A friend asked me to build this table for her. It took around 4-5 pallets to get all the wood necessary to build this table. This was probably a function of pallet quality, so it may take you less (2-3) if you get great pallets.
Let see the step-by-step instructions to. build this nice little pallet coffee table:
- Pallet Buster
- Table saw and
- Mitre saw
- Air Nailer
- Pocket hole jig
- Metal detector
- Random Orbit Sander
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I sorted through the boards to find the best, most uniform pieces in thickness and length before nail removal. That way I didn't clean boards that weren't going to be used later. Note, I also selected some of the 4 x 4 structure of the pallets to be used as 'legs'. Discarded the rest.
I removed all of the nails, staples, etc... from the selected wood and validated with a metal detector. Since I was going to plane the boards, this was a necessary step to avoid damaging blades or worse, having to go in there and replace them.
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I planed all the boards to approximately 5/8" thick and the legs to 2.75" (to match the frame) x 3.25". I cut the frame boards to 2.75" wide and the shelf boards as close to 3.75" as I could get.
Remember this is not store bought so you may not get identical pieces to use, but that is also what makes it special :).
Dimensions and Frame:
This table is L30" x W24" x H20". I first built 3 identical frames using 2.75" wide boards, measuring 24" x 30". 1 to support the table top, 1 to support the shelf and 1 for the base. The table will rest on a rectangular base as opposed to 4 legs. I used half lap joints and glue on each corner. I didn't like using miter joints here but to each his/her own.
Tabletop and Shelf:
I selected the best 8, 3.75" wide boards for use as the table top. I wanted a contrast moving from one side of the table to the next. For the shelf below it didn't matter as much because I knew the entire base would be painted. I then cut the 8 boards to 24" length on the miter saw and glued them together on their side to make the table top. I repeated the process for the shelf but was less picky about my options, because these will be painted. After drying, the tabletop and shelf were each glued and nailed onto a frame with 18g Brad nails and sanded progressively from 80 to 320 grit.
Legs, more like Separators:
I then sanded the leg stock (2.75" x 3.25") and cut 12 pieces 8- 5/8" long on the miter saw. I then joined the tabletop and shelf together by adding a leg piece to the 4 corners and the middle of the long sides (6 total), using pocket holes and glue. Note, the legs are attached to the 2.75" side of the leg and the frame (2.75") were aligned. The pocket holes were placed on the inside faces of the legs (top and bottom) and then pocket hole filler pieces were glued in, cut, and sanded smooth. I then attached the bottom frame to the shelf using the same method.
I had some leftover Rustoleum spray paint in the can that I used to spray everything but the table top. (Sorry I don't remember the color). For the table top, I used the Varathene brand, semigloss polyurethane. I applied 4 coats, sanding in between each with 400 grit sandpaper. I then rubbed Minwax paste finishing wax on the top and buffed to a shine.
NB: I was sent a pic of a table to build this. Not sure where it came from. Also, I read somewhere the table height should match the height of the seat (where you're butt goes) of whatever couch you're using. So adjust accordingly.