Introduction: 1 Hour Pallet Coffee Table

About: San Diego maker. I look for old or abandoned materials that can be recycled into something new!

I love this coffee table because it's quick to make and looks great! Nothing more than some sandpaper and a screwdriver required and it only takes an hour to build it from scratch.

My hobby is to find abandoned material and figure out how to turn it into something useful and pallets are a great resource. Please make sure you obtain your pallet legally and ensure that it is abandoned and not intended to be returned by the owner. Here’s a great guide for deciding what pallet to use!

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Step 1: Find the Pallet

The best place to look for a great pallet is behind grocery stores and wine shops but be sure to ask if they are ok if you take one. For this project, I got lucky and found a pallet next to my apartment that already had slats covering the entire top. If you can only find pallets with open slots on the top, you can take the slats off of a different pallet and put them on the first pallet to fill in the gaps.

Time to carry home: 4 minutes
Total elapsed time: 4 minutes

Step 2: Sand the Pallet

Before working with the wood, be sure to wear gloves to protect from splinters and a mask to protect from the dust while sanding.

Start by using a strong knife to break off any large splinters that could catch on things once the table is done. Use a few damp paper towels to wipe the dirt off the surface then sand the top and sides with 80 grit (Medium) sandpaper. Go over it again with 240 grit (Fine) sandpaper until it is smooth to run your hand over.

Time to prep the pallet: 32 minutes
Total elapsed time: 36 minutes

Step 3: Attach the Legs

Set the legs on the underside of the pallet and use the provided screws (#8 screws 1¼ in) . The pallet wood is soft enough that you don’t need to drill pilot holes which saves some time. Wiggle the legs a bit while screwing them down to make sure they are completely secured.

Screw time: 13 minutes
Total elapsed time: 49 minutes

Step 4: Oil the Table (optional)

I chose to rub linseed oil into the outer facing surface of the table to bring out the color but this is an optional step. Take an old rag and dip it in the linseed oil and rub it into the wood in a circular motion until you have covered all the surfaces. It’s best not to touch the table for about an hour after using the oil but you are all done once it’s covered!

Time to oil: 11 minutes
Total elapsed time: 1 hour!

1 Hour Challenge

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1 Hour Challenge