I hate pallet furniture!

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Forum topic by MikeBeee posted 10-24-2015 02:06 AM 3351 views 0 times favorited 42 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 1191 days

10-24-2015 02:06 AM

Hey guys! Quick rant. I have just got into finer woodworking in the last 6 months after close to 20 years of carpentry type woodworking. I will say it’s going extremely well so I put an ad up on Craigslist for custom woodworking. I’ve got a few projects so far but it seems 95% of the people who contact me want pallet furniture. I hate to turn down projects but using cracked pallet wood and pulling nails for hours isn’t my cup of tea and not to mention miss a nail, time for new planer blades. Does anyone have any recommendations?

42 replies so far

View AlaskaGuy's profile


5002 posts in 2550 days

#1 posted 10-24-2015 02:28 AM

Don’t use pallet wood.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View BurlyBob's profile


6033 posts in 2506 days

#2 posted 10-24-2015 02:28 AM

Mike I’ve got to agree with you. I’ve done three small box projects with pallet wood. One of the boards that I’m pretty sure is was poplar had a distinct septic order. It gave me a sinus infection. Bottom line…never again. I threw all that wood away. I’ve only done 2 small projects for profit and I didn’t care for them.

I guess you just flat tell folks you don’t do pallet wood. If they want it they can do it themselves.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30153 posts in 2579 days

#3 posted 10-24-2015 02:29 AM

I don’t do pallet wood furniture. But I have seen some pretty amazing things made. Once again, patience and the skill of the craftsman. On the flip side, if it isn’t what you want to be known for, don’t do it. That’s why I turn down certain requests. It’s not an area I want to venture into. Pallets is one of those areas.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View MikeBeee's profile


4 posts in 1191 days

#4 posted 10-24-2015 02:42 AM

I’m glad you guys agree! I live in a college town and I think that’s why I get so many requests for that type of work.

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Monte Pittman

30153 posts in 2579 days

#5 posted 10-24-2015 02:46 AM

I get requests for log furniture. It’s not what I do, or want to do. I tell them that there are others in the area that make it.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View lateralus819's profile


2241 posts in 2130 days

#6 posted 10-24-2015 02:52 AM

I think it looks terrible personally lol.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 3472 days

#7 posted 10-24-2015 03:30 AM

I think it looks terrible personally lol.

- lateralus819

Not to my eyes. :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2883 days

#8 posted 10-24-2015 04:32 AM

Pesonally I use alot of pallet wood….in my wood stove and that’s all its good for and at that is is poor..

List what you will make in the ads specifically and show some sample pieces. Keep the faith as it takes about five years to develop a business.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


7114 posts in 2440 days

#9 posted 10-24-2015 04:36 AM

I’ve made a lot of really beautiful stuff from pallet wood… but never furniture. The main problem is you can’t get big enough stock for anything substantial, unless you happen to like that ‘nail hole’ look :)


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

View McFly's profile


273 posts in 1268 days

#10 posted 10-24-2015 01:56 PM

If I’m building for cash, whatever pays my bills is what I’m building. I can understand not wanting to be known for that style of woodworking, but if it pays the bills, I say build something you like with the profits.

Funny story about pallets. My Dad worked at GSK for 40 years and often dealt with the shipping department in his earlier days.

One day back in the 70’s, they called him down to inspect a truckload of pallets that they said looked like they were ruined by black with mold/mildew. Considering they were putting out millions of doses of medication on these pallets, a mildew problem could be catastrophic.

My Dad got down there and the company forklift driver was just staring into the truck in quiet awe. He turned to my Dad and asked “do…do they even know what they have here?!?”

Turns out it wasn’t a load of pinewood pallets with a mildew problem. The entire truckload of pallets was made of black walnut and they were gorgeous. The tops, the sides, the bottoms. The whole damn load. All heartwood walnut. The guy asked if he could have a few skids and my Dad mentioned that he couldn’t load any medicatitions onto a “damaged” pallet. Any damaged pallets would need to be stacked by the dumpsters.

There were a few “oops” moments on the loading dock that week resulting in “damaged” skids. LOL.

View jmartel's profile


8288 posts in 2391 days

#11 posted 10-24-2015 02:02 PM

The best use for pallet wood, in my opinion of course.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View johnstoneb's profile


3072 posts in 2413 days

#12 posted 10-24-2015 02:08 PM

I have used some pallets for projects. You can get some good wood out of some of them but it is a lot of work for very little return. If you want to build out of pallets go for it. I’ve seen some nice pieces made from it and other pieces I wouldn’t have. It all comes down to peoples taste. I hate barn wood.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Adrock1's profile


43 posts in 1447 days

#13 posted 10-24-2015 03:18 PM

I’ve worked in manufacturing for 15 years and seen pallets treated with, soaked in, or spilled on with all manner of nasty chemicals, gross stuff, and filth. Unless I know the source and use of the pallet Im repurposing I’d rather not muck with it. I have no desire to breath dust saturated in pesticides or industrial chemicals or who knows what.

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 3003 days

#14 posted 10-24-2015 03:47 PM

What I been saying all along – dangerous stuff!

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

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1471 days

#15 posted 10-24-2015 04:12 PM

I have avoided this topic because I know there are some who think the pallet wood is (for some esoteric reason) near the Holy Trinity.

Questionable wood of questionable moisture content with questionable objects impaled therein (I worked at a lumberyard, their full of crap)’s all questionable and to top that it has nails in it. Not my jointer, planer, saw or shapers.

And yes, I have a palette in the back of my truck now. I use it to haul OWWM on so the bed won’t damage the old iron. Works great for that.

Got a buddy who helped me grab some OWWM two weeks ago, shaper and a planer. He wants me to help him make a hat rack out of my pallet. I care about him (and my tools) too much to allow that.

We will find a way or make one but for me and my shop, no pallets.

Done digressing with the pallet dis.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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