Pallet Coffee Table With Secret Compartment and Invisible Wheels

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Introduction: Pallet Coffee Table With Secret Compartment and Invisible Wheels

I made this coffee table entirely from wood I got from various reclaimed pallets I dismanteled.

It features:

  • 2 hidden compartments for TV remotes, video games controllers, coasters, candles or anything you may need on a coffee table
  • Invisible wheels, so you can take the table anywhere in the living room with no effort while keeping a minimalist style.

Dimensions:

  • Length: 123cm
  • Width: 70cm
  • Height: 45cm

Supplies

If you plan on buying the wood, see approximate dimensions:

  • 14 planks of 120cm * 9.5cm * 2cm (table top: 7 planks on each side). 2 of those sawed at a 20 degrees angle on one side.
  • 2 planks of 96.5cm * 13.5cm * 2 cm (the 2 doors)
  • 8 planks of 44cm * 13cm * 2cm sawed with a 45 degrees angle on one side (legs)
  • 2 planks of 44cm * 12cm (sides of the table top)
  • 4 lumber boards of 26cm * 10cm *10cm (legs)
  • 3 lumber boards of 66cm * 8cm * 5cm (table top structure)

Step 1: Table Top

Using 3 lumber boards for the structure (one in the middle, and 1 on each side), nail as many boards as needed on both sides to obtain the result shown in the pictures. Nail on both left and right lumber boards, as well as in the middle.

Notes:

  • Try to tighten those planks as best as you can before you start nailing, so no space is left between the planks. It'll avoid you using too much wood filler to correct those gaps at the end.
  • Align the top and bottom planks well on each of the extremities. Especially when using pallet wood, not all planks are of the exact same size so you may need to adjust. If there are some gaps in the bottom part of the table top, it's OK.

Step 2: Table Legs

The legs are composed of:

  • 2 planks of the same length, sawed at 45 degrees on one side so they assemble well. The 45 degrees saw is not mandatory, but I like the end result.
  • 1 lumber board on which the wheel will be screwed, so it must be large enough so the wheel can rotate without touching the planks on the side. In my case it was too small so I had to glue additional planks on the sides to make it larger (see the picture). In order to make the wheel invisible, you have to saw the lumber board to the right length so that the wheel is just barely uncovered by the planks.
  • 1 rotating wheel

Nail the 2 planks to the sides of the table top, carefully aligning them so they assemble and leave no gap.

Place the lumber board inside, make sure it's well in contact with the bottom of the table top, and glue it/nail it to the planks. Make sure it's well tightened when you glue, using F-clamps

Screw the wheel to the lumber board.

Repeat the operation for the 3 remaining legs.

Step 3: The Secret Compartment

The angle for the hinge:

Before screwing the hinge, you'll need to saw the bottom plank of the table top to about a 20 degrees angle (does not have to be precise) to avoid leaving a gap when the hinge is closed, since it's never really 0 degrees. See the explanation for this on the pictures.

The door:

The plank for the door should be aligned with the table top and cover at least 2 cm more than the width of the table top, so it can hold horizontally when the door is open.

The magnet:

Screw the magnet inside the table top. If the alignment is right, you should need only one magnet in the middle. If the door leaves a gap on one side, sand off some width on the other side until the door closed on the whole length. Note: as you can see on the pictures, I had initially placed several non-powerful magnets but I realized that if I used more powerful magnets (up to 20 kilos), I would need only one.

Screw the corresponding metal piece on the door so they connect well when closing the compartment.

Repeat the same process for the door on the other side.

Step 4: Adding Side Planks

Nail 2 planks: one on each side of the table, between the legs. Make sure that they are on the same level as the table top, to obtain a flat surface. They should also be large enough to cover the width of the table top entirely.

Step 5: Wood Filler

Now you already have a decent table, but it will look so much better once all those little gaps in the wood will be filled, the table is well sanded and you apply a nice wood finish to it.

Step 6: Sanding

Start with a 40 grit everywhere, sanding off sufficiently to obtain a flat surface. Also sand off the wood filler that may be on the planks.

Then, finish sanding with a 180 grit.

Step 7: Wood Finish

Apply the wood finish of your choice. Personally I like the natural color of the wood so I used marine wood finish gloss without any coloring.

Done!

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    21 Comments

    0
    auto13142828
    auto13142828

    1 year ago

    I would like to know how to lock that secret door. I wouldn't want the lock to use a key.

    0
    auto13142828
    auto13142828

    Reply 1 year ago

    I don't want an unreliable plastic lock for my valuables.

    0
    Mike Coloma

    Very nice job! It's not easy getting pallet wood to finish that well.
    Nice idea about the compartment.

    0
    BleepToBleep
    BleepToBleep

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you! Lots of sanding is the key to transform pallets into something that looks better than scrap wood.

    0
    David7k
    David7k

    Reply 1 year ago

    Couple passes through thicknesser would save you hours of sanding.

    0
    BleepToBleep
    BleepToBleep

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes, true but I don’t have a ticknesser ;)

    0
    MichaelL628

    Love the rustic look I have seen other tables made from pallets with any printing of the company they came from left on to add to the look.Haven't seen Piano hinge used for ages.This should stop tv guide and remote going missing


    0
    BleepToBleep
    BleepToBleep

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yeah on my pallets the printing is on the lumber boards which are all hidden, would have been nice to have one plank with a printing on it though.
    Clearly the compartment solves the remote going missing problem, and all the mess that is often left on a coffee table. :)

    0
    boesh
    boesh

    1 year ago on Step 7

    Great idea, nice build !

    0
    DLMarcum
    DLMarcum

    1 year ago

    I like it. I have a few questions. 1) If not using old pallets, what size approximately is the table and wood, length, width and height would be nice. Did you have a layout with dimensions available? Also, what angle would you suggest for the hinged board, it looks around 20 degrees. Thanks.

    0
    BleepToBleep
    BleepToBleep

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks :)
    To answer your questions (I'll add those to the guide as well):
    Dimensions of the table: Length: 124cm. Width: 70cm. Height: 45cm.
    I had wood from various pallets so no 2 planks are exactly the same. However I can give you some approximate dimensions. The width for most pallet planks is 2 cm.
    - For the table top I used 14 planks of 120cm * 9.5cm (7 planks on each side)
    - The planks for the doors are 96cm * 13.5cm (2 doors)
    - The planks for the legs are 44cm * 13cm (8 of them, sawed at 45 degrees on one side)
    - The planks for the sides of the table top are 44cm * 12cm (2 of them)
    - The height of the lumber boards for the legs is 26cm (4 of them). If you buy wood, I recommend you have 10cm * 10cm width. It'll avoid you adding planks to add the width that is necessary for the wheels to rotate properly.
    - The 3 lumber boards inside the table top: length 66 cm, Width: 5cm, Height: 8cm.

    For the hinged board angle, yes about 20 degrees works well.

    Let me know if you decide to make this!

    0
    inspiredwood
    inspiredwood

    1 year ago

    Nice work. I like :-)

    0
    BleepToBleep
    BleepToBleep

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks!

    0
    terrefirmax2
    terrefirmax2

    1 year ago

    This is very well done and detailed . I'd love to see it adapted to an island or workable.

    0
    BleepToBleep
    BleepToBleep

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks! Give it a try if you can, I'd be interested to see different versions of my table.

    0
    ChrisWx
    ChrisWx

    1 year ago on Step 7

    Nice table! I don't know if it was the lighting / shadows, but it looked like the back/underside of some of it (like the legs) wasn't finished or sealed. If it's not just the light, you'll want to seal those areas to prevent warping.

    0
    BleepToBleep
    BleepToBleep

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks for your advice and nice comment on my table :) You're probably right about the sealing, I'll do that when I have a few minutes.

    0
    seamster
    seamster

    1 year ago

    This looks so good. I love the idea and you executed it very well. Great results!