Pallet Question - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-24-2014, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Pallet Question

Hello there everyone! This is my first post and I am a fairly new beginner at woodworking, but have found it to be very stress relieving and a way to really express some creativity! My first project I decided to do is a sign for my girlfriends birthday, but I have a question about the safety of using pallets. The pallet I obtained from my job (beverage distributor), is marked with the IPPC logo, HT logo, and DB logo. The wood seemed fairly good, not too many knots and really clean (no spills or marks). I just wanted to know if anyone feels it's safe for me to use this since it'll be inside the house and I've heard pallets are sometimes safe/unsafe. I would hate to give my girlfriend a gift that could be harmful in the house. Thank you for any answers or tips!
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-24-2014, 04:37 AM
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We have an introduction section where you can say a few words about yourself. If you fill out your profile in your "User Control Panel", you can list any hobbies, experience or other facts. You can also list your general geographical location which would be a help in answering some questions. In doing that your location will show under your username when you post.

The stamp HT is 'heat treated', and 'DB' is a debarking stamp. The wood is safe to use. Make sure you check it for nails, screws, and staples before machining any of it. You can machine it, sand it, stain it and finish it, and she will love what you make.









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post #3 of 10 Old 03-24-2014, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by CCrosby87 View Post
Hello there everyone! This is my first post and I am a fairly new beginner at woodworking, but have found it to be very stress relieving and a way to really express some creativity! My first project I decided to do is a sign for my girlfriends birthday, but I have a question about the safety of using pallets. The pallet I obtained from my job (beverage distributor), is marked with the IPPC logo, HT logo, and DB logo. The wood seemed fairly good, not too many knots and really clean (no spills or marks). I just wanted to know if anyone feels it's safe for me to use this since it'll be inside the house and I've heard pallets are sometimes safe/unsafe. I would hate to give my girlfriend a gift that could be harmful in the house. Thank you for any answers or tips!
The wood would be safe to use however pallets are normally made from the worst cuts of wood and air dried rather than kiln dried. In time you may experience some warpage from the wood and even though now it may not be cracked if it is still green could crack after being glued into a project. There is some give to nails. If you are going to use pallet wood I would suggest you purchase a moisture content meter so you know if the wood is suitable or not.
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-24-2014, 08:05 AM
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Heat treating isn't the same as kiln drying. But using the wood as is you may not get any warping. If you acclimate your wood, and allow it to remain open to free air (like by stickering), it's less likely you will have movement problems. But, nothing is for sure...it's a mother nature thing.





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post #5 of 10 Old 03-24-2014, 09:28 AM
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Welcome to the forum -

When it comes to pallet wood, I'm always the devil's advocate. As a retired Teamster who worked a local pedal run for a national big carrier, I've seen lots of contaminated pallets stacked in corners drying out for the next use. Not all pallets are contaminated but are you certain your pallet is clean. When I delivered raw products for a world wide beverage company, my trailer had to display both "Flamable" amd "Corrosive" markers. There are lots of laws governing the transportation of hazardous materials and dealing with spills etc... but not one law for the handling of contaminated pallets.

Some folks use pallets to make amazing builds. I saw a whole set of kitchen cabinets made from pallet wood and they looked great... but I will never use pallet wood in my builds.

Its' never hot or cold in New Hampshire... its' always seasonal.
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-24-2014, 12:38 PM
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Bernie, I have to ask, how much contamination are we talking about here? I am asking to learn, not argue, so please dont take offense.

I would think that most pallets that have been "contaminated", would show signs of spills. I know many things could be invisible, but to what extent could a hazardous chemical have been spilled, soaked in, dryed and still be so bad that i wouldnt want to build a small structure with it? Im not saying there would potetially still be bad stuff...and a "little cancer" is still as bad as it gets...but i question if this is a bit over blown.

As an example, you will NEVER hear me say cig's are good for someone, or that they dont harm a persons health...But I think its silly for people to ban cig's when they all drive to work in a gas car. Would you rather suck on the tail pipe of a car for 4 seconds or a cig for 5 minutes? Im guessing you all realize the car is worse...yet no-one asks to outlaw the use of the car, bus, semi, truck... In the same sense, I think that the wood COULD contain some left over spill and that could potentially contain some chemical...but unless you have already stops driving/going outside where cars are/spraying raid in your home/using scented candles/Buying carpeting that was held together with glue (main source of formaldy...in your home) etc...then i think its a little over kill to worry about some latent chemical soaked into a piece of dried wood.

If a pretty picture of an eagle or a skydiver and a witty quote is all it takes to motivate you, you probably have an easy job....the kind robots will be doing soon.
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-25-2014, 09:10 AM
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No offense taken Sirlips. And your correct in seeing danger all around us. That said, I will never use pallets in my woodworking because of what I have seen in my 40 years as a truck driver.

Again - I've seen some amazing builds with pallet wood...

Its' never hot or cold in New Hampshire... its' always seasonal.
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-02-2014, 05:37 AM
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I work with pallets a fair amount. I generally stay away from rougher looking pallets and try to find the best looking ones with minimal splitting and saw marks.

I hope you have a thickness planer. If you plan on having the surface smooth, it will save a lot of time. If not, plan to spend a lot of time sanding or hand planing. I personally don't own one so I spend a good deal of time hand planing and sanding. I'm not in a time crunch or in a hurry so I enjoy the process as much as the finished product. Make sure to wear a dust mask at a minimum. Might be good to invest in a respirator that is OSHA certified. I bought a cheap one at Harbor Freight for $15 and it works pretty well. Best purchase I've made there. I no longer have the taste of the sawdust in my mouth and nose.

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post #9 of 10 Old 05-02-2014, 08:11 AM
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pallet wood here is a small build

i use lot's of it for little fire pot i have , some times you come across some bords that have nice grain and i save them, i have what i call a complete wood shop so have tool's to do anything i want, and a Moisture meter a couple of them, i make box's out of them , i will post some wood and post a pic. of one of the box's i made out of that wood , i sold 3 of them before i did a pic, those were best looking , thanks for looking , those were pine and their was a lot of sap , i finished the out side and left the inside open so that the smell was nice
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-02-2014, 10:37 AM
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i use lot's of it for little fire pot i have , some times you come across some bords that have nice grain and i save them, i have what i call a complete wood shop so have tool's to do anything i want, and a Moisture meter a couple of them, i make box's out of them , i will post some wood and post a pic. of one of the box's i made out of that wood , i sold 3 of them before i did a pic, those were best looking , thanks for looking , those were pine and their was a lot of sap , i finished the out side and left the inside open so that the smell was nice
Wow, those are really nice!
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