how to recover pallet skid wood


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Old 04-10-21, 12:47 PM
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how to recover pallet skid wood

I don't usually like using pallets to build things. Any built with skids still looks like a skid! But with the current price of wood and the opportunity for me to get good looking skids whenever I want, I need to know if anybody knows of trick to lift the deck boards off the stringers without splitting and ruining the pieces. I able to use the approx 18" of deck boards that lay on top of the deck between the stringers. I just saw them off. But I need several that span the full width of the skid. The nails holes are of no consequence. Just that prying those off the stringer usually damages them beyond use.

Any hints will be appreciated.
 

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04-10-21, 01:37 PM
2john02458
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As Pilot Dane said, cut the nails to separate the deck boards from the stringers. You can then punch out the nails from the bottom and use dowel plugs or more decorative keyholes to patch the holes. If you do not want to see the holes at all consider ripping the deck boards to thinner pieces (outside and/or between the holes) and glue up as needed to get your final width. If not too structural consider finger-jointing or half lapping shorter pieces to get to the length you need. If you need larger structural pieces consider making them in a glue-lam style.

I have a large amount of weathered 2X4 redwood that came from a deck surface. By ripping them into 1.5 X .75 (or less) pieces I am able to make panels, cabinet doors, shutters, etc. Sometimes I leave the nail holes in for interest or cut to avoid them.





Cabinet doors from recycled redwood.
 
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Old 04-10-21, 12:52 PM
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If salvaging the wood is your #1 concern then I would use a metal cutting blade in a Sawzall and cut the nails between boards. It's not fast but it doesn't damage the boards. Most nails are glue coated, twist or barbed so often the nail heads pull through the wood before the nail lets go which makes a big hole or is just asking for the wood to split.
 
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Old 04-10-21, 12:53 PM
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This is what I'm working with.


 
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Old 04-10-21, 01:37 PM
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As Pilot Dane said, cut the nails to separate the deck boards from the stringers. You can then punch out the nails from the bottom and use dowel plugs or more decorative keyholes to patch the holes. If you do not want to see the holes at all consider ripping the deck boards to thinner pieces (outside and/or between the holes) and glue up as needed to get your final width. If not too structural consider finger-jointing or half lapping shorter pieces to get to the length you need. If you need larger structural pieces consider making them in a glue-lam style.

I have a large amount of weathered 2X4 redwood that came from a deck surface. By ripping them into 1.5 X .75 (or less) pieces I am able to make panels, cabinet doors, shutters, etc. Sometimes I leave the nail holes in for interest or cut to avoid them.





Cabinet doors from recycled redwood.
 
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Old 04-11-21, 05:07 AM
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Those look great.

I'm trying to make an outdoor package receptacle for UPS, AMAZONE and Post Office drop-offs. Found a very neat and easy to build on Printerest. It's kind of patterned after mail box. Packages can be dropped in but not taken out.
 
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Old 04-11-21, 08:30 AM
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Use as much of the pallet as-is without dismantling it. Cut the bottom deck boards off. Use the stringers as they are or cut them down to eliminate the wheel notches. Cut pieces such that the stringers become corner supports (like studs or joists.) Fill the deck gaps with small strips or leave them open.

Using that strategy over 40 years a ladder style bunk bed made of 2X6s and 1X6s became computer desks, a futon bed, and eventually a lathe bench.


This is a miniature of the original bunk bed. (Original built in 1979.)


Computer desks with peripherals (1988)

Transformed to a pull-out futon bed (2000).

Lathe bench (2019).

 
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Old 04-13-21, 01:34 PM
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Despite my advice in the last post about trying to create modular pieces from pallets here is a video about denailing pallet wood that I came across in a series by Next Level Carpentry called Pallet Wood Door. His pieces are much larger than the standard pallets we are familiar with but his tips might be useful. In the preview I saw the sparks from sharpening the hammer and I thought he was cutting the nails, but not. There are two other videos that might also be interesting called "A Search for Perfect Pallets" and "Pallet Door Episode #10 Making Slats."

This one might be more relevant. No hammer and shorter.

This is probably the best! If you need to take the nails out.
 
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Last edited by 2john02458; 04-13-21 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 04-13-21, 02:12 PM
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2john,
That is great a video. Thank you. The few little tricks like prying just enough to get the blade in there is great. This will be my method. I like the fact that I have no nails to bother with. I'll just leave them in. And I have the whole board to work with.
Thanks for the tip.
 
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Old 04-20-21, 04:30 PM
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So I tried that method on that video 2john mentioned. Works like charm. Can't believe how fast and easy. Maybe not as clean as the video but as I do more the easier it gets. And to think I use to use a skill saw to make multiple cut and have short pieces to work with. And the few nails that did pop out was a cinch to handle. Then just pound in flush where all the nails were cut and the wood is good to use or trim as needed. Just need to be aware where cut nails are when trimming.

BTW... we just raised our 2 x 4 prices to $10.40 a piece for and 8 footer. WOW! I think I'll keep taking those skids.
 
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Old 04-21-21, 07:47 AM
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I presume you are talking about the second video that used the reciprocal saw to cut the nails after prying the boards slightly for clearance. Don't overlook that PD suggested it first. The video made the process clear.

Just need to be aware where cut nails are when trimming.
I have a handheld metal detector/stud finder that I use to check for nails near cut lines. Similar to this one.
 
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Old 04-21-21, 08:43 AM
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Gee I forgot that PD did mention that procedure. Thanks PD.
The cut nails are very visible so that won't be a problem.
Going back to work today to get more skids. Saw a couple good ones.
 
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Old 04-23-21, 07:15 AM
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If you need to do several pallets, take a look at this:
Robotic Pallet Dismantling in 30 Seconds - YouTube
 
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Old 04-23-21, 08:30 AM
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That's amazing! All that loose change on my dresser is going to good use. I just placed my order for that machine.
 
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Old 04-23-21, 11:16 AM
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stripping skids

Thanks to 2John for reminding me how to post a video. Gezz I seem to forget everything lately.

Stripping skids.
https://youtu.be/DZzsLnt_88U
 

Last edited by Norm201; 04-23-21 at 01:13 PM. Reason: had to re-learn how to post videos
  #15  
Old 04-24-21, 06:37 AM
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Eh, years ago, a friend had a 2nd shift part-time job at a small woodworking shop / sawmill just recycling pallets.

Depending on what equipment you've got access to 'after hours'; their process might be helpful.

Their process was:
park forklift #1 with the forks wide & level
Forklift #2 comes over, slides the pallet onto the forks of #1 and holding a pallet wide & level, #2 lifts the pallet & pulls the nails out of the outside stringers.
Forklift #1 & #2 slide the forks narrow, #1 lifts the pallet and pulls the nails through the center stringer.
Repeat as necessary -

Anyplace that has pallets ALSO has forklifts that can easily pull pallets apart...
 
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Old 04-24-21, 07:42 AM
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The problem with just pulling them apart is lots of cracks and splintering. I'm trying to get as much usable wood as possible. But I still don't like using pallets, but beggars can't be chooser. Besides in this case paint will cover a lot of sins and it's going outside. That's another advantage of pallet wood. It's practically impervious to weather.
 
 

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