The Simple Things
GARDEN PALLET BENCHES
Get the power tools out to knock up a bench, then relax and enjoy.
YOU WILL NEED:
Pallets (we used four pallets that were approx. 120cm x 66cm)
Cordless drill driver
Screws (3.5mm x 40mm screws – we used zinc yellow passivated screws as these are better for outdoor use) Set of four heavy-duty rubber wheeled lockable castors (optional, but great if you want to make your bench moveable)
Prybar or crowbar
Sandpaper (60 grit coarse)
Water-based garden paint in your choice of colours (optional)
1 Place the first pallet on the floor. Stack the second one on top of the first and cut off the final plank from the top of the second pallet. This will form the base and seat of the bench. Using the drill, screw the two pallets together with four screws along each side and four screws along the front edge. Don’t screw the back edge yet.
2 If you’re using castors you’ll need to attach them now. Turn your base on end and use your drill to attach your castors to the four corners.
3 Next, make the back rest. Take the third pallet and turn it upside down. There’ll be three support planks on the bottom of the pallet – remove the middle one, including the spacer blocks, using the prybar or crowbar. Prise the spacer blocks up so they lift off the nails, then hammer the nails back through so you can pull them out easily. Be careful when dismantling your pallet that you don’t damage the other sections.
4 Turn your third pallet back over the right way and cut off the supports just above the bottom two planks, so the top three planks are left. (If your pallets have five planks, remove as many as needed to leave a section measuring between 47cm-52cm)
5 To attach the back rest section to the base, rest the cut section of your backrest on the overhang at the back of the bench base (the space where you cut away the last plank). Get someone to hold the back rest in place at a slight backwards angle, and measure from the base of the back of your bench to the point at the top of your backrest just before the spacer block attached to the final plank. You’re going to cut support uprights to attach and hold it in position.
6 Using this measurement, cut three pieces from the planks you removed earlier to the correct length. Attach these uprights to the rear of the base pallets by screwing through the uprights into the ends of the exposed planks. You’ll only need four screws for each upright. Lift the backrest of the bench so it sits on the end of the upright pieces, which should be wedged between the spacer block and the back of the top plank.
7 To secure the backrest in position, drive a screw through each upright into the back of the backrest. It should now feel totally secure and shouldn’t move around.
8 You can now fill in the gaps between the planks on the seat and the front panel of the bench base. To do this, dismantle a fourth pallet using the same method above and cut these planks down to size before attaching with the drill. This stage is optional, and your bench will look great whether you choose to have spaces between the planks or not.
9 Finally, sand down your entire bench, paying extra attention to the seat and the backrest (no one likes splinters!). You can also paint it with garden paint to complement any of your outdoor colour.
A BESPOKE BENCH COSTS NOTHING BUT A BIT OF EFFORT