Why I use pallets

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Forum topic by Ethan Harris posted 07-23-2012 02:17 PM 1149 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ethan Harris

300 posts in 2107 days

07-23-2012 02:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: landfill pallet pallet craft pallet wood pallet wood recycling pallets recycling waste rustic

Hello All,

This is part of my series Pallet Craft on my blog. It is pooring out once again, and because I have nowhere else to work on my projects except for my mobile work station (outdoors), I decided to blog about why I do what I do.

Woodworking in general came to me as something foriegn that I had never really given a lot of thought of doing (I mean common, I was a tech student), I thought of it as something only the “pros” really get into. Then it happened, I met the woman that would be my wife and I wanted to build things for her as gifts. Next thing I knew I fell into the woodworking hobby and I absolutely love it! A year and a half later I am now working on my own series called Pallet Craft.

Working with Pallets have many pros and cons as with anything else in the world these days. Some of the pros include its cheap (or even free), its gratifying and very simplistic; cons include its cheap, some wood is of a lot less quality, it takes a lot of extra time and propper planning, breaking down pallets can be very tedious and some pallets are chemical treated to kill off pests. Now the latter was a major concern for me when I started working with the pallets, but I did some of my own investigation and I discovered I can avoid issues by: Using heat treated pallets, taking pallets that don’t have a lot of age to them and not collecting them from chemical plants or foodmarts. The combination of the last two points is important in trying to calculate the lifespan and use of the pallets. But all of these reasons are not the reason I pallet craft.

I use pallets because nearly 500 million NEW pallets are built every year in the U.S. alone, while many many, many pallets end up in stockpiles for waste and decay or for burning or in landfills. To put a number on this, in 1995 alone, 68,000 tons of pallet wood was thrown out and wasted in Minnesota. This is not only wasteful, but its ecologically unstable and harmful to the earth. Therefore my motto on my blog is “Recycling what we waste to make what we want!”

So why do I do it? To make a difference, to build, to recycle, to Pallet Craft!

-- Ethan, CT: Check out my Small Business at & also follow me on twitter

2 replies so far

View bandit571's profile


19714 posts in 2646 days

#1 posted 07-23-2012 02:34 PM

A few years ago, this table was just a couple Oak pallets. I built two of these tables. The bottom shelf is the only “Store-bought” item of wood.

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

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3611 days

#2 posted 07-23-2012 02:42 PM

recycling is a major PRO and I am always up for that.

practically 99% of my lumber is recycled, or would have otherwise be thrown to rot.

more power to you for reusing materials.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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