Introduction: Reclaimed, Upcycled, Recycled, Repurposed Pallet Under-Bench Rolling Tool Chest
(or How I Made Some Extra Space In My Apartment Using Stuff I Garbage Picked.)
Like many of us these days I find myself with hobbies that take up more room than my 600sqft. apartment will allow, so I had to build a workbench to be able to do anything, and if any of you have had to do anything similar, it's tough to build a workbench without a workbench to build it on. Once that had been completed I found that my tools were turning up in places they shouldn't so it was time for a little tool storage project.
Step 1: Identifying the Problem:
I had recently built this workbench from a dumpster picked bunk-bed set and a pallet, it's great- but there's no storage as you can see. Did a little poking around on the internets and found this: https://www.instructables.com/id/Apartment-Workbench/ and thought it looked like just about the right thing for my needs, but a bit expensive. So I dug around in my treasures and found these...
Step 2: Materials & Tools:
I had a couple pallets laying around as well as a lot of loose boards from other pallet takedowns
I had picked a slice of plywood from when my apartments did some new roofing last summer
The girlfriends dad had given me a Rockwell OMT for Christmas (this is a MUST for quick easy pallet disassembly with no wood loss) (Bosch Carbon Metal Blade)
Mitre Box and Saw
Adjustable Combination Head Square
Drill - I got lucky and found my set in a dumpster
1 1/2" #14 screws 100 box $10
4 x 2" locking 125# castors $5 each
2"x2"x8' x2 $2 each
"L" Brackets x2 $2 each
Step 3: Prep Those Pallets:
Use the OMT (oscillating multi-tool) to remove the boards from the pallet by sliding the blade between the boards and cutting the nails, then use a punch/nail/drill bit to knock all the nail heads out of your wood. You'll end up with a pile of nail-heads that you can use for another project- I'm thinking about making my dog a Pinhead costume.
Then sand that wood!! I worked through 60/80/120 but you can use whatever you like to get the desired finish. It's a pallet workbench, so I like it a little rough.
You might need or want to use a plane at this point to make sure your wood is straight and square-ish.
Step 4: Put a Lid on It~
What's that you say?
The I/D (inside diameter) of your workbench will determine the size of this project. We'll use the sizes I used although you might need a different size for your build.
I wanted to total width of 24" with a height of 30" and a depth of 17" to fit under my bench.
After doing a mix-n-match with my pallet wood, I found the size I needed and cut to 24" using a miter box, combination square and tape measure.
I also cut the 2"x2" frame that will be the surface I attach the sides and back to. Using the "L" Brackets square the frame and attach using wood screws and glue.
Step 5: The Bottom:
The bottom 2"x2" frame should be the same size as the frame you made for the top, with 4 sides instead of 3.
Lay out your wood until you have a size mix that fits, in this case it's 21" x 17"
After getting everything cut to size pre-drill holes in the 2"x2" , put some glue down and screw it together. If you have a giant clamp you should use it to keep the bottom boards tight, I used my knee.
I cut small small blocks to add a little height so the wheels would have full range and glued, clamped and screwed those suckers onto the bottom also.
***** BUILD NOTE*****
I think the wheels should be as close the the corners as you can get them to add stability.
Step 6: Sides:
At this point you should have a top and a bottom with wheels on it, if not... start over again. Assuming you do, let's move on:
So I had a top with 2" rail under it and a bottom with a 2" rail and some wheels under it and I laid them on their sides and marked out and drilled some holes in them. (If you do that to all 4 corners you can stand it up and use it for the first time to have a place to work for finishing the rest of this project!)
Pallet wood usually isn't the best quality so I pre-drilled all my holes and on all 3 sides and since I don't have a countersink I used a big fat drill bit to open it up for the screw heads, be VERY careful if using this method to NOT drill all the way through your wood- if you do you need a good plan "B", or some extra wood.
Step 7: Done~
Once it's all together you can give it a good finish sanding if needed. Here's a pic of it installed under the workbench and the inside. I think maybe a small shelf at the top and a few hooks should give me pretty good access to it all.
It's also a very good secondary worktop that you can move outside if you need to.