Introduction: Pallet Bar Garage Conversion

About: I'm an aging IT Tech who likes to make things in his spare time. I don't plan things, I think about what I want to build, see the idea in my head and then build it. It either works or it doesn't, but everythin…

Why on earth would someone want to convert a garage into a Bar using pallet wood?

1. They love the satisfaction of ripping splinters out of their hands at the end of the day!

2. Overwhelming love of sanding!

3. The joy of taking a pallet apart and not having it splinter so you get usable wood!

4. Your wife is disabled and you miss socialising so you want to bring the party to your doorstep without people actually crossing your doorstep!

5. You love D&D and you want somewhere to play that isn't the living room and at least looks a bit cool!

6. You're bored!

7. All of the above!

I chose option 7, so my wife has severe spinal issues and requires care. On good days we can both go out and enjoy ourselves, on not so good days I can get out and on bad days I stay with her to try and make her feel better. It makes planning nights out difficult to say the least, so I decided to convert my garage into somewhere for people to come and have nights in without it being a living room. Now I thought I had taken a lot more photos of the ongoing process, but I hadn't. And if you have read my instructable for the Firepit table, you will already realise that I am not precise in what I do, I get wood, I get screws, I cut wood and reattach it elsewhere. It either works or it doesn't lol.

Final thing about this project I have only had to spend money on screws and sandpaper (well technically the sander too, but that wasn't brought specifically for this project). All the wood is reclaimed, all the light fittings (tell a lie, I brought the LED strip too) were given away for free, tables and chairs were free as were the two couches!

Step 1: Well What Do You Have and What Do You Want?

Well I have a garage and I wanted somewhere to chill out and also still have workshop area!

So I measured up the garage and figured a 70/30 split would be ideal, got wood and started building a partition and a workbench for the workshop side of things. Now with all the tutorials about that I could follow, I didn't, I just did what I always do and winged it, four posts, some crossbeams to link and some thick plywood, a little help from the youngest and ta dah!

Step 2: Workshop Done, Onto the Bar!

Built a basic box frame and then clad it with pallet boards, followed by a lot of sanding starting at 80 grit and working my way down to 400 grit. For the top I just cut pallet boards into thirds and then layed them out for the length of the bar and attached them to the top of the box frame (again followed by a lot of sanding, see pictue of me looking like I have just walked through a flour factory).

I realised the bar was missing something so took some offcuts and made some rough triangle supports so I could add a piece of wood off the front of the bar to give it a bit of an overhang, then took the sander to it to give it a bit of shaping so it would look nicer.

Step 3: Cool Bar, Shame About the Concrete Floor!

Yeah I was really happy with how the bar came out, barely any straight lines, some gaps in the wood and after rubbing it down with teak oil it looked great all in all another fine piece of work by me (if it's perfect it ain't mine lol).

So I then looked at my lovely bar and looked at my crappy concrete floor, not happy! Cue another two weeks of scrounging pallets, breaking them down, picking out splinters etc etc. I used any boards that split, plus any scrap wood I had as floor joists and started laying down boards (with a little help from my son). All in all the floor took 600 screws and 45 pallets, but it was worth it. Again like the bar, barely any straight lines and some gaps in the wood lol.

Step 4: Side Tables, Work Area, Shelves??

Made a little side table, made a table top to sit on top of two tyres for a Ford Focus I haven't owned for 10 years (I don't throw things away lol) and also made a little bench counter for behind the bar and one bottle shelf (the rest of the shelves will be completed once I have finished my course in June).

Step 5: Lighting

Well after building the partition the only light I had in the garage is now on the wrong side for the bar!
So an old lava lamp base, became this home made bar top wooden monstrosity of mine.

This old kitchen light unit was cabled up to an old extension lead so I could plug it in.

Fitted the LEDs under the bar overhang.

And until I get the final lamp wired up and painted, my old clamp lamp is serving me well behind the bar!

Step 6: The Bit That Should Usually Be First, But I Put Last!

What do you need?

Screws - Approx 800 (felt like more, although if you measure things properly you could use less I guess)

Claw Hammer, pry bars, crow bars - For dismantling pallets, unless you have a pallet breaking tool.

Saw can be Hand powered, jigsaw, circular saw - Any will do really, used for the obvious of cutting wood down to size (also for shortcutting pallets so you only have to remove one lot of nails from the centre lol)

Drill - Pilot holes for screws are important, stops wood splitting and if you are doing this you aren't using the best wood to begin with. Can also be used with screw driver bit for putting screws in holes.

Screwdriver - If you don't have a battery powered one, buy one or use the drill. Way too many to be going at it with a handpowered driver lol

Teak oil or finish of your choice, I was lucky someone had brought two bottles of teak oil for a project only needed a third of one of the bottles and gave the rest of it away to me!

Wood - Scrap wood, pallets anything you can get your hands on really

Lights - Unless you are lucky you might have to buy these.

Sales and wants pages on facebook are great as people get rid of all sorts of crap (to them, treasure to us) for free. My little fridge gets too cold and freezes drinks so it was given to me for free, both couches came from people that had just brought a brand new one and couldn't be bothered to dispose of there old ones, so score one leather couch and one folding bed couch!

Decorations see pics above!

Step 7: Final Word

Right as I said in the beginning, this is not a great instructable as there is nowhere near enough photos, nor is there a real step by step description of what I did.

What this is (hopefully) is a kickstarter for your brain, I am not a carpenter (if you hadn't already guessed), I am in fact an IT tech who likes thinking up things and then trying to make them, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't! None of this was planned out in advance, the floor has taken the best part of 3 months as I have had to source more and more pallets plus I can only get 5 in my car at a time. The bar took me 4 afternoons over the Christmas break as my whole family were ill and I didn't want to catch it! I cannot draw plans, so I think it, I build it and I am happy with the way this has turned out, so what does this all mean?


That being said if you do make it, I want to see what you have done as I like cool ideas and seeing what other makers come up with! Hope you like this.

My son is my first customer, enjoying a nice glass of coke! Yes there are throwing knives on the bar, as why would anyone settle for a dart board when you can have throwing knives which makes it more fun!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to The Deaths Head Tavern!

Trash to Treasure

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Trash to Treasure