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Tips & Tricks: Recycling Pallets for Projects

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Forum topic by MsDebbieP posted 08-31-2011 11:56 AM 5617 views 2 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2819 days


08-31-2011 11:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: pallets tips tricks

What are your “tips and tricks” (and challenges) re: using pallets for woodworking projects?

 
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here are the links to postings here at LumberJocks.com, tagged as “pallets”.

Gateway to all Tips & Tricks Topics
 

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)


19 replies so far

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TopamaxSurvivor

14754 posts in 2334 days


#1 posted 08-31-2011 12:05 PM

Getting them apart is an issue with the spiral nails. Even when they do pull out, the tips are often broken off and still in the wood. A sawzall or circular saw works very well to cut clean wood from between the framing members. Recycle the iron in the ashes in the wood stove from those pieces with nails in them ;-))

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

#2 posted 08-31-2011 12:29 PM

I’m leery of using pallets, although I have occasionally done so.
My worry is bugs. Some pallets are infested. for that reason alone I won’t keep them around.
If I do try to harvest some exotic wood from a pallet I look very carefully for bug tracks, especially at end grain cuts.
Even domestic pallets can have critters in them.
I wouldn’t want something like powder post beetles in my wood storage room!
On the other hand, some pallets are made with some very nice hardwoods.
It’s a balancing act.

Having said all that, I don’t get access to pallets much anymore unless I buy a machine. When I was still working in industry, I could have all the pallets I wanted.

That was then, this is now. ddwwb

-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

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rance

4132 posts in 1819 days


#3 posted 08-31-2011 05:06 PM

Only ones I’ve come across have been somewhat softer wood. Not quite as soft as pine. Good for hand-cut dovetail box. Sometime pretty wood. I’ve not run across any exotics or darker woods.

I no longer pull the nails(not worth my time or machinery risk). I quickly cut them out with a circular saw and settle for shorter boards. The powder post beetles bothers me. Maybe cut up the pallet, mill all the boards, and build the project and out the door all in one day. No leftovers.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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mafe

9549 posts in 1748 days


#4 posted 09-01-2011 12:55 AM

Youtube has plenty of videos on how to put them apart.
If I don’t need the whole thing, I run a old circular saw over it, as close to the nails as possible, so I only have to remove the mid nails.
Another way is to bang them through the wood with a nail punch.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1774 days


#5 posted 09-01-2011 01:21 AM

I readed it as link to projects made of recycled wood or upcycled as some call it …. LOL
that wuold be cool to have

run a wirebrush over the wood before using it or plane it with a sander instead

Dennis

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MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2819 days


#6 posted 09-01-2011 01:31 AM

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Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1774 days


#7 posted 09-01-2011 01:54 AM

sorry didnĀ“t remembered that one :-(

Dennis

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TopamaxSurvivor

14754 posts in 2334 days


#8 posted 09-01-2011 02:56 AM

Guess I’d better tag the boyz trucks ;-))

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

View Darren Webb's profile

Darren Webb

16 posts in 1121 days


#9 posted 09-01-2011 11:22 PM

Great post this is

-- Make Six Figures as a Pro Carpenter Expert Woodworker Reveals His Trade Secrets http://carpentryprojectplans.com

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bandit571

6985 posts in 1342 days


#10 posted 09-02-2011 12:43 AM

I have been recycling pallets for almost 30 years now, in fact I just reclaimed some 4×4 runners from a couple of skids. Some of them, I take a splitting maul to tear them down. That way, nails and all come off the runner. Then I can resaw the runner, leaving the center as scrap, just in case. The center is about just the same width as all those nail holes.

As for those bug tracks, I seem to like them, as long as the bugs are gone. The top for that table was made from reclaimed wood. An old barn rafter, resawn into 3/4” x 3” pieces. A look at the wood before two coats of Poly gloss:

As for what nails I run into, I work around the nails. Usually rip one side of a runner( they are usually4/4 or more) and not worry about any “leftovers” that might be inside. Another table, look at the white oak aprons closely, you’ll see a few nail holes:

Most nails I find, I use a GOOD pair of Visegrips, and a rip claw hammer, to “work” the nail back out. Around here the Amish make a living building pallets from scratch, and I can sometimes pick up some of their “scrap” without the nails in them. Just an idea…

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

View WilsonCreations's profile

WilsonCreations

105 posts in 1189 days


#11 posted 09-02-2011 03:47 AM

I’ve started seeing crate wood in the local Habitat for Humanity RESTORE. It’s nice having them disassembled already. Yes there is a price tag on it but at $.40 to $1.00 a piece and a selection on sizes it’s a nice option. I haven’t seen any staples or obvious evidence of any treatment. I’m finding a lot of inspiration there and just need some cooler weather to get back in the shop.

-- Wilson

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7732 posts in 2711 days


#12 posted 09-02-2011 06:14 AM

bandit571:

Great work using pallet wood! You’re doing really GOOD!

Very good Tips… from all of you…

I don’t come across very many pallets that I used to…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Darren Webb's profile

Darren Webb

16 posts in 1121 days


#13 posted 09-02-2011 03:37 PM

What an amazing tip this is and what a fantastic job on those pieces of work. To be honest I’ve only used Pallet wood for my firewood, wedges etc. I can get hold of loads of these things for free, anybody interested ??

-- Make Six Figures as a Pro Carpenter Expert Woodworker Reveals His Trade Secrets http://carpentryprojectplans.com

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Grumpy

19469 posts in 2509 days


#14 posted 09-04-2011 02:06 AM

Thanks Deb. I’ll keep that one in mind.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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mafe

9549 posts in 1748 days


#15 posted 09-04-2011 02:31 AM

Ohhh yes one good advice is to check for stones and nails before running through the planner, this can be expensive if your planner blades are broken.

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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