D.I.Y reading corner for two wooden pallets

I love palette furniture. In fact, I think I love it for the same reason that I am so intrigued by Anthropology’s showcases – the idea of taking something that no one wants and turning it into something useful and/or beautiful resonates with me. An ostrich made of book pages? Lovely! A giant crown made of old books? Fabulous!

Which brings us to… a reading chair for Burke’s playroom made from a pallet and other materials we had on hand! Yes, please! Yes, please!

Since the assembly of this little gem was a little… mmmm… involved, I’m going to break this tutorial down into several parts. Today, I’m going to give you the information you need on the “chair” platform. In part 2, we’re going to build and attach the sides of the chair.

To do a palette reading yourself, you will need : -2 wooden pallets -break into 2 x pieces, cut into six squares. -3 castors -sander and sandpaper - nails

1. Choose your palette. Three tips for this process: a- Choose the strongest pallet you can find… b- Find a palette that is a square c- Try to find one with slats as close as possible. Sand the pallet with raw wood. Then draw a diagonal line from corner to corner with a pencil. * Note – The pallet we used had a broken slat. We just used the side without the broken slat for the chair.  

2. Cut along this line. We actually used a circular saw to cut along the diagonal line on one side of the pallet, flip the pallet over and cut along the same line on the other side of the pallet.

3. Reinforce your “forward” edge. Use the leftover wood from the side of the pallet you threw away (there is already a piece of wood stuck between the top and bottom layers of the pallet, so use it as it is already the right size) to place an extra piece of reinforcement on each side of the middle board, sandwiched between the top and bottom layers. Nail your reinforcement pieces in place.

4. On the bottom side of your platform, build the three corners with scrap metal squares. These will make your chair sit higher off the ground. Attach the casters to each corner “turn”. Turn around and admire! You are finished with part 1.

Remember, that’s what you do–

For this second part of the chair building, you will need: -a wooden pallet (if you have already collected two for part 1, this part will use your second pallet) -two pieces of scrap metal 2 × 4 at least the length of each of your “chair” sides. -a sander (I used an orbital sander, but any one will do … you could even sand the sand if you were really into manual work) – saw circular – edge bar or reciprocating saw (for lifting wooden planks from the pallet) -the nails

1. Sand all the wooden planks at the top and bottom of the pallet. For me it was eighteen planks of wood. If you have more or less planks, adjust accordingly.

2. Using a circular saw, cut each piece of wood on one side (top or bottom) as close to the edges as possible, detaching it from the side frame.

3. Detach each plank of wood from the pallet. To do this, you can use a wing bar or, if you have a reciprocating saw, loosen the board by pressing one end. Since the board is only attached to the pallet frame in the middle, tilting it back and forth (carefully!) will loosen the nails in the middle that still hold the board in place. Next, place the reciprocating saw blade between the board and the centre panel of the pallet (where it is still attached) and cut the nails that hold the two together.

4. Repeat the whole process on the other side of the pallet. You should now have at least eighteen boards of sanded wood of the same size. If they vary in size, cut them to match.

5. Using nails, fasten the wooden planks to the back of your chair platform, with regular spacing between the slats. Stack the planks on top of each other at the corner. Make sure that the smooth, sanded side of each plank is facing the inside of the chair.

6. For more stability, reinforce the top of the slats with your scrap metal by 2 × 4 along the entire length of the side. Fasten to the boards with nails.

7. You’re ready to paint!

Don’t forget, this is part 2 of a series to make a reading corner using palettes. We do this…