Introduction: Kids Pallet Workbench

My two year old loves to work with me in my shop. I found him a workbench at a garage sale but he quickly our grew the plastic toy. I knew it was time for a real wood workbench with real tools. Too soon? NEVER!!

I gave it to him for Christmas and he loved it. It's sturdy, all wood and it had some room for him to grow into it. Hope you enjoy!

Step 1:

What you need-

About nine pallet boards

Small post for the legs- I used a small planter log.

Plywood scraps

Miter saw

Drill

Planer

Jointer

Brad nailer

Table saw

Screws

Polyurethane

Step 2: The Base

My plan was simple. A small pallet workbench for my son. To start you just need to make a small plywood base. I had some leftover scraps of landscape timber from a sandbox I made that made perfect legs. They were flat on one side so I ran them through the planer so it would be sliver free.

I cut the legs at 19in and then put a 15 by 29 piece of plywood on top of the legs. The 19 in makes it a good hight for my son but yours may have to be taller or shorter. The 15 by 29 was the size of scrap plywood that I had. It is a very good size and looks proportional. Once the base is done, it's on to the back.

Step 3: The Back

The back is the same size as the base. I cut two pieces of one by four for the back support. I cut them at 21 in and screwed them on the back of the legs. Then screw the back on the supports and your ready for the pallet boards.

Step 4: Pallet Boards

When I want a pallet project to look really nice I run them through the planer. You have to take all of the nails out so you don't ruin your blades. Make sure that you run all of the boards through the planer the same amount so they are the same thickness.

Then run the boards through the jointer so the will fit together without large gaps. Place on the bench so you can see how the fit. If you have to much overhang you can rip one of the boards so everything fits well.

Step 5: Trim and Pallet Boards

I think the key to making a pallet project really awesome is the little details. It's the little stuff that shows you made it out of pallets because your creative, not because your cheap.

I ripped a pallet board to 1 1/2 in for a trim piece. Then I started to lay the planed boards. There is overhang on both sides so you can move the pallets around to show the best grain. Once you have it where you like it, cut to size and use a brad nailer to nail the boards in place.

Step 6: Screw Driver Shelf

I used two of the scrap pieces of pallet to make a small shelf. Just use the brad nailer to nail together and then attach through the back with the same nailer.

I used a fostner bit to drill six small holes to fit his screwdriver set.

Step 7:

When I stepped back and took a look at what I had done so far... I knew it needed more. So a shelf in the middle filled that space very well.

I just cut a piece of plywood the same dimensions as the top, 15x 29. Then I cut out the corners so they would fit around the legs. I used some scrap wood and screwed to the inside of the legs to hold up the ply. Then to make it look nice and add some strength I put a trim piece all the way around with the brad nailer.

Step 8: Poly

I used a water based satin polyurethane that I really like. I did two coats and sanded in between. The poly is low oder and dries really fast. It add protection and just a little shine.

Step 9:

And there it is... A fun little work bench that had provided hours of entertainment already. My son seems to really like it. Thanks for reading this and I hope you have as much fun doing this as I did.

Comments

author
AndrewL287 made it! (author)2017-05-02

Great design and so sturdy. I found the most beautiful pallet on the curb and cranked out this project over a weekend. Mostly scrap wood and stuff we had around the house, so it cost $12 in polyurethane and screws. Now to procure more tools for the kid....

workbench.jpg
author

How cool is that!!! Absolutely awesome job. I'm so glad you liked the design. Thanks for the picture

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k_sikora made it! (author)2016-09-10

thanks so much for the inspiration! My boys love it!

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author

That looks fantastic!! They will be making their own instructables before you know it. thanks for sharing your awesome bench

author
Yonatan24 (author)2016-02-24

Hi, I've added your project to the "Make Your Own Workbench!" Collection

This is the link If you are interested:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Your-Own-Work...

author
Rexy007 (author)2016-01-03

So awesome! I'm a metal worker, slowly dabbling in wood working.. I am definitely going to attempt this project

author
Bverysharp made it! (author)2015-12-09

Thanks for the very functional design. I didn't have any pallets, but I bought some plywood & found all the rest of the wood on a throw out pile.

My grandson is over the moon!

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author

Looks fantastic!! I made this for my son last Christmas and he was out working on it just this morning. This is a gift that last and I'm sure that yours will be as well

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carlosglatzos (author)2015-07-20

This is beautiful ! Will make my kids one, too.

author

Thank you so much! I'm glad you like it

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keepintouch (author)2015-03-31

Like it good job

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AmateurBuilder (author)2015-02-14

Nice application!!! Enjoy it with your kids. Thanks for your kind comments for my pallet fence. I hope I generated you be better deas.

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Creativeman (author)2015-01-28

Love your work!

author

Thank you so much!

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Najjar (author)2015-01-20

i'll try to make it as a first project in my wood working journy :)

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Najjar (author)2015-01-20

i'll try to make it as a first project in my wood working journy :)

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lilchumy (author)2015-01-09

This is such a great bench. Love the finish on it. Where can I get pallets? I have looked on Craigslist but there are none near me.

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SirCooksalot (author)lilchumy2015-01-16

Yup,call local businesses. Try electrical, industrial, stuff like that. I get free pallets here regularly (RI). Have fun!

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bcraun (author)SirCooksalot2015-01-17

If you have a Harbor Freight nearby try there. One of the stores in my area usually lets me take as many as I need. They're not the best quality and you'll need to spend some time breaking them down, but you can typically get enough for smaller projects with 6, or so pallets. For techniques to break them down search YouTube. There are many good videos available.

author
reidintransit (author)2015-01-15

Some pallet nails have copper wire that wraps around the nail that can get left in the board after the nail comes out, so make sure that gets remove too before running through your planer. No sense breaking an expensive planer to save $3 on wood.

author
ClenseYourPallet (author)2015-01-14

I used brads for a couple reasons. First, I did screw all of the main structure for the bench. The pallet wood is really just the working surface. Also I didn't want screw heads showing over the pallet wood. With the base screwed, and the pallets braded on top it is a very stable little bench. Thanks for you comment

author
smalcolm (author)2015-01-14

I like this project (makes me want to build an adult sized bench) but I'm curious as to why you're using brads instead of screws.

I would think that screws and wood glue would make for a stronger bench.

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omikeo (author)2015-01-13

yeah really nice work, looks solid, thanks

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tenrog (author)2015-01-11

this is for a kid? it's better then my bench...

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BenTauer (author)tenrog2015-01-13

my thoughts exactly haha

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tstapert (author)2015-01-13

This is terrific. My two year old is quickly outgrowing his play toys and work bench. Thanks for the great instructable.

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Tomsunnu (author)2015-01-13

Very nicely done! I am sure your son loves it & in no time we shall see his projects as well:-). Thank you for your tutorial. In my part of the world pallet wood is available by paying a little money and I was planning to make a centre table for my house so I got some good tips from you. Thank you once again.

author
HibbityDibbity (author)2015-01-10

Very nice! I've got a few years yet before my girls are old enough to need anything that's actually functional (the fisher price one is fine for now), but I've had something like this in mind for them once they get big enough to actually separate/affix wood fibers.

author
ClenseYourPallet (author)2015-01-09

I get all of my pallets from our family business so I've never really had to look around. I have heard that the best thing to do is ask around at local small businesses. Usually they will give them away or charge like a buck or two. Hope this helps

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ClenseYourPallet (author)2015-01-09

You can definitely true up the boards with a table saw. It's not quite as easy but it still works well. Have fun with your project

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mduncan6 (author)2015-01-07

Sweet bench! I should make one for my little helper. Voted

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jrypka (author)2015-01-07

Very nice! It is nice to see quality work done with pallets, as opposed to so much pallet junk. I will be making one for my son, and probably one for his little friend as well. One question, if I don't have a jointer, can I true up the sides best I can with a table saw?

I can't wait to see future posts! Keep it up, and post how you dismantle pallets too.

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jhawkins14 (author)2015-01-06

This looks great. Love it. I could totally see building this as a gift.

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jayjay36 (author)2015-01-06

very well done!

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mtairymd (author)2015-01-05

Nice job! I like the finish.

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ClenseYourPallet (author)2015-01-05

Thanks for all the kind words!!

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vinz3nt (author)2015-01-05

great! you have one lucky kid.

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gblome1 (author)2015-01-05

This is a great idea. I will have to accumulate some lumber and make one this Spring.

author
treyes4 (author)2015-01-05

every boy like my age would love to have a work bench like that

About This Instructable

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Bio: My Grandpa got me into wood working when I was five years old. Ever since then I have been hooked. I love creating something out ... More »
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