Monday, August 27, 2012

Recycled Pallet Furniture Part 2 - Bench

Really, what legitimate flea market gardener doesn't possess 1 or more of the following assortment of  items in their yard:

cinder blocks - check
pallets - check
railroad ties - I can only hope
old tires - check
old bowling balls - check
lots of rocks - check
garbage picked furniture - check
over-grown patches of pure gardening joy - check
lots of ideas - check

David was on guard when I came home with more pallets. Joseph told me "ok, that's enough" as we loaded two small pallets into the trunk from behind a manufacturing plant (Always ask first before taking). I find that if you just tell the guys at the dock that you need a couple of pallets they are happy to offer them to a middle-aged mom accompanied by her robust son.

After the easy assembly of my first pallet project, the coffee table, it was time to make its companion, and I chose to create a pallet bench.

Please know that while many wonderful items can be made from recycled pallets, there is an amount of caution and controversy on this subject. In my short pallet experience, I have found two types of pallets- the very heavy blue Chep pallets that contain chemically treated wood that should not be brought into the home. I have used these only for yard projects (coffee table and bench). The other type of pallet is a lighter weight natural wood pallet that is marked "HT" for Heat Treated, which means it was place in a kiln with no chemicals. A future project will utilize the HT pallet for an indoor shelf.

Also, I recommend fresher, newer looking pallets as opposed to ones with known possible bacteria attracting products (food for example). However, since a pallet leads a rambling lifestyle, you may not know its checkered past.  It is possible to clean a soiled pallet with a bleach solution, but wood is porous. So if it looks really icky, be patient and find a nicer one. I am comfortable with the pallets in my possession and before I bring the HT project into the house, it will be wiped down, sanded and sealed.

Yada, Yada, Yada, let's get on with the project already!

Don't have all the "before" photos, but you can see what the pallet looked like. Literally sawed it in half and reconnected and reinforced it with scrap wood. Added scrap 4 x 4s leftover from the old swing set to raise the height.
The backside looks a little rough and I am looking for a few more pieces of scrap wood to trim it. There is a nice compartment it the back for storage or to place our favorite LED light & glass insulator combos.
Color it up: I used a variety of paints and stains leftover in the garage.
They have all withstood several rain showers.

Wheels: This is a heavy bench, so wheels were in order.
Yes, these are a bit ugly, but were cheap and sturdy from the
flea market and just right for a rustic outdoor project.

Dress it up: Clearance cushions from Garden Ridge - the perfect fit.

Gracie approved
For more great recycled pallet ideas also visit 

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