The fashion for pallet furniture has been going on for several years. But that doesn’t mean pallet furniture has to be clunky and tedious. We will prove to you that palettes can be elegant sometimes!
There is nothing to hide. Pallet furniture is just as popular as it is controversial. Popular because pallets are cheap, readily available, and you can turn them into a simple piece of furniture with little effort. Controversial because it is, however, recycled wood, often of average quality, poorly protected. Also, recently, pallet furniture has started to be spoiled by its mediocrity.
However, we still like such projects, and we assure you that if we properly apply ourselves to them, something special can be conjured up from the palette. Even an elegant armchair. Before that, however, it is worth learning more about the pallets themselves. Therefore, if you are starting your adventure with them, take a look at our guide.
Equipped with the necessary knowledge, you can start building this furniture with us!
- 2 EUR / EPL pallets
- angle grinder with a tip for sanding wood
- hand saw
- sandpaper grade 80-100
- water varnish, painting unit, or brushes
- Four large metal fittings
- Four large wheels
- a lot of wood screws and matching washers
- drill and screwdriver with screw bit and wood drill bit 10
- pen drill size 18
- 3 meters copper water pipe size 18
- Four copper elbows, size 18
- Six copper triple joints size 18
- epoxy adhesive for metal
As you can see, a lot of ingredients and tools are needed. Because, to make a decent and interesting piece of furniture out of a palette, you have to do your best.
We start by selecting only the pallets. If they have been used, you need to check them carefully and choose those that will not be broken and not show traces of fungi, mold, or wood-eaters. They are usually protected against such damage (most often thermally, but sometimes also chemically), but it does not hurt to look at the wood.
To make such an armchair, we need two pallets. We both cut along in the same place – right next to the middle beam. The most convenient way to do this is with a chainsaw that will make four cuts in just a few minutes. There will be much more work with handsaws or a jigsaw.
From the pallet that will be the bottom, we additionally cut the transverse boards so that the side beams remained, connected only on two sides. Thanks to this, the structure will still be relatively high, but it will lose weight.
It is not easy! Pallets must be well sanded. Neither the oscillation, nor the belt sander, nor even the eccentric sander is enough in this case, or at least not enough if we want to sand the pallets neatly and quickly.
The best will be an angle grinder with a flap disc (i.e., made of sandpaper) with 100 grit. Be sure to wear protective glasses.
Also, we cleaned the boards’ edges and the spaces between them by hand using coarse sandpaper.
We varnished the cleaned wood thoroughly. Not only for its protection but also for it to become even more friendly and smooth to the touch. It is most convenient to do it with a painting unit, but ordinary brushes will also work. We applied two layers of water varnish with an interval of about 4 hours.
After the varnish has dried, connect both parts of the pallets using metal connectors and screws.
If the pallets don’t fit perfectly, don’t worry. One of this material’s features is some “carelessness,” yes, the pallets should be three specific sizes, but regularly there are several centimeters of deviations. Instead of fighting them, it is better to put this energy into the wood’s good sanding. And even if there is a slight difference in both parts’ size, you will be able to twist them.
At the bottom of the pallet with the slats cut out on the side beams, measure the same distances to screw the wheels evenly. First, we drilled the wood. We recommend doing this because the pallets are rigid, and without drilling, it will be difficult to screw the wheels. After that, a screwdriver is enough to attach them.
It is best to cut the copper tubes while the varnish is drying. We once showed how to go about it when designing a table made of wood and copper. This is most conveniently done with a manual pipe cutter. It will take some time as we need a lot of components.
More specifically: two pieces of tubes each: 30 cm, 55 cm, 11 cm, 12 cm, and 15 cm, and three 65 cm.
We have constructed from them and elbows and tees two armrests 30 cm high and a higher backrest, which to make it more stable is reinforced with two additional transverse pipes at the height of 15 cm.
It seems to be complicated, but take a look at the pictures of our construction, and you will easily repeat this layout. The tubes were glued together with epoxy metal glue, accelerating the drying process with a dryer. But even in this case, it is a good idea to give the adhesive a few hours to set the structure.
When all the backrest elements were dried with a pen drill, we drilled holes in four places, on the sides, 1-1.5 cm deep. We put copper tubes in them and fix the mount with hot glue or epoxy.