This was well worth all the blisters on my fingers!
Download the Google SketchUp model here.
Here's how to make splendid material-efficient pallet furniture:
Pallets are everywhere. Some are in great conditions and some have a couple of broken beams. Some are free and some cost a couple of bucks. Look for the cheapest pallet which you can use the most lumber from. Also, see if you can get one that has some (thicker) beams that are strong enough to provide support in the furniture.
Deconstructing a pallet is tricky. It' s almost inevitable to break a few beams, so be careful. Here are some tips and tricks on how to do it.
Group the beams into similar thicknesses, widths and lengths. Then measure the different beam sizes.
4. Model (CAD)
Use the measurements to draw the beams in Google SketchUp . Move, rotate and cut the virtual beams so they give shape to your furniture. Rember from which beam each part in the furniture came from. Don't use more 'material' than you have! If you have trouble with finding the right proportions and measurments, you can use existing furniture models from the 3D Warehouse as reference for your own pallet furniture. Remember to keep the design simple, so that the transistion between the digital model and the actual furniture is less troublesome.
Measure the lengths (and widths and angels if necessary) of every beam in SketchUp. Then cut the corresponding 'physical' beams to size. Now combine all parts and, once again, refer to the SketchUp model to do so. I predrilled holes and used scews to keep everything together.