Working at a company that designs & builds automation equipment we get a lot of shipments sent to us on pallets and for the most part they tend to get thrown out. This is good news for me because I can then grab loads here and there and throw them in the back of my van. At the time of this article I have been using pallets on my projects for years, but this bench was the first.
Using pallets make your input costs pretty cheap, but at the expense of your time to prep the boards for use. I have found that using my jig saw and a good wood cutting blade I can make pretty quick work of the job and still preserve most of the wood. I used to try removing all of the nails by starting on one side and working my way towards the other, but I found more often than not I ended up having the wood split and break on me so my yield was terrible with that strategy.
Instead now I will cut each top board right near the 2×4 end so that I only loose the 2 inches of board at each end. At that point it is pretty easy to start pulling the wood working it up and down to loosen the nails This along with both a pry bar / wonder bar and hammer gets things moving along quickly. I keep both of those demo tools in my shop to demolish things.
Next I go over to my work bench, turn the boards upside down so I can pound the nails out a little bit. Once they are out about a 1/4 inch or so it is easy to flip the board back around and use the claw of your hammer to pull the nails out.
If you’re going to use the three 2×4 pieces of the skid then you will need to use the demo tools to pull off the small remainder top pieces that were left when you cut the top boards. Sometimes just hitting them with the hammer will knock them off.
In the case of this project I used some large pallet pieces for the legs, they were definitely irregular in size as opposed to being 2×4 pieces. That is one of the great things about pallets, they are not always cookie cutter sizes like lumber you get at the home store, but can be all kinds of different widths of boards. This can really add character to your projects.
Because I built this project so long ago, this is all from memory so I don’t have detailed instructions or pictures to lead you through the project. This will be something I will be doing in detail on future projects, even offering bills of materials, PDF 2-D drawings, assembly diagrams, pictures & videos to help lead you through re creating the same project yourself. I like the idea of digital downloads so other people can build my ideas.
However if you want to get your feet wet on some fairly simple pallet projects that are relatively simple and can often be finished in a weekend follow this link over to Pallet University where Brandon can help lead you through making 10 projects using pallets and other reclaimed materials. Some of these are very close to the kind that are very popular on sites like Pinterest. For only a $9 investment you could start making some fun home projects yourself.
Looking for pallets??
Try craigslist and look in the “free” section, often companies that don’t know what to do with pallets put up ads giving people info on where to just come and get them for free.
Bold items are links to products. I like using Amazon because I can get most if not all of my parts in one order right to my door.
**I do receive a small commision if you purchase from my links.