Wednesday, July 27, 2016

DIY Bench from Free Pallets

This post has been a long time coming! (A laptop with no working hard drive makes it hard to keep up.)

Recently, I've been enjoying making furniture items out of free pallets. U
nlike the lumber you would buy at a home improvement store, pallet boards are not always straight, so you have to be willing to have something rustic and “Perfectly Imperfect”.

A few months ago, I took an inventory of the pallets and pallet wood boards stored in the garage.  Since we gave our entry chair to our daughter-in-love for her birthday, I decided that we needed a bench in the entry hall.  Someplace to sit to take your shoes off, tie the grandkids' shoelaces, or for Hubs’ motorcycle helmet when he comes home from work.

Here's how I made our DIY Bench from Free Pallets:

Starting with a half pallet, (dimensions 44-inches long by 17-inches wide), I removed two of the boards on the underside and inserted them in the wide gaps in the top, using screws.
Next, I used some pallet wood boards to make a skirting around the pallet, cutting 2 short boards for the short ends, and 2 long boards for the sides. (Remember to account for the overlap on the boards.)
Hubs helped me flip the top over, and I cut four 2X4” legs from some leftover lumber . We attached these to the inside of the skirting using screws.  We turned it over and brought it inside to see how it looked:
To me, the legs looked a bit odd, and since I still had plenty of pallet boards, I attached skirting around the legs the same as I did for the skirting around the top; then I set about trying to add a shelf.
The shelf wasn’t as easy…I cut boards all the same length, and lined them up onto the top edge of the bottom skirting, but we had to notch some boards around the legs to get them to fit.  Notice how some of the boards are warped a little, and not uniform widths or thickness?  That's because the wood came from different pallets, and I didn't feel like ripping them down to the same size, so I used them as-is.  Again, rustic and perfectly imperfect!
If I had known I was going to add the shelf, I would not have put the legs on in that manner. I probably would have made legs the same as I had on my Pallet Console Table. (see photo ↓)  That’s how it goes when there's no written plan, and when working with pallets!
When thinking about building this bench, I wanted it to be sturdy and not wobble at all, so I used screws (and a little wood glue, too) for attaching everything together.  You could tap-dance on this bench! I sanded it down pretty well, since I didn’t want the grandkids getting any splinters when they come to visit. To finish it off, I used a white wash paint on it, something I had been wanting to try for a while now. (recipe at the bottom of the page!)  I’m so happy with how it turned out!

If you decide to try your hand at building a bench from free pallets, I hope some of what I've shown you will help you on your project.  Be sure to let me know how your bench turns out!  You can leave me comments below, or email me by clicking on the Contact tab at the top of the page.

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