Intro: Pallet Dining Table With Solar Lights
This dining table can fit up to 8 people. It contains very discreet solar LED lights that charge during the day, and are ready to replace your candles for a nice dinner at night.
The wood used in this project is entirely from reclaimed pallets.
I was lucky enough to find pallets of various dimensions, so some adaptation may be needed depending on the types of pallets you have.
I did not make enough pictures of each step while working on my project, but I made sketchup files that you can download and see how I made it.
Step 1: Get the Design
I made a sketchup file of the entire project. It is attached so since I did not take pictures of every single step of my project, I recommend you download it and check every angle so that you understand how every piece is organized.
Step 2: Prepare the Top Structure
Attached are pictures and sketchup files for this step.
Obviously you need to have dismantled your pallets beforehand.
Using 3 pairs (left, middle, right) of 2 larger boards, build the skeleton of the table top. Attach those together the best you can using regular boards and large screws.
Note that only the one in the middle has boards screwed on both sides. The ones on the left and right are only fixed at the interior using another regular board. The other side will be added later on.
It's very important at this stage that all 3 "bones" are at the exact same level.
Once the 3 long "bones" are ready, attach one board on each side using large screws. They have to be very well attached since they will support the entire weight of the finished table.
Step 3: Finish the Table Top
Nail as many boards as needed to cover the entire length of the table.
Try to leave no space between each board.
Position the nails on the left, middle and right sections of the table top structure.
Step 4: Table Legs
Each leg of the table is made of 2 boards for which one side is sawed with an angle of 45 degrees.
I used 2 right angle braces for each leg.
The legs are then nailed or screwed to each corner of the table top. They must be at the same level as the table top.
Step 5: Add Planks to the Sides Between the Legs
This is the part where I've been lucky to get a very long pallet. I managed to get 2 boards that could fit between the legs in the entire length of the table. If you don't have boards of this size then you can replace them by several smaller boards. However since those boards are used to consolidate the structure of the table, try to keep them centered so that they can consolidate the two larger boards used as the skeleton of the table top.
Also add boards between the legs in width so that the sides of the table are just one flat surface.
At this stage, the table is pretty much finished.
Step 6: Finishing Touches & Solar Lights!
Now that the table is done, all that remains is sanding, treating the wood, and if you like: add solar lights!
For this, first choose your solar string lights. They must be cylindric so that the bulbs are not noticeable when the lights are off, like those ones: https://amzn.to/2qDunzL
First, position the solar panel on one of the table legs and attach it. Starting from there, you can start to position the LEDs on the table top.
Measure the space between the LEDs and drill one hole by LED in the table top accordingly. The holes should be slightly larger than the LEDs. Pay attention not to drill in the structure of the table top! Also, better drill from top to bottom to avoid damaging the table top! Start by doing one side of the central "bone" of the table top structure, and then the other side.
Position the LEDs in the holes so that when touching the table top, the surface stays flat. Glue the LEDs in the holes using whatever glue you like. I used a hot melt glue gun but other types of glue should do the trick.
Regarding the treatment of the wood, it depends on where you'll use that table. In my case it's outside so I used a saturator only. But adding some epoxy finish could also be quite nice.
All done now!
Step 7: Test and Admire
Since the solar string lights only work in the dark, simply put your hand on the solar panel and check that all your lights are visible. If they are too low, you can adjust their position.
If all lights are well positioned, wait for the night to fall and admire your creation :)