Still Skidding

Who knew there were so many uses for pallets? You do, and the comments prove it.

Who knew there were so many uses for pallets? You do, and the comments prove it.

What a nice response we’ve had from you folks to our recent blog post about turning skids into usable lumber (“Skid Row”). Looks like we tapped into a good topic here. Keep your comments and suggestions coming in, please!

I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus lately from the blog to get a big tool review ready for the January print issue of the magazine. And, aside from a lot of heavy lifting to hit that deadline, it’s added a third floor to my growing tower of skids outside the shop. Looks like it’s time to start cutting some of them up and figuring out what to build…

In that regard, I thought it might be fun to tally up all the many ways you have commented that you use skid lumber. Hopefully you’ll give the rest of us some good ideas for turning pallets into projects:

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Handy “Tweener” Wood Screws

Ever wished for screw lengths outside of the usual home-center offerings? McFeely's Promax line may have just the length you need.

Ever wished for screw lengths outside of the usual home-center offerings? McFeelys Promax line may have just the length you need.

Here’s a tip of my hat to McFeely’s for coming up with a better woodworking screw. Well, actually, a whole bunch of better fasteners, but there’s one type I particularly like: the #8 Promax® 1-3/8″ black oxide flathead.

You read that right—1 and 3/8. Not 1-1/4″, 1-1/2″ or 1-5/8″ … the usual home-center suspects.

Here’s why I like the 1 3/8″. It’s uncanny how often I seem to have to screw two pieces of 3/4″ material together, face to face. Layers of substrate. Subtops to “show” tops. Shop-made feet to bases or turned knobs to drawer faces. Jigs and fixtures of one kind or another.

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Pocket Screw Joints: The Outdoorsy Types


A quick fence gate came together even faster with pocket screw joinery.

A quick fence gate came together even faster with pocket screw joinery.

Summer is quickly slipping through our fingers, so hopefully you’re busy with outdoor projects. For me, it’s always a nice change of pace during these “dog days” to set aside the hardwood and dig into a stack of cedar or cypress! This season, I’ve got a pair of rickety Adirondack chairs that’ll get the heave-ho for something better, plus a garden fence that’s way overdue. (If anyone has a good plan for a removable garden fence, I’m all ears.)

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