How to make a coffee table from pallets.
This has probably been done 1000 times but I was impressed with the outcome and it was fun, and proves how easy it is.
The pallet size I used was smaller than the normal size you usually see, approx 780mm x 600mm
You can normally get pallets for free if you look around, or your work may be throwing some out.
Step 1: What You Need
- Two pallets. If you only have the large ones then the same applies to whatever size they are, with the large one you can always cut it in half.
- Sand paper
- Drill and drill bits
- Varnish or paint
- Castors (Wheels) or solid feet if you'd prefer them
- Paint brush
- Tape measure
- Clear rubber damper pads
Step 2: Pallets and Sanding
The image showing the two pallets together is before I sanded it down.
Firstly I decided if I wanted the horizontal planks on top or bottom. I chose the bottom, the mounting plate on the castors were too wide for the strip of wood on the bottom of the vertical pallet. The vertical had a more even surface for the glass sheet to sit on, it was also more square than the other.
The vertical pallet rocked a lot on top so I used a jigsaw to cut a strip off of the middle support.
Sand down to remove all splinters and rough patches. I first used a rough grit sand paper and then went over with smooth sandpaper. A nail was sticking out in one place where it had been nailed down at an angle; I used the file to file it back flush with the wood.
Step 3: Varnish or Paint
Paint it whatever colour you like, personally I'm not a big fan of painting
wood so I used varnish I previously purchased.
The sides and tops of the pallets had 3 coats, underside of the top pallet had 2 and underside of the bottom pallet only had 1. I was limited on varnish so prioritised with what was visible and what wasn't.
Take your time, I found after painting one side and letting dry, underneath it created patches or blobs of thick varnish which will need sanding back or may ever peel off. So thin coats and not to thick else it will run down and do this.
Step 4: Fixing the Pallets Together + Castors
I sat one pallet on top of the other upside down. You can see in the first
image where I've drilled. 10 screws in total. I predrilled the holes, I just used a drill bit slightly smaller than the screw. If you don't pre-drill it could potentially split the wood.
I had to drill at a slight angle as you can't fit the drill in perfectly and to get the screws away from the edge.
4 screws on each end. The other 2 screws went on the middle.
I had 4 castors, small black ones, much nicer than the large ugly silver galvanised ones that look like they should belong on a shopping trolley.
2 were braked so the table will stay still, these went in opposite corners, and the non braked likewise.
I roughly lined up the edge of the wheel when the side of the pallet and marked the holes and drilled. Larger head screws were required for this.
The tiny bits of varnish I had left I touched up on a few patches.
Step 5: The Glass and Finished
Measure the surface of the top pallet, make sure this is right!
I went to a local glass/window supplier. I had the option of 4mm or 6mm thickness, toughened or not toughened.
Cost wise there isn't a lot of difference. I went for the 6mm toughened, if it breaks it smashes into tiny pieces and apparently its 5 times stronger. 6mm not toughened was about £25. 4mm toughed was £28 and the 6mm toughened £31.
This took 4 or 5 days until it was ready for collection.
I used rubber mounts that are normally seen on cupboard doors to damper the blow and sound of when there shut.
This was to help prevent the glass from moving and to hold it away from the wood, plus I think it looks better having a gap. It stays there pretty well to be honest.
Castors cost me £9 off ebay and varnish you can get for less than a tenner.
Overall its probably cost me around £45 to make.
Looked pretty smart in person.
Let me know what you think :)
Any tips are appreciated as this was my first furniture type project.