Broken pallet to rustic gate

I was given a damaged pallet the other week and as it could not be reused, it was destined for firewood or a new lease of life recycled as a gate for a mythical apiary that one day may present itself but right now does not exist.


First, you have to decide on the width you want your gate to be and I decided on six vertical slats. As the opening for this gate does not exist this is a slightly easier build than if it was destined for a pacific opening, but still reasonably easy with just a bit more cutting involved. I don’t think it should be any narrower as the six slats are just about right to get a wheelbarrow through and if anything, perhaps slightly wider but six slats are in my thinking today.

Pallet cut

It’s easier to cut away using a handsaw parts of the pallet not needed before trying to remove the large blocks and unwanted timbers. The nails in pallets can be real devils to remove and its worth taking a bit of time carefully removing them, rush the job and go to hard and it’s easy to split the wood.


Ok, once the unwanted timber is cut away and prised off it’s basically a gate, but it’s not anything of beauty and it’s also not going to be very strong and will cause problems in the future.As I have a bit of rustic decoration in mind, I want to remove the top rear baton and refit it some 6 inches lower.

Gate braced

With the batten lowered and some of the other timber from the pallet a couple of braces fitted and it looks a whole lot better and stronger. I screwed the braces and repositioned rail and if I wanted to could have reused the nails from the pallet but just for speed, I grabbed a box of screws from the shelf.

Gate drawing

So now is the time for a bit of fun and embellishment. As a joiner I have a few toys to play with so remove the pencil from behind my ear few mins sketching, a quick google to make sure I have spelt apiary right and then the six slats makes sense.


A few mins with the jigsaw, free hand routering with the cutter fixed at a set depth, my small grinder with a sanding disk fitted and finally a bit of hand sanding and the finished gate. Much easier with the power tools and the router is the important one that makes life easy but easy to do without the other power tools just a bit more time required.

Finished gate

Up close not something perhaps you would want as your front path as that would need a bit more time and care, but for an out apiary forming a rustic boundary along with a bit of fencing perhaps perfect and rather charming. I have made a couple of these gates now and one is just visible in my banner photo and most people who see them all comment on them and I think they make for a nice look to the apiaries.

Fire wood

All that’s left to do apart for a new apiary site is to chop up the remainder of the pallet take it to the boat and use it to keep me warm for a night or two.


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8 Responses to Broken pallet to rustic gate

  1. Emily Heath says:

    amazing what a pallet can be turned into. I look forward to seeing the gate in action one day.

    • thomas73640 says:

      I think pellets are wonderful things Emily and greatly underused.

      On another point the entrance at the apiary at Hanwell has gone from bad to worse. It looks like someone is living in the church doorway, cardboard and blanket bed. Also loads of rubbish piled up against the apiary gate and amongst it a dozen or two remote controls? Perhaps the result of some skulduggery? I was pestered by one chap wanting money. I don’t know if we have a new vicar yet, but this will need addressing by someone before things get out of hand. The 2nd gate not locked just jammed and both hives ok following the wind.

      • Emily Heath says:

        I just looked up close at the photo to see the lettering and outline of the beehives on top and am even more impressed, it’s really lovely.

        Bad news about the Hanwell entrance. Thanks for checking the hives, it is reassuring to know they’re okay. Unless things improve I will be looking to move them at some point, must ask the committee if they’d be ok with us having the hive back at the apiary, Emma and I were thinking perhaps as a training hive. There is a new vicar up on the church website, Rev Wilson Masih, but whether he’s moved in yet I don’t know –

  2. Andy says:

    nice; I want to replace that horrible “woodland gate” into the wood at Perivale, from the hutfield (I think it was a door rather badly cut in half & ought to have rotted away years ago, but for some reason it lives a charmed and rot free life!). could we commission one?

    • thomas73640 says:

      Thanks Andy probably walked through that gate a dozen times but not able to picture it right now. Yes I would be nice to make one for Perivale, we just need a pallet ideally one that will work best for the size required. It can then be decorate it in whatever providing within my limited scope.

  3. solarbeez says:

    You “free-handed” the lettering with the router? You must be good! Nicely done.

    • thomas73640 says:

      Thanks solabeez I think the photo flatters the routering but it does make for a simple rustic gate. Its easy I recommend you give it a go. I only wish I could do something like your carved log hive now that is impressive.

  4. Lovely! Thanks for another great post.

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