Pallet recycling

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Forum topic by Dr_Unix posted 12-11-2009 10:58 PM 4227 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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49 posts in 4117 days

12-11-2009 10:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pallet playhouse project recycle

Recycling pallet wood has been a topic on Lumberjocks in the past. The conclusion has been that it’s too hard to rip them apart for the amount of wood you recover. Well, there’s a guy that had more time on his hands than he needed so he started a project. On Instructables find step-by-step instructions on how to build a playhouse out of recovered pallet wood. The end result is pictured below.


14 replies so far

View SNSpencer's profile


133 posts in 3109 days

#1 posted 12-11-2009 11:17 PM

Well my “crafters” business name is Refined Pallet because that is how I got started. I would build all sorts of stuff out of recycled pallet wood. If you take the time you CAN get some really good lumber out of it. I have built some really nice oak, pine and teak furniture pieces from pallet wood.(Most of it you would never know unless I told you) Not to mention, lots of small projects like boxes, magazine racks, cookbook stands etc. I even have one of my first pieces, a blanket chest, on the New Yankee website.

Some treasures that I have come across ripping apart pallets:
Teak, teak and more teak – Pallets from overseas shipments, used because it’s cheap in some parts of the world and it resists rot while making the cross sea journey.
Spalted woods – Mainly maple.
Came across a piece of birdseye maple once.
Figured woods like “curly” oak and even some highly figured cherry.

It’s there if you have the time… and a really big burn barrel for the junk.

-- Jef Spencer - Refined Pallet -

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 3140 days

#2 posted 12-12-2009 12:45 AM

“Cheap” wood is only cheap until it eats your jointer or planer blades.

That said I wish I had access to more pallets, lots of character.

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3761 days

#3 posted 12-12-2009 03:09 AM

I use them sometimes…..... and crates. But I do run a metal detector over them first. The wood takes a little extra work, but well worth it (for free).

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3349 days

#4 posted 12-12-2009 03:30 AM

I’ve used them myself in the past, mostly for outdoor stuff that I don’t care about that much. Now that I think about it I have some shelves on the railings on my back porch for plants that have been there for 10+ years, wow, they’re holding up good. Plants have come and gone but they’re still there, subjected to the rain and snow and temperature fluctuations, and I only stained them once when I put them out there. They’re doing better then my pressure treated fences now that I think about it.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18268 posts in 3671 days

#5 posted 12-12-2009 05:51 AM

I worked on a depression era house that didn’t have an 8’ stud in the walls. Not sure if it was framed with pallet salvage, but all teeh studs were at least 3 pieces scabbed together.

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

View Dr_Unix's profile


49 posts in 4117 days

#6 posted 12-13-2009 01:51 AM

Ok, ok, I get it. There are some pluses to recycling pallets. But the point of this post was to bring attention to the playhouse. :-)

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3349 days

#7 posted 12-13-2009 02:07 AM

Well excuse us. It is nice there’s no doubt about that and each post brings this thread back to the top for more people to see rather then fade into oblivion.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3284 days

#8 posted 12-13-2009 02:14 AM

this is right up there with my projects and all of mine are pallet wood i use two hammers and pry real hard in the middle then at the ends this works for me then if nails do get stuck i pull those with a pair of nippers but it all works for me look at the stuff i posted so far and u will see.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View steveosshop's profile


230 posts in 3621 days

#9 posted 12-13-2009 02:17 AM

My wife’s grandfather did the same thing, only he found some lumber from construction sites and some vinly siding that was being thrown out. I will say that is a great playhouse and I would bet the kids that get to play in it will never worry about it being from pallets. For them its all about the fun. I like to think of it that way too.

-- Steve-o

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4081 days

#10 posted 12-13-2009 08:23 PM

That really is an awfully nice playhouse!


View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3573 days

#11 posted 12-13-2009 08:31 PM

A great playhouse and amazing use of pallets

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Brian024's profile


358 posts in 3396 days

#12 posted 12-13-2009 09:45 PM

Since I work at Home Depot and handle freight, I get access to just about every pallet our store handles. Regular size pallets get sent back and re-used but larger pallets, like 8 and 10 feet long, we cut up with a chainsaw and throw away. There are also smaller pallets, usually hold tile and grout get thrown away to. A lot of these are made of red oak and I’ve been getting quite a lot of them. Its a lot of work tearing them apart but after I run them through the planer a lot of them are quarter sawn.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3186 days

#13 posted 12-14-2009 05:35 PM

Free dosen’t mean bad, wery nice playhouse. I think that this guy with to much time did a great job. I bet it made the kids really happy too.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View LeeinEdmonton's profile


254 posts in 3577 days

#14 posted 12-14-2009 08:29 PM

I’m too lazy to use pallets instead I have access to blocking used with transporting machinery,usually in 4×4 x 4ft. lengths. No nails & very little dirt & grit & best of all many different species IE: both red & white oak, cherry, aspen, birch but have not come across walnut yet. Have not bought hardwood for quite some time.


-- Lee

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