Possibly that hardest part of making furniture from pallets is the disassembly process . Sometimes they come apart easily and you can recover almost everything; other pallets split and break and you end up with very little. In any event, this part of the process is time consuming. Each pallet will present its own challenges so here are a few tips on how to take them apart before we start on the construction of the cupboards.

Slam a bolster or cold chisel between the boards and the stringers to cut the nails at that point. Using a claw hammer ought to work but usually splits the wood instead.

Cut the boards at the end first, you'll end up with shorter pieces but the nailed remnants will come away more easily.

Use a punch to knock through any nails that remain.

Use an angle grinder to slice of the nail heads, this leaves burn marks in the pallet but they come apart easily afterwards, and the burn marks look quite good anyway!

If you have access to a table saw, you can take a couple of millimeters off each side so they are nice and uniform.

The sturdier pallets have nice thick stringers whereas the ligther weight ones just have blocks on each corner. There are many different types; keep an eye open next time you are out and about and you'll be surprised at how many different types there are!

I'm using the stringers from pallets used to transport blocks for the frames of my cupboards. They are glued and screwed with 100mm screws. I get my screws here by the way.

I've cut some of the boards to make the frame more rigid and I'm using these two lightweight drawers that I bought very cheaply as they are missing some of the fixings. €6 for the pair!

I'm using boards from one of the blue pallets for the shelves. No idea why they are blue but you see a lot of them about.

Using glue and a nail gun with 50mm nails to attach them to the frame.

With two of them complete, I can now start on the drawer fronts.

I didn't want them to resemble pallets too closely so I have cut some boards into 20mm wide strips, turned them 90 degrees and glued and screwed them back together.

Cutting a groove into the back of the drawer has allowed the baskets to locate accurately. I then cut a thinner strip to attach the drawer to the front with a couple of screws. I've grooved the back of that strip too for good measure.

Just the doors left to do.

I'm going to frame the doors in more of the strips to match the drawers more closely, again gluing and screwing everything as we go.

Everything gets sanded, but not too much as I want to preserve the character of the timber.

Once that's done I painted it all with bleach to lighten it.

Ready to attach the doors with some basic hinges from Bricomarche

Everything then gets a coat of V33 Aquastop. This stuff dries quickly so after a couple of hours we're ready to move it inside. 

Please let me know what you think of it.

If you want to know how to make the concrete top, you can read all about that here;

and there's a table I made from pallets here if you want to see that too.

Thanks!

James

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Tags: cabinet, concrete, cupboard, eco, furniture, pallet, recycle, timber, upcycle, wood

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Comment by Shirley Morgan on March 3, 2013 at 1:25

....so when can you come and sort out my new apartment then.......


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Comment by Catharine Higginson on February 28, 2013 at 9:15

That is really nice.


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Comment by James Higginson on February 28, 2013 at 6:44

Thanks Brian, I use 'Extrait de Javel' but I'm not sure it's any more effective than the standard stuff. If you want super strong bleach, try dissolving the bleach tablets in water. Or maybe try pool chlorine, wear eye protection though!

Comment by Brian Langston on February 28, 2013 at 0:51

Great job again James.  I'm interested in the bleach you used. I used to use some 'super-bleach' in the UK to lighten wood but haven't yet sussed out the French equivalent yet.  What was the one you used?

Regards

Brian


Admin
Comment by James Higginson on February 27, 2013 at 10:44

Hi Marielle, glad you like it, would love to see some photos of your projects, do posts them here if you like.

Yes it's the clear V33 Aquastop.

James

Comment by Marielle Wiggerts on February 27, 2013 at 9:13

Wow, that looks great!  We love making things of old wood (we made the kitchen cupboards ourselves amongst others), but have never tried old pellets as they seem too small and fragile, but you completely changed my mind! I didn't know the bleach trick, will try that one, and which colour aquastop did you use? Incolore? (I love the V33 chene moyen and chene foncé, do everything with them!)

Comment by Christian Mayer on February 27, 2013 at 7:14

what I need is a British - American dictionary/translator...


Admin
Comment by James Higginson on February 26, 2013 at 21:14

Thanks for that Mark, looks like I'm going to need to learn to weld now!

Comment by Mark Morris on February 26, 2013 at 20:19

Great job you've done there. as for prying the boards try making yourself one of these https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1vfvvxNhcY

work's a treat.


Admin
Comment by James Higginson on February 26, 2013 at 17:15

It's a big metal box Christian, I forget what they're called in French :) 

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