Ideas for Building with Wood Pallets

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Wood pallets are typically made from high-quality hardwoods such as white oak. Such woods are used for their durability and stress-resistant capabilities. For this reason many wood pallets are reused, sometimes after they are sent back to the original manufacturer for repair. Dismantling a wood pallet takes a small flat bar and hammer. All nails should be removed before reusing the individual boards.

Compost Bins and Fencing

  • One use---and an easy one---is to make a set of compost bins. Six pallets can be attached using 16-penny nails and placed in the shape of a figure 8 or a closed-ended letter "H." The compost material is then fed into the top of the four-sided enclosure. Once the first bin is full, the second bin can then be used.

    Small livestock fencing can also be constructed by nailing the pallets together in a row. The mainframe members are nailed with 16-penny nails. The more pallets, the longer the fenced-in enclosures. Ten full-sized pallets would make a fence that is approximately 40 feet long. The corners of the enclosure will be very stable. You can support the whole length of fence by elevating it on rocks or cinder blocks.

Tables and Chairs

  • After removing the boards and performing a thorough inspection for nails, the boards can be run through a wood planer. The boards can then be ripped down to size on a table saw and used for tables and chairs. Most wood used for pallets is of the highest-grade lumber and has been kiln dried. It is generally ready to be worked for interior furniture.

    If the pallet has been left outdoors, you may want to let the wood sit indoors for up to four weeks to become acclimatized to an indoor environment. The old nail holes can be left for accents on the finish. Once the furniture is completed the hardwood will readily take any type of stain and sealer.

Outdoor Structures and Miscellaneous

  • The pallet wood will make short-board siding for covering any outdoor structure. Once painted, the wood will last as long as it is maintained. Garden gates and shed ramps can also be constructed from this heavy-duty wood. Milking stations for goats and feeding troughs will last a long time if kept from the outdoor elements. Almost any wood project you can think of, from simple outdoor temporary structures to interior fine furniture, can be made from this wood product that is most often discarded.

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