Ever make anything with pallets?

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navigator9

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This is kind of an update on my screened porch for those of you who gave me input a while back. First came the rest of the house, so the roof is done, the windows are done, the siding is done, and all of that had to be completed before the porch can be started. We're waiting for the final word from the planning and zoning guys, hopefully by Monday, and then......finally......the porch can begin!!! Sooooooo with all this time to think about it, I've visualized it in my mind's eye so many times, and looked through Pinterest for ideas, and I came across this coffee table made from pallets, which I thought would be great for the porch. So here I am, trying to figure out where I can get some pallets, when I happen to look out in the driveway, past the dumpster, and lo and behold, what's sitting there, with some siding pieces on it? You guessed it.....a big, honking pallet! It's a bigger one than I usually see, and I think I could get the whole coffee table out of this one piece. And I already have some casters that I salvaged from somewhere, knowing that I'd get to use them someday. I just love this coffee table, it's even got nice little shelves for magazines. I've read about which pallets are safe to use, and which ones aren't. So, what do you think? Have you ever worked with pallets? Any pros/cons, advice?

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DeeAnna

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If it's untreated or heat treated wood vs. chemically fumigated ... check
If it's newish, fairly clean (no mysterious stains or odors), and not too beat up ... check

Go for it! Just watch for splinters and loose staples/nails.
 

TVivian

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We made a lemonade stand, which doubled as a "kissing booth" (for prop only haha) on Valentine's Day.

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They were pretty tedious to dismantle, but otherwise it's nice wood! I had them stacked up as an outdoor coffee table for a long time before they got repurposed.
 

navigator9

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If it's untreated or heat treated wood vs. chemically fumigated ... check
If it's newish, fairly clean (no mysterious stains or odors), and not too beat up ... check

Go for it! Just watch for splinters and loose staples/nails.
Thanks DeeAnna, I found a site that spells out which ones are OK to use and which ones to watch out for. As soon as the guys move the stuff off of the one in the driveway, I'll be sure to check. I'm keeping my fingers crossed they'll let me have it.

We made a lemonade stand, which doubled as a "kissing booth" (for prop only haha) on Valentine's Day.

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They were pretty tedious to dismantle, but otherwise it's nice wood! I had them stacked up as an outdoor coffee table for a long time before they got repurposed.
OMG TVivian, those boys are so adorable, I almost forgot to look at the booth! You did a nice job with it. If I'm figuring this correctly, there won't be any dismantling involved in this project, only cutting, and I have a jigsaw. I understand they can be tricky to take apart, so it will be good if I don't have to do that. Just cut, stack and attach. I sure hope they let me have it, now that I've got my heart set on it. Hopefully the coffee I made for them every morning, and the donuts I supplied to go with, will make them inclined to donate it to me. ;-)
 

clownking99

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The top of my fish tank stands are pallets. I love them!
Luckily the ones i got were heated and stained. High class pallets :-D
 

Susie

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Our new roof came with 4 free pallets, LOL. We're going to make vertical can storage so I can have those pantry shelves for soaping stuff. We just need to finish the bathroom first.
 

nsmar4211

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All of the pallets I've gotten down here in Florida have rotted when outside , some as soon as six months some went two years. Not sure what these mysterious "buildable" pallets are made out of I hear about...maybe oak? Ours are pine. I've even painted them with two layers of paint and had them rot underneath the paint. So, no pallet projects for me :(.
 

DeeAnna

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Pallets are made from a lot of different woods and most of them will rot eventually unless protected from ground contact. If you look at the furniture that people are making out of them, a fair number are indoor pieces or are in something like a covered porch. If you want to use (or store) pallets sitting directly on the ground, yep, pretty much any pallet is going to rot. I ship domestically on pallets, both locally-made new ones that I buy and sound reused pallets that I scrounge. None of them are treated for rot resistance.
 

nsmar4211

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Should've clarified, my pallets are up on cinder blocks :). Some sort of weird dry rot got some of them even after painting/sealing, others get mushrooms, etc. Gave up and went to pressure treated wood. I do have a few pallets that are not pine that are ok inside, hard to find here though.

One problem I had with trying to do anything with pallet wood was taking them apart! I want some of the twisty nails they put them together with! Split more pieces than I salvaged on a few of them :). Did make a small fence out of some of it, but I drown it every few months in weathersealer....
 

DeeAnna

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Yeah, the dry rot and mushrooms are telling me your pallets are getting damp and staying that way. Some cinder blocks can wick moisture, so maybe that's what's going on for you. Try setting the pallets on a metal or plastic stand-off like this one: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Simpson-Strong-Tie-4-in-x-4-in-Composite-Plastic-Standoff-CPS4/100375102 Paint is fine for occasional exposure to moisture, such as the painted siding on a house, but it won't protect well against continual dampness.
 

grumpy_owl

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Before I sealed and painted it white. This is a wine rack. I made slots with a jigsaw for the glasses to hang upside-down, and attached a towel rack from a salvaged piece of pipe.

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navigator9

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Wow, that looks great! I love the rustic look of pallets, and thanks to the internet, it's just amazing to see all of the things people make with them. Sadly, I won't be able to use the one that was in the driveway, they came to pick it up yesterday, it had to be returned. It's a shame too, because it was a big one. I had it all measured out, and I would have been able to make the entire coffee table with just that one. Oh well, I'll just have to find somewhere to snatch a couple. Thanks for the inspiration.
 

DeeAnna

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That's a bummer! The places I scrounge pallets -- they usually want to get rid of 'em so they're happy to see me.

I know pallet projects are all about reusing and recycling stuff, but if you have your heart set on a table made from pallet wood and not many sources for suitable pallets, you could even contact a pallet maker and have them build a pallet for you. I pay $9 for a new 40" x 48" pallet, so they're inexpensive at least around here.

If the pallet maker is a small guy -- the two I know of around here are tiny, tiny little businesses -- and you sweet talk nicely and bring a donation of treats, they might build an extra nice one for you. I've had a few made out of really smooth wood and the slats on top are spaced real close together. Others are rough sawn and pretty splintery with slats pretty far apart.

Just a thought.
 

nsmar4211

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Check behind stores and then go ask the manager if you can have some. I know my old job would give the wooden ones away for free, and several others in the strip mall did too. Anything plastic is a no go, but the wood cost more to send back than they were worth.
 

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