This past winter, here in New England, was crazy! The snow storms were frequent and the snow just kept piling up!
When spring arrived and the snow had melted, there was a pile of shattered glass and a bent metal table frame where our patio table used to be! Yes, it broke under all that weight. :-(
Fast forward a few months later, just a week before our summer BBQ party, and there you have this awesome, upcycled pallet table made from 100% pallet wood!
I'd like to thank FPSX Games for the Inspiration as well.
Here's a link to his Pallet Coffee Table Instructible,
NOTE: Always wear PPE (Proper Protective Equipment) when using power tools and other equipment.
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Step 1: Materials and Tools
- About 4 pallets (at least one with some 4x4's so they can be used for the legs)
- 2-inch deck screws
- Deck paint (optional)
- Flat Pry Bar
- Circular Saw
- Drill and Drill Bits
- 1 3/8" Forstner Bit
- Measuring Tape
- Miter Saw
Step 2: Choosing Your Pallets
As I mentioned in the materials section, it's best if you can obtain a pallet that has 4x4's so they can be used as the legs. It's safe to say you can use mostly any type of pallet, except for ones that have rot or that may have been treated with potentially harmful chemicals.
Depending on the dimension of your table, you may want to use the longest and thickest planks for the table frame. For the planks that will be used for the table top, I would recommend using ones that have the same thickness so that the whole table top is as flush as possible.
Step 3: Breaking Down Pallets
I used two methods to break down the pallets in order to get the pieces I needed.
For the legs, I used the flat pry bar to separate the deck board from the 4x4' runners (the runners will be used for the legs). NOTE: These are not the runners from the picture that has the pallet anatomy.
For the frame, I used the four longest and thickest bottom deck boards I could find. I also pried those off of other runners from other pallets.
Finally, for the table top, I used the regular top deck boards. I used a circular saw to cut the deck boards right next to the outside runners. After cutting both sides of each deck board, I used the flat pry bar to pry off deck board from the center runner.
Step 4: Assembling the Table Frame
Before I assembled the frame, I shortened two of the bottom deck boards by a few inches to make it as close as possible to a square when I put everything together.
Two of the boards measure 44 inches and the other two were cut to 42 inches in length.
I placed the two shorter boards on the inside to make the frame.
To secure the frame in place, I screwed two screws through the long boards into the ends of the short boards. I did this for all four corners.
Step 5: Adding the Legs
Once the frame was completed, I determined the length for my legs by measuring the height of a table inside our house.
I measured 29 inches for the legs.
In order to attach the legs to the frame, I placed each leg on the inside corners and secured them by screwing two screws on each side of the frame.
Step 6: Adding Support to the Table Frame
Before I added the deck boards for the table top, I added two extra deck boards and one 2x4 that were scrap pieces from another pallet to the inside of the frame. This was done for two reasons. The first was for stability, and the second, for a place to screw the deck boards for the table top.
To measure those three pieces, I laid the table on its side and placed one board vertically on the inside of the bottom frame, then leaned it against the top frame and drew a line where it met the inside edge of the top frame.
Step 7: Assembling the Table Top
For the table top, I decided to arrange the deck boards in a staggered position.
I also placed the boards so there was a 1-inch overhang and the ends rested on the supporting decks boards. Once in place, I drilled two screws per deck board; one on each end of the board. At this point, the table had two sides with a 1-inch overhang and two sides with different sized deck boards. For the uneven sides, I measured 1 inch from the frame, made a straight line using a ruler, and cut the ends with a circular saw.
Step 8: Sanding the Table
This is pretty self explanatory, but I used a palm sander and 80 grit sand paper to sand the table and get rid of any splinters and really rough spots. I sanded every surface of the table, except for the underneath of the table top.
Step 9: Drilling the Hole for the Umbrella
Before I drilled the hole, I had to locate the center of the table. I did this by drawing one line from one corner to the opposite corner, then moving to an adjacent corner and drawing a line from that corner to the opposite corner. Where the lines intersect is as close as center as you can get. Now that that I had the center, I placed the umbrella pole on that spot and traced around it with a pencil.
To drill the hole, I first used a 1 3/8" forstner bit. Then after that, I used a jigsaw to go around the circle I traced. One piece of advice is to keep the jigsaw blade as straight as possible.
Once you drill the hole, test it out by inserting the umbrella and make sure it's able to slide in and out freely.
Step 10: Painting the Table
After drilling the hole, I placed an old plastic tarp on the ground, flipped the table over, and started painting from the center of the table to the edges. Once the flat surface was completed, I moved to the legs. I waited a few minutes for the legs to dry off, then I flipped the table upside up and continued painting. Let it dry completely before you try to move it.
Step 11: Admire Your New Pallet Table
At this point, if you followed these steps, you should have a pretty awesome table! I'm sure you can use non-pallet wood, but if you're lucky enough to find all the right pieces from actual pallets, it makes it that much cooler.
And the best part is...next spring, I won't have to worry about finding a broken patio table after the snow melts away! :-)
Take a look at the last picture. It's not just a pallet table, but a sneak peek at my next Instructable!
Thanks for taking the time to look at my Instructable. I've entered the Epilog contest and if I were to win a laser cutter, then I would use it to make intricate designs on metal and on leather bracelets and cuffs.
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