How to Take Apart Wooden Pallets (Pallet Dismantler!)
Have you heard? We have a van!
My vision for this Sprinter Van (and Lord knows that I have one!) is to make the inside super cute and crazy, mega awesome. I want it to be the place you would want to hang out all the time – a van that has clever and creative around every (tiny) corner. But before we get to adorable tiles in the bathroom, and the patchwork quilt of the United States on the bed (handmade of course because I’ll craft on every inch of this van), we actually have to apparently construct the inside of this van.
A huge part of that construction will be the overhead cabinets and also the countertops and other storage areas. Options were IKEA cabinets, or other manufactured cabinets, but we decided that if we are going to do this, then we are going to learn all of it – and that apparently now includes carpentry. (Hey, our favorite person ever was a carpenter, so we are following in some awesome Footsteps).
Where to Find Wooden Pallets
Here’s the thing, though. In order to build wood cabinets, you actually need wood. I know, its crazy talk, but it’s true. Wood can be quite spendy. So, Todd and I found a place near us that will let us have some pretty amazing pallets for free. That price I can afford – barely. 🙂
Wooden pallets can be found free in loads of places, including lumber flooring places, home improvement stores, warehouses, etc. Oftentimes, just calling ahead and asking will save some time and travel. Make sure to look to see if your wooden pallets do not contain any chemicals that are harmful. You ABSOLUTELY MUST make sure your wooden pallets are free from toxic chemicals and safe!
How to Take Apart Wooden Pallets
After you get the wooden pallets, they are still in pallet form. Free tip: They don’t just magically melt into beautiful pieces of wood, nail-less, and sanded as smooth as a baby’s bottom. You have to get in there, and actually work!
Long story short (too late!) that is what this blog is (finally!) about. How do you get those dang wooden pallets apart?
Hammer Method to Take Apart Wood Pallets
First, we tried the simple hammer method of trying to get the nails out, and the boards to separate. This was a lost cause. We would have had more luck bending time and space than we did getting those nails out this way.
Sawzall to Take Apart Wood Pallets
We then tried to use a sawzall (link). The jist is that you simply cut through the nails. This worked part of the time. However, some of the boards were nailed in such a way that it was nearly impossible to actually reach the center parts of the pallet and use the saw to remove those boards.
SUCCESS! It definitely works, and it definitely pulls apart the boards of the pallet. This pallet dismantler, doesn’t however, magically take out the nails. So you still have to do that task. However, let it be known that I’m telling you straight up, with no shame, that I definitely do not have the strength to use this!
This is a Todd job now. He can be the official “Pallet Destroyer” (imagine that spoken in a dark scary voice with an echo echo echo, and it makes it sound much cooler – and maybe add some 80’s cartoon graphics too, while you are at it.)
CLEAR WINNER for Taking Apart Wooden Pallets
So, Todd the Pallet Destroyer, will now be destroying pallets, as he does, and I will be sanding them with my electric sander. And, after doing this about a million times (give or take a few) we will have enough wood to actually work with. Then comes the actual cabinet making, but that’s another bedtime story for another night, kids.
Tell me, do you have any other ways that you take apart wooden pallets? Do you have any tried and true methods that are different? Are there any tools that you have found that work even better? Tell me in the comments below! And if you do end up getting the pallet dismantler, please let me know how it worked out for you!
Adieu for now!