The Depalletizer

Introduction: The Depalletizer

Make your own Depalletizer for taking pallets apart.

Pallets are widely used and discarded. They are often made from hardwoods, air nailed with ring or spiral nails and are uniformly hard to pull apart.

This device gives you a substantial mechanical advantage and works with the general structure of pallets to pry them apart, keeping the wood intact so you can use it for your next project.

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Step 1: Materials

  • 6 foot long 1 inch drill rod
  • 22 inches of ¾" steel rod
  • 6 inches ¾" steel rod

Step 2: Making the Depalletizer

Heat the 20" by ¾" rod at 8 and 14 inches, then make 90 degree bends at these places to form a U shape.

Weld the six inch piece of ¾ inch across the U shape rod 4 to 5 inches from the ends. This will form the pivot point for the lifter and the ends of the U shape will go under the pallet boards.

Weld the drill rod to the mid point of the U shape and the short cross rod.

Step 3: Take Apart Your Pallets!

Place the forks of the U shape under a pallet board with the cross rod resting on the 2x4 sections. Press down on the drill rod. The U shape will lift the board, either pulling up the nails or pulling the nails through the board.

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    2 Discussions


    3 years ago

    This looks like a great tool, and very useful!

    How do you recommend heating and bending the rod? Any tips on that process would be very helpful :)


    Reply 3 years ago

    The typical way to heat steel is with an oxygen/propane or acetylene torch.

    If you don't heat steel often you could just put the rod in a fire for a while to do a one off job. Use good long clamps to pick it up and a piece of pipe to bend. Keep your hands away from the hot rod. Bend it on a bending tool or in a vice. If possible try bending it around a round surface will make it easier to get a nice bend. Right after bending the rod cool it down by holding it under water to harden the steel.

    Google "bending steel" for heaps of videos and info on bending steel.