Google: "disassembling pallets"...
" ...The easiest way I've found to disassemble them is to use a
s*wz*ll but I guess you could pry the boards up slightly then use a
hacksaw to cut the nails. Then use a nail set to pop out the nails. This
works better for me than simply prying the boards up since they're
generally assembled with ring shank nails which tend to split the boards.
A pair of vise grips on the remainder of the nail in the skids usually
works. I rarely use the skid wood since they're usually notched for
forklifts and have lots of nails.
Sometimes I just cut off the boards where they meet the skids since this
area usually has a nail every half inch and the wood is generally
unusable. I keep a beater saw and hammer in the trunk just in case I find
any pallets while driving around so I can break them up and cram them into
the trunk :) "
"Any type of saw blade will cut this, steel or carbide. You don't need a
diamond saw to cut wood. But yes, it IS difficult to pull nails from
pallets, which is why I bought a 2 lb sledge hammer and a wrecking bar. The
sledge hammer is pounded on the slats from the bottom, pushing them (and the
nails) outward. Then the wrecking bar is used to pry the nails out. There is
so much pressure on the nails they often pop out and go flying across my
BTW, a "wrecking bar" is made from 1" hex steel with usually 1 straight end
and one curved end, and usually around 30" long. They are specially treated
so as not to bend when you put pressure on it. If you make your own from
untreated hex stock, it will bend the first time you use it. I got mine from
a store for $7 brand new. They are usually $12US.
Each end is flattened and has a notch for pulling nails. You use the curved
end to grab a nail, then pull back using the bar like a lever. A lever is a
wonderful tool for getting more strength from an action.
So now you know my secret method for disassembling pallets:
- Put pallet on edge, use sledge hammer to loosen top boards.
- Put pallet skids down (face up). Push wood down while leaving nail head
poking up. Use wrecking bar to pull out nails."
"My technique is to use the claw hammer the backs of the thin boards to
help start the nails out. This is pretty crappy wood and not worth
keeping, IMHO. Once I bust up the thin boards, I set up the stringers in
the face vise and start removing the nails. It's not fun but it might be
a good way to get that exotic species you've lusted after. Then again
you might try dumpster diving at the nearest pattern shop in town. I've
found some nice mahogany that way. Cutoffs for sure but nice."
Ez Pry Bar By Jr-bar:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)"8013
Apparatus for disassembling wooden pallets (patent):
Some do. Most don't. I have a hard time getting rid of them unless the are
48 x 40
On the few pallets that have good wood, I cut the boards between the
runners. Great for small projects. IMO, it is not worth the effort to take
them apart completely. Even if you do, the quality of the wood is such that
I often cut out bad spots and end up with short pieces anyway.
hmm... flash back time..lol
The only 2 pallets that I've ever bothered to take apart for the wood were small
ones from our Craftsman rototiller and our neighbors riding mower, also CM, I
Made from rough sawn oak and fairly nice once cleaned up..
Some of the best pallets are ones that carry paper for printers. Because the
paper will pick up uneven surfaces they are usually made with better grade
wood or plywood. Check out behind a local printer to see what I mean. If
they use bulk uncartoned paper, it is always shipped strapped down with a
"lid" which is like the deck of a pallet without the runners or a sheet of
plywood or masonite. I still have a collection of lids that use from when I
ran a printshop.
Pallet wood can sometimes be really great stuff.
I used to use it quite a bit. I would make a scavage run and get a whole
pickup load, then I would run the skids through the band saw sclicing the
face pieces next to the 2X4's. Unless they were exceptional, I would just
band saw the 2X4's and toss them in the fire wood pile. This would
eliminate all nail pulling.
The face boards were then culled of splintered, warped and otherwise
boogered boards and the rest I cleaned up on the jointer.
The boards could be used as is for small stuff like boxes, and for larger
projects I would glue up to make panels. I suppose if you wanted to, you
could finger joint them end to end, but I never tried this.
A little time consuming, but free is free, and you can always use the
savings by not buying lumber to buy some more clamps.
If knowledge is power, and power corrupts, what does this say about the
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