Need some advice - Pallets - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-28-2016, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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Wink Need some advice - Pallets

Hi fellas

I have a lot of pallets on my backyard and I'm unemployed right know :frown2:, so I saw on the internet some removable accent walls made of pallets which I would like to make but I don't know which machine would be better for this. I have a dewalt planer but the thickness should be very thin just like the pictures.

Any recommendations on which machines should i buy would be helpful please!

Thanks and good night!
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-28-2016, 08:36 AM
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There are a lot of problems using pallet wood especially for a project like that. First of all you have to expect sand and other grit to be embedded in the wood which would dull the blades even if you manage to get the wood completely free of metal. The nails are another problem. I never send used wood through a planer unless I check it with a metal detector first. It's dangerous to you and the machine. Then the wood itself unless the pallets are really old might still be green. They don't kiln dry wood used for pallets. If you make a wall like that and the wood is green the wood will dry there on the wall and shrink. When that happens gaps between the boards will develop. You really need a moisture content meter to check the wood before using it.
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-28-2016, 08:58 AM
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In the old days used to be the boxes in which margarine and butter were shipped. I scrapped an old bureau which my father prized and found it was made from these boxes with just a veneer over the top. The veneer also covered the simple nailed butt joints. Old pallets used for bags of kindling which sell for 3 - 5$ here in UK.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-28-2016, 06:15 PM
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all things are possible - but many "ifs" apply.

first, pallets are not made from top grade lumber. it's mostly junk. it may or may not be seasoned/dried.
next - watch out for imported pallets. they are treated for wood pests and may continue to stink for decades.

then, observe typical pallet construction. there are many approaches - but big broad brush strokes and as you can see on the wall..... short pieces from the top slats, longer pieces from the bottom slats.

note the absence of nail holes on the wall. this material is simply cut "between" the stringers. nails / staples used in pallets are 99.7% not possible to remove without breaking something (metal) off in the wood. after one trashes several hundred dollars worth of carbide cutting edges, one gets smarter . . .

the sand/dirt/grit/stone issue does not go away no matter what you do when it comes to bottom boards.

you'll need to learn how to perfectly thickness plane with no sniping. losing 3-4-5 inches to snipe leaves you with postage stamp size pcs.

a sorting gauge is needed - so you can sort pcs out by thickness without having to reset the planner for every 12 inch chunk you want to run.

then you'll need to rip them to a consistent width.

but, it's all doable.....
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-28-2016, 07:29 PM
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Last pallet I cut up to use had my shop smelling like turpentine..It made me wonder if it came directly from the tree the same day it became a pallet. I generally don't trust pallet wood until it sits for a least a year to dry out properly, but I live in South Carolina where there are sawmills every ten feet cutting up pine trees..
Ok, maybe not every 10 feet, but it seems like it..

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
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