we don't compost our pepper and tomato plants from the garden. We actually throw them on our burn pile and burn them with fallen sticks, etc. Why? Just too much chance for any plant disease to get passed through to the soil for next year. In addition – the odd green or damaged fruit still on the plants, along with their thousand of seeds, are something we prefer to keep away from our compost pile.
2. CLEAN OUT THE WEEDS FROM THIS YEAR'S GARDEN
Don't let those weeds overwinter in your garden. Clean them out now and prevent weeds from going to seed, digging deeper roots – and doubling your weeding efforts next year.
3. ADD ORGANIC MATTER NOW
Chopped leaves and compost are the stars here. Dig in generous amounts of compost to your raised beds or garden. And start collecting those falling leaves now! If you don't have access to your own – make a trip around local neighborhoods and collect the bags or piles of leaves that accumulate at the curb. We use our push mower to shred the leaves. Then, we dig in generous amounts to our raised beds to decompose. Even better, use the leaves as a mulch on your beds over the winter – helping to keep valuable soil from eroding. Just dig into the bed's soil in the spring. For an even better mulch – try #4.
4. PLANT A COVER CROP
Just like the "big farmers" do – our gardens and raised beds benefit greatly from a cover crop. We have already begun to plant our cover crops in the rows we have cleaned out. We use annual rye – a great choice to help add lots of organic matter and nutrients to your soil – and also protect it over the winter months from leaching all of the nutrients out of your bare soil.
A good cover crop will dig deeply into your soil with their roots. This adds valuable organic material to your soil, along with adding plant loving nitrogen to the soil as the plants break down. Then you can turn under your cover crop in the spring before planting. We get a lot of questions on the cover crops – especially – "Won't they become weeds?" As long as you use an annual rye – and make sure to not let the grass go to seed, and turn over in the early spring – you should have no worries.
All four of these steps are great ways to ensure a healthy, productive garden next year, and without having to use harsh chemicals and fertilizers.
How big is the room? If it is small and has little natural light you are going to want to keep
the color a lighter one. If it is a much larger room 15 foot or bigger a medium color with dark accents would be a good choice too. Or you could stick with a medium color and light/white accents. It all depends on natural lighting and room size. Along with what decorating style you might be going with. Good luck!