Introduction: DIY Herring Bone Patterned Pallet Bench!

Check out this Instructable and Youtube Video about how to make a Herring Bone Patterned bench from pallet wood!

This project is easy and only requires a few tools: a circular saw, drill, chalk line, and nailgun.

You can make many different patterns on the top of the bench, the design I chose was the Herring bone or fish bone style pattern. This chevron pattern has the top pallet board slats angled at 45 degrees and it then patterned on the remaining length of the bench.

The bench is constructed from 2x4's with mitered ends at 45 degrees, 4x4 legs and then pallet slats nailed to the top and then trimmed flush. You can also add trim around the edges of the bench to hide the cut pallet edges and wrap the bench nicely.

Check it out!


Step 1: Building the Frame

Picture of Building the Frame

The frame for this bench consists of 2x4's cut to 8 foot lengths with mitered 45 degree ends on the corners. I used 3" screws to attach the corners together. It may be helpful to use clamps to hold the corner stable when putting the screws in.

I then attached a stringer down the center of the bench frame to support the pallet slats that will sit on top to give me something to nail to.

Step 2: Attaching the Legs

Picture of Attaching the Legs

The legs for this bench are made from 4x4 lumber. They were cut down to length on my miter saw to be 28" tall. Don't forget to account for the height on the pallet slats that will sit on top of the frame if you are measuring for an overall specific bench height.

The end of the leg was installed flush with the top of the frame by using my garage floor as a reference point when attaching them. I used 4 3" screws on each side of the bench frame corner to screw the leg in, making sure it was straight when installed.

Step 3: Nailing the Pallet Slats

Picture of Nailing the Pallet Slats

I cut down a bunch of pallets with my circular saw to get a bunch of blanks approximately 24" long. You want to ensure that the first row of slats start at exactly 45 degrees and in the center on the stringer. If you mess this up in the beginning the pattern may be offset for the rest of the bench!

I used 18 gauge nails, putting two in on each end and moving my way down the length of the bench, ensuring to stay centered as I worked.

Step 4: Flush Cutting the Top

Picture of Flush Cutting the Top

The easiest way to get a flush edge with this herring bone pattern is to just attach the pallet slats in the last step, and then cut the ends off to get a straight flush edge.

I used a chalk line to mark my cut line to follow for my circular saw and then just followed the line being careful not to dig the blade into the 2x4 underneath.

Step 5: Sanding and Finish

Picture of Sanding and Finish

You can also use a planer to get all of the pallet slats to the same height so that the bench surface does not have high and low spots in the slats. For this one, I just attached them as is and used a sander to round over some of the edges of the pallet slats because they were not all the same height.

The center picture shows the bench with some edge trimming nailed on as well, this is a nice touch to wrap up the bench design!

For finish I have used poly, stain, and paint. I have also left a few just rough without a finish, let you imagination run wild on this!

Check out the video, share, and subscribe to my Youtube channel for more DIY projects!

Thanks for checking out the build, you can also find me on instagram, twitter, facebook, and pinterest.

Lastly, please consider helping out the channel on Patreon, I am hoping to setup a website soon.



SheilaK26 (author)2017-06-09


mattwebb made it! (author)2017-02-28

We made a shorter version for our entry. Love the design, and thank you for posting your instructable!

stephen.curran1359 made it! (author)2017-02-10

Really fun project. Friend asked me to make him a bench and he was very impressed with your design. Thanks

teagle100 made it! (author)2016-10-31

Thanks for the great tutorial!

pogonoforysci (author)2016-07-16

Hi, nice work! May I ask how did you deal with the problem of high moisture content and shrinkage/warping of pallet wood? I live in UK and pallet wood will shrink and warp considerably when used for indoor projects unless dried for at least a couple of months before use. I am interested to hear about your experience in that matter

Carpenter Guy (author)2016-06-02


Meglymoo87 (author)2016-05-19

Stunning :)

thank you!

DonaldB41 (author)2016-05-26

Really nice idea, execution, and instructions. I have most of the parts sitting around (still need slats), so I'm looking forward to trying it out. Great job.

thanks! go for it! its a great little build

kbbaktha (author)2016-05-26

Gorgeous, yet you made it look so simple to build. Thanks for sharing.

thank you for the kind words, its a great little project!

alheatherly (author)2016-05-26

You are a rock star!! I can do this thanks to your GREAT video! Thanks for the share.

thank you! enjoy making!

jeanniel1 (author)2016-05-26

Really cool work - great job! I love how you found the squaring of corners to be a pain, and just went for it manually.

haha thanks! its a lot faster doing it this way!

Moribundi (author)2016-05-26

Great project!

I would just offer one bit of advise: Try to find pallets that haven't been used for produce or chemicals. Produce juices or liquid chemicals may have leaked into wood, which can leave you with a project that gives off weird smells.

definitely! I make sure all of mine are in good condition! thanks for the tip and for checking out the project!

jarssh made it! (author)2016-05-28

You inspired me. Mine is a shorter version, but the same basic concept. Multiple positive comments from neighbors and family. Thank you for posting.

Into the Dirtshop (author)jarssh2016-06-02

Wow this is awesome! I love the colors!!

sickdog74 (author)2016-06-01

wow, I love it! Great job!

thanks! I appreciate you checking it out!

shogun21Jimi (author)2016-05-17

simple and nice project.

thanks for the kind words!

lglira (author)2016-05-14

Great project and well documented

Into the Dirtshop (author)lglira2016-05-16

thanks for checking it out!

M L G (author)2016-05-15

Yet again another great project from into the dirtshop, the herringbone pattern is simply amazing!Well Done!

Into the Dirtshop (author)M L G2016-05-16

haha thank you I really appreciate it!

KeithA28 (author)2016-05-15

Love it. Well done you! I am going to make one for the deck.THX

awesome! send me a photo of it on twitter or facebook when you finish! I would love to check it out

Jedi_zombie85 (author)2016-05-16

This is a great result and it look amazing, nice work

thank you!

Corasaurus Rex (author)2016-05-13

This is great! and the video was well done

Thanks I appreciate you watching!

ClenseYourPallet (author)2016-05-13

Great looking bench! Turned out really nice

Thanks! its a pretty easy little project to do!

About This Instructable




Bio: Welcome to my Empire of Dirt. DIY Projects, Wood Working, Metalworking, Dirtbikes, Motorcycles, Jeeps, Small Engine Repair, Auto Repair, and Construction. Help support the channel ... More »
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