Friday, July 27, 2012

Working with Pallets - The Difficulties.

Hello Readers!

Working with pallets can be fun, it can be gratifying, and it can keep you busy... These are all good things, but there is a dark side to the madness that is; Pallet Craft!

Difficulty #1 - Many pallets are decayed or built with cheap wood. It is unfortunate, but many pallets cannot be repaired for use, at least not by me. If this is not bad enough, some pallets are beyond decay, and are not fit for my use and many other uses. I would suggest inspecting the pallets you get before you attempt even picking them up.

Difficulty #2 - The second issue is good for pallet manufacturers and shippers, but bad for me. The nails used in pallet assembly are made to stay, removing them is difficult to do, unless of course you own a metal cutting saw... which I do not. In my case, I use this method:

Difficulty #3 - Many pallets are chemically treated. Now this can be a Debby downer for any pallet reclaimer, so to fix this issue, you must first, look for heat treated pallets which is a standard for many pallet manufacturers. These are regarded to be safer for use (you can tell usually because they will have the letters "HT" branded on them). If you are unsure of the origin of the pallets, use precautions when using them to insure safety and use a respirator mask to prevent breathing in the dust.

Pallet crafting is fun, and enjoyable and I want anyone that wants to do so to also enjoy it as well. Don't let the difficulties get in the way, and only good things can come from it.

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  1. Try getting pallets from an industrial company (one that would be receiving very heavy things, like metal). The ones we get are raw wood, and I've been told they're actually assembled while the wood is still green. The only "chemical" is any oil it would have picked up from the floor, which really doesn't seep that deep.

    1. Thank you Jason for your comment! I agree with you that the pallets are best from companies that use heavy equipment. The last three I picked up from a hardware store have oak, poplar and pine. But they look pretty good!

  2. We get mostly oak (almost all red oak; not sure about white as I've never been taught the difference) and poplar. We get some maple, hickory, birch and walnut (I'm assuming it's walnut, as it's really dark and hard). We also get a lot of spalted stuff. We're trying to set that aside for special projects (doesn't work so well, though). There's very little pine, and any that comes in is completely useless. The company was paying people to remove them, and they weren't coming very regularly. We get 30-50 a week.