Introduction: One-Pallet Chair
This Adirondack chair was built from just one pallet!
Download the Google SketchUp model here.
Here’s how to make splendid material-efficient pallet furniture:
Pallets are everywhere. Some are in great conditions and some have a couple of broken beams. Some are free and some cost a couple of bucks. Look for the cheapest pallet which you can use the most lumber from. Also, see if you can get one that has some (thicker) beams that are strong enough to provide support in the furniture.
Deconstructing a pallet is tricky. It’ s almost inevitable to break a few beams, so be careful. Here are some tips and tricks on how to do it.
Group the beams into similar thicknesses, widths and lengths. Then measure the different beam sizes.
4. Model (CAD)
Use the measurements to draw the beams in Google SketchUp . Move, rotate and cut the virtual beams so they give shape to your furniture. Rember from which beam each part in the furniture came from. Don’t use more ‘material’ than you have! If you have trouble with finding the right proportions and measurments, you can use existing furniture models from the 3D Warehouse as reference for your own pallet furniture. Remember to keep the design simple, so that the transistion between the digital model and the actual furniture is less troublesome.
Measure the lengths (and widths and angels if necessary) of every beam in SketchUp. Then cut the corresponding ‘physical’ beams to size. Now combine all parts and, once again, refer to the SketchUp model to do so. I predrilled holes and used scews to keep everything together.
Pallet Deck Chair
Introduction: Pallet Deck Chair
I just moved to Knoxville TN. I love the weather here. I also love sitting on the back deck to read or just relax in the wonderful weather. I got kind of tired of picking up the folding chairs and bringing them in every night, so I wanted something that could just stay there. I don’t have a lot of money after the move and I’ve been watching Craigslist for something cheap and sturdy. I saw and add for barn wood chairs. They are basically chairs made from salvaged barn wood. They looked simple enough to make but, again being new to the area, where would I get the salvaged wood. Then I see an ad in CL for "Free Pallets" all you want just come get them. I’m thinking, "Pallets are strong, and free, I can do something with that."
Insert standard safety and anti-stupidity disclaimers here. Safety goggles (not Googles) Don’t cut nails with your skill saw. Don’t cut yourself. Yadda.
To start with, use your favorite way of dismantling your pallets. Just prying with a claw hammer will usually splinter the boards pretty good. I think they pry apart easier if they are totally soaking wet. It may have been a coincidence but I started dismantling when they were wet after a good all night storm. The first batch came apart pretty well. A couple days later, after things had dried out, I worked on some more and they mostly broke apart.
I based my design on a small standard 40"x40" pallet. I used less than one pallet for one chair.
With just a couple of exceptions, all of the boards should be cut in half to 20". I don’t count the number of boards because the size of pallet boards can differ. Only the lengths of the boards and the angles matter mostly.
See image for clarification.
1. – Two of the thicker 2"x3" boards should be notched at approx 45deg about an inch and a half from the corner
2. – Two of the thicker 2"x3" boards should be cut to 18" with a 10deg angle at one end.
3. – Two of the 1"x4" boards are 20" with a 10deg angle on one end.
4. – Two of the thicker 2"x3" boards should be cut to 16" with a 10deg angle at one end.
4a. – The two little 4ish inch pieces left from the 16" boards will work well under the arm rest.
You will also need to rip one of the pieces of 1"x4" pieces for the upper front part of the seat.
(You can notch the corners of the arm rest if you like.)
From here just use deck screws (or salvaged pallet nails) :o) Things kinda fit together well with out much percussive persuasion.
To make it last longer, use wood glue on all of the structural joints, legs, chair back, arm rest.
My wife said I should sand things, but I kinda like the rough look. They are a little bit small, but they fit a normal sized butt pretty well. They are pretty low profile but they make judicious use of the size wood that is available. (besides, it is a pain in the tuckus to dismantle a pallet, without splintering it horribly)