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This was the table inspiration for our coffee table, we made some changes though to make it work with our needs and style. We wanted the pallet boards to be narrower to work better with the chevron pattern, so we sized ours down to 2.5 inches. I wanted the boards to have more of a contrast in color, so we stained a few of the boards to get them darker. To make the shelf under the table, use the three boards from the middle (or inside) of the pallet, and cut to the size of your tabletop using circular saw.
Once all the pallet boards are nailed down, draw a line where your tabletop edge is and using a circular saw, cut the pallet boards down to size. Using a circular saw, cut another piece of plywood to fit to the boards on the bottom of your table. I wanted the outside edges to be pallet wood, so we cut two pallet boards to size to fit at the edges, and sized the plywood to fit between those. Drill holes in the pallet boards (or plywood if you’re just using that) where the legs will attach.
Once all four legs are attached to your pallet boards, set the plywood in-between and screw it in place. If desired, coat table with polyurethane, following directions on can for use and dry times.
England Furniture Reviews - Using reclaimed woods to make furniture seems like an interesting way to preserve natural resources.
John - Using reclaimed woods to make furniture seems like an interesting way to preserve natural resources. We have got to the point where there is no longer a gale blowing through the workshop (yay!): doors are shutting, and fiddly insulation and air tightness detailing is well under way. Having a reasonable supply of wood on the Golden Hill site, a wood burning device of some sort seems like a good, carbon neutral plan.
Many have been built in this style, but few have preheated air to allow for efficient primary and secondary combustion. However the rocket-mass heaters all have a very large thermal mass, usually a clay or cob bench.
This is all great, and I think the heat exchanger will certainly feature some peltier driven fans to improve performance, but pumping in preheated air for combustion does raise some practical concerns.
Good conceptual plan so far, now I have seen the bulked out diagrams i see how the self feed will work, previously I was confused about how it was going to seal or whether it was going to seal at all.
I’m liking the idea of the viewing windows from a control and learning point of view alone.
You will see when you pick up the stuff we ordered from the internet the other day that I have included the CO2 detector we looked at, not that I doubt the design will work but better safe than sorry. In regard to the heat up of the base issue, what hearth material are you considering as some of the heat build up could be disapated into the floor if configured right, obvisously not directly sat on the floor as the concete will prob crack up?
All in all looking forward to warm workshopping, wouldn’t a stirling engine heat exchange fan look good, if potentially noisy.
Agreed, there will need to be some fan control mechanism to shut the fans off when the door is opened.
In many ways a fan mounted near the end of the flue, which pulls the air, would be superior.
Fans at the inlets that push air in could possibly be mounted outside, at the entrance to the inlet pipes, so you wouldn’t be able to hear them inside.
Like your sterling engine idea, would be a nice project, but think the noise may cause mild insanity after a while. As for the stove base, i was planning to have it insulated to protect the metal (which probably wouldn’t deal well with the intense heat in the combustion chamber), and lined with a hard refractory cement, and the actual stove up on little legs, to hold it off the floor.
I suspose the desgin for the work shop is influenced by the fact that in many ways the workshop is more insulated that the average house, certainly more than ours, and a short efficient burn should warm up the space quickly and then remain so due to the insulation.
You are right about the soot build up, that will be one of the design challenges of the heat exchanger. Again the fans will help here – hopefully they will keep the air moving enough that this wont be a problem. I have read there is another product called Plistix 900F that is cheaper and works as well as ITC-100, but I do not have any experience with this product. I thought that this might be helpful if you are worried about melting your metal, as the ceramic insulation with with refractory cement and ITC-100 has worked well for blacksmiths working at very high temps. I also wonder if it would be a bit waisted in this application: if you are using propane burners and placing metal in the forge, that is quite a clean environment compared to a woodstove combustion chamber.
Last night we hung the shelves in the reading room and the design that has been in our minds finally came to fruition. We special ordered the boards because we wanted them a little thicker, and we wanted squared edges.
Even though we wanted the shelves to look like they were floating (ie, no visible brackets), we knew that would be difficult to achieve with the size of boards we were dealing with. After taking the measurements and deciding where the brackets would mount on the back wall, we marked these locations on our boards and routed spaces out so the brackets could set inside the boards, making them flush and less visible. Once the shelves were cut, sanded, routed, stained and sealed, we only needed to get them mounted. We have spent every other minute, just sitting on the couch looking at our pretty, empty shelves. We are one of the 8 bloggers on the Ace Blogger Panel and this post was in collaboration with Ace Hardware.
I’m SUPER impressed that you took the time to route out the places where the L hooks would go!


We aren’t in the least concerned about the weight of these shelves on the L brackets for a couple reasons.
1 – Wouldn’t it have been easier to mount the brackets, Then put the shelves in place temporarily, mark the spots where they needed to be routed, take the shelves off, rout, then screw the shelves in place?
2 – Call me a contrarian, but I would have preferred the shelves left unstained and just sealed. If you need inspiration for a project to tackle, browsing their site will definitely give you ideas. Separate boards from pallet using the Dremel Multi-Max tool to cut the nails (or use a hammer and pry bar). To do this use a table saw or circular saw fitted with a guide, and trim boards to desired size. I was waiting for something like this and perhaps I will shamelessly copy your design of the table. I have made a couple similar to yours and am thinking about adding an angled magazine rack to one or both of the narrow ends. In the worst cases, there is no heat exchanger and the internal flue pipes are insulated so the heat goes straight up and out.
So we are going to want to devise some clever way to pipe the air through the fire before releasing it in there for combustion. There are a few obvious signs of a good efficient burn: nice clear to light grey smoke (white smoke clouds signals polluting inefficiency) but other readings can be useful. We are not going to be burning coal so there is no need for a grate (according to most sources wood burns more efficiently on a layer of insulative ash). That’s great for the home, but really I think we want an air-to-air heat exchanger so we can quickly warm up the workshop.
Here the heat would be controlled by metering the wood fuel, rather than restricting the airflow, which can lead to inefficient burn. OK so they add complexity, make a little noise and require electricity but… They can boost efficiency of the stove so that, in effect, they produce way beyond the amount of energy they use. If it works as hoped we will be getting up to melting-metal-temperatures in the combustion chamber, and only refractory cement or similar materials will endure. Control and correct function of the fans will be the tricky issue, as there is going to need to be some cut off system on the fans when loading fuel or the workshop is going to get smokey quickly.
I guess the idea of putting heat into the floor is what the rocket-mass stoves are all about.. In use they seemed quite effective with a relatively short burn resulting in the stove being warm to the touch many hours later. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. You need to take the measuring part of this step serious, because the brackets are hung on the wall before you place the shelves. We spread it on nice and thick, wiped it off with rags and paper towels, and let each coat cry for 8 hours.
Our friends at Ace Hardware sent over a heavy duty 18V DeWalt Impact driver for us to try out. We measured the predetermined locations for the brackets several times, drew lines, and mounted them with 2″ screws. They sent us the impact driver to try and review and we’re currently working on a giveaway for all of you (as soon as it gets back in stock!). I’ve already showed the picture to my husband and told him we need to do this in the weird recessed area that was left in our living room after we ripped out a horrible built in desk! I have loved seeing your style develop over the last year or so – I feel like you’ve totally got it sussed! First, they are mounted into 3 studs, but the addition of the L-brackets supporting the sides are really putting us at ease. I want to do the sides painted and a painted back without making it look like cheap shelves from the store.
I’ve been wanting Mike to make a new coffee table for our living room for a while now (yet another project on the Mike-to-make list). From things to make for your house, to keeping you more organized – they even have games and kid-inspired projects (I spotted a soapbox car I think three little boys would love to have!). We have a pallet coffee table, a tv stand, home office desk and even our king size bed made of pallets!
I love how the colors and shades turned out on yours and would want to replicate the project as closely as possible.
Passive solar gain is already in effect – the inside is staying about 5 degrees above the external temp, which is about zero degrees at the moment (yes working out there is cold). Making the simple shape of a wood burner shouldn’t be that difficult – oh yeah, we now have a nice MIG welder, but that deserves a future blog post of its own! Most are only suitable for outdoor use, with smoke belching from every poorly sealed orifice. As well as needing enough heat, achieving secondary burn usually requires a secondary air supply (to provide more oxygen in the right place). In some designs, good heat exchangers are built into the stove itself and in some cases these work well, but they are usually very expensive and can weigh a good few tons. A thermometer in the flue, reading the temperature at the point gasses leave the room is very useful (see previous point).
So our possible design will leave out thermal mass, and exhaust to a heat exchanger (possibly constructed from another cylindrical container or two) instead.


It should be possible to burn a certain number of sticks, to give various different heat outputs.
Second, we can extract ALL the heat from the flue gasses, so that the exhaust air leaving the flue is the same or similar temperature to the room air [4].
Having one would be nice, but doesn’t seem like it would work as well with the sideways burning design.
I wonder if all goes well you will be able to produce fuel ‘fagots’ held together with twisted split lenghts of stick ready for quick loading? I can however voucher for the effectivness and consequent loss of effectivity of a conventional wood stove pulling cold air into a room while running, since the new windows have gone in at masion dave the draft under the door has become comical. I just think the time delay between lighting and getting heat out of that kind of system might make that less convenient for the workshop? Now the trick will be in having such an arrangement without adding too much air resistance, eddies and all that.
The ITC-100 link seems to be dead, but I have done a little searching about on google for it. Of course, now we can fill them up with books and some accessories, but before we do that we wanted to give you a full breakdown of what we used and what we did in case you wanted to do something similar in your home. Even still, the ends were a little rough and uneven, which we expected, so the first step was to square the edges and cut them to fit on the wall exactly.
This means your routed out spaces need to match perfectly with where the brackets are mounted.
We did two coats of stain, plus a layer of water-based satin polycrylic–which gives off a nice low-lustre sheen. We weren’t sure what to expect when comparing it to our standard drill that we’ve been using for the past three years, but, well, have you ever used an impact driver? Are you at all concerned about the weight of the shelves and the weight of books combined with the “L” bracket mounts?
I went to local hardware store and couldn’t make up my mind which type of wood to use or dimensions.
We are looking at a similar project and I’m concerned about whether the front of the shelves will need additional support. They can be used in so many ways and making pallets furniture ends up much cheaper then buying some in a store. I had made an apron around mine and pocket holed the aprons to the legs and also to the table top. Although that’s quite encouraging, and it will be interesting to see how much better things get when the porous straw walls are properly rendered, we are thinking that another heat source is going to be needed.
The thing is that nice flat plates of scrap steel are not so easy to come by, but what does come up from time to time, are discarded steel containers – from old barrels, to scrap steel safes. If it is not the stove will be drawing in air from the room, which in turn sucks cold air into the room from outside through all the tiny gaps in the building envelope.
Also good, an O2 sensor, giving an Oxygen reading in a similar location, will tell us a lot about the efficiency of combustion and allow us to optimise the amount of air going in for primary and secondary burn. What’s more, if dry, this kind of wood burns hotter because it presents a much higher surface area at which combustion can occur than say a big log (big logs that last ages but smoulder and cool the fire = bad) .
Both secondary and primary air are preheated and blown into the combustion chamber from outside with small fans. And lastly, we can move the air into primary and secondary burn zones, right where we want it, in high-velocity, low-volume jets that help to mix up fuel, air and fire further improving the burn. Having a glass front to the combustion chamber is always going to be a weak spot in term of insulation, but then again, you can tell so much about how a burn is working just by direct observation – it may well be worth having glass.
I guess we will need one or more removable hatches so it can be cleaned – but we don’t want to be doing that too often!
Something this short wouldn’t work if just holding from the back wall, but since we were putting the shelves wall-to-wall, we could have one bracket on each end to prevent the boards from sagging forward.
But the big unknown was if the brackets would line up with the routed slots in the shelves. At first I was doubting those little brackets, but then I saw you put two on each end and my fears went away. My next one I am going to pour a glaze top on to give it a bit more durability and maybe embed a picture or some coins in the glaze. Sounds like the secondary air needs some work though (or maybe that was just an idiosyncrasy of that particular owner? The blade wasn’t big enough to cut through the whole board (wah wahhh), so Chris cut half, flipped the board, lined up the blade with the first cut, and finished cutting through. So after cutting the boards to size, we measured the wall and found 3 somewhat evenly-spaced studs that we could connect the brackets straight into. Unfortunately, there weren’t any studs where we needed them to be on the sides, so we found some heavy-duty wall anchors, each rated to hold up to 75 pounds. We would have two anchors supporting each side bracket (a total of 4 anchors in the 2 side brackets for each board), and coupled with the back-wall brackets mounted directly to the studs, this would give us plenty of support. We are working on putting together a giveaway with Ace Hardware because these are one of those game-changer tools we can’t imagine living without.



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