Is pallet wood / reclaimed lumber safe? Plus more safety tips!


Are you aware of the risks of using pallet wood and reclaimed lumber for your projects?
I'm personally a pallet wood fanatic. I love the stuff and use it for many of my own home DIY projects. But I've also brushed up on the risks. Here are a few things you should be aware of before using reclaimed wood for your DIY projects.
Tips are with the photos as well as MANY more at the link included.

Consider what it carried. I collect pallet wood from a firetruck manufacture. While this cannot guarantee clean wood, it's safer than if it had carried pesticides.
Consider what it carried. I collect pallet wood from a firetruck manufacture. While this cannot guarantee clean wood, it's safer than if it had carried pesticides.
How is it treated? HT means heat treated which is safer than chemically treated. Watch for markings on the wood. Avoid any wood that is extremely heavy, stained or has an odour.
How is it treated? HT means heat treated which is safer than chemically treated. Watch for markings on the wood. Avoid any wood that is extremely heavy, stained or has an odour.
How to dismantle pallets? It isn't easy! Most nails are twisted and hard to remove but that isn't to say it's impossible. A good crowbar and hammer can do quite nicely but I attempt to find loose wood when possible.
How to dismantle pallets? It isn't easy! Most nails are twisted and hard to remove but that isn't to say it's impossible. A good crowbar and hammer can do quite nicely but I attempt to find loose wood when possible.
Remove the nails asap. Dismantled pallets are FULL of them making them very dangerous. Don't delay this step for safety's sake.
Remove the nails asap. Dismantled pallets are FULL of them making them very dangerous. Don't delay this step for safety's sake.
There is no guarantee that the wood you are using is clean. Avoid reclaimed lumber in the vegetable garden, where food is served and for children's toys. If in doubt, use new wood.
There is no guarantee that the wood you are using is clean. Avoid reclaimed lumber in the vegetable garden, where food is served and for children's toys. If in doubt, use new wood.
There are even more tips on the original blog post.  http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/2011/04/all-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about.html
There are even more tips on the original blog post. http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/2011/04/all-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about.html
Funky Junk Interiors - Donna

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

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2 of 24 comments
  • Marcus
    on May 21, 2014

    HI! Great thread! I'm considering making a bar out of reclaimed wood bought from a reputable lumber warehouse. Should I sand and varnish it? I'm concerned about splinters. It will only be used on the body of the bar where peoples knees are....

  • Quentin
    on Jun 21, 2016

    Hi! I've made a little infographic that could be helpful to remember the meanings of the stamps found on pallets and check if it's safe to use or not. Also, I compiled everything about pallet safety on this post: http://www.1001pallets.com/pallet-safety/

    , Pallet Treatment Codes infographic to check easily if your pallet is safe or not for your next crafting project
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