Pallet Workbench




Introduction: Pallet Workbench

As a tall fella, I’m fed up of breaking my back leaning over to reach tables built for ‘normal’ people. I decided for my back’s sake its time I built a workbench for me…or any other tall person.

Please bear with me on these instructions, I don’t know any technical terms and I’m sure there are better ways of accomplishing what I've done.

Step 1: Break Down the Pallets

To do this I basically used a crowbar and had about a 60% success rate in getting the boards off without them splitting. If anyone has a better technique then please let me know….it got me very angry very quickly. I broke down 2 large pallets to get the amount of wood I needed.

Step 2: Build the Frames

As my workbench was going to be tall, I knew that it could potentially be unstable so I built two identical frames to wrap around the legs for extra support. These frames will be attached at the top and bottom to give strength and will also be the surface to attach the panels, which will create the worktop and bottom shelf.

Step 3: ​Preparing the Panels

Before attaching the panels to the first frame to create the worktop, I planed off the edges to remove any nasty bits and sanded down the panels. I didn’t spend too much time on this, I quite liked the idea of my bench to be rough looking…at the end of the day, it’s going to get more than a few knocks and scratches in its lifetime.

Step 4: ​Creating the Worktop

My frame was built to be the exact length of the panels to reduce cutting and to keep things easier. In reflection I wish I’d have made the frame slightly smaller to allow for a lip around the edge, rather than everything being flush. I didn't worry too much about each panel being completely flush against each other, but I did the best I can and I’m happy with the outcome. Once each panel is screwed into place it instantly gives the frame a solid stability.

Step 5: ​Putting It All Together

This is the fun bit. At this stage you should have one frame, with panels for your worktop, another frame without panels for bottom support and 4 legs (I used a good piece of wood that I cut into 4 that I salvaged whilst looking for pallets). Turn the worktop upside down and place each leg into each corner of the frame and screw into place. Once secure slide your bottom frame over the legs and screw in place, my advice is to keep it off the bottom and have it high enough so your feet can fit under the frame. Now the moment of truth, stand the workbench up on its feet and check for wobble….luckily for me everything was level.

Step 6: ​Bottom Panels

I decided for some extra shelving I would attach bottom panels to the bottom frame. This also creates a more ridged frame but at the same time provides me with some extra storage space.

Step 7: ​Finished

I’m really happy with how this project working with used pallets turned out, I've never done this before. Looking forward to starting on the next thing…whatever that might be. I hope this helps and I apologise if it’s quite basic, I didn't decide to do this until the end. Next time I’ll take more photos and notes of the build phase :)

2 People Made This Project!


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32 Discussions

did you paint it

If you want a super easy way to take apart pallets and you have a little bit of cash to spend I recommend investing in a reciprocating saw. They come with blades to cut through metal and are simple to use. I am new to diy projects and had my pallets apart in no time. Use a chisel and hammer to make a gap between two boards before using the saw. I picked one up from Bunnings for $100 and haven't looked back.

you definitely need a 'Roughneck Demolition Bar as shown in the photo. They are readily available from Amazon for less than £20. The best money I have spent and enables me to break up a pallet within 5 mins pretty much with zero splitting. Nick.



Did you ever mention how tall the bench is? I'm tall as well and would like to know. Thanks brother!

As mentioned before, all pallets have different construction methods. The ones that I am currently breaking down seemed to have someone who really liked using the nail-gun.

I've found that using an axe and a lump hammer to get the boards a little bit apart, then use a hacksaw blade to get in and saw the nails off. Of course I could use a reciprocating saw/sawzall but I have limited funds.

Another thing to remember is that these pallets have had a hell of a rough life and the slats may be split before you attempt to take them apart.

No 2 pallets are built the same. Some of them are bloody hard to take apart. I used 1 pallet that had 10+ nails on one joint and I spent a lot of time and energy trying to take it up and no matter how much I tried I couldn't get the planks off without breaking it.

I took inspiration for this design and built my own. The only thing I changed was the gaps on the bottom shelf - you will undoubtedly have small stuff roll into the hole and end up losing them. To cover the holes I have nailed cleats onto the leg which allowed me to cover the gap with shorter pieces of wood.

Use a Sawzall and cut the nails in between the top 1x6 and the frame of the pallet. It works so much better and you salvage all the wood.

you can buy a punch and knock the nails out from the opposite side, also can grind the heads off

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you can't drive the nails back, the nails has barbs on them and if you would try to hammer them back out from the opposit side the EjjiFM will fold out and tare the wood even more, so i would rather cut the nails with a metal saw blade...

I found a youtube video today that showed me how to dismantle pallets with a rubber mallet and a block of wood. Flip the pallet upside down and prop it up. Bang the wood block into the slats right next to the support beams. They came apart fast and in tact. I plan to build 2 of these and mod it into a kitchen island.

I tweaked your design a bit, but still used salvaged material, besides the legs.


Holy crap that looks good.
What stains/oils did you use?

Good mod/colour scheme!

I didn't stain it. I used a 10' piece of red cedar for the legs. The rest of the bench is made from a composite wood that was taken out of a dressing room from a hockey arena.

You can take a block and place it underneath the slat you're trying to remove (close to the series of nails to be loosened) make sure the bottom of the block is on the ground. Then take a small sledge hammer and hit the cross board.

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