I've been on the look out for a TV console that was a little off beat. Something modern, low, and long for my livingroom area. I saw a few pieces at high end furniture stores that were bomb-diggity, but when I checked the price I cried. So I set on a mission to make something myself, or get tetanus trying! One of the collections I liked looked like reclaimed pallet wood, so I began my search.
Note: There are a lot of things to learn about pallet wood and understand before you put in your home. I'm not going to copy that information here, but do yourself a solid and google it and read up. You can use it perfectly safely, just need to know what to look for.
Step 1: Collect Your Materials and Tools
Safety Stuff - ear plugs, safety glasses, gloves. Think twice, move once.
Material 1) - Pallet wood. I found mine on Craigslist for free. A company was giving broken pieces away for firewood. I ran there, collected way more than I thought I needed. I cleaned it off and spread it out, picking the coolest side to face up. FREE
Material 2) - Studs (2 by 4's) I bought nine of them for about $3 bucks each. $27
Material 3 - Wax finish. I bought a natural looking finish because I wanted the wood to look somewhat raw, but feel safe to touch. Wax does this very well. $8
Tool 1 - Power Screw driver
Tool 2 - Brad Nailer (I suppose you could use anything to nail, but I found this was by far the best and quickest)
Tool 3 - Hammer
Tool 4 - Ruler
Tool 5 - Jig saw
Tool 6 - Chop saw
Step 2: Build Your Core
The key to making pallet furniture work is having something sturdy and strong as your base. I came up with the idea of "finger jointing" studs to give that strong core .. and something to nail all the bits and pieces of the pallet wood into! Genius if I don't stay so myself...
I wanted to keep the TV console long and low (to play up the modern profile and so I could put a honking tv on top of it that will leave me broke), so I used the full length of the studs as the length and cut 3 other studs into 20 inch pieces for the legs. I strategically picked this height to hide plugs on the wall. Then you simply layer and screw them together, add another layer, screw together, and so on until you get the width you desire. My final structure had 9 layers all together. Probably took me 20 mins to build it, which isn't too bad. Naturally I took the rest of the day off and started phase 2 on the next day (because I'm still lazy and all).
Step 3: Add Pallet Wood to Structure
This is going to be the tougher part.
You have to find widths that match with colors that are different enough and occasionally remove deadly looking nails. Seriously kids, be careful.
Start on the top of the console. You need your biggest, soundest, bestest looking pieces to go on top. This will save you time in the long run. All the sides and legs are going to need a few bit of cuts.
At this stage, make sure you mix colors well. You want some of everything mixed as randomly as possible.
Cut where you need. You might have to trim edges, cut out big defects and then cut the boards on the ends to the proper length. Don't be scared. This is a rustic project, you can get away with almost anything.
Stand back, look, love it and then start nailing. Brad nails are cool because you can nail in a few, then check your work, if it isn't perfect you can just smack the board with a hammer to fine tune the board placement. The thin nails will give a little allow you to adjust.
Next step isthe legs. The process is basically the same. Do inside and outside of the legs. It's easier if you flip it on it's top at this point.
Step 4: Finish the Front
My tv console will face the wall on one side, so I only finished the side facing the sofa. You can do both if you're an over achiever.... show off...
This part makes it all come together.
I used the same process as before. No special sauce here.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
Finishing touches I made...
More nails... I went ever 3 inches or so and put in two more nails at different angles. This is more of a show piece than anything. Not something plan to jump on, but if I want to someday... I should be able to.
You could add glue to the backs of the boards for extra support. I thought of that part too late.
Hammer the edges and corners. The great thing about pallet wood is that it's already junked up. You can make edges softer by just smacking them with a hammer.
Rough sanding anything that's overly rough. Don't take a sander to it, but you can take a low grit sand paper to attack the roughest areas.
Wax is king. Apply wax liberally. This will fill in the porosity of the wood yet maintain the raw look. This will darken some boards in color, so just keep that in mind.
Last, place in your house and tell everyone how cool you are.