Herringbone table made with pallet wood
Can you believe that this gorgeous table was constructed from scraps of wood? To be exact, it was made with slats from wooden pallets and soft-wood that was reclaimed from another project. In just two days it went from a pile of material that some people might throw onto a campfire to a stunning table that would fit into any modern home.
I captured the process of how my boyfriend, Josh Dudley of 123 Floor, made it and with his permission I’m sharing it here on Lovely Greens.
Josh recently needed a new desk and after searching the classifieds he came up with a handful of cheap laminated pieces that were going for more than they were worth. Though he’s never built a desk before, the idea came into his mind to create one using some pallet wood we had stored in the garage.
Josh’s years of experience as a floor layer even found their way into the table top design. The ‘Herringbone’ pattern is a common design that you’d see on modern floors but when I first spotted him laying the pallet slats in the same design my jaw nearly dropped. I’ve honestly never seen a table top designed like that before. Especially in a DIY piece.
The table measures 30″ in height, 4ft in width, and 2ft in depth. It’s constructed using mainly basic methods so even an amateur woodworker could recreate it.
The first step is making the table top. Josh used an old piece of 1/2″ thick scrap pine as a base. With a pencil he marked out the final surface area of the table top but didn’t cut it until he’d laid out all the slats in their final design.
Each of the wooden slats taken from the pallet are about 19″ in length and fit together just off-centre of the table top – he spent extra time beveling the edges of each piece with a sander but this step could be optional. What is not optional is sanding down the wood. Pallet wood is scruffy and covered in potential splinters so buff each surface area carefully.
The angle that the slats are trimmed to at the sides is 45 degrees and a Mitre Saw was used to create the cut. I’m sure there’s a hack to get around using this piece of equipment but if you can beg or borrow one off of someone it’s highly recommended.
After the design was set out, Josh cut the slats and then placed them back onto the base. After they were all cut, sanded, and beveled, he cut the table top base and then glued the slats down. He also used a nail gun to secure each piece.
Next he used 2×4″ soft wood to outline the underside of the table base flush with the edge. These add weight to the table so slightly smaller and lighter pieces might be more ideal. It’s what we had at the house though so that’s what he ended up using.
Once those were attached with long screws, more pallet slats were used to create the skirting of the table top. They cover up the construction underneath and give the piece a more solid look. The corners were cut at 45 degree angles and Josh got a bit fancy and cut each slat’s other edge at the same angle so that it fits into the adjoining one.
Again wood glue and nail gun were the way they were fastened on but manually hammered in nails could be an option for those without a nail gun. Use very thin nails though.
The legs are soft-wood pine and each is 27.5″ long. They’re glued and screwed in to the 2×4″ supports under the table top and then reinforced with angled pallet wood slats cut at 45 degrees on either side. Best seen in the below photo are the wooden connectors he built to attach the legs to one another for extra support. These are more pallet slats and are simply screwed into the legs.
My contribution to his project is the suggestion to paint the legs with Blue Paint. I think it really makes the whole project stand out!
The top of the table looks like the wood it is. There’s no intention to disguise the fact that its recycled pallet wood and it’s celebrated with a thin coating of Clear Wood Oil Finish to protect the top. It helps protect the surface from spills and adds a finer texture than paint or varnish.
One of the most exciting things to come out of this project (other than the table which I plan on liberating in the future) is a commission Josh received after pictures of his table first made their way online. Using this same method he’ll be creating a full floor for a couple here on the Isle of Man. He’s currently collecting pallet wood for the project but is still looking for more good sources. A full floor takes a lot of pallets but the finished floor will have the assurance of being 100% recycled wood. I’m sure it’s going to have a stunning, rustic look to it too!
If you have any questions about the construction of this project, the best person to speak to is Josh. Message him on his Facebook page here.
The Materials used for the table:
For the top and sides: 27x Wooden slats from a pallet, each about 19″ long
Table top base: 1x wooden board 2×4 foot
Wooden stabilisers under the table top: 2×4″ soft wood
For the legs: 4x squared pine pieces, 27.5″ long
For the angled leg braces and leg connectors: 6 more of the same wooden slats used for the table top
You’ll also need wood glue, thin nails, and screws to fit it all together