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Taking apart pallets

Taking apart pallets.

I do a lot of projects using pallet wood but I don’t ever think I’ve shown how to take them apart. Pallets are amazingly useful and a great free resource, but if you can’t get them apart easily and without destroying the wood they’re not really worth using. I use a sawzall homemade pallet pry, and a sledgehammer.
It’s really pretty straightforward and easy. First cut through all the nails on the top and bottom of the pallet and the side slats, what ever you can get to easily. The nails towards the middle really can’t be gotten easily with a sawzall. I used the pry to take off the middle slats on the bottom of the pallet. I don’t use the pry for anything else. Unless I don’t care about the wood. Pallet prys tend to split and splinter the wood like in the pic above. The ones with the fork at a 45° angle do a better job, but even they messed up the wood a little bit. After I pry off the back of the pallet 1 jack it up on some of the pieces I have removed. Then I gently tap out the slats with the top of a sledgehammer. I try to get the nails to come out with the slats so the wood doesn’t get ripped or splintered. I then put the slats over a bucket or in this case a trashcan and cut off the Nail ends. That’s more or less it. You end up with a good amount of wood. However you certainly want to watch where and how you cut it if you’ve left the nails in. This wood is to make up my cold frames. I’ll posted as soon as I get to it.

I welded up my pry with some left over metal it’s ugly but does the job.