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STOP ALREADY WITH THE PALLET WOOD !!!

by johnhutchinson
posted 01-31-2017 12:23 AM


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60 replies so far

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

3544 posts in 3385 days


#1 posted 01-31-2017 12:30 AM

Some people like the rustic look, I hate it personally. But I’d be concerned with chemical outgassing from the treated pallet wood.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

21771 posts in 2885 days


#2 posted 01-31-2017 01:29 AM

Looks more like Barn Wood to me…..

Some will go out and “harvest” an old, falling apart barn, just for the wood.

IF the customer wants Barn Wood, customer gets Barn Wood. They are the ones that have to look at it.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View johnhutchinson's profile

johnhutchinson

1243 posts in 1831 days


#3 posted 01-31-2017 01:30 AM

It’s not even good rustic.
It looks like they installed five courses, decided it was a bad idea, and called it DONE.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View mrbob's profile

mrbob

182 posts in 770 days


#4 posted 01-31-2017 01:35 AM

View TravisH's profile

TravisH

627 posts in 2137 days


#5 posted 01-31-2017 01:58 AM

Well I think it is pretty clear they weren’t finished but still not what I would want.

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shipwright

8166 posts in 2999 days


#6 posted 01-31-2017 02:13 AM

I’d say the pallet looked better before they ruined it.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

877 posts in 752 days


#7 posted 01-31-2017 02:23 AM

John in the time we live in with $3 2by4s, $35 t1-11 siding, two or three car payments plus house payments An kids needing braces an on an on, ppl just try to ad a touch of style to their house as cheap as they can. On the plus side think of how many pallets hav been saved from landfills cause folks use them now. There are jocks on here that have made some real nice looking pieces from pallet wood. Only bad thing I can see from it is that in my area ppl are now trying to sell the pallets. Some of them want $5 for an old pallet. Those ppl r the ines that are nuts

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View OSB's profile

OSB

147 posts in 727 days


#8 posted 01-31-2017 02:35 AM

I think it is a fad, Tijuana chic.

In ten years people will be asking “what slum did this come from?” or saying “this is a nice slum”.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5702 posts in 2610 days


#9 posted 01-31-2017 02:45 AM

I had always though the idea was to use the wood and not let on where you got it without telling someone. Bearpaw gave me some and this is how that worked out. Much different than what we see currently.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10736 posts in 1687 days


#10 posted 01-31-2017 02:49 AM

At least the pallet had a use before it was butchered.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

5983 posts in 2467 days


#11 posted 01-31-2017 02:51 AM

I’ve got to agree with you John. That is definitely on my not to do list. It’s kind of like some of those home improvement shows. Makes you wonder what in the world the were smoking when they came with that idea.

View madts's profile

madts

1873 posts in 2541 days


#12 posted 01-31-2017 04:02 AM

Not good. I think they were smoking the pallet-wood saw dust. But then again it might be what they consider fine wood working.

—Madts.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

18390 posts in 3877 days


#13 posted 01-31-2017 05:12 AM

Too many pallets with unknown chemical spills for me to bring them indoors.

The people that bought my folks farm took one of the small barns down and used the siding inside the house. Dad always wondered if they cleaned the cow manure off? ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

7330 posts in 3569 days


#14 posted 01-31-2017 05:25 AM

John I gather from the forum title, that pallet wood has become unpalatable to you!
Well, I have to agree, somethings can be made out of pallet wood and some things should not!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2131 posts in 3146 days


#15 posted 01-31-2017 05:26 AM

While I do agree the project in the photo has “No” all over it, not everything pallet is bad. This is just one of many items I did back in the day. I even have a favorite out in the shop (waiting moving repair) that was a blue ribbon winner.

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3570 days


#16 posted 01-31-2017 05:34 AM

It is just like ceiling fans, if there is one, the designer has to get rid of it. If there isn’t one, the designer has to add one. Same thing with “rustic” look in the family room. ;-)

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7770 posts in 3115 days


#17 posted 01-31-2017 11:44 AM


John I gather from the forum title, that pallet wood has become unpalatable to you!
...
- oldnovice

BINGO! We have a winner!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

991 posts in 3177 days


#18 posted 01-31-2017 11:52 AM

There’s always option of doing the reverse…

View upinflames's profile

upinflames

217 posts in 2363 days


#19 posted 02-01-2017 05:20 PM

Just about as bad as this crap, claiming “refinished”, no it’s not, you painted the stupid thing.

I hate to see a sure enough beautiful piece that these morons paint.

View JollyGreen67's profile

JollyGreen67

1676 posts in 2964 days


#20 posted 02-01-2017 06:09 PM

Allen in Colorado is absolutely correct about outgassing, no matter what some pallet wood fanatics think, or believe.

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

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Redoak49

3664 posts in 2190 days


#21 posted 02-01-2017 06:45 PM

I just did some reading about pallets and now I would avoid them. Pallets are supposed to be identified as how they are treated. If I was going to use a pallet, I would certainly be aware of the source and what had been on it.

For me, the risk is too great…but to each their own.

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

17761 posts in 3208 days


#22 posted 02-01-2017 07:34 PM

While I’m not a fan of the look or style it makes me happy to see that people are doing things for themselves and being creative while working with their hands.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Jeff2016's profile

Jeff2016

115 posts in 1066 days


#23 posted 02-01-2017 07:55 PM

Pallets can be sketchy and hard on tooling. There is a commercial playground installer just up the road from my work that has specially built freight skids. I’ve picked up a few. A rather nice (read out of control) pile in my shop contains cherry, red and white oak, hard maple and even some elm. All 2×4 to 5×5 in size.
According to my contact, the playground equipment comes in on these “one time use skids” because they are built to fit the order.

As for the original post pic…. words fail me…

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

17594 posts in 3390 days


#24 posted 02-01-2017 08:17 PM

I agree not a great look, Sometimes less is more. I’m all for purposing wood, but in this case no.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5702 posts in 2610 days


#25 posted 02-01-2017 10:41 PM



There s always option of doing the reverse…

- hotbyte

ROFLMAO

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

1147 posts in 793 days


#26 posted 02-01-2017 11:43 PM

The only thing wrong with pallet wood is that controlling freaks try to impose their opinion over it. It is just raw material. You can make nice or not so nice things from it similarly you can made some ugly thing from ebony too.


I saw this today and immediately added it to my to-NOT-do list.

I think it falls into the category of—Just because you can doesn t mean you should.

This is something where the “before” is far better than the “after”. I actually prefer the unadorned vertical furring.

Rant over. I m feeling better now. :-)

- johnhutchinson


View ric53's profile

ric53

194 posts in 1721 days


#27 posted 02-01-2017 11:44 PM

I don’t have a problem with people making things out of pallet wood and in fact there are many pieces that are quite awesome made out of it. What I do have a problem with is all the posts that seem to bestow the title of fine woodwork on them. I agree with Woodbutcher in that you don’t have to tell everyone where the wood came from. Just build something and post it as a project and leave the “I built this out of pallet wood” out of it.

-- Ric, Mazomanie

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ric53

194 posts in 1721 days


#28 posted 02-01-2017 11:46 PM

I had the audacity of complaining about all the pallet wood postings on another site. They crucified me.

-- Ric, Mazomanie

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ric53

194 posts in 1721 days


#29 posted 02-02-2017 01:02 AM

I don’t have a problem with people making things out of pallet wood and in fact there are many pieces that are quite awesome made out of it. What I do have a problem with is all the posts that seem to bestow the title of fine woodwork on them. I agree with Woodbutcher in that you don’t have to tell everyone where the wood came from. Just build something and post it as a project and leave the “I built this out of pallet wood” out of it.

-- Ric, Mazomanie

View johnhutchinson's profile

johnhutchinson

1243 posts in 1831 days


#30 posted 02-02-2017 03:26 AM



The only thing wrong with pallet wood is that controlling freaks try to impose their opinion over it.

- Carloz

Controlling freaks? This is starting to get nasty.
I heard something the other day that I’ll never forget …
”What you think about me is none of my business.”
Try it and you won’t give a rat’s ass about comments that used to bother you.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Rrrandy's profile

Rrrandy

212 posts in 680 days


#31 posted 02-02-2017 04:21 AM

Pallet wood and scraps are all I can afford. Please don’t make fun of me.

-- Y'all need to locate a sense of humor. Borrow one if you can't find yours...

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

2849 posts in 784 days


#32 posted 02-02-2017 11:08 AM

For what it’s worth, my old garage was built out of shipping crates liberated from the local ammunition factory during WWII and assembled over a couple years. When it came time to tear it down in 2012 (too small, plus the slab was a mess), the guy running the backhoe with a claw commented on how “geez, for a 65 year old wooden garage, this is sure solid.” Not bad for the 1940s equivalent of pallet wood.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3320 posts in 2978 days


#33 posted 02-02-2017 01:22 PM

When it comes to pallets, you have to pay attention. We got some computer equipment once and a coworker grabbed the pallet before I could check out the equipment (he was also a Luthier). Turns out the the pallet was some seriously nice mahogany.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View GunsOfNavarone's profile

GunsOfNavarone

30 posts in 1016 days


#34 posted 02-02-2017 05:32 PM

I’m not sure why this bothers anybody, other than it’s not “fine woodworking”. If somebody likes it, let them do it! The look is really popular right now, I’ve seen it in many remodel shows, new restaurants, bars, even the KC Royals stadium. I personally like the “barn wood” look, but taking apart pallets is too much work and potentially hazardous (unknown sources, lots of splinters, potential chemicals). However, since I like the look and I’m not willing to pay a fortune for 80-year old “barn wood” I sometimes artificially “age” pine with an iron acetate stain to give it the old appearance. In fact, I bought some pine flooring and did a similar wall treatment in my dining room (see attached).

That wall is the #1 thing people comment on in my home despite some of the “finer” woodworking projects I’ve done. The whole project cost me about $100 and it’s one of the most popular features in my house. The best part is – if it goes out of style in 10 years like almost everything does, all I have to do is pull the paneling down and fill some nail holes in drywall. Projects like this (and simple Ana White builds) are what got me into woodworking, and they’re cheap ways to give your home an update (even if it’s temporary). Just my $0.02.

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

2613 posts in 3198 days


#35 posted 02-02-2017 07:22 PM

I just turned a pile of barn boards into this table….IT SOLD for $2150.
A pallet is just another TREE sliced up into strips.
Pallet Wood is NOT a species of tree
Just like barnboard is NOT a species.
They are re-cycled items that people use.
If people want to use it …..let them.
If you are worried that the pallet may have chemicals in it…...think about THIS: OSB, strand board, masonite, K-3, MDF all all made of sawdust, wood ships using “Resins”” to hld them together. Is that RESIN really safe ? It contains harsh chemicals. You kitchen counter top is made from Formica, Arborite or even Acrylics BONDED together with resins…....you prepare your food on this….....Is it really safe ?....then when your food is ready you go outside onto your new deck…......treated lumber for structure and NEW FLOOR is maybe TREX ? Another composition material bonded together by resins…......
I tried to salvage some pallets, I didnt have right tools, so the effort was to great for what I got outta it.
Lately I did salvage some crates that my metal was shipped on. 6’ wide by 32” across.
So when I see a “Fine Woodworking” Project I do admire it…...someone has patience and talent to make something from a TREE.
When I see someone create something from any re-cycled material…...I also admire it…..someone has creative eye to make something from the material.
I admire turned bowls from wood.
I admire pens made from exotic species of wood that I cannot even say !
TODAY I spend my time building from reclaimed lumber…..I can afford it…..(labor to tear it down) aand its a challenge to build something unique from what wodd have bbe tossed away or burnt ! Its not for everyone…...but I enjoy it !
Thanks !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

877 posts in 752 days


#36 posted 02-02-2017 10:53 PM

Man I don’t know where u guys r getting the fancy woods out of pallets. I’ve only seen pine or junk oak used. That would b nice to get some nice lumber like that for free tho

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1414 posts in 1425 days


#37 posted 02-02-2017 10:53 PM

If i use a pallet to make a desk and I use a mortise and tenon joint or a dovetail in a drawer, does that elevate it to “fine woodworking” status?

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

5286 posts in 1922 days


#38 posted 02-03-2017 12:37 AM

OSB, strand board, masonite, K-3, MDF all all made of sawdust, wood ships using “Resins”” to hld them together. Is that RESIN really safe ? It contains harsh chemicals. You kitchen counter top is made from Formica, Arborite or even Acrylics BONDED together with resins…....you prepare your food on this….....Is it really safe ?....then when your food is ready you go outside onto your new deck…......treated lumber for structure and NEW FLOOR is maybe TREX ? Another composition material bonded together by resins…...... canadianchips

All of these have MSDS sheets available, used pallets do not.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

18390 posts in 3877 days


#39 posted 02-03-2017 04:28 AM

A pile of pallets with chemicals all over them cured me. The CL ad said get them quick or they go in the garbage. I doubt that. Most likely illegal to put that hazmat in the garbage!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1147 posts in 1018 days


#40 posted 02-03-2017 03:15 PM

I CNC carve signs and inspirational plaques to sell and my very best sellers are made from unplaned 19th century barn wood I salvaged. It looks a lot like that pallet wood. I would not want it in my house but a lot of people do. The material is beautiful old growth heart long leaf pine but revealing a freshly planed surface would greatly devalue the material. Here is one sample.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

1276 posts in 2312 days


#41 posted 02-03-2017 03:42 PM

Pallet wood isn’t my thing, either…

I try to share this information with those who like pallet wood, but unfortunately have never seen evidence they’ve actually used the information.

View dmo0430's profile

dmo0430

66 posts in 1204 days


#42 posted 02-03-2017 04:06 PM



I m not sure why this bothers anybody, other than it s not “fine woodworking”. If somebody likes it, let them do it! The look is really popular right now, I ve seen it in many remodel shows, new restaurants, bars, even the KC Royals stadium. I personally like the “barn wood” look, but taking apart pallets is too much work and potentially hazardous (unknown sources, lots of splinters, potential chemicals). However, since I like the look and I m not willing to pay a fortune for 80-year old “barn wood” I sometimes artificially “age” pine with an iron acetate stain to give it the old appearance. In fact, I bought some pine flooring and did a similar wall treatment in my dining room (see attached).

That wall is the #1 thing people comment on in my home despite some of the “finer” woodworking projects I ve done. The whole project cost me about $100 and it s one of the most popular features in my house. The best part is – if it goes out of style in 10 years like almost everything does, all I have to do is pull the paneling down and fill some nail holes in drywall. Projects like this (and simple Ana White builds) are what got me into woodworking, and they re cheap ways to give your home an update (even if it s temporary). Just my $0.02.

- GunsOfNavarone

I completely agree. This is in our bedroom and was rough cut on the bandsaw and cleaned up on 3 sides with the front left rough. FWIW I don’t consider this as Fine WW but it is working with wood so what if some don’t like it. My wife does (most importantly :] ) and so do I. It has a lot of nice variation. More than paneling would or wainscoting.

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

3179 posts in 3729 days


#43 posted 02-03-2017 04:37 PM

I prefer the wood of the North Armenian Pallet tree (Palletus Northarmenius) to that of the Central Sudanese species (Palletus Centralsudanesius) for several reasons. It is easier to work, has a richer-colored heartwood and shows a more pronounced grain pattern.

This is just my opinion. I realize that I am skating on the thin ice of a violent clash of beliefs.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View IowaBeauty's profile

IowaBeauty

11 posts in 747 days


#44 posted 02-03-2017 04:39 PM



I saw this today and immediately added it to my to-NOT-do list.

I think it falls into the category of—Just because you can doesn t mean you should.

Personally, when I want the feel of weathered barn boards (which is what I suspect those are, give their length), I go out to my barn. But others’ mileage may vary. With a little care in installation and a finish to the job, it’s just another textured wall covering – although I suspect the person who cleans the room will tire of a wall covering that sheds every time someone brushes against it.

View johnhutchinson's profile

johnhutchinson

1243 posts in 1831 days


#45 posted 02-03-2017 04:49 PM



I prefer the wood of the North Armenian Pallet tree (Palletus Northarmenius) to that of the Central Sudanese species (Palletus Centralsudanesius) for several reasons. It is easier to work, has a richer-colored heartwood and shows a more pronounced grain pattern.

This is just my opinion. I realize that I am skating on the thin ice of a violent clash of beliefs.

- ChuckV

BRAVO !!!

Daily Top 3 comment !!!

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Ted78's profile

Ted78

401 posts in 2201 days


#46 posted 02-03-2017 04:51 PM

Anything can be down well or be done poorly. Pallet wood is available, cheap, reusing it keeps it out of the landfills, and it’s a source of South American tropical hardwoods I can utilize without feeling so guilty of ruining the rainforest. Now the prices people want for old barnwood around here are crazy, that I don’t understand.

-- Ted

View Jeff2016's profile

Jeff2016

115 posts in 1066 days


#47 posted 02-03-2017 05:07 PM



Man I don t know where u guys r getting the fancy woods out of pallets. I ve only seen pine or junk oak used. That would b nice to get some nice lumber like that for free tho

- JCamp

Gotta think outside the box a bit. Look for companies that deal in specialized products such as playground equipment, shipping large cylinders of some sort, heavy equipment parts, etc. These type companies deal with supplies that don’t fit on a “standard” pallet.
Youll still run into junk woods, or good woods with bad spots at the least. A little time culling bad out while dismantling leaves me 2 piles. workable wood and fire wood. And the best part, most I get now are bolted together so I get free hardware too.
If you can find one of these companies, make a contact and find something they need. I spend a little time doing them a favor such as cleaning up the mess that most guys make while rummaging.
One hand washes the other, and now I get first pick and a phone call….

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

2613 posts in 3198 days


#48 posted 02-03-2017 08:32 PM

My brother was living in Thailand for few years. He bought some beautiful furniture while he was there. Shipped it home. It arrived in TEAK crates !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

2613 posts in 3198 days


#49 posted 02-03-2017 08:42 PM

ChuckV. You are so right. When using those species they provide you with MSDS sheets, therefore making those used pallets much safer than others !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View MrUnix's profile (online now)

MrUnix

7050 posts in 2400 days


#50 posted 02-03-2017 09:46 PM

To me, ‘pallet wood’ is if you just leave it in its rough state, much like ‘barn wood’. But joint and plane them suckers, and I’d be willing to bet that nobody here would be able to tell the difference between wood sourced from a pallet, and wood sourced from a local lumber yard/hardwood supplier.

I do agree that most of the time, at least around here, all you find is mostly pine and oak… the more exotics are getting very hard to find in a lot of locations. And those spiral shank nails are a royal PITA. I initially struggled with them using just a crow bar and hammer, and many times just resorted to cutting the boards off the runners with a circular or reciprocating saw, leaving the nails in place and trashing those pieces. Since then, I welded up a pallet buster from an old chain link fence post and some bed frame angle iron, which has made breaking them down a whole heck of a lot easier.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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