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Had a brainstorm (or brain fart as the case may be) today and thought I'd run it past you. You guys always think of things I don't.

I'd love a picket fence around the yard but I have a big yard and they're expensive. I just thought about pallets and how they're pretty easy to find around here. My idea is to take the slats off of the pallets, run them through a planer, cut the points on my dad's radial arm saw, borrow my brother's paint gun and paint them before screwing them to the rails. Treated landscape timbers go on sale around here cheaper than fence posts or 4x4s and my folks used them for their pasture fence with good results so thought I'd use those for posts. I'd need to buy the landscape timbers and the 2x4s for the rails but the pickets themselves would be free. I do have dogs and was concerned that the pickets made this way might not be that strong (one is a 130 lb Newfoundland), but I'd put a strand of electric wire around the inside to discourage the dogs from digging out or standing on the fence. Any thoughts?

DebF
 

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Only thing is you would have to make sure the pallets where made of a hard wood and that all the screws or nails where pulled out before going through the planer. You could skip this step and just cut to size, cut the point and paint. I think youll also need alot of pallets. The dogs shouldnt be a problem as long as the posts are set well and I would use galvinized screws. Good luck and post some pics when your done.
John
 

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Discussion Starter #3
LiL OHNNL said:
Only thing is you would have to make sure the pallets where made of a hard wood and that all the screws or nails where pulled out before going through the planer. You could skip this step and just cut to size, cut the point and paint. I think youll also need alot of pallets. The dogs shouldnt be a problem as long as the posts are set well and I would use galvinized screws. Good luck and post some pics when your done.
John
I thought about that... not planing them but some of the ones I've seen are pretty rough. I guess I'd have to decide that when I have them. There are usually piles of pallets at different places around and I certainly have room to keep them until I have enough for the fence. My friend has a lawn business in a town about 25 miles from here and I have him on the lookout for pallets for me too.
 

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My dad did that years ago, made from packing crates. I wouldn't use landscape timbers, they'll rot off quickly.
 

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pallets heat my house so heres my 2 cents on pallets;

if you pick the hardwood ones, the wood is so hard you cant rewally drive a nail in it wioth a hammer, it will split, So , drilling 1/8 holes and then using screws will keep you from splitting a lot of wood.
If you can get the poplar pallets, or pine, they are softer and will take nailing better without splitting.
yes, they make a nifty fence, I made one for my ma.
if you can find someplace that rebuilds pallets, the get truckloads of precut slats and sometimes they get the wrong size ones they toss em out. I got 2 truckloads of NEW uncut unnailed 3' long x 6" wide poplar slats, I'm gonna turn them into bluebird houses to sell at the flea market. the poplar is really nice, an air stapler or air brad nailer works GREAT to build crafts out of pallet wood. (soft woods).
 
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As the last reply said, they are a bugger to work with. I wreck a good amount taking them apart,they split very easy and the nails are hard to remove.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Beeman said:
My dad did that years ago, made from packing crates. I wouldn't use landscape timbers, they'll rot off quickly.[/QUOTE

The landscape timbers I was thinking about are treated. My folks built their pasture fence using them as posts 20+ years ago and have had no problem yet with rotting.
 

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have no idea what your folks used 20 yrs. ago. In todays world the landscape timbers that are rounded on the sides and flat on the top and bottom are junk. They are treated but not pressure treated. They will rot off as they are not made to be buried only rated for ground contact. I have seen many fences fall over in less than 5 yrs. and I myself used them for a grape arbor and will now have to replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Beeman said:
have no idea what your folks used 20 yrs. ago. In todays world the landscape timbers that are rounded on the sides and flat on the top and bottom are junk. They are treated but not pressure treated. They will rot off as they are not made to be buried only rated for ground contact. I have seen many fences fall over in less than 5 yrs. and I myself used them for a grape arbor and will now have to replace it.

Well, the ones they used are the rounded sides ones, but you're right, they just don't make things like they used to. That's something to consider then.

Thanks
 

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Well, the ones they used are the rounded sides ones, but you're right, they just don't make things like they used to. That's something to consider then.
I used this type of landscape timbers for fence posts (300' of 6' stockade) myself about eleven years ago. We have moist heavy clay soil. I've lost only one so far, and that appears to have been a flaw in the post itself. No signs of rot yet at all. I did dab on some extra wood preservative for the below ground (plus 6 inches or so) portion. You may want to try that as insurance, and to better your parent's results. I suspect the posts Beeman got were from a bad lot--it happens.

BTW, the post that broke at ground level was easy to fix by simply driving a T-post in beside it, and screwing them together. I plan to do this with any future rot problems, when and if they ever arise.
Your plan sounds to be a great one, IMO. Don't try to disassemble the pallets, though. You'll give up after wrecking a few anyway. Gluck!
 

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I hope to build a look alike picket fence with cattle panels held by t-post and the "pickets" wired into place. That is the only way I have figured out to safely have goats and a picket style fence.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Non Sum said:
Don't try to disassemble the pallets, though. You'll give up after wrecking a few anyway. Gluck!
I'd heard that before but I wondered if cutting the nails with a Sawzall type saw would be better than trying to pry the silly things off. If I do that I won't be able to plane them. I can try different methods when I get some pallets... it won't cost much more than aggravation.
:rolleyes:

DebF
 

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you can buy a pallet breaker bar that lifts off the slats intact.
if you wanna cut them off, you can use a wide blade cold chisel and the nails cut pretty easy.
an air hamer with a long chisel bit is even easier to use.

for the bother it takes.... 10 bucks an 8 foot section for picket fence when its on sale at the depot isnt lookiing bad.
 
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How about you go to the depot and buy all the broken fence cheap and use those pickets. Also you could use the rails over again.
It worked here.

Good hunting
pdf13
 

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Discussion Starter #16
pdf13 said:
How about you go to the depot and buy all the broken fence cheap and use those pickets. Also you could use the rails over again.
It worked here.

Good hunting
pdf13
Hmmm, I didn't think of that. I need to get out more. I forget that places sell stuff like that. We just got a Home Depot here this past summer. I'll have to check it out.
 
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