Working with Pallet Wood: Breaking them down and project ideas

I recently used pallets to sheet some cheap shelves I made in my attic. I was riding over to Lowes to pick up some OSB when I saw the pallets and thought to myself “Hey, those are free, I bet I could use those for the shelves I’m making”

It turned out to be quite a bit more work than I anticipated to break down those pallets. I first tried banging the boards out with a hammer, and those nails really don’t want to budge without seriously damaging the wood. I ended up cutting them a bit short with my circular saw and removing them that way.

This past weekend I went and bought a bunch of 2x4s and put them up into the attic last night. I plan to build another set of shelves up in my attic and I’m going to use pallet wood again to sheet the shelves, however this time I’m going to use a sheet metal drill bit to drill out the screws with my corded hammer drill.

I found this great article about using pallet wood from that advised that technique:

Woodworking with Pallets: A guide to Finding, Breaking Down, and Building with Pallets

If you really want to get inspired to do something cool with pallets checkout this guys page:

The Pallet Shed

On that page you can see various structures built from Pallets, including a wood shed and a chicken coop. If you scroll all the way to the bottom you can see how one guy’s pallet wood shed doubles as a rain water harvesting system with the addition of a bit of PVC pipe gutters.

How about a Root Cellar made from Pallets?

How about decking with Pallet wood? I question the long term durability of this approach, however it’s worth a look.

What have you built with pallets? Add your own idea in the comments.

Here is one method using just a few hand tools. I might make my own video this week when I dismantle my current batch of pallets

Author: Nick-LaDieu

Webmaster of Budding skill enthusiast and modern survivalist. When nick isn't plotting his next project he is probably running with his dogs, riding his mountain bike, or fiddling with his home theater.