How to Take Apart a Pallet


Projects involving pallets seem to be everywhere these days. And why not? Pallets are free, have a great rustic look, and can be used in many different ways.
Well, the first time we fished a pallet out of the trash, we realized we had no idea how to take it apart. After some research, we found that a sawzall, or reciprocating saw would do the trick! We bought one and found out it is the perfect tool for this task! We made a video to show you how this process works.
Watch the video
Materials:
- Pallet (these can be found behind businesses, by dumpsters. Craigslist is a great way to find them)
- DeWalt Sawzall
​- 12" Blade
- Gloves, eye & ear & feet protection
Make sure you read the manufacture's instructions before you get started. Once you have all your safety gear on, hold the tool steady and let it do the work.
The long blade really helps when getting into the middle sections.
Once you're done, a steel bristle brush works well to clean any dirt off the pallet slats.
Pallets are a neat material to work with, but just note, that most pallet wood is not straight and level. There are tools that will help take care of that but they are pricey and kind of defeat the purpose of free wood. When we use pallet wood in a project, we embrace the imperfections!

Top Hometalk Projects

15 DIY Projects That Will Make You Say "WOW!"
30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans
30 Neat Ideas To Upgrade Your Backyard
How To: Make Hot Glue Placemats + More Crafts Ideas!
20 Ways To Incorporate Mosaics Into Your Home
31 Storage Hacks That Will Instantly Declutter Your Kitchen
Try These Gorgeous Ideas And The Mailman Will Never Miss Your Mailbox!
Mother Daughter Projects

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Go

Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Bob Davidson
    on Dec 10, 2016

    Love the work. Have been thinking about using pallet wood to cover an accent wall in my basement TV room. How can you be sure the pallet hasn't been contaminated with harmful chemicals?

    • Gretchen Krutz
      on Jun 13, 2020

      From what I have read, stay away from the colors and the letters MB, but go ahead and use pallets with the letters HT which stands for Heat Treated.

  • Brittani Byrdsong
    on Jun 30, 2020

    So, does the saw just cut through the nails?

Join the conversation

3 comments
  • William
    on Dec 7, 2016

    Great tutorial. I also have a hand held metal detector to locate nails and any embedded metal. Use a bear claw nail remover to get at the nails.

  • Bob Davidson
    on Dec 10, 2016

    Love the work. Have been thinking about using pallet wood to cover an accent wall in my basement TV room. How can you be sure the pallet hasn't been contaminated with harmful chemicals?

Your comment...