Kindling Made From Pallets

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Posted in OutsideBackyard

Introduction: Kindling Made From Pallets

Hi all,

My name is Eren, I'm ten years old and live in the UK.

Welcome to my very first instructable. I'm going to show you how to make kindling out of pallets using a kindling maker using an axe I built with my dad's help. I got the inspiration after reading a book titled "Rich Kid, Smart Kid" by Robert T Kiyosaki which is a book about making kids financially aware. I've been wanting to buy my own games for my Xbox and needed a way to generate some cash to do so.

We have a fireplace and I noticed the small bags of kindling that my dad has been buying from B&Q looks like its been made from pallet wood. I also spotted adverts for free pallets on my dad's facebay and thought. "Hey, why don't I make some kindling from free pallets and sell it to my neighbors who all have fireplaces!?". Here follows the steps I took with a video at the end:

Step 1: Find Pallets

First you need to find some pallets (any way you like, but there are lots of free pallets on Facebook and online). Once you start looking, you see them everywhere! My dad and I drive around and look like Meerkats scouting the surroundings for discarded pallets :-) I agreed with my dad to pay him a small contribution for fuel. And £9 for the new axe.

Step 2: Chop Up Pallets

I used a jigsaw to cut the flat bits from the pallet and stacked the pieces up in a pile. . I then used a chopsaw to cut the long pieces into thirds that will fit into a fireplace( or whatever size suits you). This is roughly the same length (15cm) as the kindling we buy from the shops.

Remember to wear your safety goggles and gloves.

Step 3: Build the Kindling Maker

We used 2 bolts to clamp the axe to 2 pieces of 2x2 timber. I drilled 2 holes through the axe handle and lined it up with the holes I drilled in the 2x2 pieces and bolted them together using 10mm dia bolts, washers and nuts Once bolted together, I secured it down to a log using 6 long wood screws. I ensured the head of the axe overhangs the log so that the split pieces fall to the ground.

Step 4: Making the Kindling

Now that all the pallets have been cut down to the correct size and the kindling maker is complete, I used a small hammer to hit the wood onto the blade causing it to split into 3 or 4 narrower pieces. This was easier than I thought and I managed to split 5 pallets down to kindling without hitting my thumb!

The Photo above is a result of five pallets only. I am planning to sell the big bags for £7 each which is a lot cheaper than what you would pay at the shops.

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    3 Comments

    Clever idea. The only thing that I would be concerned about is the fact that many pallets are chemically treated with pesticides or fungicides. Do you make an effort to avoid these?

    2 replies

    Thanks for watching and taking time to reply. We only use pallets that are white/clear and only sell to people with closed fireplaces. It is only used as kindling in small amounts, not as the main fuel.

    Most pallets which are single-use have an IPPC brand burned into them, which shows how the timber was treated. There's a good Instructable [1] on reading the code and some other sites which are useful.

    Basically, if it says anything other than "MB" then it's safe to burn, UNLESS you live in New Zealand or Australia who fumigate inbound heat treated pallets. In those countries you need more info, but the UK/EU/US should be able to rely on the IPPC mark.

    Once you are in the habit, you can read the stamp at a glance, but without the knowledge you don't even notice it!

    [1] "How to determine if a wood pallet is safe for use." (can only hyperlink once in a comment apparently)