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...... ..... .....reclaim timber from old pallets
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Gareth



Joined: 07 Mar 2007
Posts: 6172


Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:37 pm    Post subject: ...... ..... .....reclaim timber from old pallets Reply with quote

This is actually a copy and paste of reply that I made in a thread in the feather room section. I thought it too good a set of tips to be lost in another section, so I have posted it here I've also added a tip about marking out centre lines on planks and other pieces of timber.


Reclaimed Pallet projects are usually far from straight forward; I should know as over the years I've broken down over 1000 pallets for my various DIY escapades and projects.

First of all pallets can be difficult and time consuming to strip down. There are various grades and quality timbers used in making pallets, from knotty almost useless pieces right through to superb high quality hard wood.

If you know a welder/fabricator, get them to make you one of these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tkne48XUGQ

Here is mine: It is based on the original idea of fellow OTG member Dave NE, and it is about the most useful, quick, easy to use, and the best design of pallet reclaimation bar that I have ever come across and used myself.



The handle is 1 metre long; the steel I used to make it is 40 mm X 12 mm rectangle bar. The head is†welded at an angle of 45 degrees to the handle, the fork tine length is 75 mm (3 inches,) and the gap between the forks is 110mm (about 4 & 1/4 inches).

I've made a couple of additions to Dave NE's basic design.

I spilt a section of scaffold pipe and welded it onto the head to make a rolling fulcrum; this reduces the damage to the pallet bearer and so you have another decent piece of undamaged usable reclaimed pallet timber:



I have also made and welded on a hand/ knuckle protector from 12 mm diameter round steel bar; I can get just a little bit over excited and enthusistic when swinging on crow bars, pry bars, pinch bars and levers, etc. and this has saved me from injuring my hand on a few occasions:



Pallet Reclaimation bars will be available to buy from Cargo Cycles from mid november onwards .... ..... pm me for prices and shipping.

Now you have your pallets stripped down, it is time to remove the nails. A lot of pallets are made using ribbed or spiral nails and these can be extremely difficult to remove; perseverance and perspiration will win through, all that is required is time and effort and a good claw style crowbar:



A good tip is to have a tin of brightly coloured paint to hand. If you are unable to remove a nail, or snap it off in the timber, mark it with the paint. This will help you to spot it when sawing the timber, and you'll not ruin a saw blade. It will also make it more visible when you are handling the timber and so you can see it before ripping a gaping, bdooly, and painful gash in your hand on a protruding sharp rusty nail point... (been there, done that!)

By now you should have a nice large pile of de-nailed, reclaimed pallet timber; time to think about your project and what you want to make.

Sketch it out on a piece of paper, and use only one unit of measurement: inches, centimetres, millimetres, etc. and stick with them. I am an engineer and I work in mm. So 1.2 metres (m) or 120 centimetres (cm) is 1200 mm.

With your basic plan now on paper select the timbers for each section; side walls, ends, roof, top, lid, etc. and sort the timbers into piles for each.

When marking out the timber use a pencil and if possible only one tape measure, rule and square. Measure twice and cut once; it pays dividends in the long run.

Tip; most panel and mitre saws have a standard "square" (90 degrees) and mitre (45 degrees) built into the handle for quick marking out. Just butt the saw's handle up against the timber and run the pencil down the back edge of the blade. In this photo I have positioned the saw on the left in the "square" (90 degree) position, and the saw on the right in the"mitre" (45 degree) position.



Another tip for when working with reclaimed pallet timber (and for marking out other woodworking jobs around the house) is this:

Get a decent peice of timber with at least one straight edge, and carefully mark the centre out with a biro.:





Then half the distance between the centre line and the end of the piece of wood:



Using a saw place a small notch on the end of each line:



Then you can use this template to mark out the centre of a piece of wood without having to measure it, place the two outside notches on the edges of you plank and mark it with a pencil, and then repeat this operation further along the plank:



Then using a straight edge, join the two marks to get the centre line:



You can also use the end corners of the template to make equal distance lines on a piece of wood for either sawing down, or marking out equal distance screw holes, etc.





Where ever possible, cut your timbers using a mitre box. These are inexpensive, this one came from B&Q and included the saw for only £4.99



Without a doubt always use screws for final assembly, by all means hold the frames together with nails as you assemble up, but then screw it all down to make a pukka job. Always countersink the screw heads, it makes a better job, and it saves you from catching and ripping your clothes on them at a later date. Yesterday I bought a box of 200 zinc plated, †size 10 x 2inch screws for £1.80; try screwfix, toolstation or B&Q tradepoints for the best prices.

When you have your project completed, you will need to preserve it. Last month I got approx. 4 gallons of water based Cuprinol from Norwich Freecycle. The Cuprinol was various different colours and so most of it got mixed together to make a sort of reddish mid brown. One trick that I have learnt with the first coat of Cuprinol on exterior wood is to mix it 50-50 with builders PVA (5 litres @ £4.99 from B&Q tradepoint) and brush it on. Leave it in a covered dry place for a few days and then re-coat with neat Cuprinol .... ... you will have†a finish that lasts and looks good for years.
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Last edited by Gareth on Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Captain_Dingbat



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 1581


Location: Lincolnshire

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are starting to make small hay racks for the paddocks out of old pallets! I'll get some pics up (along with others promised!) very soon! Pete met a chap a few weeks ago who built his entire black of stables, tack room and feed store out of old pallets!  

Must have taken him forever....
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Gareth



Joined: 07 Mar 2007
Posts: 6172


Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My next reclaimed pallet timber project will be to cover a 1000 litre capacity bulk liquid container to help make it blend into the garden a little better. It will be connected to the guttering down pipes from the garage to collect rainwater, so we will be more than ready for next year's hosepipe ban.


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Hawkeye



Joined: 18 Feb 2007
Posts: 1064


Location: Close to paradise

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i,ve made numerous sections of garden fencing over the years using stripped down pallets and soaking them in an old bath filled with creosote,can't beat them
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Gareth



Joined: 07 Mar 2007
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Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another reclaimed timber that I like to use for projects is tanalised roofing tile battens (or lathes where I come from). Roofing contractors often welcome me helping myself to the piles of timber destined for the skip.
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sod



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 10411


Location: Masterton New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pallets are great we have made sheep/calf pens  fences even a shed using them for walls, there is a very good web site about using them for these things but I will have to find it again. We also get plastic ones which are great for putting on the ground and fences

love your pallet tool just might have to make one.
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sod



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: Masterton New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found it google "palletfence"
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Hawkeye



Joined: 18 Feb 2007
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Location: Close to paradise

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i made one of those tools earlier this , iuse it for work stripping battens off slate roofs, just the job
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Dave NE



Joined: 24 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the knuckle guard Gareth and the cut off scafolding tube, good luck with your business, cheers Dave NE
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sod



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: Masterton New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just remembered this old tool we used for pulling nails out of pallets


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Hawkeye



Joined: 18 Feb 2007
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Location: Close to paradise

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

got one of them myself, handy tool
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shella



Joined: 11 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:40 pm    Post subject: love it Reply with quote

just come across this while surfing the net tryed the website but can not find the pallet buster. are you still making them? if yes Please sell me one
PM me
ps i joined only so i could get this item but now that i'm here wow this site is BBBRRRIIILLLLLL
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sod



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: Masterton New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes be careful its very addictive I've found hope you enjoy
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bodger



Joined: 10 Feb 2007
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Location: Ever so slightly around the bend.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank goodness you said that Shelia.
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Gareth



Joined: 07 Mar 2007
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Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:11 am    Post subject: Re: love it Reply with quote

shella wrote:
just come across this while surfing the net tryed the website but can not find the pallet buster. are you still making them? if yes Please sell me one
PM me
ps i joined only so i could get this item but now that i'm here wow this site is BBBRRRIIILLLLLL




Hello Shella

Yes, I still make the the Pallet buster bar, but I am out of stock at the moment: However, don't worry! I can make another batch of them very quickly.

You will not have access to PM's until you've made a few more posts. But my business mobile number is; 07758 786036†call me or text at your convenience, and I'll ring you back so you won't incur too big a whack on your phone bill.
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