Gun Rack From Reclaimed Pallet Wood

Introduction: Gun Rack From Reclaimed Pallet Wood

About: Well not much to know about me really. Name is Tait live in Alabama. I enjoy all sorts of hands on projects; Woodworking, electronics work, alternative energies. I'm currently in school for my AAS in electroni…

Hey there everybody. Today I'm gonna show you how to make a very simple and extremely affordable gun rack. Like some of my other projects this will be accomplished using reclaimed and re-purposed wood acquired from shipping pallets. This gun rack will end up with a real nice rustic look. Again I will mention that I'm not a professional wood worker or anything like that and this is only a hobby. With that being said all criticism is welcomed and very much encouraged. I made this one just big enough for two rifles or shotguns but I thought it turned out decent.Well let's jump right into it and start making one of these. 

Step 1: Gather Supplies

The supplies you'll need are pretty plain and you will more than likely have all these lying around. 

1. Pallets (of course)
2. Hammer
3. Speed Square
4. Circular Saw
5. Pencil
6. Drill and screws
7. Tape measure
8. Clear satin polyurethane spray
9. Gloves
10. Sander and sandpaper
11. Dust mask 
12. Hooks (found in the door and accessory section of just about any store)
13. Last but not least Safety glasses 

Step 2: Disassemble Pallets

First things first, you have to find some pallets and disassemble them. Choosing the pallets is really up to you. You can look at the grain of the wood, the width, color and anything else that is appealing to you. It took me two pallets to piece this gun rack together. 
     After deciding on your choice of pallets begin taking it apart. There are many ways to take pallets apart so this is really up to you again on how you want to do it. For this project I went the easy way.

      First: I pulled off the very top and very bottom planks on the back of the pallet with a hammer.
Second: I took the hammer and kind of easily hammered the back of the planks away from the 2x4 they were nailed to.
    Third: I removed the nails from the planks and saved them for a later project.

Next we'll move onto cutting and sanding. 

Step 3: Measuring, Cutting, and Sanding the Frame,Planks, and Insets

     Next thing you want to do is decide the size you want your gun rack to be and begin measuring it out.  My  frame measured out to be made with  46" long 3 1/2" wide pieces for the top and bottom and 23"  long 3 1/2"wide pieces for the sides. The 8 planks that I used to make the backing were 23" tall and 5 1/4" wide. The two inset pieces ended up being right around 15 1/2 " tall and  3 3/4" wide. 
     Pretty much all of your cuts are gonna be straight cuts, simple enough. The only angled cuts will be made on the frame. When you cut the frame you need to cut 45° angles on each end so that when butted up together the make  90° angles. I just used a simple speed square to measure out the 45° angles. All cuts were measured, marked, and then cut with the circular saw , always remember to wear glasses or goggles to protect your eyes while cutting. 
     After making all of your cuts on all of your pieces go ahead and sand them down to be smooth. When sanding its always good to wear a dust mask or half mask respirator and be in a well ventilated area/outside. The sanding shouldn't take you too long to be able to finish. I didn't bother with sanding this piece completely smooth because I wanted to keep it with a rugged and rustic look. After sanding it's on to putting this thing together.

Step 4: Assembly of the Frame and Back

Now for piecing it all together. I started by laying out the frame to make sure that it would line up right and make a decent looking rectangle. After seeing that the frame was all square and good I went ahead and laid out the 8 pieces for the back next to each other in a line. Next I laid the frame on top of the back panels to see what it was gonna look like. After seeing that everything was going to line up and look good I went ahead and started to screw the frame down to the back panels. I started by attaching the bottom of the frame to all of the back panels and then one side and just worked my way around until the frame was fully attached to all of the back pieces. One thing to remember while screwing down the frame is to keep your speed square close so that you can keep your corners squared up so that when you're finished your frame will look nice and even and not lop sided or anything. 
     When finished with attaching the frame to the back pieces you can take the two pieces you want to inset and go ahead and screw them down. The distant between these pieces is up to you. I just put them half on the first full slate and half on the second slate of the back on each side to keep them even. (The picture where the wood looks darker is before I sanded it down a little)

Step 5: Spraying Clear and Adding the Hooks

     When you get finished with putting all of the frame, backing, and the two inset pieces together you are ready to go ahead spray it with a clear polyurethane then add two sets onto it after it dries. I sprayed one coat then let it dry and sprayed one more.
     I got my hooks from wal-mart for about $2 a hook, I'm sure you could find them cheaper somewhere or maybe just have some lying around. Where you set the hooks is up to you. With this one I just eyed a decent looking distance from the top and made sure the hooks were evenly set before I screwed them down to the wood. I attached the other set of hooks the same distance from the bottom as I did the others from the top so that they were evenly set. 

Step 6: Enjoy Your Finished Piece of Work

You have made yourself a nice looking gun rack now to hang on your wall or set anywhere you'd like. I did not list a way to attach clips or hanging hooks because that would really depend on where and how you would want to hang this up. Now you can thrown up a couple of guns on your wall for display on a nice looking gun rack. This would be a very good piece for displaying antique rifles and muskets. This can also obviously be used for many other uses other than guns such as a hat/ coat rack, a possible key holder, or anything that you would want to hang up you could and do it on a nice looking piece of wooden craftsmanship. 

I hope that if you made it through this instructable that you enjoyed it. I am always open to criticism and ideas or tips to help me in my woodworking abilities. This is one of my most recent pieces that I have made and one of my more favorite. It probably took about 2 hours to complete this (not counting the time for the clear to dry) project from tearing down the pallets to end.

Again I hope that you enjoyed this and if so feel free to check out my other few instructables that I have as of right now. I am hoping to get more projects up here soon. If anyone decides to make one of these feel free to share how it turns out. Thanks To everyone for checking this out.  

Step 7: Edit - Adding a Sweet Tree Design in the Middle

After finishing the decision was made that it needed a little something in the center section. This was a gift for my wonderful girlfriend so I had to make sure she'd like the idea too. So for this step I had to recruit the help of my awesome older brother to draw out the tree. After drawing out the design he used a dremel tool to sand down everything around what he had drawn to give the tree an almost popping out look. Hope you guys enjoy the addition to it. let me know what you think.

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Second Prize in the
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Participated in the
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1 Person Made This Project!


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The patience it must of have taken to finish that design is amazing. Turned out extremely well too. Job well done!


Reply 7 years ago

First off thanks for checking this out and commenting. second it did take a little while to finish up, I had one of my brothers handle the drawing and sanding out the design. I'd say it probably took about 3-4 hours all together


thats really awesome bud you know what would send it over the top would be a lip on the top of the gun case with a strip light like a small t-5 to show off the rifles but im ganna give this a try and post pics when i finish great job

I hope your girlfriend liked it. The tree was a good move, I would have liked to have a pattern for it lol. Thanks for a nice project that saves room in the landfill.


8 years ago

turn out nice


8 years ago

Well done. I really like the artwork you added. I may make this as a double recurve bow rack for father in law.


9 years ago

This is beautiful!


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Thanks a bunch for checking this out. I really appreciate the kind words, the credit for the artwork in the middle has to go to my brother. Thanks again


9 years ago on Introduction

This thing is literally one of the coolest things I've ever seen made with pallets.