This project was inspired by numerous talented woodworkers in books and on the internet. One day, I walked by a big pile of pallets and shortly thereafter the property owner sent me home with a truck load of them.
Building solid furniture with pallets is a process but not all that difficult. First, the pallets must be broken down. I did that two different ways that you can see in the video. Once the pallet slats are pieced out, they can be planed, dimensioned to square and edge glued to form nice hardwood panels. My final thickness was 3/8” and I used oak for the outer cabinet panels and shelf.
The resulting panels can then be squared and cut to final size. My design uses both the short and long slats to create a small and large sized panel. I chose to adjoin the cabinet corners using box joints for both strength and aesthetics. I used dado joints for the shelf and cabinet dividers. I was able to cut the joinery on my router table. I made a few mistakes in the process but overall it turned out pretty well.
The plane bed supports and dovetailed French cleat hanger was cut by hand. It really wasn’t all that much work and quite enjoyable. The plane bed was a challenge to get the proper angles cut but in the end, I’m happy with the results.
The most stressful part of the entire project is the glue-up. There was a number of joints that needed to be affixed before the glue dried. The titebond extend gave me the extra time I needed and I was able to complete the task without issue. Sanding is never fun for me but it smoothed everything up nicely and I cleaned up the dovetail using my bench plane. I used a few pieces of pallet cutoffs for the plane dividers and it was done!
This project pushed my skill level but to be honest I get bored without a challenge. Equally challenging, it was rewarding to build something that will last long after me and inspire me for future projects. I was also cheered on by my youtube and instagram community during the build which I greatly appreciate.
I hope you will consider using reclaimed wood in the future and save a tree or two! I hope you will continue to challenge yourself with your next project.