Simple Prybar for Pallets




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.

7 People Made This Project!


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65 Discussions

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"!

2 replies

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

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.

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 sorry for rambling I really just wanted to say great job and a valuable tool;-)

1 reply

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

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

7 replies

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.

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

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

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?

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?

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.

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.

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

1 reply

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

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 !


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

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.

One hell of a tool I love it ???