Instructables
Picture of Industrial Style Pallet Coffee Table
I was mulling over some ideas for a pallet table. While walking around a large hardware shop, the idea finally came to full formulation. It was only last weekend over beers that a friend told me of this website. Unfortunately, this website now has me mulling over building a bench seat and table for my apartment, ha, more work :)

Note: Sorry, I don’t know how advanced you might be in wood working. But I wrote these instructions so even the most basic skilled person could make the coffee table. They are long and comprehensive. If you don’t own tools, your family and friends might be able to help and save you cash! But for the basic ones out there, if I can do it, so can you :)

First what are you going to need?

Stuff to build with...

- 3 euro pallets (as they create a nice 80x120cm coffee table). Try source the ones with full pine centre blocks, as most of their heat marks are half imprinted or quite burnt into the blocks itself. This will certainly give the finished table a more industrial look about it. Whereas chip board ones I personally feel will give it a too "perfect" look about it. Also, go down slightly to read about how I picked my pallets.
- 4 of the largest running threads you want. I used 5/8 inch threads. Make sure they are zinc coated, so you don't get oxidation (rust). But if you can get bigger and drill bits to fit, then sure go for it!
- 8 washers to fit the 5/8 inch threads
- 8 massive nuts to fit the 5/8 inch threads
- A pencil.
- A ruler
- Caster wheels. I picked load bearing of 55kg for each wheel. So total weight bearing from the table wheels will be 220kg. Personally, pick the ones you feel would best fit your table. Remember though, larger wheels mean a higher table top and so large will give disproportions! Also, good idea to grab 2 wheels with stoppers on them, so you can clamp the wheel and stop the table from moving around when it’s done.
- Screws with a large enough head to fit the caster wheel holes. I just used wafer head screws.
- 2 large screws to brace a loose board at the bottom (come to that later)
- 3 small nails/screws to brace that same loose board.
- Wood glue, the cheap quick dry stuff to stop major cracks.
- A can of Polyester or whatever coat or oil your might want to give your table.

What tools will you need?
- Brace and bit tool. This is a hand crank drill, grab the 5/8 drill bit to drill in that 5/8th hole into your pallets!
- Hole saw drill kit. There are cheap ones and awesomely good ones. I just used a cheap one and it did the job perfectly.
- Jigsaw. Alternatively, a circular saw or even a hand saw.
- A power drill. Hand held or wall powered, both will chew through this soft wood!
- An angle grinder.
- A set of screw drivers.
- A small chisel.
- A small and short cold chisel, only if you have one, or a screwdriver will suffice.
- A hammer.
- A nail puller. If you don't know what one is, go to your local hardware store. A cheap carbon steel grade nail puller is about 10-20 bucks and will do and easily survive the job.
- A sander, I used an orbital, and also a cork block and sand paper. As for the sand paper selection, I used 80 grit and then 120 grit in some sections.

What pallet should you pick?
Firstly, I've never used a pallet for the creation of anything, and some of the reading over the internet freaked me out when I first got mine. Should I bleach them? Should I buy them new? Can I use them inside? In the end, I waited over 2 month to source each pallet as clean as it looked, and figured after a bunch of sanding and a coat of polyester, nothing’s going to get out of that. The pallets I got, were fortunately only used once, and quite clean. I grabbed 2 that looked aesthetically pleasing enough and then one which was some cool and very different characteristics for my top piece.

Ok, you have your pallets, are you ready!?
 
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Amazing project! I'd like to find some time to make something like this. I've already made a small sofa from a pallet a few days ago (not that nice as you've done, but i've tried!). Good work!! ;)
chrismo (author)  jrosselló chaves8 months ago

Cheers mate! If you have a basic understanding of some woodworking and some contacts on getting the right equipment or working out a way to make a work around, I'm sure you can do it as well!

As for the time, I built it over 6 days. I just jumped on it whenever I could, just to keep the motivation going. Writing up these instructions probably took me another 5 hours or so haha.

Got home Friday and did the drilling and sawing (About 2-3 hours).
Saturday morning did the nail pulling (about 1-2 hours).
Sunday arvo did the Sanding (In 35ºC Aussie heat 2-3 hours) and Sunday night did a single coat (2 hours).
Monday/Tuesday nights did some coats (2 hours each).
Next Saturday morning did the angle grinding and the joining (2-3 hours).

Eh Lie Us!7 months ago

I have to say, that's one of the nicest pallet upcycles that I've seen. Very nicely done.

One suggestion on Step 14 with trimming the rod. When you cut threaded rod with an angle grinder or hacksaw, you will naturally have some burrs that will prevent a nut from going back on it-or at the very least some mangled threads. The trick that I learned, and that has save me a lot headache, is to put the nut ON the rod piece that you're keeping. Screw it down far way from the cut so it's not in the way. THEN make your cut. Once the rod is cut (and burrs created) you simply unscrew the nut and it will easily remove the burrs and restore damaged threads.

blackandmoore8 months ago

I love this and am on the search to this place near my house to grab those pallets, thanks for sharing.

chrismo (author)  blackandmoore7 months ago

It has been a week, any luck?

i got the pallets but haven't started yet, thanks for checking in. I am going to make a sewing table. so i need to modify this but adding in longer legs.

ibwebb8 months ago

This looks like a really cool idea. I am betting it is very large though unless you cut it down. I imagine it would not be to hard to make some drawers to put in some of those areas if wanted as well. I may have to try and talk my fiancee into letting me make a version of this. Awesome job!

chrismo (author)  ibwebb7 months ago

I also should note. I'm planning to build a bench seat from pallets and flipping up using the left over wood for draws as well. Its a project to come, but I'll keep you posted :)

chrismo (author)  ibwebb7 months ago

Actually not to large. As I said 120cm by 80cm... it seems large, but it really isn't. I used a website call http://floorplanner.com/ to figure out where everything would fit in my living room.

chuckyd8 months ago

The best way to cut all-thread rod is to put a nut on either side of the cut, then ground a bevel all the way around each end. Then, run the nuts off, and the action will repair any miss-aligned thread.

stephenfitton8 months ago

Using solid type rollers for movement eliminated use of forklift on fagile floors and allowed staff to move any any pallet with ease, keep up the good work your on a winner.

Exocetid8 months ago

Great design, kudos! Wood is wood and you can find industrial pallets that are constructed of weight bearing wood that translates to quality hard and semi-hard species. A bit of work repurposes beautifully. This project is definitely not under the cloche!

Gunther458 months ago

I like the table but your hardwood floors are awesome!

t0mm0t8 months ago

nice project!!

öbb pallets? let me guess, you're austrian? ;D

chrismo (author)  t0mm0t8 months ago

Nay, a southern hemisphere Austrian :P

I thought öbb was a German transport company, my mistake :o

you could maybe put a glassplate on top, so that nothing falls down inbetween the pallets :)

chrismo (author)  JeppeMikkelsen8 months ago
Yeh, still thinking about it. I made a comment right at the end about using glass :)

I thought that it would be quite troublesome, but so far no problems. The gaps overall are smaller than I thought they would be when I was imagining using the pallets for a table.
SlavicFMJ8 months ago

Awesome table, thank you for posting!

Mielameri8 months ago
This looks friggin' incredible! Really nice build