I have a number of quite decent pallets that have been stored outside since 2008, they are sturdy, the ones used to deliver concrete blocks rather than the lightweight type.

They''ve taken on a nice patina of age and yesterday I used a few of them to make a table.

You should be able to pick up pallets at your local tip or 'decheterie'. If you decide to have a go, please post your projects on SFN as a blog post, or just here in the comments below!

Here's how I did it;


The raw materials, I actually used three in the end.









First I cut the pallets using a table saw, this isn't strictly necessary, you can disassemble them with a hammer and bolster.

Then I tried removing the nails with a claw hammer, this was useless as most of the rusty heads stripped off and I was left with just the body of the nail still intact.

It was much easier and faster to cut them off with an angle grinder. There are loads of them!

I ran everything through the table saw to trim the edges so that all the boards were exactly the same width, again this step could be skipped if you don't have a table saw. This is the timber I was left with from two pallets, I had to do a third in the end as I was making it up as I went along. I had no initial design, I wanted to have a look at what I had to work with before making and style decisions.

I made a rough sketch primarily so I had some dimensions to work with that would suit the size of the timber I had available and assembled the frame.

Still not decided on how the legs would look, I screwed some on anyway to make working on the table top easier. I've added an inner frame 20mm lower which will hold the boards in place for the top. I was initially intending to place the boards across the table, that would have been easier as they would all have been the same length. I decided they would look better long ways though, so I added a couple of supports.

Then I began gluing and nailing the boards to the inner frame and lateral supports, some screwed from beneath too.

I cut the center ones thinner, so I wasn't left with really narrow strip on one side.

I moved the legs to the inside of the frame and added to braces, they do offer some strength to the table but they are mainly cosmetic. Kept the moss that was growing on one of the boards too!


I gave the top a quick sand with 120 grit paper, not too much though as I wanted to retain the patina and gave the whole thing two coats of V33 Aquastop. Done!

Get your varnish here

Handful of screws and nails, about a fiver!

See also 'How to make a Beach Bar from discarded pallets'!


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Comment by James Higginson on November 5, 2015 at 10:51

I'll be getting some!

Comment by Simon Newton on November 5, 2015 at 10:49

I forgot to say, they ship to France at what I thought was a very good price!

Comment by James Higginson on November 5, 2015 at 10:45

Lovely Simon, thanks for the link!

Comment by Simon Newton on November 5, 2015 at 10:31

for my projects I've used these https://wickedhairpins.com/shop/ taking it to another level...

Comment by Stuart Wilson on October 26, 2014 at 22:26
Very nice.
Comment by John Withall on October 26, 2014 at 10:11

Time to get working on some chairs LoL

Comment by James Higginson on October 26, 2014 at 9:33
Great job, looks fantastic!
Comment by Nicholas Karoly on October 26, 2014 at 8:39

Finally got around to making one! Thanks for the guide, it was very useful. Here's mine:

Comment by James Higginson on October 13, 2014 at 7:54

On the inside of the frame there is another board which spans that joint Nicholas, that's what makes it super strong, although the glue and the screws would probably do fine without it.

Comment by Nicholas Karoly on October 13, 2014 at 1:46

Hey James,

Great table it, it looks amazing! Just a quick question: It looks like you've used two pieces for the length of the table, how did you join these together? and how do you ensure that it doesn't sag in the middle where the joins are?

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