Introduction: Simple Prybar for Pallets

This is a simple prybar made to break pallets, while saving more of the wood.


This project will require one length of 1" square tubing, 1/8" wall, approximately 6' in length.

Welding machine.

Hacksaw or other tool to cut tubing.

Wire brush or other tool to prep surfaces for welding.

Step 1:

Plan and make cuts in your tubing so that you end up with:
2 pieces which are 5 1/4" overall length, with one end cut at 90° and the other cut at 45°
1 piece which is 90° at both ends, and 5 1/4" overall length
1 piece, approximately 4' 8", one end cut at 15°, the other is the end of the handle.

Clean all pieces in preperation for welding.

Step 2:

Assemble and weld so that the final product resembles the prybars in the previous images.

If you would like, you can finish the other end with a hockey tape handle.

The reason for the 15° angle is apparent in the animation*. It makes it easy to drop the breaker into place.


*click image to see animation

Step 3:

I thought I would include a few photos of this breaker in action, in order to make clear why the angles are cut the way that they are.

Comments

author
capndan77 (author)2014-04-24

Built one in about an hour and couldn't wait to try it out. Fantastic! I've been using pry bars and hammers to make pallet projects but this device works so much better. Takes all of about 5 minutes to dismantle a pallet. My brother builds golf clubs and I garnered some of the club handle wrap from him to cover my pallet tool handle. Nice soft material. I tell anyone asking about my method of dismantling pallets that I use a "9 Iron"!

author
Louise31 (author)capndan772015-08-19

Do you build to sell to anyone (like me) and how much would you charge?

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capndan77 (author)Louise312015-08-19

Louise,
Sorry to say we are on the road traveling in our motor home and won't be back home for about 6 weeks. Possibly you could make contact with the original poster of the plans. His directions were simple to follow. He may be able to build one for you. Almost anyone handy with a welder could make one for you as well. Good luck.
Dan

author
toddheath2005 (author)2014-02-23

I built one couple years ago identical to that to bust big skids I used to build my geodome greenhouse, chicken coope, and a host of other things. I seem to have a endless supply of skids made of 2×6 and 4×4.The nails are crazy hard to remove and vvirtually impossible to do with a normal pry bar. I have literally busted at least a thousand deck boards off the skids and it saved my back!! That tool is really worth its weight in gold even if you only take one apart. The first one I used 2" oil pipe in between the 2 legs thinking it would make it easier but it just tore out the welds so I changed to square tube and it works better because of the break over effect of the square edge. Best tool I have ever made and probably the simplest one also. Took longer to get the welder and chop saw out than it did to make it. My only suggestion to anyone building one is make the handle a foot longer than you think you need. I extended mine for better leverage now its a bit over 5' and made a great tool even better. Thanks for the instructable!! I always think I am going to do an instructable for all the stuff I make but never think to take pics in process.lol sorry for rambling I really just wanted to say great job and a valuable tool;-)

author
Louise31 (author)toddheath20052015-08-19

Do you build to sell to anyone. If so, how much do you charge?

author
Handsome-Ryan made it! (author)2014-12-25

The first one I made for myself worked so well, I made a second one for a friend. Hit the business end of this one with a little primer to slow rusting.

palletbreaker2.jpg
author
Handsome-Ryan made it! (author)2014-12-24

Awesome instructable! I welded mine up with thick-wall 1.25" tubing and used 1" black iron pipe for the handle. So easy to use and does a great job. This tool is so simple yet so effective. Owning tools is great but the satisfaction one gets from making their own tools is indescribable. Thanks for posting this. Happy pallet breaking!

palletprybar.jpg
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gamegoofs2 (author)2014-05-25

I made it, but the cross beam started to bend. Is there any way to prevent this?

temp_-533040359.jpg
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archimeech (author)gamegoofs22014-12-03

Use tubing with a thicker wall. The stuff you welded is just too thin. If you want to salvage the one you made you could lap 1 inch angle over it and put a continuous weld on all the edges.

author
fcharest1 (author)gamegoofs22014-08-17

you should weld one correctly try on scrap steel until you are satisfed of your welding skills then make a new one

author
Eberhb (author)gamegoofs22014-06-08

you could weld the ends of your square tubing solid it would make the cross beam more ridged! good luck!

author
darren8306 (author)gamegoofs22014-05-25

It's difficult to see for sure, but it looks like you used different square tubing. If not, it may have been attached differently.

I have had welds let go on me, but never this. Could you post another angle or two?

author
gamegoofs2 (author)darren83062014-05-25

Sure, I can take more. It's not so much the welds though. They're holding. It the cross bar that is twisting. Would welding square plates to the end help prevent it from twisting?

author
gamegoofs2 (author)gamegoofs22014-05-25

Here it is at a hopefully better angle.

temp_-1860258026.jpg
author
darren8306 (author)gamegoofs22014-05-25

I notice 2 differences between yours and mine.

1. The tubing you are using looks like it might be thinner-walled than what I used.

2. Your handle is attached to a corner, mine is attached (at an angle) to the flat piece.

I hope this helps.

author
fcharest1 made it! (author)2014-03-30

I made it ! but I'm already planning an upgrade

20140330_134650.jpg
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darren8306 (author)fcharest12014-03-31

Great! Thanks for posting :)

What upgrades have you got planned?

author
fcharest1 (author)darren83062014-03-31

I want to add handle bar at the top end at 90 degree, to use it with both hand to dissamble rough wood.


sorry for my bad english ;)

author
JKMotorsports (author)2014-02-28

Just built 2 of these, each for a different width depending on the skid style for work and do they ever work slick. Saves my operators a ton of headaches.

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Splaxx (author)2014-02-25

Would it be possible to make out of pipes, or do you think the threads won't hold up?

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darren8306 (author)Splaxx2014-02-25

It would be worth investigating. If one could remove the welding requirement, more people could make one.

author
LP2 (author)2014-02-23

Fantastic ! What a pita knocking them apart with a hammer.

This one is embedded in my memory next time I have a bunch of skids to take apart, definitely going to fabricate one of these !

Thanks!

author
cepterbi (author)2014-02-23

great post, was planning to build me one and this takes the thinking part out of my way :P. Tnx for sharing

author
laughingjungle (author)2014-02-23

Wow, this is super cool. Where I live pallets are free in unlimited supply. I would use a crowbar & hammer, but it would take so much time to do enough for some shelves and I busted so many planks along the way. Not to mention how loud it was. This is a great tool. Thanks for sharing.

author
kelms1 (author)2016-04-13

One hell of a tool I love it ???

author
Ag800Hans (author)2016-02-02

Louise31 - this guy sells his version on Amazon for about $35, that includes the shipping charge, which is about $9.50. But this one goes vertical only about 4" up, so you'd have to acquire something yourself, to make a handle. But he also sells the same thing, w/a 3' handle, but for double the $, at $50/piece. I hope this helps you...

Square Tubing Pallet Breaker Tool By Triple T Mobile Fab and Repair https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PGAMRR8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_RBjSwbPZZ8AW2

author
darren8306 (author)Ag800Hans2016-02-03

It looks great! I think you have to be aware of the handle thing, but leaving it off makes shipping MUCH more reasonable. I was going to contact the manufacturer to congratulate them, but don't know how.

Great link, especially if someone can't build one themseles. Thanks for sharing.

author
Louise31 (author)2015-09-22

Darren. You are the original maker of the prybar i am looking for. How much would you charge and how much for shipping. I know nothing about welding and no one i know does either. Im getting desparate at this point.

author
darren8306 (author)Louise312015-09-22

Louise, refresh my memory, where are you? Can we chat somewhere more convenient?

author
Louise31 (author)darren83062016-01-26

Im sorry i didnt redpond earlier, but the holidays came and i got busy. I live in Pinellas Park, Fl. Your probably out northwest somewhere, because thats my luck. I know how heavy just one demolition bar (my son calls it Big Bertha) is. I cant seen to get it to work. The more i use it the heavier it gets. Aboit how much does it weigh? I could go to USPS and Fed Ex and UPS to get some prices. That will give me my answer. Thanks for input.
Louise

author
Louise31 (author)2015-08-19

Does anyone on this site build for anyone (like me) and how much would you charge?

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BilbobC (author)Louise312016-01-26

It would most likely be to expensive to send in the mail it is a heavy piece or work with a long steel handle.

author
BilbobC made it! (author)2016-01-25

I followed the instructions and looked at the photos. It was simple enough for me. I'm not the best welder but this mother is still strong. I added end caps after reading about one guys unit bending. Truth is his handle is in the wrong place see original photos for that. I've added a few photos from different angles so you can see the end caps however I don't think they were necessary. I used 3/16" metal bar its what I had on hand. Recycle when you can that's the point behind this whole exercise anyway. You could put hockey tape on the upper handle just work it as is.

end cap on 3.jpgend caps on 1.jpgend caps on 2.jpgend completeunit1.jpgendcap black1.jpg
author
Sehrum (author)2015-04-15

I didn´t really mean to critisize you!!! Its too late anywhere to do it more "efficient" (subjective), you already invested your appreciated documantation time. I just meant that it would have been easier for a first time watcher - like me - of your idea, to see simple so called "technical" drawings with measures and angles where they are needed, INSTEAD of many words and pictures where you have to first make a connection between the words and the photos...

But sure everybody deceides HIMSELF, WHAT s the most simplest way for him / her...

I meant essential orthogonal views, which would have made it possible to rebuild it instantly with no doubt (the welded parts make it a little "hard" to see the detail clearly. Sure NOW you can critisize my "lack" of imagination...?!? As I said, for me it would have be the more simple, short and clear way to describe your idea.

THANKS ANYWAY!!!

author
janup (author)Sehrum2016-01-14

Take the instructions to a High School in your area. They have shop classes. My neice learned to change oil fix a carburator(sp) change tires and work on car engines. They also teach welding. They would parobably take this on as an assignment. No hurt in asking. Hope this helps.

author
darren8306 (author)2015-09-21

Someone has posted an improved design here:
https://www.instructables.com/id/Pallet-Pry-Bar-20-...
check it out!

author
Louise31 (author)2015-08-19

Again i cant print out instructions. Why???

author
buck2217 (author)2015-06-26

Great idea will have to make one of these instead of struggling the way i do

author
Too_Hip (author)2015-04-15

Great job. Now I just need to find an Instructable on how to weld. I have zero knowledge on welding.

author
darren8306 (author)Too_Hip2015-04-15

Welding is fun, and not very expensive to get into. Good luck!

author
Sehrum (author)2015-04-15

I didn´t really mean to critisize you!!! Its too late anywhere to do it more "efficient" (subjective), you already invested your appreciated documantation time. I just meant that it would have been easier for a first time watcher - like me - of your idea, to see simple so called "technical" drawings with measures and angles where they are needed, INSTEAD of many words and pictures where you have to first make a connection between the words and the photos...

But sure everybody deceides HIMSELF, WHAT s the most simplest way for him / her...

I meant essential orthogonal views, which would have made it possible to rebuild it instantly with no doubt (the welded parts make it a little "hard" to see the detail clearly. Sure NOW you can critisize my "lack" of imagination...?!? As I said, for me it would have be the more simple, short and clear way to describe your idea.

THANKS ANYWAY!!!

author
darren8306 (author)Sehrum2015-04-15

I meant to enjoy the critisim - it's good for building on :)

I also meant that I think it would add value if you could create and post the image you describe. No pressure, but I think it is worth adding if you wish.

author
Sehrum (author)2015-04-14

I like it. I just wish you would have added some simple explaining pictures (clear construction side views), as the photos are not the clearest due to its metall structure parts of the prybar. EVEN that it is a simple project... Thanks.

author
darren8306 (author)Sehrum2015-04-14

I don't know what sort of view you mean. If you make one, perhaps you could add the photo you describe. Thanks, and enjoy free wood!

author
MárcioP made it! (author)2014-08-28

Obrigado pela ideia, esta ferramenta sera muito útil para mim executar meus projetos a partir de material proveniente de paletes.

IMG_20140828_163745256.jpg
author
darren8306 (author)MárcioP2015-03-06

Você é bem-vindo , a reciclagem feliz !

author
handycrowd made it! (author)2015-03-06

Thanks man, you inspired me to make my own pallet breaker, since I was totally fed up with the 'spoil' rate when bashing pallets apart with hammers, bars etc.

Now the only boards that break are the ones that were split anyways.

Cool, thanks again!

tine location.jpg
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darren8306 (author)handycrowd2015-03-06

Very welcome, nice looking breaker!

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cherilynne.churchill (author)2015-02-01

Heck YEAH my kids will get that play house after all and I may just make some of those PIN reminders I have. Thank you.

author
mstarkey60 (author)2014-10-01

I'll bet you could make this out of iron plumbing pipe - 1 pipe long enough for a handle, 1 'T', 2 elbows (female/male ends if possible or you will need 2 shorter pieces to attach to 'T' and then the elbows & finally, 2 shorter pieces of pipe!
Voila! A pallet tool! I'm let you all know if that works!

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