Step 6: How to break them down
I experimented with different methods, but I finally settled on this particular method of disassembling the pallets.
This is how I do it:
I start by cutting off the outside stringers (the 2x4's) with a skill saw. Watch out for nails!
Draw a straight line on each side as a guide to cut off the outside stringers. A chalk line works well.
You'll want to set your depth at a fraction more than the 3/4 inch board.
After you cut along each outside stringer (not the middle!), flip the pallet over and do the same on the other side.
WARNING: Pallets are usually made of the lumber that got rejected for other uses. It's hard, often warped, has old broken nails embedded in it, and generally is just a pain to work with. Be careful. Wear goggles. Repetitive work breeds carelessness. Trust me, I know.
Some other methods:
--Cut the nails with a sawzall.
--Use a pneumatic chisel
--Use a catspaw to dig the nails out (for certain pallets, this is easy. For some, it's darn near impossible.)