This Pallet-Clad Espresso Cart only cost about 100 dollars! Made from mostly repurposed materials and clad in angle-steel, this cart could be in the most expensive of espresso and coffee shops – or your kitchen!
How I made this Pallet-Clad Espresso Cart:
First, I framed the main box out from repurposed 2x4 boards. It is basically like framing out a chest, but then roll the chest up on one side, and you’d have this cart. The main body of it is wide-open to accommodate a small refrigerator and a five-gal water bottle or two, with clearance for whatever sink you choose to install. I installed heavy-duty locking casters. I finished the frame out by flooring it with long deck boards.
Next, the sides were clad with pallet wood. I used all pine pieces for a consistent look and stain properties. I staggered the joints so it would look nicer, and didn’t mind a bit of warping – that’s what makes working with pallets fun, after all!
Pallet-Clad Espresso Cart - the top:
Editor’s note: It appears that some type of backer board (such as particle board, drywall, or cement backer board) was used as a substrate material for the countertops. Then, possibly a laminate top of some kind was applied. The information was not provided by the crafter.
FYI: If you apply to wood or another laminate top to a surface (such as a countertop), the recommended substrate is usually particle board, but follow the laminate top manufacturer's guidelines. This is due to expansion/contraction rates of the substrates in comparison to the glues.
Pallet-Clad Espresso Cart – Making it Heavy Metal:
The final decorative touches included adding upcycled 2x2” angled steel brackets. I dry fit them first, then installed them in place with screws and decorative trim washers. Then I used an angle grinder to remove most of the surface rust, discoloration, and imperfections. Next, I welded all the angle joints. I used the angle grinder again and cleaned up the welds. I continued to grind and polish the metal until only small amounts of the gray oxidization remained, but most was ground somewhat shiny. I purposely left a lot of the grind marks – they look cool!
The finishing touches were to stain the wood laminate top and the sides a beautiful cherry color and then to install the equipment. I installed an espresso machine and a chrome handle. I sealed everything with a polyurethane coating.