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?
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.
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.
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.