Tutorial: How to make a handpan stand from wood pallet (experiment)


As well as learning to play, I’m learning woodwork.
I tried to make a stand for my handpan from wood pallet.
I made a few mistakes but here are the various steps.
I’m already planning to make more versions (a good excuse to get more handpans!)

Let’s start with the first and last step

There are videos online explaining how to dismantle pallets, I can put links if it helps.
Cut the wood pallet planks in length, width 20mm (sorry for American and old English Imperial friends).
You will need 5 bits, 4 minimum 750mm and 1 minimum 640mm
I had some leftovers with that width but next time, I 'll make it 30mm wide.

I used

  • 4 legs 750mm x 20mm
  • 2 sides 300 x 20mm
  • 2 nuts, bolts, washers
  • 4 rubber feet (bought 10 on ebay for €5)
  • 1 strap (cut from an old camera bag)

Take 4 (legs) and cut length at 750mm and keep the cut for later

Make a mark at 420mm on the 4 legs and mark the center

Drill at the center.
I am lucky to have a pillar drill to drill straight. Any drill would work

I only had big bolts but the next version will have smaller holes.

For the sides, 2 x 300mm (width still 20mm)

I marked 20mm and 5mm on each side to prepare the joint (as in wood joint) or tenons

And then I cut the 5mm on each side, the lazy way with a bandsaw but any saw would work.

Here I am checking what it will look like

Now time to make the mortises.
Mark 350mm from the bottom (below the holes)

Mark 5mm on each side (the bottom mark is 20mm from the 350mm in previous step)

Remove wood in the middle with a sharp chisel (I only had a 6mm but if you followed you’ll know that 20mm with 5mm on each side means a 10mm chisel would be better)

Fit the tenon in the mortise, adjusting with the chisel

Do that for the 4 legs

mistake No.1…
I wasn’t sure it would be stable enough so I glued too early. It made the next steps a bit tricky.

But when you glue, make sure it’s straight and square

mistake No.2…
I mark 20mm from the top of each leg and drilled in the center, I thought about putting a string all around the stand. But later abandoned the idea. These holes are pointless.

But, I marked a the angle - could be mistake No.3 - I can’t remember the exact angle, I think 35°

Then I cut the 4 tops (tricky as they were glued in pairs).

It looks like this (without pointless holes)

A bit of sanding with various grits (from 80 to 400).

Screw for the rubber feet. I tested before it wouldn’t split the wood. Next time I’ll get smaller rubber feet as the screw needed is big.

I applied some wax

I obviously didn’t put my handpan on it straight away. I put a hardcase with some books inside for 24 hours.

I had the stand for a week now and so far so good.

I’ll work on experiment No 2 soon.

I hope this helps some of you.


Excellento, the concept and plans Rock !
Thank you for sharing,
the price of retail stands is Sick and unaffordable

Thanks, Benni

WOW! Thank you for sharing your work and thank you for the great effort you have made to show all your steps.

Hey @Bert, this is probably one of the best contribution to the community we’ve seen so far ! Thanks so much for sharing such a detailed tutorial :heart_eyes:

1 Like

You’re right @Benni! Most stands cost the same price as an extra note.