Boat Shelf From Reclaimed Pallet Wood

2 Materials
45 Minutes
In this tutorial I will teach you how to make a simple and very (very) rustic boat shelf from reclaimed pallet wood. Be sure to pick out some decent pallets and have a sharp saw blade!
Start by finding a decent pallet! Make sure they aren't used for chemical transportation or any other bad materials. They come in a variety of woods like oak, cedar, pine and many more species. I like to use a reciprocating saw to cut the nails with a wood and nail blade. It makes life a whole lot easier than hammering out nails.
After you cut all the slats, cut a couple dozen down to around 6 to 9 inches. These will be for the sides of the boat shelf.

Gather some of the long boards you cut together and make a backing, using cut pieces as brackets to hold everything together.
I free hand a curved line towards the center of the boards, starting at least half way up the boards on the side and cutting towards the middle.
Cutting small curves near the bottom of the boat shelf.
Crank up the compressor and brad or staple your 6 to 9 inch boards to the sides, you can cut them down on your bandsaw or table saw to create thinner pieces if you need to squeeze into tight areas or need to get around a curve.
Continue nailing the side boards in and then move onto the trim pieces.
These will be the trim pieces. I line them up with the side boards and trace the curve, then free hand it on the bandsaw. You can also use a jigsaw. They are normally around 1 inch wide.
A picture of the trim piece getting free hand on the bandsaw.
It takes about 5 pieces of trim to go around the entire boat shelf. 1 for the bottom 2 for the side/middle and 2 near the top.
Cut 4 - 1 inch high boards to the depth of your boat shelf, behind the trim piece. Make sure it is level and nail it.
Add boards on top of those brackets for your shelving! You're finished! These boat shelves are very rustic and very easy to make, they don't require a lot of woodworking knowledge or skill and practically anyone can make them! It was a very fun and unique project. I sell these for profit at craft shows and people love them! A very profitable design that I hope others can use! Thank you for checking out my tutorial and be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel for more great stuff!

Suggested materials:

  • Free Pallet Wood!   (Businesses)
  • Glue

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  7 questions
  • Jjf9789637 Jjf9789637 on Oct 11, 2017
    What kind of nailer do you have there? I would like one just like it!!!

  • Bev Storer Bev Storer on Oct 11, 2017
    They would also make super, unique planters. Can you please tell me what brand of scroll saw that you are using? Thanks, Bev

  • Aldon Hodges Aldon Hodges on Oct 11, 2017
    Where can I get a saws-all, band saw, staple gun, air compressor and a jigsaw for $10 cause I know where I can get pallets for free.

    • Kim Kim on Oct 11, 2017
      People who do any kind of woodworking probably already have them. I don't do much woodworking at all and I have all these.

    • Ann Ann on Oct 11, 2017
      Aldon, you're just being a horse's butt! Jonathon made a gorgeous project and you nit pick...jealousy is ugly.

    • Rebecca Brantley Rebecca Brantley on Oct 12, 2017
      😂😂😂 jeez.. Well, i got the sarcasm but in all honesty I actually did find a sawz-all ($2 yard sale item), Rockwell interchangeable saw (free), B&D Matrix drill (free), Makita power drill ($8 pawn shop), Husky hammer (free).. LOL I get all my pallets free!

  • Margieras52 Margieras52 on Oct 11, 2017
    This is amazing project. Excellent tutorial. How big does this work up to be?

  • Helen Kapalka Helen Kapalka on Oct 12, 2017
    How much do you sell these for?

  • Helen Kapalka Helen Kapalka on Oct 12, 2017
    How much you sell these for?

  • Shellygilley Shellygilley on Oct 17, 2017
    Seems a lot of people are asking how much you sell them for, why are you not responding? I'm left to guess so I'd say any where between $25.00 - $35.00 each, depending on size, paint, stain, etc. I have two that have this sheets of copper on the outsides of them. I draped fish nets on them and they look really cool!!!

    • Jonathan Ellis Jonathan Ellis on Oct 26, 2017
      Hi there! Free pallet wood.

      You can get oops paint anywhere from $5 to 9 for a quart or gallon, from the home stores. A few bucks for some brad nails. Cost to make is usually under $5 per boat shelf depending on how far my materials go.

      I started off selling them for around 25, then the demand was insane that I ended up selling for $50 per boat shelf by the time I stopped doing them.


Join the conversation

2 of 34 comments
  • A A on Oct 28, 2017
    One of the best uses I've seen for a wood pallet. Nice work!

  • Karen Hurst Karen Hurst on Aug 06, 2018

    These are very cute. I don't have a place to put 1 but I'd sure like to have 1. Maybe one day we will make one