How to Build a DIY Pallet Table

Learn how to turn an old wood pallet into an outdoor table. 

Not everyone can attest to having enormous pallets at their access – mine happened to be left over from a recent flagstone patio project. I wasn’t about to let them go to waste. See, they’re a lot bigger than the common pallet you often come across. And they’re mammoth and strong enough to support thousands of pounds of flagstone, each weighing approximately 60 pounds.

Due to their weight, these pallets weren’t going to be ideal for a wall-hanging piece like you often see, but I did have a project in mind that would make great use of the strong, free materials.

We have a table that sits on the deck for everyday use, but that table isn’t in close proximity to the grill, forcing us to balance plates and juggle spatulas and tongs while preparing our summertime favorites. We’ve known for a long time that we really needed to get a small table to sit beside the grill (high enough to be out of the dog’s reach, of course, a constant consideration). While we considered one of the Weber-branded tables that attaches to the grill itself, we tend to move the grill around a bit and didn’t want to make it bulkier. Our biggest point is that we needed something durable enough to be left outdoors in sun and rain.

A pallet table seemed like the perfect fit, so just this week I got to work creating a new piece of furniture from the pallet that had been sitting in the driveway. I had decided on a design that would leave us with a sideboard-sized table, 48″ wide x 20″ deep (half of the size of the whole palette) to create a generous space for food, drinks and grilling accessories.

To saw the pallet in half, I used our cordless Sawzall to cut through the boards smoothly.

Insta-tabletop! I removed the single board from what would be the underside of the pallet table…

… and fit it into the gap between the boards on the top of the pallet (surprisingly, a perfect fit with no additional cuts needed!). I was even able to secure the board into place using the original nails.

With the whole pallet cut in half, I then pulled other boards from my pallet wood pile and used them as legs (approximately 30″ in length each). The only monetary investment for this project happened to be $8 for eight 1/4″ x 4″ lag bolts, two to attach each leg to the table top. I used clamps, a few pieces of scrap wood, a drill bit to pre-drill holes for the bolts, and a socket wrench to tighten them. Friendly reminder: Square up often so that those legs stand perfectly. I really lucked out with the consistency of my pallet scraps; the ends of the “legs” were cut clean and square, and required no extra trimming.

I staggered the bolts to prevent them from being wobbly, and they cinched the leg and tabletop frame together almost effortlessly.

The finished piece, currently positioned alongside the garage in the vicinity of where we grill our summer meats and veggies, looks wonderful.

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