How to Make a Beautiful Pallet Lamp




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Make this awesome lamp with free pallet wood!
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Step 1: Material Needed

- one pallet (make sure the wood was not chemically treated)
- one T8 Led tube
- some wire

- few feet of cable
- 4 eye screws
- 5 minute epoxy (small amount)
- clear acrylic sheet approx. 12'' x 50''

Step 2: Dissemble the Pallet and Prepare the Wood

Dissemble the pallet using hammer, crow bar, or anything on hand to do that job.
Cut off the ends with a saw (or jigsaw) - too much trouble to save one inch of wood.

Take out the nails, inspect the boards well for any hidden metal pins in them.
Dirt will damage your saw so scrape it off the boards.
Sand your boards with a coarse grit sandpaper (40-80).

Step 3: Cut a Lot of Strips

Set the table saw to 1/4'' width cuts and cut as many strips as you have from the pallet.
Square the strips off at the miter saw.
At the same time cut random lengths for the pieces that will form the sides.
Skip the nail holes and knots in the wood as you want this lamp not to look rustic.
You will inevitably make some scraps - but these are great as fire starters.

Step 4: Glue and Clamp

Glue all the strips together in random order until reaching height of 5'' (you can go more or less- depends on your design). Make sure not to have gaps between the strips, if you do I still have a solution for it later.

Work fast, really fast!!

Clamp them and leave them for at least 2 hours before taking off the clamps.

Step 5: Prepare the Sides of the Lamp

Cut the sticking sticks (pun?) with the miter saw.
Then use the table saw to ''plane'' one side (only if the boards were different thickness, otherwise skip this step)
If you had any holes in the glue-up fill them up using scraps and some CA glue.
Snip off the excess and file/sand it flush with the surface.
Cut the sides to 45 degrees so the inside rectangle measures 1'' shorter than your T8 LED tube.

Make channels for the tube to slip in and stop at desired height.
DON'T make the channel up to the bottom because your tube will sit on the acrylic sheet.

Step 6: Join the Sides of the Lamp

Use 5 minute epoxy.
Mix the small amount and put it on the mitered corners.
Use band clamp to clamp those miters (you can also use blue tape for this)
Make groove with a router to receive the top acrylic sheet.

Step 7: Make the Frame

This frame will retain the acrylic sheet in place so it needs to overhang on the inside of the sides.
Use yellow glue and CA glue for quick and durable bond. Press in place for 20 seconds.
If the sides are sticking on the outside when the glue has dried flush trim them with the router (or hand plane).
Drill and install the eye screws on the top side.

Sand and finish (I used beeswax-oil finish).

Step 8: Cut the Acrylic

Measure the inside of the lamp to cut the clear acrylic sheet to size.
The other sheet (the top one) will be cut to fit into the groove.
Use jigsaw with metal blade to cut the acrylic (you can also use cutter to do this job - be careful)

Sand only one side of the acrylic that goes inside the lamp. That side will go up - towards the light.

Step 9: Install the Lamp

Put in the sanded acrylic panel (sanded face up).
Tie the wire and put in the top panel (this prevents the dust/insects entering into the lamp)
Hang the lamp from the ceiling to the height desired.

Follow the diagram on the T8 LED tube for the correct wiring (not all of them are connected the same!).

Step 10: Turn on and Enjoy!

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    26 Discussions


    2 years ago

    simply beautiful. you definatly show us why pallet wood doesn't need to look like "reclaimed scrap ends". congrats!


    3 years ago

    Very awesome man Loved it. Take something old and make something new with a few tools and some time and yes some rain too :)

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    Mate that video was awesome. You have some great tools. I figure I would have a slightly more translucent material on the shade like acrylic but that is the style I understand. I see you really make the most out of the day. I love the TV audio in the background. " what is the best sport for short people?.You said..." great man

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    W-O-W, what a nice lamp, congratulations, Andrea!

    Hope I will build one in the near future...

    Hope I

    1 reply
    DIY Andreapaul the maker

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks, my pallet had some kind of redwood (probably red cedar). You can still buy some different wood just for accents, or use scraps.


    3 years ago

    That is an awesome 'ible, it has given me an idea of what to use my old pallets for. Now all I have to do is find the time to do it in.

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    Its a great feeling turning old wood into something nice. Every workshop should have a table saw. Great effort.

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    This looks like a ton of work, but the finished wooden case looks gorgeous. Great looking lamp, very nicely done!