Burning wood pallets in wood stove

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by retire2$, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. retire2$

    retire2$ Well-Known Member

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    What are the pro's and con's of burning wood pallets in a wood stove? How many people on HT burn pallets? Thanks in advance for any and all replies.
     
  2. 7thswan

    7thswan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Back in the 70's my ex. worked at a place that would bring in steel on these pallets that had the bottom boards made of oak, they were 4x4's. They burned great.
     

  3. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I used to get some as well and they had oak slats also. I had an electric chainsaw to use in the garage because I got a lot of scrap wood from a pallet making factory. Anyway, I just sawed them up and left the nails in. I picked them out after the wood had burned. A lot less work for me and it didn't hurt anything.

    Nomad
     
  4. Sawmill Jim

    Sawmill Jim Well-Known Member

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    Pros if they free great :icecream: Cons few nails or staples in the stove :shrug:

    Right now am burning 2x4 cutoff pieces from a runner order all oak .
     
  5. mistymomom

    mistymomom Well-Known Member

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    I've burned them sometimes when my wood was running low. The ones I had burned kind of quick, but hot. Good way to get the stove warmed up and the blower going. I burn them nails and all and then run the ash through a heavy screen. The kids like pulling the nails out of the ash with a magnet. I cut mine up with an electric chainsaw too. It's cheap heat. You have to reload the stove more often so I burn that kind of stuff when I'm home during the day and the heavier logs at night.
     
  6. jwal10

    jwal10 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We get pallets at the water treatment plant. Some oak and some pine, pine makes great kindling. They are easy to cut up, 2 cuts between the skids and they come right apart, knock the nails out and good wood. 1/2 of the wood I burn is recycled wood, pallets and short cuts from my B-i-l's homebuilding buisness. Since my cabin is so small and I have so much pasive solar mass, I build small fires, warm up the mass and let it radiate. I use about a cord of wood during the winter....James
     
  7. adamtheha

    adamtheha Well-Known Member

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    I've been burning pallets for 2 1/2 years, it's pretty much all I burn these days. I get mine from the dump, and cut them up with a circular saw and chop saw. I need about 100 pallets per heating season (Sept to June). I guess I should work on the efficiency of my house a bit, I could save myself some woodcutting time.
     
  8. wannabfree

    wannabfree Well-Known Member

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    I have considered this myself but are alot of pallets made of pine?? Thats my only concern is with chimney buildup?
     
  9. Limon

    Limon Well-Known Member

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    I like them. The oak ones burn nice and hot. If they're really old, they're turned into kindling instead. If you want to use the ashes for lawn fertilizer, just pick out any remaining nails & screws that are left.

    wannabfree, you can tell if the wood is pine or oak. The ones used to ship heavier items are usually oak, though. A little pine for kindling is okay, but you're right about not wanting to burn a lot of it because of the creosote.
     
  10. chickenista

    chickenista Original recipe! Supporter

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    We had a barn full of old oak pallets.. wow! Hot!
    Now we don't ahve nearly so many.
    We save them for the coldest of the cold nights and early mornings to really warm the house quickly.
     
  11. Dead Rabbit

    Dead Rabbit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    great kindling as mentioned........easy to pick up for free too.

    i dabble in wood working and some of those slats make nice boards to make things out of. if ya screw up. so what. throw it in the stove, it was free after all
     
  12. PNWest

    PNWest Well-Known Member

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    Pallets that are used to transport produce are fumigated regularly. Those that are freshly treated are very noticeable.
    That's why, produce sometimes has an 'off' taste and smell.
     
  13. catinhat

    catinhat Quiet Country Life

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    We get them free from a place that reconditions pallets. Actually, what we get are the discard pieces, already separated. Sometimes, they are already cut to length too. It saves us a bundle on propane, for sure.
     
  14. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    Can you footnote this claim to a half decent reliable source? Please include notes supporting the claim that "produce sometimes has an 'off' taste and smell" because the pallets it was shipped on were fumigated with a mystery insecticide that presumably smells and tastes bad.

    Total nonsense in my humble opinion.

    Pete
     
  15. edcopp

    edcopp Well-Known Member

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    Find some way to get the pallets to your location. Cut them into pieces that will fit into your stove. Be prepared to fill your stove a bit more often than usual because the smaller and thinner pieces will burn faster than larger pieces of wood. Dump the ash in a pile until it is completely cool. If you desire to remove the nails run them through a sifter of some kind to catch the nails. If you do not want to remove the nails they will eventually rust away.:)
     
  16. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    If I ever get to heat with wood again, I'll be burning every pallet I can get my hands on.
     
  17. Gottabenutz

    Gottabenutz Well-Known Member

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    I'll burn a pallet anyday! I also collect up scrap lumber if I see some building/remodeling going on closeby. I do stay away from pressure treated wood; was told that is bad for burning (no actual proof).
     
  18. free-2-b-me

    free-2-b-me Well-Known Member

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    We have an outside wood stove forced air and we burn pallets a lot . My husband works at a factory and brings them home . They have the oak legs . Gets the house warm fast !
     
  19. ronbre

    ronbre Brenda Groth Supporter

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    generally they are very difficult to disassemble and you can hit a nail with a chainsaw trying to cut them up..also you have to sift the nails out of your ashes..a heavy magnet helps a lot..but we don't use anything with nails in our wood boiler..too much hassle
     
  20. spiritrider

    spiritrider Well-Known Member

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    A lot of pallets can have spilled chemicals on them.