Welcome to Part 2 / The Build of the pallet wood chair reveal shown yesterday. Guys, this is the easiest build in the world and you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it first! Let’s build!
Disclaimer: I am a hack styled, self taught builder. I made everything up that you see here. Real builders, I always welcome helpful improvement advice! This tutorial is catered to those that are intimidated in attempting advanced building (like me!).
2 pallets nearly equal size
4 leg boards
2 arm boards
1. Start with two pallets of nearly equal size if you can. One will be your seat and the other will be your back. Sand them both as well as you can, especially the seat / leg area and anywhere your arms and hands will rest when sitting.
I used coarse, then fine sand paper with a good palm sander.
Caution: pallet or reclaimed wood can be contaminated so please do wear breathing, hand and eye protection!
The height of the legs will be determined upon the kind of padding you choose for your chair.
The arm length should slightly extend beyond your pallet seat depth.
- – - – -
padding – new 5″ foam
legs – 25″ high
arms – 5.5″ wide x 32″ long
pallet seat – 42″wide (left to right) x 30″ deep (front to back).
pallet backer – 42″ wide (left to right) x 36″ high.
Dry fit the works to ensure all is well.
I chose to not attach the backer pallet because I had a railing for support. I also wanted the option to use the pallet as a 2 sided bench, so leaving the backer off proved to be best choice for us. Allowing it to lean also offers you a nice comfortable angle to lean against.
How to attach the back properly… I’d probably extend the arm tops towards the back and run a board attaching both arms from the back so the backer had something to lean on. I can’t confirm this will work as I haven’t yet done it. Maybe one day I’ll try!
Create seat supports:
Reinforce the seat pallet with blocks for the legs with some leftover 2×4 chunks.
Then attach the chunks from top and bottom of pallet. You are now ready to attach the legs. The chunks give you something stable to drill the 4×4 legs into.
Determine how high you wish the chair to sit by propping stuff up under it and try it out. Consider how deep your padding will be as well. You want to be able to sit on your chair with your feet nearly flat on the floor if possible.
Mine – floor to top of pallet seat = 12″
To attach legs:
predrill 4 holes, then screw legs in as shown from outside. I don’t have a fancy kreg jig which is on my shopping list, so this does well. Just make sure your screws are long enough to clear the legs and give firm hold into the other side.
Tadaaa! It’s cool already and totally sturdy! If your pallet was longer, you could always cut some support legs to set midway if desired. The legs on this one were sturdy enough to carry the entire load.
Screw on your choice of board armrests and you are done!
I’m still debating on adding some extra detail under the armrests to fill in the big holes. I have some ideas. Will update if I do!
Be creative with legs and arms… there’s nothing to say you can’t use funky stuff. I chose a sign I had stored in my garage for one arm. While I would have loved it abit thicker, I desired the width to hold a up of coffee.
Pallet wood is not comfy so you’ll need to figure out some kind of padding. I purchased brand new foam for the seat.
Thickness desired will determine how dense the foam is. I chose 5″ because I did a trial on a sofa cushion we had and I loved how it felt! 5″ foam is not cheap though, this seat alone ran me $100ish. It is what it is.
Foam options: you can also purchase outdoor foam, but it’s nearly double the price. Outdoor foam accepts damp conditions without mould issues. Mine have to be brought in each night. Oh well!!!
(click for larger photo)
I also had to get a chunk cut for my larger pallet sofa made last summer. I left the seat out too long, and you guessed it… it got moldy! I lucked out and got this reused 6″ chunk! It is possible to also FIND what you need but the thicker you go, the trickier it is. But, I do recommend a foam shop if you can’t. They can custom cut whatever you need!
I went to Kingdom Mattress Factory in Chilliwack, B.C. Fred used a foam cutter, and glued chunks together creating the exact size cushion required. It could have been cut out of one chunk if he had it on hand. You can’t feel the seams at all so don’t bypass pieces!
Fred was totally cool with me taking a few shots with him at work. It was so interesting! Thank-you for your amazing generosity and help with this project, Fred!
disclosure: (I paid for my foam… Fred gave me a deal on the used one so I offered him this mention in return)
(click for larger photo)
I used coffee bean sacks as is. Acting like big pillow cases, oversized pillows (found at the thrift) were just slipped in and the tops folded over. For the seat, the sacks are just loosely fit for now.
Because I drag these pieces in each night, I wanted something just super easy to fold up and store again. Or reuse! The sacks are itchy so they can be changed out to something else come shorts weather time. For now, I’m enjoying the cool rustic vibe the sacks offer.. because I can!
Pro… change it out to different looks anytime!
This totally easy build has me eyeing up the need for two indoor chairs. And maybe even an indoor sofa. I’m totally serious. This thing is so roomy and comfy I can’t get over it! The 5″ foam and big puffy pillows are key. Don’t cheap out on that part or it won’t be comfy.
I hope I’ve inspired you to try your hand at building this. You can do this one! And you’ll LOVE how roomy they are to sit on!
Related worthwhile reads…