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Pallet coffee table

Shagen
Junior Contributor

Pallet coffee table

I bought a Ryobi table saw a few weeks ago and did my first coffee table out of pallet wood. This who coffee table was made with just the Ryobi table saw and an Ozito still. It isn’t perfect but it looks rugged and good.

 

I didn’t realise that pallet woods are not all the same thickness. While I can cut and resize them with my table saw I can’t get the same thickness. I don’t have a planer. How do you make them thinner without a planer or do I need to invest in a thinknesser to do that?

 

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Pallet coffee table

Hi @Shagen,

 

One of the marvellous things about working with reclaimed timber or pallet wood is that it doesn't need to be perfect and flaws just add to the charm. I think you have done a fantastic job on the project especially as it is your first coffee table.

 

If the thickness of the boards is not too different I use a Ryobi 800w Variable Speed Belt Sander to get them all flush. I've been looking at a thicknesser myself and they are a significant investment to make but certainly a time-saving machine. You might like to take a look at some electric hand planers as a more budget-friendly option.

 

We look forward to seeing what your next build will be around the house and garden and would encourage you to let us know if you need assistance or would like to share it with the community.

 

Mitchell

 

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Shagen
Junior Contributor

Re: Pallet coffee table

Hi @MitchellMc, which is a better option? A belt sander or an electric hand planer?

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Razzer
Junior Contributor

Re: Pallet coffee table

Hi Shagen.

 

Nice work, that looks pretty good.

 

A belt sander is easier. It all depends on the grit of sand paper you are using. I have an electric hand planer and rarely use is now. I found it to be to aggressive, plus if you hit a nail or some piece of metal that you didnt see. You will be up for new blades. I did have the Ryobi thicknesser but I blew it up, while I was machining some merbau. Got alot bigger one now. Small thickessers are only good for softwood and most pallets are made of hardwood. So if you want a thicknesser to do hardwood, you would have to look at $1000 up. I some times use my stanley hand planer if Im not in a rush or want to have fun.

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Pallet coffee table

Hi @Shagen,

 

I apologise for the delay in my reply.  As @Razzer has mentioned a belt sander is easier to control. I also have an electric hand planer and find it to be very aggressive and hard to remove small amounts of timber.

 

I would recommend a belt sander for removing any serious amount of timber efficiently. Just start at a coarse grit like 80 and works your way up to 240 grit when finishing.

 

When building with pallets I try to collect a few of the same construction. From those pallets, I reserve the boards of similar thickness and best quality for things like tabletops. When it comes time to sand them all flat it will be less time and work to get an even surface.

 

Mitchell

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Old-gal24
Super Contributor

Re: Pallet coffee table

Just love this table @Shagen  I know it's almost a year old, but I wondered how you got on with the thickness of your table top?  I use a hand plane and sander to get uneven surfaces even.. But I'm sure you figured all that out yourself... I just wanted to say how much I love what you have made.. There are certainly a lot of folks on this site who cleverly reuse old pallets.. 

 

Thanks for sharing

This old gal.

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Juli
Budding Contributor

Re: Pallet coffee table

I just bought a ryobi brushless cordless circular saw. I tried to cut through a slat on a Bunnings pallet and the blade got stuck. The blade is 24 tooth and says 1.6mm so I assume it’s probably better to only use on mdf. Medium density fibreboard. I’m only new so don’t know but was advised by a Bunnings team member that a twelve tooth blade would be better for cutting the slats on the Bunnings pallets. 

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Pallet coffee table

Hi @Juli,

 

I have a very similar Ryobi cordless circular saw, and yours should easily cut through the boards on a pallet. I suspect there is another reason the blade bound up and got stuck. I've put a short video together below for you on cutting through a pallet board. Hopefully, it might assist you with the process as it shows some techniques to follow and things to watch out for.

 

Here are a few things to keep in mind and try which should resolve this issue:

 

  • Set your blade depth only fractionally deeper than the material you are cutting. Only expose enough blade to allow you to cut through the timber's thickness. If you are cutting through a 19mm board, set the blade depth to 24mm. This will help with the binding issue, and it is also a good safety practice.

 

  • When cutting with a circular saw, you always need to be mindful of the timber pinching the blade. This won't be evident when you begin the cut but progressively worsens as the timber starts to give way. For instance, if you place a long piece of timber between two sawhorses and then try to cut through the middle, the timber will flex downwards and pinch the blade. In this scenario, you would reconfigure the sawhorses and plan your cut outside them, not between. This allows your waste material to fall away as it's unsupported. You might be experiencing this issue whilst cutting the pallet boards. Try not to put excessive weight onto the saw whilst cutting.

 

  • Ensure your batteries are fully charged and try to use a battery that has the highest AH rating, preferably something over 2.0AH. 

 

  • Make sure you are cutting straight and don't apply any sideways force on the machine. Even a slight amount of sideways force with stop the blade. Also, try not to twist the machine as this also causes binding.

 

  • Check and then double-check for nails before cutting. The nails holding the boards to the rails can look straight but often skew out of the rail.

 

Please let me know how you go and if you have any questions.

 

Mitchell

 

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Juli
Budding Contributor

Re: Pallet coffee table

The video was extremely helpful. Thank you. I put a block of wood under each slat I’m about to cut in preparation now for it to be stabilised more and not fall inwards and bind the blade as you stated and it works well. 

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