One-Pallet Chair

288,493

763

47

This Adirondack chair was built from just one pallet!
Download the Google SketchUp model here.

Here's how to make splendid material-efficient pallet furniture:

1. Scavenge:
Pallets are everywhere. Some are in great conditions and some have a couple of broken beams. Some are free and some cost a couple of bucks. Look for the cheapest pallet which you can use the most lumber from. Also, see if you can get one that has some (thicker) beams that are strong enough to provide support in the furniture.

2. Dismantle
Deconstructing a pallet is tricky. It' s almost inevitable to break a few beams, so be careful. Here are some tips and tricks on how to do it.

3. Measure
Group the beams into similar thicknesses, widths and lengths. Then measure the different beam sizes.

4. Model (CAD)
Use the measurements to draw the beams in Google SketchUp . Move, rotate and cut the virtual beams so they give shape to your furniture. Rember from which beam each part in the furniture came from. Don't use more 'material' than you have! If you have trouble with finding the right proportions and measurments, you can use existing furniture models from the 3D Warehouse as reference for your own pallet furniture. Remember to keep the design simple, so that the transistion between the digital model and the actual furniture is less troublesome.

5. Build
Measure the lengths (and widths and angels if necessary) of every beam in SketchUp. Then cut the corresponding 'physical' beams to size. Now combine all parts and, once again, refer to the SketchUp model to do so. I predrilled holes and used scews to keep everything together.

Have fun!

I Made It Photo Contest

Third Prize in the
I Made It Photo Contest

Share

Recommendations

  • First Time Author

    First Time Author
  • Big and Small Contest

    Big and Small Contest
  • Toys Contest

    Toys Contest

47 Discussions

0
None
Scott_Tx

7 years ago on Introduction

I hear you can get some exotic woods from pallets depending on where they were shipped from. Always a pita to get apart though.

10 replies
0
None
John kavScott_Tx

Reply 3 months ago

Be careful though as well as good wood you can also get some very bad wood. Last thing you want to do is introduce woodworm of similar pests into your workshop or home. Check the pallets before you load them up and again when you dismantle them.

0
None
casvandegoorScott_Tx

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Does that mean that the quality of the wood is better as well? I find that most pallet wood is relatively weak. A challenge to deconstruct indeed, but fun to work with!

0
None
pfred2casvandegoor

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

0
None
solarbipolarpfred2

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Lousy wood? What you consider "lousy wood" can be just as strong and suitable for shipping expensive items as premium wood. Practically every pallet I pick up is pine or oak and carried some very expensive items with no problems. Premium wood breaks just as easily as lousy wood when it carries heavy loads and and endures a few forklifts. And shippers in other countries have a completely different idea of what lousy wood and premium wood is. What you would call premium grows like a weed in their area.

0
None
casvandegoorpfred2

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Looks lovely! The wood looks of much higher quality than the wood used in my chair. I would like to get my hands on some of those pallets!

0
None
Scott_Txcasvandegoor

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Just something I've read somewhere. Teak, mahogany, etc. All I get around here is pine of course.

0
None
solarbipolarpfred2

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

You have strange ideas on pallet wood. "Higher end establishments" have the same pallets made out of the same common woods as a Dollar General or Walmart.

0
None
val_goiset

2 years ago

I'm extremely disapointed with this site and this instructable. I paid for the pro plan so I could download the pdf that supposedly has all the steps, only to realise that what is in the pdf is EXACTELY the same content as the free web page... I could have done screen shots and saved myself 50$. I thought it was fair to pay the amount to access someone else's knowledge, but to find out that you pay for something that is already given to you... I feel like this is a bad joke.

1 reply
0
None
casvandegoorval_goiset

Reply 2 years ago

I'm sorry about that. I can imagine that you thought there would be more in the PDF. But this is all. With a pro account you can download the pdf of the free online instructions.

0
None
kcarpcasvandegoor

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

Very nice! I am looking to make something similar. All the plans I have found seem complicated (With a million parts) even though they say they are easy. I don't have many woodworking tools that they call for and don't plan on buying them for one or two chairs. Yours looks simple.

0
None
casvandegoorkcarp

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

Okay, you can find the plans by clicking on the first link in the description. It takes you to a page where you can download the SketchUp model. I don't know if you're familiar with SketchUp. It's free CAD software.

0
None
kcarpcasvandegoor

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

No, sorry, I am not! I saw the drawing. Is that what you mean? Or are there details about how long each board is and how many screws, blah, blah, blah?

0
None
casvandegoorkcarp

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

You can download it here: http://www.sketchup.com/products/sketchup-make You can measure the lengths of the boards in sketchup. See this video how to do it: https://youtu.be/iQEACzA2fDk I think two screws to joint two boards is a good guideline. Hope it helps :)