Introduction: American Flag Pallet Coffee Table
Here is a project for a piece of furniture that is perfect for your patio, cabin, rustic style decor or whatever you choose to do. The idea for this project came from another instructables member. Here is the link to their project. https://www.instructables.com/id/American-Flag-Coff...
I decided to make a more rustic looking table that was durable and also build it with materials I had to the cost would be low. The cost was essentially nothing because I had all of the materials. Even with using pallet wood, you can make a beautiful looking table, you just need to take your time not rush anything. Also adding your own creative touch can make it even better.
Step 1: Materials
The materials used for this project were pine pallets that we had received from a local company. The boards varied in condition so I had to pick out the best ones to use. The boards measured 3 3/4 inches wide and 4 feet long.
Other tools and items you will need
-Chop saw (Circular saw or hand saw will work also)
-Wood screws (1 1/2 inch long)
-Sandpaper (various grits depending on the finish you want to achieve)
-Wood stain (color of your choice)
-Air nail gun with nails
-White spray paint
-Computer with printer (recommended)
-Brushes for stain
Step 2: Design
The design of the table is one of the most important steps because it determines how your materials are used and how much is used. I wanted to eliminate waste so i designed the table so that i only had to rip the boards down for the top and cut them to length for the legs.
The top was made with 7 boards which were cut in half giving you 14 boards. You need 13 for the top (1 for each stripe) leaving you one extra. The dimensions of the top measure 48 inches x 23 1/2 inches.
The frame of the table measures 43 inches x 23 inches.
The legs of the table measure 18 inches high and 3 3/4 inches wide
The dimensions of the field measure 20 inches long by 7 boards wide
Step 3: Top
The boards for the top were made by taking the 7 boards and cutting them in half using the table saw giving me 14 boards. Only 13 are needed so you are left with a spare. Take your time and make sure the boards are even and straight.
Then you want to prep the boards by sanding them. The grit you use depends on the finish you want to achieve. I used 120 to knock down the heavy stuff then used 180 and 220 to really smooth it out.
After you do that then you want to select a stain for the boards. The stain that I selected was one I found in the garage. When it comes to staining the boards, 5 boards will be completely stained (for the red stripes) and 3 boards will be partially stained (length of field) which in this case is 20 inches. (See picture above) Use a good quality masking tape to make your line for the field and be careful with the stain making sure it doesn't bleed through and mess up the stripe.
Step 4: Frame
The frame is very simple to make. It was just made by cutting the boards to the appropriate length and then gluing and nailing them together. Then I layed the top boards on to make sure everything fit.
Step 5: Legs
The legs are also very easy to make. They were made by cutting them to length and then taking one of the boards and cutting off the thickness of the board with the table saw (second picture). This will make each side of the leg even giving it a nicer look. The boards are then glued and nailed together.
Step 6: Assembling the Legs and Frame
The easiest way to assemble the legs and frame in my opinion is to use clamps to hold the legs on so you can adjust each side to make the table as even as possible. Once this is done and you are satisfied with the sturdiness of the table, then you can use the wood screws and fasten the legs to the table. I used 4 screws on each side. After the frame is assembled then you want to stain it.
Step 7: Attaching the Top
Now that the frame is completely assembled and the top is now stained, its time to assemble it. Lay the boards on the frame making the flag with the appropriate colored boards and position them to ensure you have the correct overhang making sure it is even on the corresponding sides. Then take your nail gun and nail the boards to the frame. Don't go overkill with the nails because you will have a lot of nail marks in your table then. After this is done, flip the table over, measure the width of the table, cut a board to fit and place it in the center. Then nail it to the top boards and then to the frame. This will add more structural support.
Step 8: Making the Stars
The stars are probably the hardest part. Since the boards are stained, engraving or wood burning work because the stain would make it really dark. So i decided to use white spray paint and a template. I first determined the size of the stars by cutting out squares of different sizes and placing them in the field. 1 inch stars were the ones I used. I then went on Word, made half of the template and cut out the stars with an X-Acto knife.
To spray on the stars, you cove the rest of the table with newspaper, place the template on the field measuring to make sure you have an even border, and spray the first set of stars. Then after that dries quickly, move the template so that the first column of stars matches up with the last column of stars sprayed, creating an overlap. This ensures that the spacing is even. Continue this till the field is filled correctly.
Step 9: Finish
To finish the table, I used a gloss polyurethane. The key to getting a good finish is using a good brush and sanding in between coats. The frame got 2 coats and the top got between 3-4 coats because some boards were stained and some weren't so it took a while for them to get even. After each coat is completely dry ( a few hours or follow directions on can) lightly sand with a fine grit sand paper (220 or above). This ensures the finish will be nice and smooth.
Step 10: Final Product
If all goes well and you follow the steps provided, you will end up with an amazing looking piece of Americana furniture that will be the centerpiece of any area you put it in. It will be durable and last a long time and be a piece everyone will admire.