How to deconstruct a pallet?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Ms. Cluckingly, May 12, 2010.

  1. Ms. Cluckingly

    Ms. Cluckingly Songster

    Aug 13, 2009
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I've watched some videos on youtube, but neither of them were what I needed to know. I've got many pallets in my garage just itching to be made into my new coops, and I can't take them apart! I do not have a sawzaw, and they are the kind of pallets with planks on both sides. Anyone have any tried and true methods for dismantling these suckers without loosing valuable wood?
  2. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Try one of these:

    I haven't had real good luck dismantling pallets, the wood always wants to split but if you cut the ends off you will only loose a couple of inches and then you can work the pry bar in the center being careful not to split the wood. Just working the center will put less stress on the boards. The ends are also more prone to splitting.

    You might want to invest in a sawsall.
  3. hueghy

    hueghy In the Brooder

    May 6, 2010
    I recently built my coop out of pallet wood and it worked great! I tried every method including a sawzall but the best method was just pulling the nails with a cats paw (specific kind of nail puller) It is the only way I got them to come apart with minimal splitting. The sawzall worked but ate up blades really fast so I ditched that method and I tended to split them with a pry bar as well. Here is what a cats paw looks like

  4. Amyable

    Amyable Songster

    Dec 16, 2008
    Greenleaf, WI
    I just finished my pallet coop, and the best way I found was to use two hammers. I got the claw of the first hammer at the edge of the plank, and used the second hammer to pound the claw between the plank and 2x4; it usually worked very well to pry the boards out with the nails still in them. The prybar/catclaw method never worked for me with the double sided pallets.
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  5. Ms. Cluckingly

    Ms. Cluckingly Songster

    Aug 13, 2009
    Colorado Springs, CO
    The problem I'm having is that these pallets were made with the nails from nail guns so they are REALLY in the wood. There is nothing I can even get a fingernail under to even pry. [​IMG]
  6. Prospector

    Prospector Songster

    The method i used back when I actually salvaged skids was as follows:

    Place the pallet flat on teh floor.
    Slide a piece of Something under it, holding it off the floor by 3" (+/-) making sure that the something is not under the last board in the pallet.
    Using a 3 lb hammer knock the board down into the floor and watch it pop free.
    Slide the piece of something back one board and repeat until all boards have been freed on one end.

    Move the piece of something hard to the other end of the pallet and repeat.

    If there is a middle rib in the pallet, move the piece of something next to the middle rib and repeat.

    You may have to flip the pallet and do both sides at once. Usually the more boards there are on teh pallet, the better tehy will pop free. As the boards come away, the pallet will lose its strength adn flex with teh hits, reducing the pop-ability of the boards. The last board is often the worst.

    Good luck, and be safe. Those nails can hurt!
  7. dbcooper02

    dbcooper02 Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    SW Washington
    If prying and pounding is breaking too many boards, you might find one of these helpful.
    Check grandpa's tool box second hand stores etc. I have 2 or 3 and never paid more than about $10.
    You place the jaws beside the nail head, bang the handle down to sink the jaws into the wood. pull the handle back up and pull toward the lever to pry up on the nail. The harder you pull the tighter it grips the nail. Once you get the nail up far enough you can switch to a crowbar to finish the job. Might not work so well in hardwoods such as oak, but for most purposes it works great.
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  8. Laurieks

    Laurieks Where did the time go???

    Aug 14, 2009
    Sonoma County, CA
    what about using the pallets as they are... would make a space for insulation. I have some new roos in adjacent runs who I need to separate further, and a pallet would be perfect for that (you just gave me the idea [​IMG] ). I have a friend who made sheep fencing from t posts & whole pallets, worked great.
  9. PrinceSandwich

    PrinceSandwich Songster

    Nov 11, 2009
    Alberta, Canada
    The very first pallet coop I made I bashed the wooden planks out with a crowbar [​IMG] now I just leave them on the pallet.
  10. Captain Chaos

    Captain Chaos Hatching

    May 7, 2010
    Central KY
    Try using a nail punch and a hammer to drive the nails completely through the boards while they are still attached. If the wood is soft enough, it may work.

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