Introduction: How to Reclaim Pallet Wood for Reuse, Without Breaking the Boards.

I did a pallet garden project and to start it, I was given a shipment of 60 pallets which I had to deconstruct.!    I got to try all possible ways to break them up!  The one in this video worked the best for reclaiming the wood "without breaking it".  I used various tools and combinations in the video and you probably have something similar available to do the job at home.  


Jacob Sartorious (author)2017-03-07

thx for the idea would try NEVER

diy_bloke (author)2015-05-23

as you are resting your lever on one of the other boards (at least in the beginning), that may easily break. I would think that breaking or nor breaking the boards largely depends on the quality of the wood and the amount of nails hammered into it.
I do not really get the kinda loose insertion of the additional crow bar that you seem to do from time to time, or is that what you put the pry bar against?
Anyway, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and you seem to be able to get off all the boards without damage. Well done!

aunt margie (author)2014-06-03

How does one manage to get "a shipment of 60 pallets"? Every local company I have tried reuses or returns their pallets except Home Depot ' s garden department, who.will.sell them to me for "$15 to $25" each. For that price I might as well buy new lumber and skip all the deconstructing and extra sanding.

I got them from a furniture store. It was 2 free shipments, 20 and 40 pallets. (The owner likes that I try to do green stuff so that helps). They were none standard that were used to ship the stuff from Toronto to Victoria. Many places here leave them outside their gates at the weekend in the hope that they disappear and they do not have to deal with returning or recycling them. Another place is a kitchen and bath store and another 2 places are building materials distributors. A local hydroponics store also has free ones. Brian

ar_caver (author)2014-03-04

I used to work at an air conditioning company and had an almost endless supply of pallets. I used them for everything from shelves to furniture repair to firewood. The technique you show to take them apart works very well.

ehogan1 (author)2014-01-08

I read in another post on another website that is is easier to just cut through the nails using a dremel or a reciprocating saw. Just leave the material in the wood and cut off anything that is protruding through the wood.

gaiatechnician (author)ehogan12014-01-08

Hi, ehogan, It might be easier (I don't think it is easy), and if you recut the wood for anything, you have to watch for the nails everywhere. If you want to just burn the wood, the easiest way is a circular saw. it is very quick. and you don't cut any of the nails. Of all the methods I have used, the method with the 2 prybars gives the best least damaged reclaimed wood (by far) and the circular saw method gives the quickest firewood (by far). But you have to be very careful with the circular saw cord. Brian

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a stone mason. My hobby is making new solar cooking and gardening stuff. I have used solar heat to cook soil for a ... More »
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