What can I do with a bunch of pallets?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by willow_girl, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    There's a place right across the street from the airport that has a "free pallets" sign in front. FREE?! I'm all over it!!!

    So, what can I build out of pallets? (Or the wood?)

    Is it practical to cut them up for the woodstove, or more trouble than it's worth?

    Let's hear your ideas! :)
     
  2. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    WHO CAREs...ITS FREE!!!!! We have made compost bins, used to keep hay off the ground, made small chicken pens,among many other things.
     

  3. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    We use them for:

    Patching or making new fences

    Burn pits

    Makeshift pens for animals

    And...get this...to keep things off the ground! No, no, it's true...I willput bales on pallets to keep them from water on the ground, and I cover them with the cheap plastic table clothes of shower curtains I pickup from the dollar store!
     
  4. JoyKelley

    JoyKelley Well-Known Member

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    I saw a floor made from them and it was pretty. We built a fence ( but it didn't last long )
     
  5. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Before you use those pallets check to see if you can sell them to a pallet company. I used to get between $2-4 apiece for them. I would sell all the nicest ones and then use the remaining ones around my place. You can burn them for firewood as long as they do not have grease/oil, etc on them.
     
  6. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Get the wooden pallets while you can. A lot of buisnesses(my company) are switching to the plastic kind.
     
  7. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

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    my compost bins are made of pallets. the goat house attached to the back of the barn is made of pallets. All kinds of sheds and outbuildings can be made of them.Just nail boards over them for siding and paint them.
    Pigs supposedly can't get under a pallet fence. I stack them double to put hay and feed sacks on. I am out of them now. You want to bring me some? :haha:

    Rule is.... you can't have a real homestead without.... duct tape, bailing wire and bailing twine, w-d fourty and pallets.
     
  8. jlxian

    jlxian Also known as Jean Supporter

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    We cut up pallets and burn in the woodstove. Right now we are short on dry fire wood and the pallet wood is a big help in encouraging the green wood to burn.
     
  9. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Try planing them down and using them for building cabinets, Or build rustic furniture out of them.
     
  10. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

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    FYI........... Saw a lot of old growth trees destroyed to stop further infestation of the "Asian Longhorn" beelte. How did they get here? In pallets shipped from China. Not to say ALL pallets are carrying this beetle but it is a thought when considering bringing something on to the homestead.

    Info..........http://www.licweb.com/asianbeetle/usda/qaalb.html
     
  11. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    DH worked at a pallet recycling place and he advises against burning them as you have no idea what type of things have been spilled on them and absorbed by the wood.

    We have a couple of stacks of pallets to build a tractor shed and a pig pen, Dh had almost finished the pallet greenhouse he has been working on. We also use pallets as makeshift bridges (laughingly called pontoons) across the mud. I will snag a few as a permanent base under my washing line and one to raise up the dog house.
     
  12. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Thanks for all the great suggestions so far; keep 'em coming! :)
     
  13. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    My portable goat shed is built on top of pallets! I move the thing around from pasture to pasture as I need it. There's a fence charger built into the back of it along with a marine battery so I can run the hot wire from it.

    Some of the coops I'm building will be on top of pallets, so I can move the chickens to where I need them without much trouble.

    Pallets do burn really well when you've hit an unexpected cold spell in late March and the rest of the seasoned wood is gone...
     
  14. MikeJoel

    MikeJoel Well-Known Member

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    You would imagine that pallets are made of cheap wood like pine. Well there probably is some in there but you will find a lot more fur, maple, oak, and such hard woods.

    I have burned them and I have also seen very beautiful tables and such made from them.

    I don't know about any problems with stuff spilled on them, but I wouldn't put my head in the stove while its going anyway. ;)

    It is a lot of work getting them apart with a hammer. Usually if you plan to make furniture they trim it up with a band saw (with a blad that can cut metals since there are screws/nails in them).

    Mike
     
  15. Re-shell

    Re-shell Member

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    first off, get a keg of beer, invite your friends and have a bon fire! GREAT FUN!!
     
  16. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    they also make a good temporary gate. i just drive a t-post ito the ground then slide the pallet over it. it swings back and forth on the post.
     
  17. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

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    Son ripped pallets apart with chain saw for his wood stove. There is a lumber mill around here that contracts to harvest cherry, oak, maple, etc. The good stuff goes to furniture companies. The other stuff is sold to pallet companies.

    I line the dirt floor of the feed room with them to keep the feed bins and stuff off the ground. Moisture collects under anything that rests directly on the ground. Pens are made in the barn as needed by attaching pallets to T posts with baling twine. The barn is divided in half with a fence of pallets, a gate made of a pallet with hinges made from an old rubber boot, and a goose-sized cutout in the bottom of one to allow the poultry to come and go, but keep the horses on their side of the barrier. DH collects them to keep the firewood in the woodshed off the ground, and jhas them lined up on either side of a stack to provide vertical support.
     
  18. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    cutting up pallets is an art form.... some soft pines can be broken apart easy, some hardwoods are near impossible.
    here is my refined way of decompiling a pallet to firewood;

    lie it down.
    run a circular saw down the edges of each of the "2x4" s in them, this will cut loose all the slats into nice 12-14" chunx... these stack nice, and split nice.

    now with the las slats sawn off you have 3, sometimes 4 48" 2x4s... using a power miter saw, and avoiding the nails, chop up the 2x4's in as smalla chunx as you need.

    once you get going you can buzz thru a truckload of pallets in an afternoon.

    they do make a specal "pallet breaker" bar thats a wierd looking crow bar, it works prety good if you have strong arms.
    my nieghbor used to lie them in a long line and drive a bulldozer over them a few times and the kids would gather the cruched up pieces into piles. thats a really effective way of you have a bulldozer handy.

    about 60% of my fuel is pallets.
     
  19. jerzeygurl

    jerzeygurl woolgathering

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    My dad made a very nice out house.
     
  20. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I use them for all sorts of things.

    I have my firewood sitting on some.
    I tore a bunch down to their parts and I use the wood for all sorts of jobs.
    Made a fence for my garden.
    Made various boxes and bins from them.
    I used some to make dog houses which I then sold.
    They seem to come in handy for patching holes in outbuildings.

    They are good for just keeping stuff off of the ground. Nothing wrecks things quicker than contact with damp ground.