Wood Pallet Storage Chest

Try your hand at amateur carpentry with a simple do-it-yourself storage chest.

| Spring 2019


Wood pallets are easily accessible items that can be found almost anywhere. Businesses, such as grocery stores, hardware stores, and lumberyards, often have them lying around and are happy to give them away for free. I’ve also found them through construction companies and businesses that have items shipped in crates. Make sure you ask first, just to be sure, as sometimes pallets are sent back to the companies they came from.

Once you have your pallets, taking them apart isn’t difficult, but it does require a bit of muscle and some patience.

Start by laying the pallet on the ground, making sure there’s ample room to work around it. If the boards on the edges are cracked or you just need smaller pieces for a project, use a circular saw to cut along the center braces and remove the usable parts. For longer pieces and whole boards, use a crowbar and hammer. Remove any nails that are already sticking out and hammer the crowbar under the edges, carefully pulling up a bit at a time around the nails to make sure you don’t crack the board.

You can also use the hammer to hit the board from behind where it connects to the thicker brace to loosen it up, but do only a little bit at a time, because it’s easier to crack the boards that way. A reciprocating saw will cut through the nails, so cutting between the brace and the board is an option, but it may be more difficult to get the nails out of the wood if you take the boards apart that way. Whichever method you choose, be sure to use proper safety equipment.

Wood Pallet Storage Chest

Perfect for a child’s room or storing away gardening supplies for winter, this chest can be customized to fit any theme or style. For example, a nautical look can be achieved by painting the chest dark blue and drilling holes in the sides for knotted rope handles. You can finish the inside by cutting a few pieces of heavy cardboard 1/8 inch smaller than the dimensions of each side of the chest, covering one side of the cardboard with spray mount, and wrapping each piece in fabric. Use a staple gun to secure the cardboard pieces to the inside of the chest to give it a more polished look.



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