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Thread: Pallet Wood Flag

  1. #1
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    Pallet Wood Flag

    I've seen these around at stores, internet, yards and am making one as a gift. I know the recipient is going to want to put it outside in the awful, wet, cold Michigan weather (I will make a strong case for indoor use, or hanging from an outside wall under an eave). I don't have any experience with building a project like this that's going to face the elements. I've completed the messiest step, which is processing the pallet stock:

    IMG_2137.jpg

    Boards are about 1.5" wide, 0.5+" thick. I used a jig to get a straight edge on each board, then ripped them to width (two strips per board) Most of the wood has seen some outdoor time, and I'm obviously mixing species. I have three 1" x 3" boards I'll use for the back that I will screw in from behind. I'm not doing any surface planing, though might sand a bit before painting depending on how my paint tests turn out.
    Last edited by John Pariseau; 09-28-2022 at 12:59 AM.

  2. #2
    A better way to proceed , that will last much longer.
    Forget the slats. Cut a piece of plywood to desired size. Use Titebond 2 glue , to glue a piece of white , or “un -bleached “ “cotton duck”.
    It can be bought at any fabric store. Prime ,draw, paint. It’s a proven method that goes back to at least 1890. Don’t let “I ain’t never
    heard of that before” , Stop you from a long used proven method. You might wonder why you have not heard of it before, it’s because it is not
    in magazines and not seen much on TV craft shows. The modern “sign board” is its grand -child. Excellent expensive stuff. Old method
    is easy and every bit as good. IF you wrap the canvas all around to protect the plywood from the weather.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    A better way to proceed , that will last much longer.
    Forget the slats. Cut a piece of plywood to desired size. Use Titebond 2 glue , to glue a piece of white , or “un -bleached “ “cotton duck”.
    It can be bought at any fabric store. Prime ,draw, paint. It’s a proven method that goes back to at least 1890. Don’t let “I ain’t never
    heard of that before” , Stop you from a long used proven method. You might wonder why you have not heard of it before, it’s because it is not
    in magazines and not seen much on TV craft shows. The modern “sign board” is its grand -child. Excellent expensive stuff. Old method
    is easy and every bit as good. IF you wrap the canvas all around to protect the plywood from the weather.
    How much of the fabric do you saturate in glue - edges only? And does it need to be stapled on the back? I have several CDX plywood offcuts about this size and would be happy to give this method a go as well simultaneously. Said recipient has only seen the pallet style ones when traveling the country, and made comments, hence the method I picked... I have significant concerns with the slat method - for an outdoor piece.

  4. #4
    What I do is cover a flat working surface with a piece on plastic. Can be the bags from grocery stores, and such . Put glue on the plywood,
    and on the cloth ,that’s better than than one surface getting heavy coat . Cover with plastic . Then do another one face down on the other one. Put some heavy stuff on the two for pressure . Spring clamps around perimeter is good to add ,if you have them . Cloth should be big
    enough to have 2 or 3 inches all around to be the “ fold over”. Keeps them from sticking together! When dry ,remove from “clamps” and
    Put glue on edges and fold over the cloth. I like to use staples on back to hold. Prime and paint.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    What I do is cover a flat working surface with a piece on plastic. Can be the bags from grocery stores, and such . Put glue on the plywood,
    and on the cloth ,that’s better than than one surface getting heavy coat . Cover with plastic . Then do another one face down on the other one. Put some heavy stuff on the two for pressure . Spring clamps around perimeter is good to add ,if you have them . Cloth should be big
    enough to have 2 or 3 inches all around to be the “ fold over”. Keeps them from sticking together! When dry ,remove from “clamps” and
    Put glue on edges and fold over the cloth. I like to use staples on back to hold. Prime and paint.
    Having trouble understanding the layup - is it:

    cloth (top layer)
    glue
    plastic
    glue
    plywood (bottom layer)

    ? or is there no middle plastic layer?

    Also - would pre-grooving the wood slightly with a router and v-bit provide some dimension to the cloth, or just create a spot for water/moisture to accumulate?

  6. #6
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    Another question - for the slat version - should I use dominos to keep the slats together? If this is going outside, that seems like a bad idea, right?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Pariseau View Post
    Another question - for the slat version - should I use dominos to keep the slats together? If this is going outside, that seems like a bad idea, right?
    I have a neighbor that has made a few of those wood flags. Use a water resistant glue like Tight Bond 3 to glue the slats together. No need for dominios/biscuits as long grain glue joints are extremely strong. Make sure you have good mating edges. Once you get the flag painted, use an exterior poly on all 6 surfaces to seal the piece. And then as you noted, it is best to display the piece in a spot that is protected from direct weather and sun.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  8. #8
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    It could look nice to through drill for each of the 50 stars when the sun is behind it. Of course spiders will fill up the holes and no light will get through.
    I assume you used 13 pieces of wood?
    Bill D

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Tymchak View Post
    Once you get the flag painted, use an exterior poly on all 6 surfaces to seal the piece.
    Regarding this - is it good to seal like so? I've read moisture will always find a way in, and sealing like so makes it hard to find its way out.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    It could look nice to through drill for each of the 50 stars when the sun is behind it. Of course spiders will fill up the holes and no light will get through.
    I assume you used 13 pieces of wood?
    Bill D
    Yep, though I cut 14 in case I needed an extra

    For the stars - I have two options. I can laser cut some metal, or cut out a stencil and paint. I'm leaning towards the stencil as it's less fussy. Alternatively I could router/CNC them, but I'm trying to keep this less complicated.

  11. #11
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    My clamping technique might need some help:

    IMG_2229.jpg

    I decided to paint after glueup - I realized there would be squeeze-out, and with a few strips of blue tape even if the paint strays a bit from the stripe the project will survive. The blue clamps aren't on very tight - just enough to keep the boards aligned at the edges.

  12. #12
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    On a whim I made a Texas flag out of old, reclaimed cedar fence pickets and watered down latex paint to give it a worn look. I am not a big Texas sunshine pumper but taught state history at the time and thought it would look cool in the classroom. I could have sold a couple dozen of them to fellow teachers. Unfortunately there are too many things on my “Wanna Build” list so I turned them down. Would have been easy money for the price of a three quarts of cheap paint and some drywall screws.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Goodin View Post
    On a whim I made a Texas flag out of old, reclaimed cedar fence pickets and watered down latex paint to give it a worn look. I am not a big Texas sunshine pumper but taught state history at the time and thought it would look cool in the classroom. I could have sold a couple dozen of them to fellow teachers. Unfortunately there are too many things on my “Wanna Build” list so I turned them down. Would have been easy money for the price of a three quarts of cheap paint and some drywall screws.
    For sure! These things sell for the price of gold at antique/collectible stores. I could have had this finished by now if I skipped the edge glue - trying to make something a little nicer than a quick job as it's a gift, hoping it remains indoors but I'll find out mid-month.

  14. #14
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    Painted it yesterday - need to make the star stencil. I have a few options for the stencil - leaning towards using a vinyl cutter to cut some adhesive vinyl (so one-time use). The other option is printing a stencil, but it would be rigid and won't follow the contours. Also, it'd be difficult to cut if I wanted to do strips.

    IMG_2448.jpg
    This is freshly painted - over night it darkened quite a bit but the colors aren't as muted as I'd hoped. I need to look up ways to give it a darker wash of color. The paint I used has a wax finishing system, but they don't recommend waxing if the painted item is to go outside.

  15. #15
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    Had some other things to take care of but finished/installed the flag! It was well received.

    Epoxied three vertical boards, painted, and added some peel and stick to the top

    IMG_2678.jpg

    Installed:

    IMG_2681.jpg

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