Nope, this is not another math lesson. In this video we are going to be showing you how to build a sectional couch out of pallets. Like my shirt says, we are about to do something awesome. So we just went to our friend’s house in Tennessee and she went onto Pinterest and saw all of these wonderful pictures of sectional couches made out of pallets. And, she had seen our video on how to make Christmas trees out of pallets. I am going to put a link to that video right there. She had also seen pictures where we had done sink tables out of pallets and you will see in the bottom left hand corner of the scene some Americana style flags out of pallets and thought you could do this while you are up here please.
I thought, how hard could it be. They all looked really nice on Pinterest. But, we started realizing that there were no was measurements, there was no real instructions on how to make these pallet couches. I want to share with you what we learned in trying to develop this sectional couch our friends. Now, one thing…the number one thing is we never realized how many different shapes and sized pallets came in. That became really important when you needed to use ten of these pallets to build on sectional couch. A standard size pallet which is what we are using here is 40 inches wide. They are 48 inches tall as they stand and these particular pallets are 4.5 inches thick, but that thickness can vary anywhere from 4.5 and 5.25 inches as we discovered trying to build our couch. That made it very difficult to try and get them all to stack evenly so you of course have a nice comfortable flat sectional couch. So that is the number one thing as you start getting these supplies together and hopefully finding some pallets from small businesses in this area that maybe will just let you take them off their hands for free.
Try to get them all made the same. The second thing, we pallets with thin boards, we have pallets with thick boards. If you are trying to get these for free, sometimes you have no choice. But, the wider boards tended to be more comfortable as a seat. Just be aware of that. Again it is something else to look at as you are trying to find these old pallets to make your sectional couch out of.
Second thing or third thing excuse me, I already did the second thing. These pallets, what are they made out of? Well, if they are made out of pine hopefully they are still going to be lasting a good while for you. I think all of these pallets are treated to be outdoors. But a lot of these older pallets especially these grey weathered pallets my wife likes to use in our projects. They tend to be made out of oak which is really hard. Because of that toughness of the oak, you are going to want to make sure that on your supply list for this project you include some drill bits so that you can pre-drill any holes that you might need if you have to nail these boards down a little bit more on the surface to tighten them up if they got loose through their life of work. You might even need to pretrial some holes to screw all these boards together because you might snap some screws trying to go into your oak.
Ok, fourth thing, when you go to build your sectional couch you need to be aware of the size of the cushions that you are going to use. So go to your local outdoor hardware store or patio store and find some cushions that you feel would like on your sectional couch. The ones that we used in this picture of our friend’s final couch project that we did for them, we used 22 by 22 inch square cushions that were about 4 of 5 inches think with some really nice density. We had gone through many cushions trying to decide what we were going to put on the couch. The thinner cheaper cushions really made an uncomfortable seat because your butt kind of sunk into these gaps between the boards.
It really was not that comfortable. So, be aware of the cushion that you are wanting to use for your sectional couch before you start designing it. That might affect how you build it. But, with 20 inch square cushions if you can find those or like we used the 22 inch square cushions we used seven for our entire couch. They fit pretty nice. What we are going to do to build this couch is to…it sounds really simple. We are just going to cuts these two pallets into four halves. That is going to make one of our sections. Three are going to give you the base and the fourth is going to act as the back of the seat. The seat back is going to be at an angle. What I did, and you will see through the project, I hid the 2×4’s inside the pallets so they didn’t stand out too much when you see the final project done. That is what is this third pallet here is four.
I am going to disassemble this pallet. I am going to use it as a table for the first part of this project and then I am going to disassemble it and use these’s as support for the back of our sectional or the back of our seat of this couch. The supplies that you need for this project is a circle saw. This one has a 7.25 inch blade. That will allow you to cut all the way through the pallet in two passes, one on the top and one on the bottom. Some circular saws only have a 6.5 inch blade. In that case you are probably going to need a hand saw to finish cutting through the pallet. You are going to need a tape measure. A pencil of course and what are these…safety googles as you are doing your cuts. The previously mentioned drill bits and electric drill or screw gun. A right angle that you might find Handy to make your lines or just use a big ol piece of wood to make your straight lines or marks as you get ready to cut these pallets in half.
You are going to want on that screw gun if you would like to hide the screws as you try…not try but as you assemble your seat, get one of these extenders that have a slider sleeve on it to allow you some extra reach in the pallet as you screw it together. You can pull this out and hold the screw onto your magnetic bit. That is also what is nice about these extensions. It makes is much easier to not lose your screws. See that holds your screw as you get ready to put it into your pallet and screw your wood together. OOOhhh ok. Screw down. So it is not perfect but it does help. Lastly, I think I have taken care of everything, is once you get your first seat done of your sectional. And we would all like to be comfortable. If you angle that back, make a jig so that the angle of all of your other parts of your sectional couch are the same.
I will give you the measurements of this little jig that I made for the seat back as we go through our project. Let’s make this easy for you, as easy as we possible can. Oh!!! Yes, you might also want to have a crowbar Handy incase you would like to use some of the boards in the back of these pallets to fill in the gaps on the front, or just need to as you see me disassemble this pallet here, these pallets are also made of twisted nails.
They are really good if you want to not have your pallet fall apart as it is getting used in the warehouse or whatever, but those twisted nails make it very hard to pull these boards apart without breaking them. We will do our best that we can if needed with a crowbar and a hammer, trying to pop those apart without breaking so that we have some boards that are usable. So let’s get on to cutting these pallets in half and creating this one seat of our sectional couch. BAM!!! Nananananana… So with our first pallet laid down here we are going to mark off the middle of this pallet. Again these pallets are 48 inches long.
So just to cut it down the middle I am going to mark off, put a line at the 24-inch mark to cut this half. I am using this pallet as the seat and the seat back because I think these wide boards are going to be more comfortable. Now on the first pass on the top of this pallet I am not actually going through any boards, so you know, using this straight edge is not really necessary. When I flip this over there is a board in the middle that I am going to want to make a straight cut through. That is where this comes in and here we go. Now one thing to be aware of when you are working with circular saws is that they are very dangerous. I should have said something before I started to make these cuts because I saw it happen here in the second board even though I fast forwarded the video. I got a little bit of a kick back. I started making my cut a little bit crooked and it wanted to jump back at me because of that.
So you want to make sure that you have a really really good grip on this circle saw and you are very very careful with it. Another thing, I don’t know if I am going to need to do it with this project, but if you need to cut any of the boards off the back of these pallets to do the assembly when you assemble the back of the seat with the seat bottoms along that 2×4, you may get a little bit of a kick back as you are cutting the boards out the pallets. Again make sure that you have a really good grip on that circle saw as you are using it.
Don’t forget the safety googles. Also when you put your circle saw down, make sure that you unplug it so that no one hits that trigger not knowing that it was plugged in. Obviously you don’t want them to hurt themselves or you. Ok, giving myself a bit of a sawdust shower there. It is probably not be a bad idea to wear a dust mask either just as a tip. There we have our pallets cut in half. Now, I missed a little bit there. You can clean that up with a hand saw or you can just go at that a little with your circle saw again to straighten that up. These cuts are going to be the back of the couch, it would be better if you hit them exactly, but if you don’t no one is really going to see it.
It is going to be in the back again, in the back of the couch. There we have our four halves. Alright!!! So we have three halves stacked up. This is going to be the seat of our section of our couch. This seat with three halves stacked up is 14 inches tall. If you get some cushions that are 4 or 5 inches thick at your patio store, you are going to have a perfect height of 18 or 19 inches for your couch. Now, this is the back of the couch you are looking at right now.
What I need to do is remove some of these boards and notch the top board to make room for the 2×4 that is going to be the support of the back of our seat. What I am doing, is I am standing on this board up and just trying it to line up with the support of the pallet, get the back of the board lined up with the back of the seat/support and then run a pencil line around to make a notch for this 2×4 to sit in. Again these boards are going to get removed, this board right here is going to get removed, and I am probably going to have to make a notch in some of these inside boards as well. What you don’t want to remove, if you have it, this bottom board. Because that is going to give you some support in your seat and not want to rock back when you sit in your couch.
As I notch these boards and remove them from the back of the seat, what I am trying to do is I am trying to do is stay out of the bright parts of the sun light. Sorry about the irregular light of this video. I am trying to match the angle of this jig so that again when you make the multiple parts of the sectional couch, you have that same angle and of course it is nice and comfortable. This particular jig, I told you I would give you the measurements for, it doesn’t really matter the size. I just put this together with some scrap wood to match the angle that I had made with my first portion of the seat. But, my jig is about 17.75 inches long, and this measurement is 17.5, and the distance between those two ends is 27.75 inches.
I was not concerned with a particular measure of angle here. Like I said, I just made the first part of my couch, liked the angle, then made this match, and used it for the other four parts. Ok, so we have either the boards notched or removed in the back of each of these halves. Now again, this is going to be the bottom board or pallet. We have kept that back most boards because we want to make sure this does not want to rock back when we sit on it. When you cut your pallets in half, if you don’t have one board here at the end of the back of these supports you are going to have to pull some scraps out of your pallets and attach some there so you have some supports so it does not want to lean back when you sit in your couch.
On this bottom board, this notch is in about 7 inches to give us the room for that angle that we need. Getting our second pallet in our stack. On this one I just had to remove the one back board and on the bottom of this pallet I have created a notch that is probably pretty close to seven inches. 6.5 inches in this case roughly. A little bit less actually. See, I kind of made these notches just making them big enough. I actually on the second pallet when I went to dry fit this, it did not quite work so I made some notches on the of this board. That is why it is so different from the seven that is on board just adjacent to it. And bringing in the top of our seat. Let me give you a measurement for this, but you saw how I figured out these notches. I put the 2×4 on top of our seat and just traced around it. But that does go in about 3.5 or 3.75 inches. Now, I am going to get my screw gun with my screw driver attachment there. Grab my 2 and a half, or 3-inch deck screws would probably be even a little bit better. My jig for the angle.
Let me rotate this around a little bit for us. Instead of using those grey board, I had two that matched so we went ahead and did pull off some of the boards of this pallet like I said earlier in our video. I am going to bring this up here, slide it into our notches, match it with the angle of our jig. Woooow, hello. This would be a good time to have a helper. We got it, so all I am going to have to do is hold this board as I drive in a few screws. The sides of these pallets did seem to be a pretty hard wood so I went ahead a drilled three holes already. Now I need to make sure I hold this still and get in three screws.
Double check my angle and there we go. Now as you cut apart these pallets, there is a gap here because losing one of those little tiny pieces of the top boards as I was cutting wood away. And you can fill that in with scrap wood if you want, but you can see the three screws I am putting here on the side are going into this 2×4. That is going to give you plenty of support on the back of the seat. Now I just need to do the other side. Actually I just realized that I went out a little bit out of order. I found that after doing multiple parts of the sectional couch for our friends that it was better if you went ahead and screwed these three together once you dry fitted everything and you knew those Angles were going to be right, to go ahead and screw these together first before putting these side 2×4’s in to make sure they stay square. I already screwed that in, so I am going to go ahead and keep with the pattern that I am going.
But, you might you find it beneficial to do that. Another reason why it would be nice to pre-drill these holes is not only eliminating or minimizing breaking the screw inside your wood…. Wood screws do have a smooth portion on their shank. That is so that as you drive into another board, it starts to slip in the first board you put the screw into to pull those boards together. Well, if the length of that shaft which is smooth is not as long as the width of your board, you are still going to have some teeth into it. So, if you pre-drill your holes it is going to give you that extra insurance that when you get into your second board it is going to suck those two together and not leave a gap when you are done screwing the boards together.
Ok now, this 2 by 4 not only going to support of our sink, but it again is holding or supporting three pallets. But I don’t have that support on the front yet. Let me rotate this around so you can see what I am doing. There are many ways to clamp or hold these pallets together. See, it is kind of shifting off to the right here.
You could put some metal band on the side if you would like. I just, when I put this together went ahead and came in on the side and inside coming in at an angle and brought the screws in at an angle. It would go through the bottom board of one pallet and into the side support of the bottom pallet. This is also one place where that extra reach of this screwdriver attachment really makes this nice. Ok, I am getting pretty lucky in that this is coming together pretty square. Another benefit, and I am really kind of showing you the non-example as I assembled this. If you stack these, as you go can get a little bit of an easier angle on these screws as you put this together. In other words I probably should have put all of this together making sure the Angles are right, then pull it all apart again.
Then screwed this second pallet into the bottom one first, then brought the top one in and screw it together. That would make it just a little bit easier and then put in your supports. But these are pretty uniform pallets and pretty square, so I am getting lucky with that. Great! All we have left to do is attach the back. Now a couple of things about attaching the back, or actually I am not ready to attach it, I need to measure this back. If your pallets are very irregular, you might get this all screwed together…even if you are doing as I said screwing these three pallets together first and then setting these back supports…or like in the wrong order as I did putting these in first… They might bow out and not be exactly parallel. If that is the case, you are going to want to come back with your screwdriver and loosen up these screws, then get the back fitted, and once everything is roughly assembled or loosely assembled you can go ahead and tighten those screws all back up again. If that happens, hopefully it does not here.
What I am going to do now is take my pencil and see that once this is set up…. LET ME OUT!!! Once this is set up, I want to have some support in the back. Yes, the 2×4 is acting as a support, but I don’t really want to run this all the way to the top. I certainly could. I want to bring it up to the top of this middle board. I am going to just eyeball this. This outdoor rough pallet furniture. Or I could be a bit more exact and go, the top of that board is fifteen inches, so I am going to come up about fifteen inches or just a hair under and make a line on my support 2×4 over here. Don’t assume one measurement is going to be the same on the other side. These were really not made to be fine furniture. I hope you consider this to be FINE outdoor furniture. On this side, oh this is really made well, it is 15 inches again.
So coming off at an angle at about 15 inches, maybe a little bit shy just to kind of hide the board as much as possible. Make a line and we are going to go ahead and cut these 2 by 4’s and I will just have four more screws left to attach to complete this bench. Now, what else? I guess that is about it. Safety first. Alright. Get this back up here. That is it. Get my power cord out. Yes, I don’t have a cordless drill. Can you believe that?! Nice thing about these Grip-Rite screws by the way, the type of head specifically it has got a T-25 star drive for improved torque, when you buy these screws they give you a free bit inside the box if you don’t have that type of screw driver bit already at home. They are also self-tapping. Let’s see if I can’t get these driven in. I didn’t do any pre-drilling of holes this time. Let’s see how it goes. See, that went in pretty easily. But, if you have really old aged oak as great as these screws are you can still have a problem with them snapping.
But, we are doing good. I don’t know if you could see on the last screw, but hopefully on camera that pulled in quite a bit as I finished driving in that deck screw. That is why they have those smooth portions of the shank of the screw…wood screw. Yeah, when you try to use like dry screws for everything that is threaded all the way back to the head, that is not a good idea. That is the end of this one part of our five part…what am I making again?! Sectional couch.