I took two pallets apart completely and inserted the strips of wood into the gaps on the other set of pallets to make the tabletop solid. I sanded for smoothness, but left some paint marks for a rustic look. The fact that all of the wood was slightly different shades added to the overall effect. After joining the two pallets and strengthening underneath the tabletop, I secured six table legs with brackets.
How to choose the right pallets and tools for the job
It’s not hard to dismantle a pallet if you have the right tools. Use a pallet lever to easily pull pallets apart with minimal breakage. This is a two prong fork that sits over the bearers and allows you to lever off each plank evenly. You will also need a hammer to knock the nails through and a pry bar to pull out tough nails. Other tools that make life easier but aren't a necessity include a nail punch, bolt cutters and vice grips.
It pays to be picky with what pallets you use. Key things to look out for when picking up pallets are:
Does the pallet sit flat? If not, there's a good chance that every slat will be twisted when you pull it apart, including the bearers.
Are there cracks all through the timber?
Are there bowed slats? If the majority of the slats are bowed then it's a waste of time unless you have a particular project that could benefit from bowed timber.
Does the pallet have solid bearers? These are much harder to pull apart so there's a higher likelihood of breakage and wastage when dismantling the pallet.
Other D.I.Y. pallet projects
Workshop member Yorky88 used just two pallets in this terrific outdoor dining build.