Why Build Wood Pallet Furniture
Why should you consider building wood pallet furniture, decorations, or even bigger projects out of wood pallets?
The simple answer: It’s cheap and you can build great furniture for cheap.
The look and feel of pallet furniture is rough, but looks great especially with a new meets old decorating style. I started using wood pallets because I had access to a bunch of them for free and thought it’d be fun to build furniture for my recently purchased house when starting out.
Reusing Old to Make New
Oftentimes wood pallets end up in landfills or are burnt, but by reusing wood pallets for furniture you’re bringing new life to an old product that many think is useless. You can be creative and create furniture that looks great and will also draw conversation from friends and acquaintances who visit your home.
Easy to Build With
As you’ll see from many of the wood pallet furniture building projects on this site there are a ton of projects you can tackle even as a beginner. Wood pallet furniture is durable, easy to make and can be assembled as quickly as if you built furniture from a store. You can also buy specially made pallet cushions for your project.
Since wood pallets are shipped around the world and experience extreme conditions they’re built solid. That means the wood in pallets is durable and tough. It’s not uncommon to find pallets made of oak, which would be pretty expensive to purchase brand new but are ideal to build wood pallet furniture.
Are Pallets Safe to Build With?
I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on the safety of using wood pallets for furniture building and anything really that comes into close contact with people. The simple answer is, there is no simple answer.
What are the issues?
Chemicals and pesticides. Sitting out in the environment around the world.
What pallets are safe?
From what I’ve read it seems that most pallets are stamped ____ or HT. HT means heat treated and are deemed more safe than the other option. This is because there aren’t any chemicals used in the process.
Some comments on the internet have said things like “pallets are used and in close contact with our food, consumer products, and almost anything that is shipped via truck. If they’re really that bad, would we be shipping food on them?” That’s an incredibly valid point.
The chemicals used on pallets have probably come in contact to other things that are currently in your house. You just haven’t seen the shipping process so it doesn’t come to mind.
Take it all with a grain of salt.
To be safe I would look for heat treated (HT) pallets. Use a mask while you’re doing any sanding/cutting of the pallet wood so that you’re not breathing in any chemicals that may be in the wood, just as a precaution.
How to Take Apart Wood Pallets
You may be reading this post after spending hours trying to pry apart wood pallets. If you’re feeling frustrated I feel for you, I’ve been there, and there’s an easier way to take apart pallets.
There are actually several ways and I’ll share them with you in order of my preference of doing them.
1. A skill saw / sawzall along with hammer and crowbar.
Taking apart wooden pallets this way involves cutting off two sides of the pallet, then simply hammering a crowbar into the middle section of nails until they simply break. This is my personal favorite way to remove wooden planks from the pallet. The only problem with this is that the underside of the boar d may have a few nails still sticking out. You can either pound them nails out, or leave them in, for a more rugged look.
Watch how I dismantle a pallet below:
2. A brick and concrete block.
I saw this video on Youtube which simply uses weight and leverage. It seems like it could work, but would take a bit longer than other ways. It’s on option if all you have is stones laying around.