I have seen a lot of up-cycled projects with wood shipping pallets over the years, and more often than not they are ugly, but totally useful. Pallets are great for the “DIYer” because they are cheap and easy to work with, but you need to pay attention to what you are catching. At a glance, wood pallets are cheap wood that most people would not bother using for kindling, let alone make a table out of one. Oddly, that’s really the appeal of them. They’re essentially “Lego” for adults because they can be turned into just about anything with minimal effort.
It is also about up-cycling and using materials that are already out there for new and creative uses. You can usually grab them for free from old warehouses and shipping areas. Since most pallets are about the same size (Figure 1), you can find directions online and get to building something without really knowing anything about woodworking.
First of all, you need to watch what you are doing with pallets because, they get exposed to everything such as harsh chemicals and bugs in their journeys, so it is important to pay attention to what you are looking for. That said, pallets are excellent for outdoor projects. If you can find pallets with a “HT” (heat treated) stamp on them that means they are free of bugs, but it also means the wood may have been treated with chemicals. The nicest pallets seem to come from dry goods industries. They’re usually shipping a lightweight, dry product, so there is no spillage or stains to worry about.
It is entirely possible to grab pallets that are safe, but it is just as likely you will grab one covered in chemicals. So, if you can trace the history you are better off. Picking up any reclaimed wood is going to come with a set of dangers, so be smart and keep your eyes out for signs of contaminants. Shipping pallets make for easy weekend projects for regardless of your skill, and when you choose the right ones they will last a surprisingly long time.
How could be made
In order to build all the structure we need fourteen pallets, preferably EUR Pallets (see Figure 1) to have all of them with the same measures. If it is not possible to find all the same type, it could be problems how to manage them, but I believe the problems will be not very hard to solve. Secondly, all the project, I have made, is based on the European standard measures, then using a different type of pallets, it will change also the dimensions of the structure.
Among the fourteen pallets mentioned before, twelve of them should be disassembled, in fact, into pallets used for the walls, three pieces of wooden boards must to be take off to allow the air enters in the structure and moves the windmill inside (Figure 2;Figure 3).
We will disassemble the pallets used in the walls and then fill the gaps of the pallets used for the floor and the roof of the structure. So the final result of them should be like the follow Figure 4. That is how pallets should be after filling them, like it was a stage. These full pallets will serve to make the structure floor and roof. If the surface of a single pallets is not enough we could join different pallets in order to obtain a large surface.
To make the walls we must first join the pallets using the board obtain from other pallets and then adapting them to the structure. The next step is to place them in the floor to brace it and start to fixing it. Should be used some metal brackets and screws wherever you can (Figure 5). The same operation is used to join the walls with the roof. There will be also another part on the top of the roof to fix the solar panel, but we will discuss about it in the next chapters.