lundi 18 mars 2013

Recycling Oak Pallets Into Furniture

Using Oak pallets is amongst some of the more unusual and unique ways of making furniture. Many companies may often be giving them away or selling them off cheap, as they have them in bulk quantities.

Considering the usual price of oak they can be a great bargain but of course you can’t expect them to be a top grade suitable for fine furniture. You can certainly make a nice piece of bedroom or living room furniture though.

Pallets are made to be strong and able to hold a lot of weight, so this also means they are fitted together extremely well. One blogger even likens them to being held together with ‘kryptonite’. Of course this is not the case but as intended and suggested they are hardwearing so the best way to use a pallet (if you do not need it in its original shape) is to saw it, rather than trying to disassemble it.

Other types of pallets would also be fine for making furniture; however oak will be more the hardwearing source compared to the likes of pine, so consider that when deciding on what you will make.

Pallet desk overall
Photograph of Pallet Desk by Pierre Vedel Via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

One of the easiest furniture ideas using a pallet, is to make a coffee table. If you take one pallet and add wheels to the bottom, it will make a very low table. Alternatively you can stack a few together, or add pieces of wood between two to make up the height. Then it’s up to you to pick a finish to suit your room. Bold colours can give the room a real colour pop effect and would look great in a loft style apartment. Or if you just lightly stain it, it will have more of a rustic feel.

Pallet Chair and Unit
Pallet Chair and Unit

Of course this twist on oak may not look great with expensive and well crafted oak living room furniture, but the use of pallets is endless and you can even make your very own decking.

The main thing here is you will need to lay them on a flat surface, so may need to do some groundwork first. But the idea is literally as simple as laying a few pallets down, fitting them together as closely as possible and waterproofing them with a decent wood sealant. You can also stain them whatever colour you like, and using something like a warm terracotta could brighten up your garden and give it a real Mediterranean feel.

Some of the more crafty types online have made toys, beds, cupboards and much more. Although these would not be the best choices for a novice, as they could be a safety risk. One wouldn’t want to be awoken in the night a collapsing bed!

J. Hawkes is a guest author and writes on a number of topics relating to DIY, recycling and the environment.  Hawkes regularly submits to a number of different blogs including National Furniture UK's where discussion is usually about Oak living furniture.

 License: Creative Commons image source

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