Single Pallet Chair

About: Error(New York, London, Paris, Tallinn) Error was born in Vilnius in June 2009 as part of a Capital of Culture project which deteriorated into a reality television show on Lithuanian National television.Moni...

For this Instructible, you will need a minimum of one pallet, one hammer and one hand saw.  You can use more than that (screws, drill, varnish, new nails, et cetera) but it's more of a challenge to use the minimum of materials and equipment.

This project was made as part of an installation in Cuge Le Pins, France. The installation can be seen here:

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Step 1: Cut the Pallet in Half

Well actually don't cut it quite in half; cut it lengthwise right after the blocks...see the pictures if this statement doesn't make sense.

Step 2: And Again...

You're going to want to cut the slightly-less-than-half pallet section on one side of the blocks again so that it is divided into a 45/55 split.

Step 3: Destruction/Construction

You can completely dismantle the smallest portion of pallet for boards.

Take the slightly-more-than-half section from your last division of the pallet and connect it under the blocks of the biggest pallet portion. Add two boards (which you should have removed from what was the smallest portion of pallet) for legs.

Step 4: Everybody Needs a Little Support.

Add a couple, or a few, of those spare boards to under where the seat of the chair rests on the back/legs.

Step 5: Add 2 Boards and You're Done!

Add two more boards (from that smallest portion of the pallet which you dismantled) to connect each fore-leg to it's corresponding hind-leg.

Now you've finished; well done! you now have yourself a sturdy and rustic-looking chair made from a single pallet.



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    7 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome creativity! However, this could be a bad idea if the palate is made of pressure treated lumber (somewhat likely, and would pose an arsenic exposure risk) or was used for transport and contact with other carcinogenic industrial chemicals.

    This is what I call "backgrading", or using a "dirty" item for a "clean" use, and should be avoided more than "downstreaming", where you would recycle a "clean" item for a "dirtier" use (say a salad mixing bowl into a chemical mixing vat).

    If we can't do this, the inevitable results are cancers and disease, as neat as the project might seem... but it is a common problem that faces all engineers in every phase of modern design, manufacturing, recycling, product development, public works, etc.

    Proceed with caution and forethought! =D

    4 replies

    Such concerns do not really bother us especially as such treating makes these chairs durable for outdoor use and also because repurposing pallets, which have been disposed of, uses wood that would be otherwise thrown away while preventing the demand for other materials which would go into building a chair. If you're worried about chemicals from the wood coming into contact with your skin you could put a barrier (such as pillows) between the chair and your skin.

    I think you are confusing the different proceses. Wood for pallets is not treated like exterior lumber. If is specifically treated to kill insects as pests, as per federal/international law to prevent pests from other countries invading by tagging along. While the chemicals used to pressure treat may not be a voc, the pesticides used to treat pallets may become a vapor/gas when in a home environment that it was not designed for. Cushions may not offer protection for smaller organisms, like pets and children.

    Over a thousand pallets a day pass through my warehouse. Most are from the US, Mexico, Canada or China. Pressure treated lumber is never used to manufacture wood pallets. I have in excess of 20,000 wood pallets in my warehouse that have come from all over the world and none were fumigated nor have I seen a fumigated pallet in years.
    Pallets with no IPPC stamp are domestic use pallets and are safe for human contact. Treated pallets are only used for import/export freight. 99% of pallets used for export/import are Heat Treated. These are heated to achieve a minimum core temperature of 56 °C (132.8 °F) for at least 30 minutes. Pallets treated via this method bear the initials 'HT' near the stamped IPPC logo, (see below sample logos below. Heat treating is not only safer, but cheaper.
    Fumigated pallets were treated with methyl bromide. Pallets treated via this method bear the initials 'MB' near the IPPC logo in place of the 'HT.' Since March 2010, the use of Methyl Bromide as an acceptable treatment has been banned.
    Treated wood pallets must be stamped on two opposite sides indicating either HT for heat treated or MB for methyl bromide treatment. Leave the 'MB' pallets alone.