Thursday, March 8, 2012

Outdoor Side table (from pallets!)

As promised here is what I've been working on with my lovely pallets.  I have a bench out in front of my house that I made last summer and I wanted a little side table to go next to it.  So here is the steps I took to make it:

First, I pulled the pallets apart, one board at a time.  This was a little tricky.  I used a crowbar and hammer and since this wood has been well used I had to pry it up slowly and carefully so that the wood didn't split.  There was lots and lots of nails in it so I took each one of them out and finally was left with a handful of 1x3's and 1x5's and 6 2x4's.

The 2x4s all have notches cut out of them, like in the picture below, but this wood is very sturdy/good wood.  As I was working with it I was surprised as how hard it was.
Since this wood was so strong I wanted to use it for the legs of my side table.  I liked the look of the notches so I made my cuts from the top down and then from the bottom up.  That way I was left with 4 legs that were the same.

I attempted to make all my cuts before I started putting them together.  I don't think it has to be done that way, it just makes the project come together quicker.  I did, however, mess up on one of my measurements and had to redo that.  So I'd just suggest making sure you know what measurements each piece of wood needs before making cuts.  Otherwise you could end up with lots of extra scraps.

I cut the legs 17 1/4th inches (btw I used a jigsaw for all of the cuts in this project) which left me with this little notch at the bottom.  I was tempted to leave it that way but figured in the end it wouldn't look right so using my jigsaw I cut the notch off each leg.

There that looks better, don't ya think?

Now using the 1x3s I cut out 4 side aprons at 9 1/2 inches.  Using a drill and 2 1/2 inch screws, screw one of the aprons to two legs keeping the apron flush with the outer side of the legs. Make another one, so you are left with something like this:

Next, attach the other two aprons to the other sides joining both leg sets together.  Like picture below.  This part was a little tricky for me.  Since I decided to leave that top notch the way it was and I didn't have super long screws that could have gone straight in.  I had to drill my screws in at the top and bottom of my 1x3s at a diagonal into the legs.  I believe I used 2 inch screws for that. Once again leaving the aprons flush with the side of legs.

I apologize I got a little carried away and forgot to take pictures of the next couple steps.  Hopefully these pictures I took after the fact will help explain what I did next.  I used 1x2s for the next couple steps.  I probably could have done it with the 1x3s but I liked the look of the 1x2s better and happened to have them on hand from past projects.   So I cut 2 1x2s at 9 1/2 inches (this is your side supports) and 1  1x2 at 14 1/2 inches (this is your stretcher).  These will be your supports that go near the bottom of the legs.  This helps hold everything tight and sturdy. 

Both side supports will go between the legs. I measured and marked up from the ground about 3 1/2 inches on the legs, this is where you want the supports to go.  Again, I used 2 1/2 inch screws to drill them in place. Then the stretcher is centered then drilled between the side supports.  Should look like the picture below.

Next, I cut 4  14 1/2 inch out of the 1x5s for the top of the side table.  The 1x3s would have worked as well, I just decided I liked the look of the 1x5s for the top better.  Just make sure you are left with a one to two inch over hang around the table.  Using my hammer I nailed in place the top boards with finishing nails.   Then finally I sanded the table down. I could have also went in and filled in all the nail holes with wood putty. I decided not to though I think it gives my side table some character. It's made out of pallet wood, it's not supposed to look perfect.

I decided I want to stain it but just haven't been able to get the stain yet.  I couldn't wait to show you so I'm sorry it isn't 100% done yet.  I will post another picture when I have it stained.

I'm envisioning a warm spring day with a little pot of flowers on top of my cute side table and me sitting on the bench with my book and a cool drink. While my kids ride their bikes and happily play with each other.....

Hey, I can dream can't I?!

Hope spring come soon!

P.s. I may or may not have made any sense while typing this so please don't hesitate to ask any questions!

P.s.s.  If you've enjoyed the projects I've shared so far click the tab on the right top of the page and please become an official follower. Thanks!

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