So here is my Instructable for my garden sun lounger.
1 (or 2) old pallets, Warning:take care when using old pallets as they may have been treated with or used to transport chemicals that can be harmful to your health, particularly once you start cutting and sanding. Use at your own risk, and if in doubt use alternative materials.
Screws or fixing.
What ever i could find to do the job...always traveling so have to use what ever tools are available to me at the time, often not the right ones or the ones I would choose to use.
Tape measure or a longer stick than i need and a pencil!
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Step 1: Breaking Down the Pallet
I´m not going to go into much detail here, there are plenty of instructables on breaking down pallets that are much better than the method I used, and i have found people find there own preferred method any way.
Once you have it apart and all nails removed you can see what material you have to hand. It was at this point i finalized the design.
I did not start with a finial design as I only had limited materials and you can never know how much usable wood you will get from a pallet.
Step 2: Building the Seat
I desired i wanted something of a recliner for the lazy afternoons in the garden. the angle of the seat is quite steep, you can if you want shorten the front legs to shallow this out.
I set the height of the front to sit comfortably in the back of my knee, so when sitting my feet where comfortably on the floor (being short this is something I rarely find in shop bought chairs!)
The length of the back legs/seat support was the length of the timbers from the pallet. (Yep a lazy chair from the start)
The width of the chair/Bench...You guessed it the length of the timbers..I wasn´t going to do any more cutting than I needed too!
The first Step is to screw the legs together, the front uprights are set on the inside and screwed from the inside to the diagonal back legs. Make sure they are square up so that the seat sections will sit flat. I used 2 screw 1 on top of the other, not side by side (this will be stronger and prevent movement once the backrest is in place pushing against the bottom of the legs)
Next set the first seat section in place, flush t the end of the legs and making sure the legs are squared, i did this by placing one of the other seat section lower down the leg so that both pieces where flush at the ends. (No fancy measuring, just eyeballing it) Once i was happy with the position i screwed the first piece in place with 2 screws each end to fix it securely in place.
Now depending on the width of the planks you have you may need 2 or 3 planks for the seat. I had some nice wide planks so I only needed 2. I set the gap between them so that it was deep enough it sit comfortably and fixed this in place.
The third plank is the support for the back rest. The most important thing with this is the gap between this and the last plank of the seat. The back rest is not fixed to the base and slides down through this gap. (By not having it fixed makes it easier to move once complete as it will quite heavy.)
To set this gap, first place the timber you are going to use for the lowest cross beam of the back rest in the place the gap will be. Insert one of the diagonal so the end is set against the front leg, then lift up so it is against the cross piece, then put the back support behind allowing a couple of mm so it will be removable once complete. Mark where the back support sits with a pencil, or a sharp point(if you don´t have a pencil) Measure this gap and mark the other side the same. *TIP*If You don´t have a tape measure you can use a stick/ piece of paper or what ever you have to hand, as long as it is not stretchy, just place the "stick" in the gap and mark it with a "something"(a pencil) and use this mark to set the other end. The actual length is not important just that they are the same.
Once you have your gap set, screw down the plank. The finial plank is at the front, if every is square this is a simple job of just screwing in place flush with all edges. you will find the sharp edge of the plank will cut into the back of your knee when you sit down, s this edge will need to be rounded off. You can use a router, a plane or just some sand paper, as i did to make this edge softer.
Step 3: Making the Back Rest
First sorry for the bad photo here, light was fading fast and i got over run by cute puppies interested in what i was doing and distracted me, this turned out to be the best picture I had.
So on to the build. This only consists of 5 parts, 3 cross pieces and the 2 down supports.
All pieces are the full length of the pallet so no cutting required again. (I do like to keep it simple)
Slide the to support pieces into the gap created in the seat and rest them against the front legs, and get them more or less parallel.
Take your top cross piece and lay across the supports, (you might want to use a clamp if it is sliding) Take a seat and carefully lay back and adjust the height so it sits at the right height to support your head. Mark the position so you can see where to fix it. Now the plank i was using for this was damaged at one end, so out came the saw, i cut away the damaged section and then mirrored the cut on the other side so it looked like it was all part of the design ;) Fix this in place with a couple of screws each side and move to the bottom cross piece.
The bottom cross piece sits in the gap of the seat and locks it all together, Remember the back rest needs to be removable so make sure the is a couple of mm gap at the sides before screwing in place.
The finial piece place roughly in place, and again sit down lay back and adjust to a comfortable possession, screw in place.
I was originally going to put more cross supports in place but found that there was nowhere else that my back actually touched the back rest so no point doing extra work, this is a lazy bench after all.
Finial job is sanding down. if you have a power sander this is a quick job, your not trying to remove every imperfection in the wood, just smooth out the splinters and rough edges.
Step 4: Project End
If you live in a area that gets a lot of wet weather, I would recommend painting/staining the bench to protect it so your hard work lasts longer. But here in the south of Spain there is little rain to be worried about so i poured myself a cold beverage sat back and enjoyed the afternoon sun and the comfort of my own hard work.