Method 2: If you don’t have a Duckbill Deck Wrecker , another method is to use a hammer and a pry bar, which was what we did before we got our Duckbill Deck Wrecker . It’s more work and takes a lot more time. But it’s the least expensive way to start.
Actually, I could not do this myself -don’t have enough muscle! – hubby used this method and it worked good: from Sarah on Youtube –
The third method we have used it to cut the board along the 2 side rails with a cordless circular saw or jig saw , and use a hammer and pry bar to lift it the middle rail. This is an easy and quick method, especially when the boards already have cracks on the ends.
Another way is to use a reciprocating saw , cut through the nails. This method intimidates me, and we have not tried it. But I know others who like it. Just be careful and take the time to learn how to use the tools safely!!
4. Challenges when working with pallet wood ( VERY IMPORTANT)
The beauty, and the challenges of pallet wood lies in its variations. Never assume the boards are the same thickness or width, even if they are from the same pallet!
When you buy wood from hardware stores, they are finished to the specified thickness, and all the edges are straight, and squared, but not pallet wood!
For example: if we want to build a pallet bench and want the top to be flat, we need to either carefully select boards of same thickness, or adjust how we build it.
Or if we are making a table top, we want all the slats to line up nicely, then we need to select boards that are straight all the way. You will be surprised how many of them are not!
If you do have a planer, and want to plane the edges straight, or plane the surface to a thickness, make sure to use a metal detector! Some hidden old nails can ruin the blade of your planer.
5. Design , planning and finishing considerations
When planning to build something with pallet wood, one of the first things to consider is where it needs to be accurate, vs where it’s more forgiving and you can keep the rustic character. It’s more forgiving where it’s rustic. Area that need to be accurate, such as table legs, or a square picture frame, will need more planning ahead, and selecting boards that are relatively straight and even.
When it comes to sanding and finishing, if it’s something you touch often, such as a crate, or a table top, you will want to sand the wood more, start with 80 grit sand paper, then go to 120 or even 220. In other places we can just sand a little bit with 120 grit to make sure the wood is free of splinters, and still keep the character of the wood surface.
When it comes to finishing, you can choose from paints, wax or oil finishes which I described in more detail in the pallet crate project. I will write a detailed post on non-toxic wood finishes soon and add a link here.
6. Safety First!
Because of those nails and splinters, please ALWAYS wear gloves and eye goggles when working with wood!
Before you turn on any power tools, first get a sturdy work surface – a work bench, or even a sturdy old table will do, and some wood clamps! Properly clamp the wood while cutting is one of the most neglected safety practices. Can I repeat myself 100 times here – CLAMP IT!
That’s it for now! Be safe and have lots of fun creating with pallets!!
More fun ideas to consider: