I have been working with pallet wood for over a year now. All my DIY projects have been done with pallet wood. Have a look at some of my DIY projects, they have primarily been different types of planters, a garden sofa and a mini gazebo.
Following are few reasons working with pallet wood is a great idea
1. Pallet wood is freely available
These are some good sources for pallet wood
a. A lot of people get rid of pallets once the item that are delivered on are picked up from the pallet. These days such people put ads on marketplace sites like Facebook or Gumtree asking people to collect the pallets for free.
b. Schools and small businesses have an abundant supply of pallets and they mostly get rid of the pallets once the delivery is complete. Once I looked at the garbage area of a school and I found around 10 very good pallets and the school was very happy for me to take them. I also spoke to some small businesses that receive deliveries regularly. Most of them returned the pallets to the delivery company. But quite a few of them had to get rid of the pallets themselves. I was able to get my hands on some really good pallets from these businesses.
c. Housing construction sites. Another gold mine for pallets are new home constructions sites. Where I stay, there are quite a few constructions going on. I can see stacks of pallets just stored in one area of the site just rotting away. So I decided to speak to the site manager and see whether they would be happy to take some away. They were quite glad to let me take a few. They allowed me to go through their skip and take any left-over wood. I was quite surprised to see they were getting rid of really good quality wood just due to small damages.
2. Pallet wood is good for beginner wood workers
When I developed interest in wood working, I was not sure for how long my interest would carry on and I didn’t want to spend anything on wood given how expensive good quality wood is. With pallet wood, I was able to do a lot of practicing of my wood working skills without spending anything.
3. Pallet wood comes in different textures.
Although most pallet wood looks the same, if you look closely, they come in different textures based on the size of the pallet wood. If you are able to get your hands-on long length pallet wood (available in construction sites), then you will know what I mean.
4. Quite a lot of the pallet wood is already heat treated
This means pallet wood is safe to be used mainly because heat treating kills off any insects or larvae which otherwise could be harmful. Be careful not to use chemical treated pallet wood as they could be very dangerous and may pose a health hazard. Lookout for the heat-treated mark stamped on the pallet.
5. Pallet wood working helps the environment
Using pallet wood from un-needed pallets helps us save trees because otherwise we would go and buy wood which would have been sourced from trees. Un-needed pallets would just get dumped and rot away. This hopefully helps mother nature and helps make us woodworkers a little eco-friendly.