1 Hour Pallet Coffee Table

15,187

157

23

About: San Diego maker. I look for old or abandoned materials that can be recycled into something new!

I love this coffee table because it's quick to make and looks great! Nothing more than some sandpaper and a screwdriver required and it only takes an hour to build it from scratch.

My hobby is to find abandoned material and figure out how to turn it into something useful and pallets are a great resource. Please make sure you obtain your pallet legally and ensure that it is abandoned and not intended to be returned by the owner. Here’s a great guide for deciding what pallet to use!

Follow my upcoming projects on instagram @Trevor_DIY

Purchasing through the following affiliate links supports me as a maker :)

Supplies:

Materials

Tools

Step 1: Find the Pallet

The best place to look for a great pallet is behind grocery stores and wine shops but be sure to ask if they are ok if you take one. For this project, I got lucky and found a pallet next to my apartment that already had slats covering the entire top. If you can only find pallets with open slots on the top, you can take the slats off of a different pallet and put them on the first pallet to fill in the gaps.

Time to carry home: 4 minutes
Total elapsed time: 4 minutes

Step 2: Sand the Pallet

Before working with the wood, be sure to wear gloves to protect from splinters and a mask to protect from the dust while sanding.

Start by using a strong knife to break off any large splinters that could catch on things once the table is done. Use a few damp paper towels to wipe the dirt off the surface then sand the top and sides with 80 grit (Medium) sandpaper. Go over it again with 240 grit (Fine) sandpaper until it is smooth to run your hand over.

Time to prep the pallet: 32 minutes
Total elapsed time: 36 minutes

Step 3: Attach the Legs

Set the legs on the underside of the pallet and use the provided screws (#8 screws 1¼ in) . The pallet wood is soft enough that you don’t need to drill pilot holes which saves some time. Wiggle the legs a bit while screwing them down to make sure they are completely secured.

Screw time: 13 minutes
Total elapsed time: 49 minutes

Step 4: Oil the Table (optional)

I chose to rub linseed oil into the outer facing surface of the table to bring out the color but this is an optional step. Take an old rag and dip it in the linseed oil and rub it into the wood in a circular motion until you have covered all the surfaces. It’s best not to touch the table for about an hour after using the oil but you are all done once it’s covered!

Time to oil: 11 minutes
Total elapsed time: 1 hour!

1 Hour Challenge

Participated in the
1 Hour Challenge

Share

    Recommendations

    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest
    • Beauty Tips Contest

      Beauty Tips Contest
    • Planter Challenge

      Planter Challenge

    23 Discussions

    0
    None
    mommymel1

    15 days ago

    Looks awesome! I want to make this; will be first time with pallets. Did the nails on the top cause any issues? Did you cut them to be even? Have kids, just checking thanks

    1 reply
    0
    None
    Trevor_DIYmommymel1

    Reply 15 days ago

    That's great, I'd love to see it when you're finished :D
    As for the nails, the pallet I found had the head of the nails driven deep into the wood so it wasn't an issue. Pallet nails are notorious for not coming out so if you see any nail heads poking up, just give them a whack with a hammer so they are flush and they will stay down!
    With kids in the area, make sure you pick a pallet that is not chemically treated (this guide shows you how to tell). Also, instead of linseed oil, you may want to use an oil based varnish since it's more durable and stain resistant. Let me know if you have any other questions or thoughts!

    0
    None
    arendboonk

    24 days ago on Step 4

    Yes you were very lucky to get a pallet of that quality and almost already so close in your apartment.
    I have picked up for 30 years pallets for firewood. Business love it when you clean up their properties, they can't put them in garbage trucks. Just almost 1% I use for making stuff.

    You forgot the time it took you to go to the hardware store to buy the legs. Oops you already had them?
    By participating in the one hour challenge: you already have one, congrats.
    Sarcastic??? Yes! I would not do or write what you did. Because you are the only one in the whole wide world who was sooooo very lucky. Think of others who are NOT so fortunate as you are.
    Oh I showed it to a journeyman cabinet maker. He laughed!!
    However I do like people who recycle.
    And my ashes go on my garden(flower, vegetable and grass). Natural fertilizer.
    Good luck!!

    IMG_3820 (2017_06_29 05_18_00 UTC).JPGIMG_3816 (2017_06_29 05_18_00 UTC).JPG
    2 replies
    0
    None
    Trevor_DIYarendboonk

    Reply 24 days ago

    Thanks for the feedback, I'll keep that in mind for future projects. You're raised planter box looks great by the way!

    0
    None
    arendboonkTrevor_DIY

    Reply 23 days ago

    Thank you too Trevor.
    Will make pics how I use them and fore what. Ir is raining cats and dogs. Sorry wrong our dog and our cats are all inside(LOL)!

    0
    None
    John Harwood

    5 weeks ago

    Save yourself the cost of the legs by obtaining three more pallets and stcking them to make your table.

    3 replies
    0
    None
    Trevor_DIYJohn Harwood

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    I made a bench like that and it works really well. For this one, I wanted something a bit lighter and really liked the look of the hairpin legs. Thanks for the alternative though!

    0
    None
    JohnH973Trevor_DIY

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    It was a "tongue-in-cheek" remark. I also like the look of the hairpin legs. Regarding the linseed oil, don't you think the smell of it is awful and sticks around forever? I'd be inclined to use an acrylic varnish instead.

    0
    None
    Trevor_DIYJohnH973

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Ya, the linseed definitely has a distinct smell but I don't mind it really. Smells like good wood to me and cheaper than a candle :P I think I'll try a varnish on my next project!

    2
    None
    PatrickGSR94

    5 weeks ago

    Just make sure you clean up the pallet really well. Some of those things are super disgusting, and can even harbor insects and other pests.

    3 replies
    0
    None
    RickW124PatrickGSR94

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    The sanding and the oil should take care of any insect issues. Though a stain/sealer/waterproofer or an epoxy will also ensure a sterile build.

    0
    None
    Trevor_DIYRickW124

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    True, I'd like to try an oil based varnish on my next project for outdoor use.

    1
    None
    Trevor_DIYPatrickGSR94

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Great point, also avoid using red or blue painted pallets since that usually means they have been chemically treated.

    0
    None
    timothycolela

    5 weeks ago

    BE CAREFUL when using Linseed Oil. Don't leave the rags bundled up, they will catch fire by themselves. Place them in a tin can with cover to cut the oxygen off, or in a soapy water filled bucket. Left alone by themselves bundled up, they will spontaneously combust. Google it. - Awesome project though. Well done, but you should give the readers a heads-up when using products that carry this warning.

    1 reply
    0
    None
    Trevor_DIYtimothycolela

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Thanks for pointing that out. Always store your supplies safely and follow the recommendations on the labels!

    1
    None
    Quantumdust

    5 weeks ago

    Prime example of new creative idea sparked by a fleeting thought "outside of the box".