Getting Started – Working with Pallets




 

Power Tools

 

 

So here I’d like to tell you about pretty much everything you should know before you start your fun with pallets  🙂

I’ll be writing about tools, materials and all the necessary stuff you’ll need, to make your working with pallets quick, effective and most importantly safe.

So first things first…

 

A workplace or space


Ideally a garage or a garden or a shed(?) Anywhere with an electricity supply and good ventilation. If you have a workbench that’s fantastic, but you could easily be doing everything on the ground. I guarantee you’ll have a nice leg workout doing sanding on the ground 🙂 Well I’ve had, better than the gym 😉 Anyway if you think that’s too much for your back etc. you can build your workbench from….. yes you’re right PALLETS 😉

And moving on to…

 

Tools and materials


Working With Pallets

 

I’m just gonna list all the stuff you’ll need eventually with some nice pictures. Just in case if you are a beginner and don’t know much about pliers or crowbars or saws 🙂

 

working-with-pallets-tools

 

So there you go…..

Hand and power tools:

  • Hammers
  • Pliers
  • Crowbars
  • Screwdrivers or electric drill or drill/driver
  • Saw ( handsaw, circular saw, jigsaw, reciprocating saw – Sawzall, band saw, scroll saw)
  • Sander – you can use sand block, but I think it’s just too much work for big projects (orbital sander, random orbital sander, belt sander)
  • Sharp knife the kind you use to cut carpets
  • Stapler and staples, no not what you use in an office kind 😉
  • Clamps
  • Level

 

accesories

 

Other materials and accessories:

  • Paint, varnish, wood stain
  • Nails, screws
  • Assorted paint brushes
  • White spirit for diluting paint, cleaning paintbrushes etc.
  • Measuring tape
  • Sandpaper – a selection of grits
  • Workbench or anything you can use to put in the ground like tarpaulin
  • Face masks
  • Safety goggles
  • Noise canceling headphones or earplugs
  • Old, used clothes to wear
  • Material clothes/old rugs
  • Gloves

Ufff… you’re probably thought that list will never end 😉 Believe me this can go and on and on. There’s always going to be something else making the job easier and quicker 🙂

 

working-with-pallets

 


That may seem like a lot of stuff but if you’re keen DIY-er like me you probably have most of them collected over time. If you just starting your adventure with DIY and have a small budget, begin with the easy project. Use simple tools like a handsaw, a hammer or a sanding block. However, I don’t recommend saving on safety equipment like goggles, gloves or masks. You don’t have to splash a lot of cash on them. The basic ones bought in any hardware store are better than none.

 

Working With Pallets

 

So before you start you should have a rough idea of what you want to create. Have a look in INSPIRATIONS section or browse through the blog. That will help you visualize, what it is you want and how it should look like. You can design your project on paper or computer. Whatever flows your boat 🙂



Don’t know which pallets are safe to use? Check Know Your Pallets article.


 

Make sure you do the measuring before, working-with-palletsespecially for more complicated projects. Knowing your pallet size and type will give you the idea what you can use it for in a particular design. More on pallet types and sizes here.

Then you just go with the flow. You’ll see that some projects will require more pallets to be used (dismantled) to get nice, quality planks.

 

It depends on if you’re working with new or used pallets. New ones are easier to work with. I mean they don’t need so much preparation. The downside is they’re pretty hard to come by unless you willing to pay for them.

Used ones need to be prepared before they look nice. You have to make sure they are dry, with no sign of spillage and sanded in the process. I personally prefer used pallets, because the finish look has more character,

like this arrow2

 

working-with-pallets

 

If you think I should mention something else please leave a comment and I surely look into it 🙂

Kasia

12 thoughts on “Getting Started – Working with Pallets

  1. I love DIYing and pallets are great materials for so many projects. My husband built me a jewelry case and some flower pots for our balcony out of old pallets. And you are right, used ones have so much more character!

    I have a few other projects in mind for some future pallets. I will bookmarked this site so I can refer back to some of your tips. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Sarah:) Thank you for commenting :)I always wanted to be doing something like this.For years I coudn’t because I haven’t had the space. Now I’ve moved and have a garden and garrage I can finally use my imagination 🙂

  2. It would be quite sexy to see woman using pictured tools, i think all men will agree with me…don’t you guys? its not a sexist joke just it is not common to see woman in that role even those days)) I will keep reading cause so far you may become more professional than DIY guys i had met!! without good tools no job will be done properly!! And that is a true…!!! so if you see a tradesman around you house promising great job and his tools are a mess, write to Kasia!! She will do it better!!

    1. To be honest I’m the one using all kind of tools in my house 😉 Being practical and creative, no wonder I’ll be graduating in structural engineering next year 🙂 Trades man… as long as is not sometyhing to do with gas or electrics I’ll do it myself. That way i’m sure it’s done properly 🙂

  3. Hi Kasia. I’ve gotten into pallet projects in the last couple of years. It appeals to me on a few levels; I’m a scavenger, I like re-using things, I don’t like seeing useful stuff getting thrown out, I like making things I need, exactly as I need them.

    I’ve made a couple of dog beds, (the most recent one with recycling storage beneath it), a couple of dvd player/pc monitor holders for our bedroom (one designed to hang from the coat rack in the built-in-wardrobe), a firewood storage trunk that turned out bigger than I planned, 2 work horses, roller skate & derby gear airing rack, and this 3m long table: http://imgur.com/a/kduUD which will soon have 4 bench seats beneath it. There’s also been a few projects that I’ve done on request and have been paid for with beer.

    I reuse everything I can, including the nails. The wood that doesn’t get used goes in the fire to heat the house. Some of the tools I use are even 2nd-hand.

    There are as many planned projects as there are completed ones.

    1. Hi LS, thanks for dropping by 🙂 I exactly know what you mean about reusing things. I hate throwing stuff away just because you can go and but new ones.I see that you are much more prepared(tool wise) than me but I only just getting started working with pallets:)I love your table. I’m planning on making one myself for the dining room. Definitely not as big:)
      Feel free to comment with some useful tips or drop me a line via email.
      Kasia

  4. Excellent website! I think I found your website completely by divine intervention because I have been wanting to incorporate pallets into my Tiny House build and didn’t know where I would begin! I want to reuse pallets because you can make some of the best furniture and storage with them! I love all of your ideas and I know exactly where I will be going when it is time to start looking into furniture builds for my tiny house!

    1. Hi Tamara,
      it makes me really happy that people actually find my website useful 🙂 I’m sure I’ll be putting more ideas regularly once I get the hold off of the technical stuff. I’m intrigued by your Tiny House. Could you share some more details about it?

  5. Hi Kasia

    I love this website! I’m a DIYer myself and yes – I get used to the ‘sexist’ jokes about women with power tools! Mind you, my husband is an electrician and he’s the King of Drills, so I am not allowed to use his precious drills unless I am under strict supervision! We do have a lot of fun working together.
    Our most recent project was a set of stairs for our backyard which has a 1.5 metre high coffee rock retaining wall and no way to get down it except by jumping from rock to rock. Fun, but not all that safe – so we set to work and built a staircase – not out of pallets cos it wouldn’t have been strong enough! But I have lots of ideas running around my head now!
    I am visiting my daughter in Queensland at the moment and one of the Brisbane inner city parklands has these amazing planters built out of stacked pallets. I’ll try and get a photo while I’m here and send it to you!
    Well done, by the way!
    Ellie from WA (Western Australia and the other WA! 🙂

    1. Hi Ellie,
      I’m glad you like my website :)I don’t really care what people or in this case men say 😛 I got used to telling me that I chose very masculine major at Uni( structural engineering) when actually is not that dominated by men anymore 🙂 Same with DIY.
      There are so many ideas you can try and make. I actually have to put some of my inspiration pictures up. Literally the sky is the limit. You name it and I bet you’ll find some examples of it on the internet. Send the photo over and I’ll put in inspirations page. My next project is a herb garden or planter BTW 🙂
      Kasia

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