How to disassemble a wooden pallet

How to take pallets apart

Pallet wood is usually of fairly good quality and is free if we have someone to give it to us. The problem is to separate the boards from the pallet. If we need short pieces, the easiest way is to cut the boards directly, but if we want the whole boards, we must try to remove the nails somehow. Those of you who have tried to disassemble a pallet on occasion will already know that it is not as easy as it may seem. The main problem is that the nails used to make the pallets are not smooth, but have grooves that grip the wood and make them very difficult to remove. Anyway, the ideas with pallet wood are usually easy to do if we do not have to dismantle the wooden boards.

Recovering boards from a pallet.

The first thing you usually try to do to dismantle a pallet is to pry it with a hammer, but you soon realize that it takes a lot of effort and sometimes to no avail. If we get a little rough, we can even break the hammer handle. If you are looking for another method, you may be interested to see how to cut paltet nails with a saber saw.

Trying various things I found that the easiest way (I prefer to cut the pallet nails with a reciprocating saw) to disassemble the pallets and the one that involved the least effort for me was to hit the studs with a sledgehammer. The one I use weighs 5kg and as you can see in the video you just have to let it hit by inertia so that it gradually separates the blocks from the pallet.

The result is a few rusty nails that we can mostly straighten out and put to use, a few pallet boards for our projects and a bunch of wooden dowels perfect for burning in the fireplace.

The process can be dangerous if done in haste and attempts are made to strike too hard. In the video I explain how to reduce the danger of hitting yourself with the mace. However, there is always the possibility of getting hurt, so if you try it, be very careful.

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