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Forum topic by Amoc posted 03-06-2013 08:46 AM 1187 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Amoc's profile


53 posts in 1932 days

03-06-2013 08:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I stopped by a local place a couple of weeks ago and picked up some pallets with the grand idea of reclaiming the wood for other projects. When I got into tearing the pallets down I found that the wood very seldom hung hung in there when it comes to pulling the nails (lots and lots). I wound up cutting out the unailed portions and chucking the rest.

So here is my question for the masses~ What is the best method for tearing down a pallet?

Would a vibrating saw blade be the best solution and then just kick the frames to the curb?

-- Ken from Ft Hood, TX

6 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28947 posts in 2305 days

#1 posted 03-06-2013 09:25 AM

Pallets vary greatly in construction. However, if I did it, I wouldn’t mess with pulling nails on pine ones. At least not the ends. Probably the ones in the center. If the pallet is better wood, oak, maple or such, then I would spend more time pulling nails also. Some people like having the nail holes also for show.

Always good to recycle.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View David Dean's profile

David Dean

608 posts in 2866 days

#2 posted 03-06-2013 11:34 AM

The best way to do pillets is use your sawsaw with a metal cutting blade that is if your only useing the one by I use 9” general purpose nail-embedded wood&metal sawsaw blade’s by Diablo.

View me5269's profile


43 posts in 2135 days

#3 posted 03-06-2013 12:13 PM

As David suggested. Then I pop the cut nails out using a cheap nail set or small pry bar. I use a rare earth magnet, epoxied to a 12” pc of 1/4” square dowel. Balance it on my finger and scan the wood, both sides. It will pick up any metal shavings and if I missed a hidden nail, it will stick to the wood. I tried a couple the wizard brand metal detectors and they missed more than they found.

-- Mike

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1825 posts in 1936 days

#4 posted 03-06-2013 12:21 PM

Get a good crowbar. Get a good nail puller. If you are of a mind there are those pallet breakers you can pick up too. I have built almost every project I have placed on here using pallets. Sometimes the nail holes look nice so I always painstakingly pull out all of the nails I can, and try not to cut anything. I am a bit of a wood hoarder. Another way to get them apart is to get a 1 foot piece of 4/4, lay it next to the section, and beat the 4/4 with a sledge against the section of pallet, and it pops the nails out; or bends them until you can place the crowbar underneath it. I found this method to be my go to. Also as much as you can when you are pulling out the nails, use the crowbar for leverage. When they construct pallets they use the most stubborn of nails. You can really find some great wood in pallets, and in most instances free wood if you don’t mind the work

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View DouginVa's profile


490 posts in 2240 days

#5 posted 03-06-2013 01:53 PM

I always try prying them out with a crow bar. To avoid splitting the thin pieces sometimes I’d just let the nail pull straight through the thin boards since there’s a nail hole there anyway. To pull the stuborn nails from the thick boards I’ll put a vice grip on the nail and just roll it back using the curved head portion of the grip to rock it out.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

View Amoc's profile


53 posts in 1932 days

#6 posted 03-06-2013 03:12 PM

Thanks guys for the help. I will look at Harbor Frieght and see about getting a cutting tool just for the nails. I will just get a couple of pallets at a time unitl I develop a system for removing the nail effectively. I will also try me5269’s method of a magnet and a stick to find nails.

Again thanks to all!

-- Ken from Ft Hood, TX

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