Introduction: How to Efficiently Disassemble a Pallet in Three Easy Steps

This is My first Instructable, I intend to upload more pellet projects in the future. If you Like It Please UpVote It for the contest!

I get dozens of pallets from my job and use them for projects from shelves, toy guns, playground equipment, and in the near future, a shed or hen house. This Is the method I use to disassemble mine,

BUT, Before we begin, I am in no way responsible for any injury or damage you may inflict upon yourselves, others, or property. Follow at your own risk, that being said if you follow correctly you should have no problems.

Make sure to watch the video

This will be in three steps

1 Cut

2 Pull

3 Remove Nails


For tools you will only need :

1 A Hammer (preferably with good claw, My 16oz Kobalt hammer from Lowes works best for me)

2 A Saw (A power circular saw is Better then a handsaw, and if you're planning on woodworking you should have one anyway)

A Couple Tips

1 Wet Wood. The planks are less likely to split when pulling nails if the wood is a bit damp.

2 Cut the Planks as Close to the nails as possible (without hitting them) to ensure less waste and longer plank length.

EDIT: I have had a couple suggestions in the comments which i will list here.

1 You could use a sawzall (reciprocating saw) or jigsaw instead of the circular saw.

2 Use a block under the hammer for extra leverage

3 Use a pry-bar or wrecking bar in addition to the hammer

4 using a pallet breaker bar, I am not particularly in favor of this as it is inclined to split and mangle the planks, still, it is faster if you don't mind rougher work.

Step 1: Cut Edges

Cut along the edges close to nails (but not too close, or you'll dull your blade!) You are technically wasting an inch or two of plank, but it is defiantly worth it, I cant tell how many planks I've split trying to pry/pull the nails out of the ends.

Step 2: Wiggle,Pull, and Pry

Wiggle the planks to loosen them, Take your hammer and slip the claw between the plank and 2x4 frame and pry slowly but firmly, This is where the damp wood is helpful, the dampness of the wood makes it more spongy, and less likely to split. To prevent some nasty nail punctures in your feet its a good idea to knock the nails back through the planks.

Step 3: Pulling the Nails

First knock out all the still attached plank ends from the 2x4 frame boards.

Once all the wood chunks are removed you can pull the nails, If you want to reuse the nails its best to pull them straight out, If you don't care, or the heads break off you can twist them over and off sideways.

The nails in the planks should come straight out without any trouble.

Step 4: All Done! Cleanup Time!

That's it! You will now have a nice stack of small lumber The planks should be over 3 feet, and if you're careful, you'll have plenty of reusable nails for your next project!

I will hopefully be uploading some projects in the near future.

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