Pallet Craft #2: Removing pallet wood without destroying the boards

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Blog entry by Ethan Harris posted 07-13-2012 04:58 PM 3288 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Pallet Patio Table with benches set! Part 2 of Pallet Craft series Part 3: Pallet Board Entertainment Center! »

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Hello all,

I have been working with pallets lately and I thought to myself “what if folks want to do this too?”

So I decided to share what I found to be the best way to remove a board from the pallet without destroying the pieces.

Step 1: Cut the boards off of the top of the pallet.

From the edges as close to the brace boards as possible, cut the top Boards (top because there are more boards on top usually) with a Laser Circular Saw or Hand Saw if you have none.

Step 2: Pry the board from the center brace.

Using a flat edge Crowbar or Heavy Duty Claw Hammer , remove the top boards from the pallet braces. Warning! too much force could break the boards and nails will be exposed when you remove the boards. Best to pull the nail out with a claw hammer and either set them aside for use (some are great for recycling in projects) or discard of them safely.

Step 3: Turn over the pallet and repeat Steps 1 and 2.

Step 4: Remove the stubs from the braces.

I found the braces to be useful so to remove the chopped stubs go ahead and hammer the stubs to break them from the side angle and then pull the nails for recycling or discarding.

After completion you should have a set of pallet boards that you can use to turn into just about anything.

See my latest pallet creations at:



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-- Ethan, CT: Check out my Small Business at & also follow me on twitter

2 comments so far

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4441 days

#1 posted 07-14-2012 05:16 AM

I have been using a reciprocating saw to do about the same steps as you described. My problem is I have the uncanny luck of getting pallets that have been rebuilt several times. What do the pallet rebuilders do? They use a recip saw to cut the nails off which doesn’t leave me anything to get ahold of. Frustrating to say the least.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Ethan Harris's profile

Ethan Harris

300 posts in 3354 days

#2 posted 07-15-2012 01:18 PM

Yea that is a big issue, I try to be more picky when I am getting the pallets now for this reason, I also fear the dreaded “been in the rain for a very long time” pallets. I hope you are able to have more luck in finding better less rebuilt pallets!

-- Ethan, CT: Check out my Small Business at & also follow me on twitter

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