Late one night in high school I was lying down on my couch writing a research paper (I have never enjoyed using a desk for schoolwork and I try to stay away from being in my bed when I write). Because my laptop was in my lap, I was awkwardly shuffling through notes and setting stacks of paper on the floor which became frustrating after enough time. I also had a street sign and stacks of wooden pallets piling up in my yard at the time, so I decided that making a small table to have beside my couch would be helpful in staying organized while working on projects. After a month of planning I decided to finally start building this table, which was the summer of 2015. I planned to make an Instructable when I was making this table so I have many photos from the build, but any detailed description of my ideas while making it are gone. This is my first Instructable upload so please leave a polite comment, if you wish.
Step 1: Step 1: Materials and Dimensions
This table is in two main parts: the frame which is made from pallet wood, and the table top which is from the street sign. Both of which I found for free, so this is a very inexpensive build. Just so you know, I found the sign on the ground behind the dumpster at my high school and I didn't steal it, but I also wasn't looking for it. The sign was just there, so I took it. However, stealing street signs is illegal, so don't do that. The dimensions of the wooden frame are as follows: it is 24" tall, 18" wide, 26" long. I don't know why I chose these sizes, but choose whatever sizes you want.
Glue or epoxy
Wood stain (Optional)
Bar soap (Optional)
Drill and drill bit
Wrench and socket
Step 2: Step 2: Getting Started
Once I decided on the size of my table, I chose which pallet boards to use on the sides and legs and began marking where I needed to cut. I never drew out any blueprints for my design, but I chose to have the screws in the corners hidden and this shows how I accomplished that. In retrospect, this resulted in a table that stays together, but isn't really solid like I wanted. So what I would suggest is following the same type of cuts, but in the end using a lag bolt in each corner to keep everything together. Anyway, as you can see, I cut out a bit of the corners of the length side boards to allow them to fit flush with the legs, which have a similar cut. The leg boards are made from a 2"x4" cut in half. In actuality, a 2"x4" board really isn't 2" by 4" so my table legs are more like 1.5"x1.5".
Step 3: Step 3: Width Side
Once length side boards and legs fit together, I measured out the boards for the width side, which are made from a 2"x4." With my goal of my table being 18" wide, I took the total width of both table legs and subtracted it from 18" which gave me the length I needed for my width side board. Once my width side boards were cut, I lined up the board with my table legs, leaving the side of the leg with the wood removed on the outside. Next, I added wood glue (using a thick epoxy instead would be better because the glue dripped out and prevented the stain from coloring the wood) and clamped them together. After the clamp was secure I added drilled a hole and put in one wood screw to hold it together (cover the threads of the screw with bar soap to help them go in easier). Finally, I let the glue dry before continuing.
Step 4: Step 4: Assembly
Because I did not want any screws visible, I used boards cut at 90° to hold the length side boards to the width side boards. I used a pencil to mark where my drill holes would go for my screws, then put it together with the help of the clamps.
Step 5: Step 5: Attaching the Table Top
To add the table top, I attached two small pieces of wood to the inside of the width side board with screws, then used a piece of wood which was long enough to span between the two pieces and used a screw to hold it in place. Finally, I lined up my sign to the frame and marked where the bolts would go through to fasten the sign to the board and drilled the holes. Finally, I used a walnut stain on the frame and secured the sign to the spanning board with the original bolts.