Introduction: A Step-By-Step Guide to Building an Industrial Style Pallet Coffee Table
I wrote this Instructable because I believe in doing things yourself. For me, it's more fulfilling to make something myself than buy something already made. Mass manufactured goods can be expensive and have less character. I believe there is more pride and value in the things we make with our own hands. I loved building the furniture in my own home and hope that you enjoy it too!
If this Instructable can help just one person build a DIY table, then the time spent writing this will be completely worth it! Thank you for the support. Feel free to share it with friends or family.
If you have questions at any point while making your table, please don't hesitate to contact me via Facebook or Twitter. We'd also love to hear your feedback and see photos of your completed table! We'll be happy to feature your work!
Step 1: Finding Your Pallet
Pallets come in many different shapes, sizes and colors. One of the most fun steps of making a table is finding the right pallet. You can decide where you want to put the table, how much space you have and search for a pallet accordingly.
You shouldn’t have to pay for a pallet. Pallets can be found on the street in any industrial area and most hardware stores or large warehouse stores will have a few extras laying around. Simply, find the manager of the store and ask if you can have one of their pallets. Another alternative is looking on Craigslist for pallets that people are either giving away or selling for a low price.
Step 2: Tools and Materials
• Power Drill
• Sandpaper - 100 grit to 150 grit
• Wood Screws - Size: 1”– 1 ¼”
• 4 Corner Brackets (see Step 7 for pictures)
• Plywood - Thickness: 19/32” or 23/32” (cut to fit pallet)
Step 3: The Right Plywood
Once you have your pallet, take measurements. Measure the length and width of all four sides of the pallet (not just two sides) just in case it’s a bit crooked.
Take your measurements to a local hardware store and choose a piece of plywood that is a bit larger than the pallet.
You will need to cut the plywood to match the measurements of the pallet. If possible, it is easiest to have the hardware store or lumber yard cut the plywood for you. The first cut is usually free.
Step 4: Sanding Surfaces
Time to smooth out your pallet and plywood. Most pallets are made with rough-cut wood. You’ll want to make sure that any dangerous or non-aesthetic portions of the pallet are taken care of before the table is put to use.
Use the sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges. Depending on the condition of your pallet, sanding can take up to an hour.
If you want to paint or stain the wood, after sanding is the best time to do it.
Step 5: Attaching Plywood to Pallet
To attach the plywood to the pallet, you will need to drill screws into the four corners of the pallet. Pre-drilling makes this process much easier.
Even before you pre-drill your holes, place the plywood over the pallet so that it fits perfectly. Find four sections in the corner of the pallet that you can drill into that will not hit the original nails. Also, double check that the screws you are using are the right length. You won't want the screws to be so long as to go all the way through the pallet and plywood.
In the four corners, pre-drill holes in the exact place where you plan to place the screws. (See picture)
Then, go back and drill the screws into the holes you've just created. This will make drilling the screws in much easier and more precise.
Step 6: Flange Placement
Once again, we will be pre-drilling holes into the pallet. This time we will be placing the flanges onto the four corners of the bottom side of the pallet.
The table legs will be attached to these flanges, so place them on the bottom side of the pallet, where you would like the legs to extend from.
Double check that you are not drilling into the original nails used to hold the pallet together. Position the flanges and pre-drill holes (without screws) into the designated holes in the flanges for screws.
Once the pre-drilling is complete, go back and drill the screws into the holes you've just created. Make sure the flanges are secure.
Step 7: Corner Brackets
The corners of pallets and plywood can be sharp. To make your table safer and also add a bit of style, attach medium-sized corner brackets to the upper corners of the table.
These can be purchased at any hardware store and can be screwed in with your power drill quite easily.
Step 8: Table Leg Assembly
Step 9: Table Leg Attachment
Now, you should have four assembled legs and four flanges should be attached to the pallet.
The last step is screwing the top of the legs into the flange that is attached to the pallet. Twist the pipe into the flange until tight.
You can always go back and loosen the legs to level out the table.