DIY Herring Bone Patterned Pallet Bench!




Introduction: DIY Herring Bone Patterned Pallet Bench!

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Check out this Instructable and Youtube Video about how to make a Herring Bone Patterned bench from pallet wood!

This project is easy and only requires a few tools: a circular saw, drill, chalk line, and nailgun.

You can make many different patterns on the top of the bench, the design I chose was the Herring bone or fish bone style pattern. This chevron pattern has the top pallet board slats angled at 45 degrees and it then patterned on the remaining length of the bench.

The bench is constructed from 2x4's with mitered ends at 45 degrees, 4x4 legs and then pallet slats nailed to the top and then trimmed flush. You can also add trim around the edges of the bench to hide the cut pallet edges and wrap the bench nicely.

Check it out!


Step 1: Building the Frame

The frame for this bench consists of 2x4's cut to 8 foot lengths with mitered 45 degree ends on the corners. I used 3" screws to attach the corners together. It may be helpful to use clamps to hold the corner stable when putting the screws in.

I then attached a stringer down the center of the bench frame to support the pallet slats that will sit on top to give me something to nail to.

Step 2: Attaching the Legs

The legs for this bench are made from 4x4 lumber. They were cut down to length on my miter saw to be 28" tall. Don't forget to account for the height on the pallet slats that will sit on top of the frame if you are measuring for an overall specific bench height.

The end of the leg was installed flush with the top of the frame by using my garage floor as a reference point when attaching them. I used 4 3" screws on each side of the bench frame corner to screw the leg in, making sure it was straight when installed.

Step 3: Nailing the Pallet Slats

I cut down a bunch of pallets with my circular saw to get a bunch of blanks approximately 24" long. You want to ensure that the first row of slats start at exactly 45 degrees and in the center on the stringer. If you mess this up in the beginning the pattern may be offset for the rest of the bench!

I used 18 gauge nails, putting two in on each end and moving my way down the length of the bench, ensuring to stay centered as I worked.

Step 4: Flush Cutting the Top

The easiest way to get a flush edge with this herring bone pattern is to just attach the pallet slats in the last step, and then cut the ends off to get a straight flush edge.

I used a chalk line to mark my cut line to follow for my circular saw and then just followed the line being careful not to dig the blade into the 2x4 underneath.

Step 5: Sanding and Finish

You can also use a planer to get all of the pallet slats to the same height so that the bench surface does not have high and low spots in the slats. For this one, I just attached them as is and used a sander to round over some of the edges of the pallet slats because they were not all the same height.

The center picture shows the bench with some edge trimming nailed on as well, this is a nice touch to wrap up the bench design!

For finish I have used poly, stain, and paint. I have also left a few just rough without a finish, let you imagination run wild on this!

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Reclaimed Wood Contest 2016

Runner Up in the
Reclaimed Wood Contest 2016

4 People Made This Project!


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33 Discussions

Hi. Just found this on Pinterest! Love this bench. I'm. Or a carpenter and I can say I've never really built anything by myself. I'm 41 and I want to give this a try. Could you tell me
1) how man 2x4 you purchased for this project
2)4x4s? For the legs. I want to build this frame and I think I can do it. I've been living with my older brother because I'm unable to work. Things take me a long time to complete because I have chronic pain BUT I want to build this for my brother and put in his mudroom where he can sit down and put his boots on. (We live on a hog farm) lol always muddy boots. Thanks for any advice. Idk if you respond via email or here. I would really appreciate your input. Thanks a bunch and again you make it look so easy

What size edge trimming did you use? Was it quarter round or just squared off?

Hi, nice work! May I ask how did you deal with the problem of high moisture content and shrinkage/warping of pallet wood? I live in UK and pallet wood will shrink and warp considerably when used for indoor projects unless dried for at least a couple of months before use. I am interested to hear about your experience in that matter

Really nice idea, execution, and instructions. I have most of the parts sitting around (still need slats), so I'm looking forward to trying it out. Great job.

1 reply

Gorgeous, yet you made it look so simple to build. Thanks for sharing.

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You are a rock star!! I can do this thanks to your GREAT video! Thanks for the share.

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Really cool work - great job! I love how you found the squaring of corners to be a pain, and just went for it manually.

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Great project!

I would just offer one bit of advise: Try to find pallets that haven't been used for produce or chemicals. Produce juices or liquid chemicals may have leaked into wood, which can leave you with a project that gives off weird smells.

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definitely! I make sure all of mine are in good condition! thanks for the tip and for checking out the project!

simple and nice project.