The story behind this table is pretty much similar to most of the items I made, but I have special feelings for it as that was the very first piece of furniture that I've ever made. It's been made of this massive pallet dumped in the garden long time ago and nearly forgotten. When I first found it, I wanted to make a bed headboard of it, but we needed table at the time, so it turned to be a perfect feature to create one. Because it was made sometime ago I won't be able to show you the whole process of formation in pictures, but I'll try to guide you step by step, so if you like the idea please follow me...
Step 1: Supplies
- large pallet
- sanding paper
- paint brush or cloth for varnish application
- table legs
- screws and nails
Step 2: Before You Start
Clean the entire pallet before you start working with it. The easiest way to remove the dirt from it is to use a brush. My pallet was outside for a while, so it was full of sand and bugs from the garden.
Step 3: Estimate Table Size
Depending on the pallet size decide how big your table needs to be. I wanted mine to accommodate easily 8-10 people, but the pallet seemed to be too wide, so I cut it into smaller size. I used electric saw to have it done faster, but you may use hand tools if it's more convenient.
Step 4: Filling the Gaps
There were big gaps between the wood planks in my pallet, so I had to fill them from the top with extra ones to avoid dropping everything to the floor. I haven't had the long planks though, so I used two shorter ones from the smaller pallet. I cut them into the right size and then nailed them to the gaps. They didn't match exactly as you can see, but I think that way it looks more interesting.
Step 5: Sanding
Use low grit sanding paper first to remove the rest of the dirt and all the splinters. Make sure the surface is as smooth as possible. Then do the same with the higher grit sander and repeat until the surface is perfectly smooth. When it's done wipe the pallet with wet cloth and let it dry.
Step 6: Attaching Legs
Now it's time to attach the table legs. I wanted mine to be lightweight and with wheels (that's important if your table top is heavy and you don't want to push it around). I found them in Ikea and loved them from the first sight. It seemed like a perfect match for my table. Attach them following the instruction. As you can see mine were simply screwed into the wood.
Step 7: Painting
Your table is nearly ready and you are only step away from finishing it. It's time to apply varnish. It doesn't matter weather you use ready made one (like me) or make it yourself, all depends on what kind of effect you want to reach. If you want it to be darker use a paint brush, if it needs to be brighter use wet cloth instead. Mine was painted with the brush at first and when the color turned to be too dark I used wet cloth to wipe the excess of it. So in my case one layer was enough to begin with. You may choose different finish types as well. If you don't want to repeat sanding and painting process again and again, it's good to apply wood oil instead of varnish. Wood doesn't absorb liquids so easily, especially when the food is involved. One way or another you will have to refresh your table every now and then, if you want keep the natural look of it (unless you use wood lacquer and lock all the pores for good).
Step 8: Finishing
Six months later, after surviving first X-mas, birthdays and many other parties, I must say making this table was perfect choice. It saved our budget when we needed it, it gave us a place to socialise and it's very handy in everyday living (especially with our kiddo running around with all sorts of strange objects!).Whoever sees this table for the first time, tells me it was a brilliant idea to make it, so if one day I decide to replace it, I'm definitely going to keep it - I bet it may get another life in the garden!
Want to see more of it, including extra pictures, please click here.