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Building With Pallets – How to Disassemble A Pallet With Ease For Great Building Projects

Here is a great pallet to use – nice thick wood and untreated

From February 21, 2015 to March 22nd,2015 – You can check out our latest project and video here:  OWG GROWING SIMPLE PROJECT (yes- its a little crazy – but we had fun with it!) and if you can help us with our Kickstarter Book Project – or by sharing it with others – it would help us so much!  Enjoy the pallet article!….

As most of you know – we love to build with pallet wood.  If you spend a little time looking  – it is usually pretty easy to find a source to get them for free (See: 6 Simple Tips To Finding Free Pallets). In addition – if you find the right kind – the building potential is limitless.  I thought for today’s DIY post I would show how we go about taking a pallet from its current state to great usable wood in just a few minutes

Working with pallets – the first thing we realized early on is it is nearly impossible and too time consuming to worry yourselves with pulling out the nails.  It is too easy to damage the wood with the claw and hammer or pry bar.

You can get a corded or cordless sawzall – but they are the king of dismantling pallets.

Instead, we opt for our sawzall method – which can disassemble a pallet in less than two minutes into 10 or more pieces of great usable wood.  Besides – the left over embedded nail fragments actually add a ton of character to pieces when either stained or painted.

1st Tip – Invest in a reciprocating saw (sawzall).

They are the key to quickly destructing a pallet – and without damaging or splintering the wood.  Yes, it’s an expense – but the inexpensive ones will work just fine with pallets.

Throw out the little 5″ min blade and Invest in a 12″ Demo/Construction Blade. They last forever and can rip apart a pallet in a few minutes.

2nd Tip – Forget about the little 5″ blade that comes with your sawzall.

That will only frustrate you.  Buy a couple of 12″ construction blades (trust me – the few bucks are worth it – and they last forever).

3rd Tip - How to disassemble.

You can follow below with the pictorial below on how we do it – but in a nutshell – set it on its side and simply slice through the nails on each end. Then – head down the middle row doing the same thing and in no time you have a lot of great pallet wood for all of your crafts!  We have made everything from our custom mailbox, to a wine rack, raised bed stand and more – all for virtually free with pallets. (See: Our Project Pallets)

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First Step – take your sawzall and cut down through one side of the smaller boards all the way to the bottom

Next cut down the opposite side – followed by the middle if there is one – the boards simply fall off

Once you have the front side finished – repeat for the back side – which are usually the largest of the boards

This is what you are left with – great boards to get building with!

This hutch was made from pallet and shipping crate boards

131 Comments on Building With Pallets – How to Disassemble A Pallet With Ease For Great Building Projects

  1. Julie, you can go to ,,join the site & get discounts every week. You can order online & get free delivery on a lot of things. I live near a H F store and buy most of my tools there. I paid $20. for my Saws all.

  2. I have pinned this post and referenced it numerous times in all the pallet projects we’ve done. I’ve featured this tutorial on my blog and wanted to share the love and make sure people can come to this post to learn how easy it is to disassemble the pallets – if they do it right and follow your steps!

    Thanks for rockin’ the inspiration!

  3. Can you use a jigsaw to do this if they make a demolition blade to fit?

  4. Does this work with a jigsaw? Do they make a demolition blade for this type of saw?

    • Julie,

      Invest in a cheap Sawzall from Harbor freight if there is one by you. A jigsaw will not work and will just drive you crazy if you try it. Also make sure you buy the long demolition blade for the best results

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