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Picture of Pallet Demolition (Part 1)

This is my first Instructable so pardon any grammar, missing steps, etc.

If you, like me, are an avid DIY'er and like to repurpose materials, save money and take pride in finding solutions where others would simply pay, then you'll likely find yourself wanting to take down a wooden pallet. Successful pallet demolition (hereby after referred to as demo or demo'ing) takes minimal supplies, minimal skill but proper tools. My goals in this method are:

  • do it cheap
  • do it fast
  • do it safe
  • minimize material waste

Cheap is easy. Free pallets are super easy to find, see step 1. Doing it fast takes time to find a method that works for you, but once you've found it, you're good. Safety is paramount and I am not talking just about ears, eyes and hands. Being nearly 40, doing martial arts for 8 years and picking up preschoolers over the years, my back is somewhat delicate. I do not want to be working hunched over or on my knees. Minimizing wastes is easy with this method as there is virtually no wood waste.

Step 1: Finding Pallets

Finding pallets is easy enough here in the United States. I was able to source several supplies by simply browsing/posting to the internet. You can find many sources by visiting:

  • Craigslist,
  • the Facebook Marketplace
  • Freecycle.org
  • asking local DIY'ers
  • driving by local industrial parks (be sure to ask permission)

Many sources will be business that have stored pallets. They are usually more than happy to give them away for free because otherwise they have to pay to have them removed.

Swansong1 year ago

These are so useful and much more cost effective materials since you can usually find them for cheap or free :)

therewillbeblood (author)  Swansong1 year ago

Exactly! So far I've built about 30' of fencing, two work tops for my garage, several shelves and some other quick and dirty projects that I'd otherwise had to pay for the wood.

Yerlt1 year ago

so the nails that are cut are left in the pallet boards? So you can't put these through the planer afterwards. Have you find any good ways of removing the nails completely or that's just impossible?

therewillbeblood (author)  Yerlt1 year ago

Exactly what @classicpayrick said, you can use a nail punch or I've actually taken another nail and just tapped them through (in case you've lost your nail punch like me).

I use a nail punch on the surface board nails, hitting them from the cut side out
lennybaby11 year ago

nice instructable,i usually stand em up & cut the wood off the slats with a bi-metal blade.then use a punch to remove the nails.

jpmarth1 year ago

Just found myself several pallets for a projects and was deciding how I was going to tackle breaking them down. Thx!