I have access to Euro pallets : 1100mm * 1100mm * 69mm enter image description here

I want to create exactly this with top shelf 2m high: enter image description here

I am extremely illiterate when it comes to DIY but I have a drill and know how to drill pilot holes and screws.

My questions:

  1. Which wood (for the connecting bars) and screws should I buy? I need the measurements of the wood please - 2000mm * x * y. Cost is a factor and need it as cheap as possible please.

  2. Would it be possible to do this without me using a saw? I want to buy the connecting bars from a place who will saw it for me.

  3. Would Pine wood work for horizontal connecting bars?

  4. Would 2 bars on each side work as in picture?

  5. How many screws should I drill in each connecting point with the pallets? E.g. 4 screws per connecting point * 4 places for each bar * 4 bars = 64 screws?


Those racks appear to have been constructed by simply attaching legs to halved pallets. You'll need a way to cut the pallet rails, which appear to be fairly heavy hardwood.

Once that's done, it's a matter of running 3" (75mm) gold construction screws through 2x4" (35mm by 70mm or 40mm by 90mm, maybe--whatever standard metric size is available in that range) lumber.

  1. Standard construction-grade lumber is fine. See above for lumber and screw sizing. Do not use drywall (black oxide) screws. They're much more brittle and have less bend tolerance.

  2. Probably not. You need to split the pallets. However, a simple high-quality handsaw will do that job.

  3. Yes. Construction lumber is typically spruce, pine, or fir (SPF).

  4. Yes, two vertical posts per end will work well.

  5. I'd use three or four per joint, spaced as widely as practical (within 15mm of the edge of the lumber is fine) to create maximum diagonal rigidity. I'd probably pilot the holes through the posts and maybe partway into the pallet lumber.

  • Thanks so much isherwood, these are brilliant answers. Do you think I could attempt to create the racks with the full uncut pallets and use a 3rd leg? Or would I run into weight issues? – Peter PitLock Jan 2 '17 at 19:20
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    You haven't said what you're loading on the shelves. The pallets will carry several hundred lbs., so it comes down to the connections to the legs. Use 4 screws or several 1/4" lag bolts and it should be fine. The problem then becomes one of diagonal bracing. You don't want the whole thing to scissor over on someone. You could add diagonal lumber or metal turnbuckles to help with that. – isherwood Jan 3 '17 at 3:28

Pine will work. Looks like they used 1"x2" boards for the uprights; I'm not sure what the metric dimensional-lumber equivalent would be.

For strongest connection, the screw length should be just a bit shorter than the combined thickness of the two boards the screw goes through. As @Isherwood stated, construction screws will have the greatest shear strength, wallboard screws are weakest (They're really intended only for supporting plasterboard, and engineered for the minimal strength needed for that task.)

You want at least two screws per connection point, to prevent racking (twisting). I would suggest three, in a triangle, for better strength in that direction. Make the spacing between the three as large as the overlapping area will permit, for the same reason. If you plan to put especially heavy load on these shelves, another screw won't hurt.

You may find that you want to add diagonal bracing pieces across the sides or back to further resist racking, but you can make that decision later.

  • Thank you very much keshlam. I asked an additional related question wrt using full uncut pallets and a 3rd leg if you perhaps have any input perhaps please – Peter PitLock Jan 2 '17 at 19:28

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