Stephen McDowell  ::  Play

When I'm not at my computer, I'm either outside or trying to build something.

Current Project

pallets/01
Acquire some pallets.
pallets/02
Deconstruct them, balancing care and brute force. Hint: the "wonder bar" is an excellent tool!
pallets/03
Do some planning on how you think it will go together. Beer is necessary at this stage.
pallets/04
Try out a couple of designs you think you can build, planning for error.
pallets/05
Start making cuts, noting that you may change your design on-the-fly at this point.
pallets/06
Unfinished cuts (view 1).
pallets/07
Unfinished cuts (view 2).
pallets/08
Get some logs for the legs while walking past a house removing a tree from their front yard.
pallets/09
Quickly realize the tools you have will not be sufficient to hollow them out (around 60lbs each)...
pallets/10
Let your friend's dad convince you there's only one solution here.
pallets/11
Meditation comes in many forms.


Right now I’m building a table out of reclaimed pallets I’ve found lying around in various places. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m slowly getting there piece by piece. Deconstruction of the pallets without destroying the wood was particularly challenging…

I originally intended to hollow out those stumps I acquired, but that turned out to be way more effort than it was worth. The compromise: just quarter one of them. Always plan for variable change right? We at least had some fun chopping up the others!

The next step is to sand it all down and begin assembling it, which will probably induce some unexpected design changes as well. Maybe twenty years from now I can make a profit marketing it as vintage?

Previous Project Highlight


Of the other things I’ve built in the past, none match my accidental spaceship chalkboard. I had always preferred chalk to dry-erase markers, and got permission from my landlord to paint one on my wall. After I put a giant rectangle up with two coats, I still had a large amount of leftover paint. Surprisingly, I couldn’t get anybody to take it off my hands for free so I decided to use it up.

I drew up a design on paper, and then from the paper to the wall there seemed to be a disconnect. After all was said and done it flared out on the right much more than anticipated. I think it was for the best, though. This chalkboard provided me possibly too many good times, and I was sad to paint over it before moving out.