potting bench from pallets

tn_gardeningFebruary 20, 2011

I located a couple pallets and made this potting bench.

The nails aren't much fun to remove, so I tried to leave as many of the boards in place as I could (power tools also help with nail removal)

Nothing fancy, but it ought to work just fine.

It's 4 feet wide and 2 feet deep.

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Nice....and it should take the outdoor elements well. I especially like the rustic look and ya don't have to worry about the paint peeling after a couple of years and generally that is some pretty sturdy wood used in pallets. Wish I had a potting bench....sure would save the back! I know you will be able to enjoy it for many years.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 8:31AM
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tn gardening - That is a really neat potting bench. I also wish I had one. The rustic look is perfect. - Marylee

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 9:47AM
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spedigrees z4VT

I really like the rustic look of your bench too, as well as the fact it is made from recycled materials. It should hold up forever, as pallet wood is usually hard wood often impregnated with preservatives. And it should be hefty enough that the wind will never tip it over.

Hats off to you for managing to remove the old nails and to pound new nails. I have a hamster cage that I made from old broken pallets and it was a challenge to put together, I nearly gave up on it. What a chore! Even with starter holes drilled, it was next to impossible to pound nails and staples to hold the wire. But that sucker is sturdy! (as I'm sure your bench is too!) Later I started to worry about exposure of the resident small pets to the chemicals in the wood and built another bigger cage of untreated pine, and retired the 'pallet cage' to the attic for emergency use. Despite my fears however, two hamsters did live to old age (5 yrs) in the 'pallet cage' before its retirement.

I like the little compartment on your bench to hold a dishpan for water. You did a great job on this project! (I need a potting bench!)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 10:49AM
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Great recycling & a back-saver! RUSTIC is good! And this one should last for yrs! TFS! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 11:57AM
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Appreciate the comments/compliments.

It was enjoyable to build. We had a cold winter (as did most folks) so when the sun came out last week I was itchin to do something. This was a last minute idea and was fun.

Regarding the chemical issue of pallets. I'm told the HT (heat treated) stamp means they are "safer"

The grate section with dishpan underneath is there to catch dirt as we repot plants (and water, too). Felt it might help us keep things cleaner, but I suspect all it'll catch is rainwater :) Maybe I ought to build a lid to keep that from happening.

Regarding the nails. 2 words: power tools
You can saw right through them with a power saw (reciprocating, circular, jig, etc). You can also drill them out. Since we weren't making indoor furniture and weren't trying to win any awards, we used all those things to get em out, including an old fashion pry-bar and hammer.

As far as assembling. We used drill & pneumatic air gun. We have a neat little air compressor and brad nailer and simply put several nails in the boards. Those lil nail guns are kinda fun to play with and I'd recommend them to everybody because they are sooo handy (I think we paid $70 for our whole compressor n gun unit).

I'm sure over time, we'll have to replace some boards and touch things up, but that's no big deal because it'll give me another reason to play with the nail gun.

One more thing.

An even simpler way to make a potting bench with pallets is to not even mess with removing nails (just cut one in half and put some legs on it).

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 12:23PM
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WOW!!!!!! You could make and sell those!!! Great job!!! Great recycling! I wouldn't even have known it was made from pallets if you hadn't told us! I absolutely love it! Love the soil tray too! Thanks so much for sharing! I bet you have inspired quite a few people to make one! Bear Hugs! Kirk

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 1:50PM
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Nice. :)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 3:26PM
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Excellent job! And in the fall/winter you could maybe put the pan in upside down, so it won't fill with water. I am Inspired! Thanks for posting the pics! I once built a whole deck off my mobile home using 2 20ft pallets as the base. And I had waaay too much fun screwing it all down! (probably a screw every ft, everywhere...sheesh, give a gal her first power tool and look out!ha! I also conquered my circular saw fear with that project!!!heh heh!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 3:27PM
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Great job! I will have to look out for some pallets to have my Bob make me one (it will keep him happy and busy). Every so often I see people or businesses giving them away. I was reading in a magazine I got recently that a guy who builds these recommends using ones that were made to hold tiles. They are supposed to be sturdier. I like the rustic look of yours and like Kirk, I wouldn't have known it was made from pallets if you hadn't told us!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 4:58PM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

Its marvelous. I'd love to have one just like it.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 5:10PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Ah, a nail gun would have made my project easier!

I wouldn't worry about chemicals with a potting bench. No one is living inside a potting bench!

I should think that just keeping the dishpan upside down when not in use, as Calamity suggested, would solve the rainwater problem.

The deck project built on pallets is a creative idea, Jane.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 5:24PM
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Marlene Kindred

Those are the finest looking pallets I've ever seen! What a great reuse of old pallets...love the rustic look and the whole design....thanks for sharing with us!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 9:13PM
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That is so cool!!!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 9:19PM
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Great recycling job!! When I got mine (it was a bed headboard originally) after I painted it I added a row of 4 in. long nails pounded in(spaced about 3 in. apart) for tools so I don't have to go & get them every time I want to pot something. DD posted it for me but all those posts from last fall disappeared when forum got virus or something. Jan

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 11:42PM
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Full disclosure.

The legs and shelf were not made from pallets. Those are scrap pieces of wood we either already had or picked up at H.D. store in their scrap pile. If you guys haven't discovered the scrap wood bin, you are missing something. It is usually in the back of the store. They routinely sell nice odd-sized boards for $0.50. We used 2 on this project, so I technically spent $1 :)

About the quality of the pallets. There are definitely some out there that are nicer than others. Just be patient and be picky.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 10:33AM
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chevy57red(3/4 MN)

Looks great!!
Reuse of anything wood is the best way to go!!
And rustic is even better!!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 5:57AM
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I love it! I really like the idea of not needing paint. Mine is from an old painted bed and boards and it looked sort of shabby chic at first, now it just looks shabby. I think your timeless design and choice of materials will stand the test of time.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 10:00AM
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