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New England, United States

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Relax & Put Your Feet Up - Part 1

Hi, Friends! It's been a couple of weeks or so since I last posted.  Shame on me! I've got to brag say I'm very proud of myself.

I planned out all by me little self and executed said plan (with a little help from a friend to hold some wood in place while I drilled) and voila!  I have a nice, roomy, outdoor footrest!'s a table...the perfect height to rest my feet!

Pallet Table
Pallet tables are all over Blog Land and with free pallets available to me, I just needed to add another project to my ever growing list! Can you just picture it with a black & white wrought iron garden bench and a couple of white Adirondack chairs?  Some funky big flower pots placed nearby and a fire bowl on top? Well...try....ignore tubular chairs...and just try.  See?  Beautiful!

One thing about this table is that it is not going to be moved by a Nor'easter or a tropical storm. Still up in the air about a tornado! Yes siree, she's a sturdy little thing!

Basic Pallet
I started off with a pallet like this. I still have two more - anyone else want to make a table? They deserve to be saved from a bonfire! Yeesh!

The first thing I did was pry off the two slats on the bottom - one from each end so I would be able to access the future bolts with washers & nuts. Sorry, no pics of that hour long fiasco part.  Have you ever seen how many 3 inch nails they use per board on these things? You'd think they have to bear a lot of weight or something!

Next up was filling in the gaps. I used firring strips because they were cheap the right size - 2 inches wide and they were about a dollar and change or less for an 8 ft. length. They each needed to be 48 inches long so I spent $4 and had the store cut them in half to fit in my car.  I love it when it works out so easily! Fortunately, before I started adding my strips to the pallet, my co-worker and go-to guy, Ryan, "suggested" I pre-drill because pallet wood is hard. Thank you Ryan, for saving me mucho time and sweat and not so nice words! I lined them up being sure to leave drainage space and pre-drilled my little heart out and then secured at each end with screws.

Look how much those gaps closed already!  I should have been an orthodontist! Well, maybe not.

Unless you want to pry each and every board off, your spaces will vary.  You can pry 'em off if you want.  I didn't want to after the experience of the two on the other side. Nope...but you go right ahead, I'll just go get a nice cool drink and check out Facebook & e-mails.  Anything good on TV? I'll wait. I can always come back tomorrow.

Now it's time for what I am calling the "apron boards" which you can see the edge of in the above pic.  I have no idea if that term is right, but I like it so I'm going with it. These are the 1" x 6" pressure treated boards I used on each side of the pallet to even it up and make her pretty. I also had these cut to size at the lumber store which remains nameless because they ignore women that are not blonde and size zero. Apparently, the lumber store cutting person that day, didn't understand inches so I got to break out the circular saw and trim it to correct size!  Woohoo!  Got to use the saw! Got to use the saw!  Yes, I was also enjoying candlelight and music while I sawed and hammered. Deal with it.

Butted Apron Boards
I lined them up evenly with top of pallet edge. And can I just stress again....PRE. DRILL. Because I don't have super long drill bits, I drilled as far as I could then removed the apron board and continued the partially drilled holes in the pallet side.  Then it was time to place the screws through the apron board until about 1/2 inch came through.  This made it quite easy to line up to all the holes in the pallet.  Then get that screwdriver bit on the drill and drive them all in.  Four sides...drilling twice on each side and screwing in. All hemmed in!  Pretty aprons!

Are you having fun yet?  It gets better and thank God for friends who show up to hold wood in place and help with clamps!  Next up is drilling the holes for the legs.  I borrowed clamps, but couldn't quite get them tight enough...enter Linda.  Thank you, my friend! I used 2" x 6" pressure treated (PT) wood for the legs and randomly decided that 16" would be the perfect height for what I wanted and I was right and it feels good.

Clamped in Place
I chose to place the legs on the outside for a couple of reasons: (a) to avoid having to cut out part of the pallet base and (b) I'll be able to loosen  the bolts in the Fall, turn legs up onto apron and retighten - nice flat pallet for winter storage! I lined them up with the top of the apron boards and made sure the corners met.  No more gaps!

Pretty, Shiny Ladies & Friends
Once clamped, holes were pre-drilled. Two legs per corner. I used a 5/16" drill bit so I would be able to accommodate these lovely ladies - The Lag Bolts with their friends Washers & Nuts! I used fully threaded lag bolts about 5 1/2 inches long with washers & nuts to fit.  
I did not put out the money for stainless steel....this is a pallet table, not a teak or mahogany table, friends. And they were cheap reasonably priced.

I also learned my lesson with the shutters.  This time I numbered the legs on the bottom as well as their corresponding position on the inside of the bottom of the pallet. (You'll see in Part 2.)

Now it's time to exfoliate the lady!  I used my orbital sander with 150 grit sandpaper and reduced the weathered look, smoothed her right down and got rid of a lot of those age spots, too!

After the Spa Treatment
If you look on the left side of the picture, you'll see the funky-to-be big flower pots and the pallet is leaning up against the soon to be restored wrought iron garden bench.  The pots will be a winter project to be ready for the Spring.  The bench is already in progress.  :)

The hard work is over for the most part and the true fun messy part is about to begin.  Come back for Part 2 soon! Remember, there are two pallets up for grabs!  Think about it!

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