Working with pallets has become a new obsession over the past couple of years. When my father isn’t bringing some home from his work, I am keeping my eye out for free ones. Anyway, they are great cheap ways to use wood, as long as you clean and treat them properly. I use heat-treated pallets that never carry food, and I power wash and paint/stain/seal the wood.
A thing to remember if you ever want to work with this type of wood – there is no such thing as the perfect pallet. A few boards will always need replacing, as they are either cracked or too flimsy. If you are using a design that requires a solid top or bottom, you will also need to add boards. The dimensions of pallet wood usually vary as well, therefore it takes a lot of building or cutting around a pallet before you are even able to begin your project. I usually use a few pallets on just one project.
With this table I attached two pallets on top of one another, thereby creating four storage units. I removed all of the backing boards of one pallet so that it would be able to sit atop the bottom pallet and create the look I was going for. I then used the left over boards to fill in the gaps on the bottom pallet, which would make the very bottom of the table. After washing and prepping the wood I gave the two prepared pallets a good sanding and applied a Minwax Special Walnut stain. Quick Tip -After doing a few projects I found that staining the separate pieces is much easier that assembling the piece and staining after, as you will inevitably miss spots or have hard to reach areas once the piece is put together.
I let the stain dry overnight and then secured the two middle boards that lined up with pieces of flat metal strapping. I then cut two pieces of wood to use on either side of that board (creating a t), and secured them with wood glue on either side to finish off the four cubbies/storage units. Lastly I added the corner metal hardware, castor wheels, and pre cut glass to complete the look.
Here you can see the metal strapping used on the inside pieces, and how the corner pieces wrap around
A side view of the cubbies/display units
Working with pallet wood can be very frustrating as boards can break, nails heads can snap off, and your pallet will almost never be the right size, shape or quality to start any project. You will have to work with it first. However, the benefit is that you are starting with free wood (for the most part), and once you get the hang of it you will see the numerous possibilities for building with pallet wood!
*Feel free to contact me for a more detailed description on this table.
** Further pallet projects and tips will be discussed in future posts!