Introduction: Reclaimed, Upcycled, Recycled, Repurposed Pallet Under-Bench Rolling Tool Chest

(or How I Made Some Extra Space In My Apartment Using Stuff I Garbage Picked.)

Hey All~~

Like many of us these days I find myself with hobbies that take up more room than my 600sqft. apartment will allow, so I had to build a workbench to be able to do anything, and if any of you have had to do anything similar, it's tough to build a workbench without a workbench to build it on. Once that had been completed I found that my tools were turning up in places they shouldn't so it was time for a little tool storage project.

Step 1: Identifying the Problem:

I had recently built this workbench from a dumpster picked bunk-bed set and a pallet, it's great- but there's no storage as you can see. Did a little poking around on the internets and found this: https://www.instructables.com/id/Apartment-Workbench/ and thought it looked like just about the right thing for my needs, but a bit expensive. So I dug around in my treasures and found these...

Step 2: Materials & Tools:

I had a couple pallets laying around as well as a lot of loose boards from other pallet takedowns

I had picked a slice of plywood from when my apartments did some new roofing last summer

The girlfriends dad had given me a Rockwell OMT for Christmas (this is a MUST for quick easy pallet disassembly with no wood loss) (Bosch Carbon Metal Blade)

Tape measure

Mitre Box and Saw

Adjustable Combination Head Square

Wood Glue

Hammer

Drill - I got lucky and found my set in a dumpster

1 1/2" #14 screws 100 box $10

4 x 2" locking 125# castors $5 each

2"x2"x8' x2 $2 each

"L" Brackets x2 $2 each

Gun (optional)

Step 3: Prep Those Pallets:

Use the OMT (oscillating multi-tool) to remove the boards from the pallet by sliding the blade between the boards and cutting the nails, then use a punch/nail/drill bit to knock all the nail heads out of your wood. You'll end up with a pile of nail-heads that you can use for another project- I'm thinking about making my dog a Pinhead costume.

Then sand that wood!! I worked through 60/80/120 but you can use whatever you like to get the desired finish. It's a pallet workbench, so I like it a little rough.

You might need or want to use a plane at this point to make sure your wood is straight and square-ish.

Step 4: Put a Lid on It~

What's that you say?

The I/D (inside diameter) of your workbench will determine the size of this project. We'll use the sizes I used although you might need a different size for your build.


I wanted to total width of 24" with a height of 30" and a depth of 17" to fit under my bench.

After doing a mix-n-match with my pallet wood, I found the size I needed and cut to 24" using a miter box, combination square and tape measure.

I also cut the 2"x2" frame that will be the surface I attach the sides and back to. Using the "L" Brackets square the frame and attach using wood screws and glue.

Step 5: The Bottom:

The bottom 2"x2" frame should be the same size as the frame you made for the top, with 4 sides instead of 3.

Lay out your wood until you have a size mix that fits, in this case it's 21" x 17"

After getting everything cut to size pre-drill holes in the 2"x2" , put some glue down and screw it together. If you have a giant clamp you should use it to keep the bottom boards tight, I used my knee.

I cut small small blocks to add a little height so the wheels would have full range and glued, clamped and screwed those suckers onto the bottom also.

***** BUILD NOTE*****

I think the wheels should be as close the the corners as you can get them to add stability.

Step 6: Sides:

At this point you should have a top and a bottom with wheels on it, if not... start over again. Assuming you do, let's move on:

So I had a top with 2" rail under it and a bottom with a 2" rail and some wheels under it and I laid them on their sides and marked out and drilled some holes in them. (If you do that to all 4 corners you can stand it up and use it for the first time to have a place to work for finishing the rest of this project!)

Pallet wood usually isn't the best quality so I pre-drilled all my holes and on all 3 sides and since I don't have a countersink I used a big fat drill bit to open it up for the screw heads, be VERY careful if using this method to NOT drill all the way through your wood- if you do you need a good plan "B", or some extra wood.

Step 7: Done~

Once it's all together you can give it a good finish sanding if needed. Here's a pic of it installed under the workbench and the inside. I think maybe a small shelf at the top and a few hooks should give me pretty good access to it all.

It's also a very good secondary worktop that you can move outside if you need to.

Comments

author
sjohnson64 (author)2015-11-03

Your piece turned out well. I took a different approach and made an under the workbench 'drawer'. It has casters on it for easy pull-out.

tool bin 1.jpgtool bin 2.jpg
author
bdekorne (author)2015-03-27

wow, this is cool! And I love that you made it using things you repurposed too. Great tutorial!

author
pfred2 (author)2015-03-14

I have made a few vaguely similar fixtures for my workshop over the years. So there must be something to it. Two of them I even keep under one of my workbenches. So there is that parallel going on too. Perhaps it is great minds thinking alike here? Alas though, none are made out of pallets. But as far as shape, and function go, very similar nevertheless. Well, two of mine hold hardware, and one has tools in it. Your one seems to contain both hardware, and tools. Let me see if I can find pictures of mine in my image library here. The one I made is under the red tool box. It is actually a cut in half PDP 11/34 minicomputer that I put some wooden faces on - the drawers are gutted hard disk drives. I wish I had a better picture of it. It is hard to capture where it is. The other pair of hardware rolling chests is under the bench.

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author
bryanwithaytx (author)pfred22015-03-14

That's a great idea! Sadly, I don't have room currently for multiples as this is in my living room but the trays for hardware are sure to make it into the next build! And anytime you can gut a pc and reuse- how can you NOT love that?!

Thanks for the feedback~

author
pfred2 (author)bryanwithaytx2015-03-15

My collection of homemade rolling boxes grew over the years too.

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