Pallets - how to take them apart. x post

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Pallets - how to take them apart. x post

Post: #25904 Tensing
Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:32 am

Pallets - how to take them apart.

Okay have pallets ready to make duck house, what’s the easiest way to take them apart.
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Post: #25917 Muddypause
Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:29 am

I tried dismantelling pallets once, but found it rather frustrating. Getting good, clean wood can take quite a lot of time and effort. Several things conspire against you; pallets are intended to withstand the rigours of industrial handling, so they are not designed to come apart easily. Usually they will have been made with a heavy duty nail gun that will shoot the nails in so deeply that the head is well burried. And the nails are usually 'ring nails' or 'annular nails', which are kind of barbed to hold them into the wood extremely tightly.

I reckon you really have three options. Prise them apart with a crowbar, and accept the fact that much of the wood may break and split in the process; Saw the wood as near as you can to the nails, and accept shorter pieces; Use a bolster chisel and a heavy hammer to try and force into the joints and chop through the nails. You may end up working a combination of all three.
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Post: #25930 Tensing
Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:21 am

Thanks, May abandon the idea then.
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Post: #25944 Camile
Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:19 pm

Hi Tensing,

I actually dismantle quite a few pallets recently ..

What I did was stand them up .. then hammer gently the top part of the slate you want to remove, then the middle, then the bottom .. but only a little bit at a time and usually it won't break ..

Good luck !
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Post: #26044 Wombat
Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:31 am

It actually depends on the type of pallet, the ones Muddy is talking about sound like the heavy duty hardwood "Chep" style. The lighter duty,almost disposable pine pallets are much easier to deconstuct. :wink:

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Post: #26182 Tensing
Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:27 am

Jamie managed to dismantel them, with not to much wastage
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Post: #26235 Stonehead
Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:28 am

I prise the planks and crossmembers just far enough apart to insert either a hacksaw or a thin angle grinder cutting blade. I then cut through all the nails.

A good quality wrecking bar is a big help - you want a long, well-tapered wedge that can be worked right in past the nail and then used to gently ease the wood up. If the wedge is too steep (like most cheap bars), it will start deforming the wood before you reach the nail and you will get splits.

Oh, and if you're going to be cutting the resulting timber, remember to drift the pieces of nail out with a hammer and punch.
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Post: #26261 Millymollymandy
Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:23 pm

I've just asked my husband who says he uses a nail bar and a claw hammer.

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Post: #27881 Mancblue
Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:13 pm

I built a small fence in our back garden from chep like pallets (very sturdy pallets) to stop our dog killing the grass with her toilet visits and the best way to take them apart was with a bolster or plasterer's chisle and a heavy hammer, tap between the block and slat untill you reach the nail and then give a real good wallop to cut through the nail. You can either tap the nails out afterward or leave them in (I left them in).

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/colin.greensmith/fence.htm
And I was pleased as punch with my new (free) frence.

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Post: #27884 Shirley
Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:18 pm

Not surprised you are pleased with your fence... it's rather smart :mrgreen:
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Post: #45704 caithnesscrofter
Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:20 pm

had to remove a broken toilet seat and ended up getting out junior hacksaw for the rusted bolt. Worked a treat. Then it dawned on me that this would be ideal for taking apart those pallets.. I will be sure to give it ago when we build the treebog.

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Post: #47680 Jez
Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:39 pm

I use old pallets for kindling on the fire, and I also used them to build a lean-to on our garden shed to store wood.

I did it by knocking the wood out gently with a hammer. This did end up breaking up a lot of planks though. It wasn't wasted, as I chopped up everything that was left and used it as kindling.

I like the hacksaw and crowbar ideas though! :salute: Why didn't I think of that!

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Post: #47692 jonny2mad
Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:38 pm

brick bolster to lever them apart then you can saw through the nails with hacksaw you hit the brick bolster first......or you could use a nail puller these are very useful tools mines a bahco one very useful but you may not have one.

Ive taken lots of pallets apart

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Post: #49597 Thomzo
Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:53 pm

Umm - don't want to be a party pooper but please do not take apart the blue pallets. These are part of a special scheme whereby the pallets are reused. Return them to wherever you got them from and do not take them if they are offered as they will have been stolen.

I've seen quite good sturdy fence (can't remember where though) which was made from whole pallets filled with straw. Would save taking them apart and I wonder if you could plant into the straw? If not, I expect it would make a great frame for climbing plants.
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Post: #49624 Moonwaves
Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:34 pm

That's interesting about the blue pallets. I got two through freecycle a few months ago. The person I got them from had been doing some DIY and gotten them with loads of bricks on them. She was told it was up to her to dispose of them. I'd wondered why some pallets are blue and some not painted at all.


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