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Step 1: Inspiration & Getting Started
Step 2: Reclaiming Pallets for the Decorative Insert
I stripped down a pile of pallets (and some other reclaimed materials from my garage), making sure they were free of nails and avoiding any particular bad sections.
I ran everything through a thickness planer, brining all the material down to around 10mm thick and then ripped everything on the table saw to 30mm wide
Step 3: Table Structure
Enlarging the basic style for the benches (from Jay's site) I made the framework for the table and added a few extra bracing pieces under the table to give additional support to the centre area and provide some additional strength. The pictures don't quite show; but from each cross-brace on the legs, runs a single 2x4 at around 45' to the centre of the table, where it joins a central strut across the table.
The sheet of 12mm ply is located in a dado near the bottom of the 2x4 and held with glue and screws
Step 4: Filling In
With the main structure built, the top was laid with a picture frame style, mitred corners and held with glue/screws.
Between the two top frames, is a row of 3 lengths from the reclaimed pallets; glued and clamped for several hours
Step 5: Filling
With the two frames in place, it was then a case of gluing in many strips of reclaimed pallets; clamping after every few rows
Step 6: Decorative Corners
Because my mitre saw wasn't set accurately, I ended up with a small gap that I wasn't happy about.
I inserted a small filler piece and used a router to cut the diamond shapes and insert a matching diamond cut from some scarp wood (used to be a fireplace in my house).
Step 7: Finishing
With some very small gaps here and there between the pallets, I bought and used 300g of clear epoxy filler, applied to the top as directed, which was then sanded to a smooth finish.
Finally, 7 coats of a natural Danish oil with a light sand between each coat.