The best pallet projects have natural beauty and appeal
There is a growing number of home project enthusiasts who are turning to recycled shipping pallets. Used and cast off shipping pallets are a largely untapped resource of wood and building materials. I have seen pallet projects on different websites ranging from garden walls to pallet chairs and decorative furniture.
Not all pallets are good for making projects. It can take a little effort to locate a source of good pallets but once you do it is usually a reliable source into the future. Some pallets are too beat up. Broken, twisted or otherwise poor quality pallets should be avoided. Also watch out for dirty pallets. A little dirt that washes off is one thing but a nasty pallet used for shipping produce is more trouble than it is worth. I get pallets from a filter supply store down the street from my house. The pallets are clean, unbroken and often come in attractive patterns.
The beauty of pallet furniture
Pallet furniture has a very natural rustic beauty. The natural wear and aged patina that pallets can come with results in attractive outdoor furniture. For the most part it is obvious that chairs and tables are made from old pallets but the appeal is there never the less. This pallet is destined to become a bench. I'm going to cut it in half and make to make two pieces, one with five boards (the back rest) and one with four pieces (the seat).
Then I will have to dismantle at least one other pallet to get the 2x4's. Those will become supports and legs for the bench. A few coats of water sealant or polyurethane help with the finished look and add years of life.