Taking Skids to a Whole New Level

I know, Teri, this is skid abuse... I should have my shop keys taken away from me for a week!

Last fall, I wrote a post to pick your brains about what you do, if anything, with skid lumber. You followed through with some really good ideas and funny commentary! Since then, we continue to get new followers that happen across that post and add their own comments. Much appreciated!

Well, just the other day Teri Kent posted what has to be the longest project list for skid lumber I’ve ever seen! It deserves downright accolades in my book, and when you read it, I think you’ll agree. Teri is the Zen Master of Clever Skiddery.

Here it is:

My workplace builds large crates to ship commercial a/c equipment and we receive parts in on all sizes of skids and in wooden crates, sometimes up to 6 feet square. I have built a full set of patio furniture and planters; sign for ranch gate; ‘street signs’ for all the trails on our property; shutters for my windows; lamps; picture frames; faux iron straps for ceiling beams with a hand hammered look; Christmas presents like wish or prayer boxes, shadow boxes, music boxes, cheese boards, wall or desk calendars with changeable dates squares, flower drying press, photo album, gun cleaning kit box with rope handles, casserole dish holder so you don’t have to wait till it’s cold before you load up the car to Granny’s house, recipe boxes, remote control storage boats, magazine racks for floor or walls, shelves for pegboard rack, cut out kids initials or names and paint or stain them, Christmas ornaments or tags for gifts, wooden animal puzzles for toddlers, paper sorter shelves for office area, wooden checkerboard with checkers, game table with storage area hidden under top which houses games such as checkers, chinese checkersbackgammon – all of which can be made from wood; horse stalls, horse hay feeders, small cross fencing for landscaped areas, duck house, dog and cat houses, litter box tray, dog and cat food bins, onion and potato bins, bread bin, cutlery dividers, key rack with hooks, child’s growth chart with applied cut out animals (really cute!), gun cabinet, guitar display shelves with Christmas lights hidden in surround to light up box – cool!, blanket chest for foot of bed, garbage can holders, wheel barrow, hanging tool storage for garden implements and auto shop tools, auto shop work benches with drawers and dividers for fasteners, converted my guest room into a full custom closet with expensive looking slat shelves, and am now starting a suspended bridge over my pond to where I hope to build a woodworking shop so that my porch will get a reprieve from piles of sawdust everytime a whim comes over me.  There are millions of things to make and I know I’m forgetting some I’ve done! I would love new ideas though!

Incredible. At least 49 different types of projects, by my count.

Teri, I especially appreciate how you end your list, hoping we’ll all suggest some new ideas. You just might have thought of them ALL.

Way to be resourceful—or I guess in today’s trendy vernacular, “green!”

Catch you in the shop,

Chris Marshall, Field Editor

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About Chris Marshall

Chris Marshall has been writing for Woodworker's Journal as a contributing editor and field editor since 2001. Prior to that, he spent five years developing home improvement and woodworking books. He's written five of them and has served as a contributing writer on many more. A wood and tool junkie since childhood, Chris thoroughly enjoys building projects and reviewing woodworking tools for the Journal. When he's not assembling new machinery, sawing parts, taking photos or crunching text for an upcoming story, he enjoys spending time with his family and a houseful of pets at their home in rural Ohio.

12 thoughts on “Taking Skids to a Whole New Level

  1. These are great ideas! I knew there just had to be uses for that lumber. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. I recycle wood crates and resell them. I would love to know of anyone that buys skids so that I can keep them moving.

  3. I have used old skids and packing crates for a number of sold products, hence my company name “SKIDWOOD DESIGNS”

  4. Don’t Joint or plane the lumber until you’ve cheched it for embedded sand or trash pressed into the face. Even small particles can nick knives requiring resharpening.

  5. thanks for the ideas, i to will use some. i get lots of scrap lumber in different species. after seeing grandchild standing on toilet to brush her teeth before bed, 9:00pm,i went straight to the shop, came back in by 11 with a very cute five piece stepstool. grandma went and found some stickers (Dora the explorer) put them on, i spayed it with poly and the child loves it. since then i built 25-30 from butterflys to harley davidson and sold them from $10 to $50. all from scrap wood.

  6. Here are a few Items I have built out of shipping crates, wind spinners, tv trays, cabinet doors for shop cabinets, toy chest for grandson, shelves, and thinking of tryin a rol top desk and coffee table and end tables

  7. I have made several projects using skid wood. Wishing wells, miniture wishing wells, small wheelbarrows, wagon wheels. However here in Hawaii (end of the line for skids) we get nothing but busted-up junk skids. The nails are impossible to remove and there is so much foreign objects embedded that I have decided it’s not really worth the time or expense to recycle them. Also plays hell on my planer, is offsize, often quite warped. But then if you don’t fall into my category, recycling trees is “GOOD”! Aloha

  8. My husband’s nephew made several sets of very sturdy outdoor chairs and tables out of pallets, we use a set of chairs, a two seater, and a very handy table at our farm. Mr Abrams who has the woodworking shows on television, made a beautiful coffee table from these. He says he often sees maple, oak and other hardwood, as well as the usual pine. My husband also gets wooden crates in his business as well at pallets, and I use the wood from some of them in my craft projects, use some of the small ones as step stools, tables, and of course for storage. Two crates he got were covered in woven strips of bamboo. I am making storage boxes out of them and plan on staining the outsides to make them look even better.

  9. A couple of years before I retired from GE in Erie, Pa. where we built locomotives, we were getting the snow plows from Indonesia. I happened to notice that the 7 to 8 foot long pallets were made from Indonesian teak. What a find! I salvaged a good supply of this, which varies from softer tan sapwood to hard heavy dark red heartwood. I have made a few jewelry boxes so far. I am always looking for “scrap wood. I might suggest checking out tractor and motorcyle dealers in your area for crate wood from overseas

  10. Pingback: Wooden skids | TouchByAnAngel

  11. I have built wren birdhouses and feeders with pallet wood and they hold up well in the weather. Also have built the wife and a few other farmers market venders little display shelves. There’s no limit to what my next project will be. As long as i have access to pallets the happier i am !!!

  12. Please use caution when using pallet wood, particularly oak. I’m not sure about civilian practices, but after 21 years in the Air Force shipping all kinds of material, I know that a lot of pallet/skid lumber is treated to prevent decay. The stuff can be pretty toxic, so you have to use caution. It’s been 25 years since I retired, so I don’t remember specifics. If the wood looks waxy, pass it up!! When I was stationed in Korea, all of our lumber, including plywood was teak. Wish I could have used it for other projects than packaging.

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