Pallet Workbench

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Introduction: Pallet Workbench

As a tall fella, I’m fed up of breaking my back leaning over to reach tables built for ‘normal’ people. I decided for my back’s sake its time I built a workbench for me…or any other tall person.

Please bear with me on these instructions, I don’t know any technical terms and I’m sure there are better ways of accomplishing what I've done.

Step 1: Break Down the Pallets

To do this I basically used a crowbar and had about a 60% success rate in getting the boards off without them splitting. If anyone has a better technique then please let me know….it got me very angry very quickly. I broke down 2 large pallets to get the amount of wood I needed.

Step 2: Build the Frames

As my workbench was going to be tall, I knew that it could potentially be unstable so I built two identical frames to wrap around the legs for extra support. These frames will be attached at the top and bottom to give strength and will also be the surface to attach the panels, which will create the worktop and bottom shelf.

Step 3: ​Preparing the Panels

Before attaching the panels to the first frame to create the worktop, I planed off the edges to remove any nasty bits and sanded down the panels. I didn’t spend too much time on this, I quite liked the idea of my bench to be rough looking…at the end of the day, it’s going to get more than a few knocks and scratches in its lifetime.

Step 4: ​Creating the Worktop

My frame was built to be the exact length of the panels to reduce cutting and to keep things easier. In reflection I wish I’d have made the frame slightly smaller to allow for a lip around the edge, rather than everything being flush. I didn't worry too much about each panel being completely flush against each other, but I did the best I can and I’m happy with the outcome. Once each panel is screwed into place it instantly gives the frame stability.

Step 5: ​Putting It All Together

This is the fun bit. At this stage you should have one frame, with panels for your worktop, another frame without panels for bottom support and 4 legs (I used a good piece of wood that I cut into 4 that I salvaged whilst looking for pallets). Turn the worktop upside down and place each leg into each corner of the frame and screw into place. Once secure slide your bottom frame over the legs and screw in place, my advice is to keep it off the bottom and have it high enough so your feet can fit under the frame. Now the moment of truth, stand the workbench up on its feet and check for wobble….luckily for me everything was level.

Step 6: ​Bottom Panels

I decided for some extra shelving I would attach bottom panels to the bottom frame. This also creates a more ridged frame but at the same time provides me with some extra storage space.

Step 7: ​Finished

I’m really happy with how this project working with used pallets turned out, as I've never done this before. Looking forward to starting on the next thing…whatever that might be. I hope this helps and I apologise if it’s quite basic, I didn't decide to write this guide until the end. Next time I’ll take more photos and notes of the build phase :)

3 People Made This Project!

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36 Comments

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JohnG253
JohnG253

20 days ago

I needed a workbench in a hurry. I used 3 blue pallets (they tend to be made of much thicker slats & seem to be designed to take far more 'humpy' than your average pallet. There are some Blue pallets which are marked with a manufacturer's name, these must be returned to the manufacturer.). I had another pallet which had a nice, thick, plywood top. I assembled the three blue pallets to form a typical bench shape. I then removed the ply and used this to stabilise the three blue pallets by screwing it to the blocks of all three blue pallets. The remainder of this pallet was used to form shelf. By screwing it to the uprights, it also helped improve stability. I now have a workbench with a 1 sq metre top that's just over 1m tall (the sides, remember, are made from pallets measuring 1m x 1m). It's a little bit too tall for me to comfortably work on (I'm 6'4" tall) but a great space for my bench grinder, pillar drill etc.

As for separating pallets, I've started a woodwork group for adults with mental health problems & we go through loads of pallets to make projects. The easiest way, by far, is to use a reciprocating saw with a decent metal blade (they even make blades to be used on pallets). I have a breaker bar as well as pry bars and crowbars but find those methods can ruin the wood.

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kasskileyncolesdad
kasskileyncolesdad

Tip 6 months ago

I've had better success with using Sawzall to tare apart pallets. Use wood/nail blade, thinner the better and you will remove every slat with no breaks. I hope this helps yall

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rickypink121
rickypink121

1 year ago

Great instructions.. I'm going to give this a go. Thanks

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edward.dowling.520
edward.dowling.520

2 years ago

super job very well explained .i hope to make this shortly

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MarcusA45
MarcusA45

4 years ago

did you paint it

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Astridjay
Astridjay

4 years ago

If you want a super easy way to take apart pallets and you have a little bit of cash to spend I recommend investing in a reciprocating saw. They come with blades to cut through metal and are simple to use. I am new to diy projects and had my pallets apart in no time. Use a chisel and hammer to make a gap between two boards before using the saw. I picked one up from Bunnings for $100 and haven't looked back.

1
pallet nic
pallet nic

5 years ago

you definitely need a 'Roughneck Demolition Bar as shown in the photo. They are readily available from Amazon for less than £20. The best money I have spent and enables me to break up a pallet within 5 mins pretty much with zero splitting. Nick.

Hope

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ttemple2
ttemple2

5 years ago

Did you ever mention how tall the bench is? I'm tall as well and would like to know. Thanks brother!

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TomW46
TomW46

5 years ago

As mentioned before, all pallets have different construction methods. The ones that I am currently breaking down seemed to have someone who really liked using the nail-gun.

I've found that using an axe and a lump hammer to get the boards a little bit apart, then use a hacksaw blade to get in and saw the nails off. Of course I could use a reciprocating saw/sawzall but I have limited funds.

Another thing to remember is that these pallets have had a hell of a rough life and the slats may be split before you attempt to take them apart.

0
LondonTiger
LondonTiger

6 years ago on Introduction

No 2 pallets are built the same. Some of them are bloody hard to take apart. I used 1 pallet that had 10+ nails on one joint and I spent a lot of time and energy trying to take it up and no matter how much I tried I couldn't get the planks off without breaking it.

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LondonTiger
LondonTiger

6 years ago on Introduction

I took inspiration for this design and built my own. The only thing I changed was the gaps on the bottom shelf - you will undoubtedly have small stuff roll into the hole and end up losing them. To cover the holes I have nailed cleats onto the leg which allowed me to cover the gap with shorter pieces of wood.

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rswain3
rswain3

6 years ago

Use a Sawzall and cut the nails in between the top 1x6 and the frame of the pallet. It works so much better and you salvage all the wood.

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baecker03
baecker03

6 years ago

you can buy a punch and knock the nails out from the opposite side, also can grind the heads off

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BH92
BH92

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

you can't drive the nails back, the nails has barbs on them and if you would try to hammer them back out from the opposit side the EjjiFM will fold out and tare the wood even more, so i would rather cut the nails with a metal saw blade...

1
morganin
morganin

6 years ago on Introduction

I found a youtube video today that showed me how to dismantle pallets with a rubber mallet and a block of wood. Flip the pallet upside down and prop it up. Bang the wood block into the slats right next to the support beams. They came apart fast and in tact. I plan to build 2 of these and mod it into a kitchen island.

0
bcktrayn
bcktrayn

Reply 6 years ago

I tweaked your design a bit, but still used salvaged material, besides the legs.

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