Introduction: Three Ways to Dismantle Pallets to Obtain Free Wood for Carpentry, Woodworking and Crafts.

About: I am an escapee from modern life, now living by the sea in a forest garden in France. After over 20 years industrial experience, I quit my managerial position to study for a degree in Engineering. That done I …

Showing the tools and steps needed for the safe dismantling of discarded wooden pallets to obtain useable wood. The film also shows some of the items made by me using this recuperated material.
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Un court-métrage montrant les outils et les étapes du démontage de palettes afin d'obtenir du bois bois de construction. Le film montre aussi quelques-uns des articles que j'ai conçu et construit en utilisant ce superbe matériel de récupération.

I have a few rules, which I adhere to in my selection and collection of pallets:-

Firstly, and most importantly, I only ever take pallets which are of untreated wood -- any signs of discolouration due to paint or chemical treatment render them unsuitable. Please check my blog for details of pallet codes.

Secondly, I always ask if I may have the pallets -- this obviously is when the pallet is on the premises of an enterprise or site.

Thirdly, if you do take pallets from a site -- leave the area better than you found it, apart from being courteous, you may want to come back for more and to leave the impression that recyclers should be welcomed. More often than not, after your first couple of visits, the proprietor or foreman will suggest taking the pallets without needing to ask. In my experience, from then on they will often start saving and putting out pallets specifically for you.

Fourthly, safety - wear thick gloves, as pallet wood is sawn and splinters are a pain. Many pallets are discarded because they are broken (by mishandling with forktruck forks or rough handling) this may expose nail points and sharp pieces of broken timber to unprotected pinkies. Also watch out for mis-nailed pieces, where the staples or nails have not been driven straight into the wood and the points stick out from the pallet sides.

Fifthly, transport -- it goes without saying that to bring your booty home ensure that your pallets are properly loaded into or onto your car or trailer and that the properly secured load can not affect you or other road users.

Remember, you are often doing these businesses a favour in taking away rubbish from their forecourt or carparks. Many realise this is so and welcome your visit. With the recuperated windows and doors used in our house and in the construction of the large Greenhouse, the source was a joinery firm -- now specialising in replacement double glazing. The Enlightened Proprietor welcomed us with opened arms, as people willing to give a second life to perfectly sound single and double glazed units, which would otherwise have been burned!

Good Hunting!