From Pallet to Coffee Table

One of the hottest trends around today is making pallet furniture, here is how I make easy patio coffee tables.  They are stylish and look great and reclaiming old wood pieces is better than seeing them in landfills.

What you will need:

  • 1 Box of 2” Nails
  • 1 Wood Shipping Pallet
  • Hammer
  • Saw
  • Stain or Paint depending on preference
  • Hand Clamps
  • Measuring Tape

Where can you materials for this project:

Everything except the pallet you probably have on hand or you can head over to the Home Depot or Lowes to grab what you need.  Shipping pallets aren’t hard to come by either, most big stores receive far more of them than they need so they will gladly hand you a couple of them.  You can just call a couple of local stores to see if there any available.

Building your coffee table:

  1.  Find the side that looks the best and this will be the top of the coffee table, often there are logos or brands so you will have to be careful with stains later on.  Paint might be a better option.
  2. Take the bottom of the pallet and using the hammer take off all the slats and cross beams and just leave the center slat for support.
  3.  Lay the pallet with the top up and take the removed slats and use them to fill the gaps between the attached slats.  Pallets are made with gaps the same size as the wood to save on costs.
  4. Grab the hammer and nail the slats to the frame of the pallet.
  5. Using two of the removed cross beams and measure the distance and mark their center.  Don’t forget to measure twice.
  6. Cut those same cross beams in half.
  7. Lay the pallet with the bottom side up.
  8. Attach one section of the now four cut cross beams to the inside corner using the hand clamp, nail the piece to the frame securely, this is going to be the legs.  Now repeat this step for all four corners.
  9. Measure from the outer edge and cut the two left over slats this exact length.  Nail this to the coffee table legs so your table has added support.

Now your new coffee table is ready for some finishing touches.  You will need to sand the surface the best choice is 200 grit sand paper, it will remove all the splintering and give you a nice smooth surface.  Use the paint or stain of your choice, applying a few coats to get the right color.  Let the table dry overnight.

Now it’s time to show off the project.  I have made plenty of these for clients and they are always a big hit.  If you don’t have the time to make it yourself I can take care of it for you.  If you find it easier to follow along with video, here is a tutorial

How I Turned My Woodworking Hobby into a Business

So where does one begin to make money from your woodworking skills? Mostly it happened by accident, I made some patio furniture, just some small tables.  They turned out to be nicer than the mass produces plastic stuff you find at the store.  It didn’t have a lot of delicate finishes but it combined wood with some pieces that I welded together, but it looked rustic and it came out great.

It was still a hobby for me that I never thought it would go anywhere but some friends saw the work and asked me to create something for them.  It was a custom piece and one of a kind, but the special part was that I actually made some money from one of my creations.  That led to some other metal work and a bunch of other custom projects.  I took the time to build my reputation before ever considering doing this as a business.

Setting the Prices

You can’t compare my prices on what the stores are charging.  First of all their products are mass produced, probably in China or somewhere where the labor is extremely cheap and they use the cheapest material they can find.

I use my skills to create a unique piece of art that you can use in your home.  It will outlast anything you have purchased at the store and prices reflect that level of quality.  I have a pretty big inventory or projects since this initially started out as a hobby.

Types of Projects

There are all kinds of small type of projects from woodworking to welding.  I have built decks and created metal and glass patio furniture along with some small custom cabinetry.  I put together custom pieces that will stand out in any home.