Building A Pallet Shelf Using Threaded Rod
Pallet shelving is incredibly popular for its rustic look and simple functionality. We’ve decided our office could use a display shelf and we had excess pallets lying around. Then we asked ourselves whats the point in building something if we can’t show it off and teach you how to make them for yourselves. (come back to this, needs a rewrite Mention Threaded Rod Pallet Shelf)
- Circular Saw with wood blade
- Cordless Drill
- #2 Phillips ACR Power Bit
- 1/2″ Spade Bit
- Contractor Pencil
- Tape Measure
- Painters Tape
- 3/4″ Wrench
- Safety Glasses
- Miracle Grip Industrial Gloves
- 36 Planks From Pallets
- 18 – 2 Ft Lengths
- 18 – 10-1/4″ Lengths
- 54 1-1/4″ #8 Stainless Steel Phillips Flat Head Wood Screws
- 52 1/4″ Zinc Serrated Flange Nuts or other nuts with same size
- 4 1/4″ 6 Foot Zinc Threaded Rod
Step One: Finding the Wood
After we put on our safety glasses and gloves, our first step when building this shelf was to locate pallets with wood of a similar size. We decided on 3 inch wide boards for the shelving. Once we identified the 18 pieces we wanted for our 2 foot lengths (shelves) we began removing them. Ten minutes and a broken hammer handle later, we decided we needed a better way to remove the boards. Using two pieces we were able to remove in this time, we used them to create better leverage and a pry bar. Moving back and forth across the board the nails easily came out and removing our boards became simple.
*Make sure to bring extra pallets if you are collecting them. Some boards are brittle and will snap or crack during this process.
After removing those 18 boards we then found 9 more boards that were slightly thicker (4 inches wide) for the supports. Using the same prying method we were able to remove them with ease. Since these boards were over two feet in length, we only needed 9 which we could then cut into 18 10-1/4″ support beams.
Step Two: Removing the Nails
This step was the most time-consuming by far. We thought about just hammering the nails flat against the base but decided it wasn’t particularly safe and so we began bending them straight and removing them all with a hammer. The time this takes will vary. We had some boards only attached by 3 screws where others had 9 or more.
- Using the gaps inside a pallet to hammer the nails down through makes removing nails easy.
- If the length you want to use is shorter than the board, leave the screws in the end you will be cutting off and not using.
Step Three: Measure, Mark and Cut
Once the wood is ready, take a moment and look at each piece. Check for splits in the wood and other chipping or excessive warping. This wood can still be used if the other side is clean. At this point sort your wood by width. You should have two stacks: one with 18 3″ wide pieces and one with 9 4″ wide pieces.
Take the first 3″ wide piece and measure two feet long. Mark this length and cut it with a chop saw. Measure again to ensure the length is correct at two feet. Then use this piece of wood to make the remaining 17 pieces. Repeat this process for the 4″ wide boards but with 10-1/4″ lengths.
*To save time when collecting the wood, we only gathered 9 pieces. Use the stencil to mark multiple cuts on the 4″ wood to make multiple lengths out of one board
Step Four: Assemble the Shelves
Now that all of our wood is cut to length its time to begin assembling our shelves. Lay out three pieces of the 4″ wood and then three of the 3″ boards on top of it. It’s important to make sure you even out the spacing of the 4″ boards or it will look uneven when all of the shelves are stacked. Make sure your screws are screwed in off center. This way when you go to drill the holes for the threaded rod they will not be in your way. Starting with the outside boards, drill a single wood screw into each cross-section to hold the pieces together. Do the middle piece last as it will be easy to center once the edges are in place. Make 6 shelves by repeating this process
- If your boards are uneven, make sure you choose a side to be front and make that side as even as possible. No one will see the back and if it’s a little un-even that’s OK.
- We used blue tape before drilling into the wood to help prevent splitting and cracking around the screws.
- Do not over-tighten the screws, the ends will be held together with nuts. The over-tightening can cause splits in the wood.
Step Five: Drilling the holes
The next step was to measure the corner of the first shelf board, find the center and drill a hole with a 1/2″ spade bit. Do this for all four corners. We recommend drilling down into another piece of wood to avoid damaging the drill tip if you drill too far.
Once all four holes are drilled, make sure you have all 6 shelves with the front identified. Line up 1 or two of those shelves by the front making sure everything is flush, then take the first shelve (the one you already drilled through) and use it as a guide to drill even holes all the way down through your shelves. Once through, switch our the shelves with 1 to two more and continue until all six shelves have holes.
*Once completed line up all six and hold them up in the air. You should be able to see all the way through the hole.
Step Six: Putting it all together
Take four flange bolts and screw them onto the end of the threaded rod. Have two flipped upside down. These flanges will act as the feet and the first shelf will sit on the other two. Then begin screwing on four more in the same fashion from the top. One to push down against the first shelf and one to support the next shelf. Make sure you measure the gaps to know where to stop. Repeat this process until all of the shelves are sitting on four flange nuts and have four pressed down against the shelves as well.
- Our fastener Expert told us using coupling nuts and washers may be easier to install than using flange nuts.
- Don’t worry if the fixture seems unsteady. Once we tighten down the flange bolts it will be very strong
- The measuring at this stage is a loose indicator, we will fix that in the next step
Step Seven: Make the Shelves Equidistant
Take a tape measure and from the bottom shelf, measure up to the next shelf. Decide on what distance you want for the shelves(we chose 13 inches). Measure each corner and adjust the bottom flange bolts as necessary until all shelves are even. Then take a level, place it on the bottom shelf and adjust the feet to even out the bottom shelf. From here you can work your way up the shelves and adjust the lower flange bolts accordingly to make each shelf level.
Step Eight: Tighten Up
At this point your threaded rod pallet shelf should still be a little wobbly. Take the 3/4″ wrench and tighten the top flange bolts down onto the shelves. Make these bolts very tight and then also tighten the bottom. Your shelf should stiffen up significantly at this point. From here on out there is only one more step.
Final Step: Decorate Your New Threaded Rod Pallet Shelf and LOVE IT!
Now that you have your completed and amazing looking shelf, its time to use it! We recommend keeping heavy weight on the bottom and lighter weight on top. Check out our decorations and tell us all about how your project turned out below!