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How to Prepare Wooden Pallets for DIY Projects

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How To Prepare Wooden Pallets For DIY Projects

Using used pallets in Phoenix is an inexpensive way to make something useful and have fun doing it.  It’s a great opportunity for you to work with wood and do some basic DIY projects around your home using used pallets, and it’s easy to find pallets right here in Phoenix.

People have been using pallets to upcycle since the DIY movement began. Using pallets for the wood certainly has its rewards, but also comes with risks. Before you begin your DIY project you may need a little help in understanding what you are getting yourself into. Read below for some tips to help you start your project.

How to Find Pallets for Free

A lot of businesses get shipments that are packed on wooden pallets. When you are driving around, or know of nearby building supply or liquor stores, take a look around back, many companies take their merchandise and leave the pallets behind. Contact the business owner and ask them if they are going to be suing them. There are so many out there, chances are that some businesses or warehouses will be willing to give them away for free. For some reason, if you are having a difficult time one or two, try the free section of Craigslist or your local newspaper.

Choosing the Best Pallets

All pallets come with a questionable history you will really never know what or how they were used for, or where they’ve been. You probably know that pallets are often treated with chemicals — the type you don’t want, especially in your home. They are also often breeding grounds for insects, bacteria and worst of all mold.

 Upcycled Wooden Pallets

If you don’t care, or are feeling lucky, look for pallets that are the safest to reuse. Please do a little home work and don’t grab the first one you see.

  • Stay away from the ones you see at grocery stores, as they are more likely to have food spillage. T he porous wood that pallets are made from is just a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Make sure the wood is in relatively decent condition. You might lose some boards while breaking the pallet down, so start off with as many as pallets you can. Choose the most that aren’t warped, cracked or bowed.
  • Take a look at the nails used to hold the pallet together. If they are twisted, they might be more difficult to remove. If they are really twisted it might not be worth the work.
  • Inspect it for gross residue, old oil stains, and especially mold. The same goes for the way the pallet smells.
  • Avoid the pallets that have been sitting out in the rain for extended periods of time.
  • Be wary of the stamps on the wood. Different stamps have different meanings, do some research on the different stamps to choose the one that suits your needs.

 How to Properly Clean and Disinfect Your Pallets

A good tool to use, it your have access to one, is a power washer. Scour the pallet with soapy water (and maybe some bleach). Rinse it down completely, and allow to thoroughly dry. There’s no way to tell if you got all of the bad stuff, so it’s a good idea not to use pallet wood for projects used near food or the children. Some people won’t even bring it in the house, and reserve this type of wood entirely for outdoor use. Use your best judgment on deciding what your projects intended use.

How to Break Down a Pallet

First you’ll have to break your pallet down and remove all the nails and debris to get it ready for use. There are different ways of doing this, so select which method you like best and which will suit your needs. Remember, safety first! Wear gloves, eye protection, and a dust mask.

  • Option 1: You can use a hammer or pry bar. Don’t go at them too crazy or you’ll wind up wasting your time when the pallet splits on you. You have to be tough but careful and work efficiently to loosen the nails from the boards, which will take some time. If you plan on doing more than one pallet, invest in a specialty tool, it will make it much easier.
  • Option 2: You can also use a reciprocating saw to cut through the nails between each piece of wood. It’s fast, and doesn’t require much work, but it leaves pieces of the nails in the wood. It could be bothersome when you go to saw through the pallets later while building your project.
  • Option 3: You can also use your own method that you feel is right for you or your project. There really is no right or wrong way to do it. Depending on your project you may just need smaller pieces of wood or the longer pieces if your project is a little bigger.

Pallets for Do It Yourself Projects

Pallets can be used for many different projects. From Adirondack chairs, picture frames, bathtub reading trays, to breakfast in bed trays. There really is no limit to what you can build. The sky’s the limit when deciding what to build. You are only held back by your imagination.

Whether you’re looking for used or new pallets for your next weekend project AAA Pallets has you covered.

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