Quality Pallet Wood

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by Milo posted 05-08-2013 12:57 AM 3778 views 1 time favorited 55 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Milo's profile


869 posts in 4328 days

05-08-2013 12:57 AM

Two of the top 25 are excellent examples of quality projects from quality pallet wood.

It got me thinking, where can you find quality pallet wood? Good, solid hardwood pallets.

What businesses would be most likely to receive stock from areas which would ship with hardwood pallets?

What businesses receive stock from overseas that would have “exotic” wood pallets?

My first thought was a flooring store. I have a lumber liquidators I thought of checking out.

If you have any ideas on the subject, please share.



-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

55 replies so far

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 2901 days

#1 posted 05-08-2013 02:41 AM

Generally I find that all pallet wood is a crap shoot. Pallets span those put together from freshly cut unknown species that crack and twist in 24 hours when taken apart to superbly beautiful hard maple and oak that stays totally straight months after being disassembled – I have found some of these, but they’re rare. At least that is what I’ve found – that is, you cannot ascertain the ‘quality’ of the pallet wood is until you take it apart and dry it out completely first. My experience, however, is based only on approx 20-25 pallets, taken from random locations – usually retail or industrial.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5061 days

#2 posted 05-08-2013 04:28 AM

My Guess:

When very heavy equipment is used on pallets, the pallets are probably made of Hard woods.

Otherwise, the pallets are made of more semi-hard woods…

As I said… My Guess… LOL

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View watermark's profile


484 posts in 2951 days

#3 posted 05-08-2013 05:41 AM

If you have heard any where that is bringing in furniture or large pottery from places like Thailand or Indonesia are good sources.

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 4328 days

#4 posted 05-08-2013 12:35 PM

redSLED: Fear not, I fully understand it’s a crap shoot. However, it seems that it’s at least looking at, and passing, depending on what’s available.

Joe, and Watermark. Great ideas. Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2172 posts in 3859 days

#5 posted 05-08-2013 12:53 PM

When we had this discussion one time before (and it’s fine to have it again) one very knowledgeable LJ wrote at length about pallets and their lives. He pointed out that any pallet you see likely belongs to someone. I still poke at interesting pallets from time to time, but I bear that in mind.

Now back to our regular programmin—searching for The Pallet!



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Woodmaster1's profile (online now)


1655 posts in 3595 days

#6 posted 05-08-2013 12:58 PM

The last pallets I got the tops were 3/4 7 ply plywood. I am going to used them to make jigs.

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 2970 days

#7 posted 05-08-2013 01:09 PM

I’ve heard pallets are heavily treated like pressure treated lumber. Is that true?

View poopiekat's profile


4898 posts in 4743 days

#8 posted 05-08-2013 02:04 PM

Pallets that are used for international shipping, by regulation, have to be treated for insect control, lest we ship out little critters. However, mostly nowadays it is done by heat-treating, and you’ll know it if there is a [HT] stencil on the sides. From people I know in the industry, pallet manufacturers buy loads of second-quality wood from sawmills and other sources, wood that is too short or of poor quality for furniture. Sometimes, whole truckloads can be graded down by estimators, and off it goes to a pallet facility. This explains why you can sometimes find righteous walnut and other rarities, it gets mixed in with a whole load. Keep looking!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3305 days

#9 posted 05-08-2013 02:15 PM

I used to get fantastic hardwood pallets from a plumbing place that sold boilers, furnaces, spas, hot tubs…mostly oak, but I swear I got a few sticks of what looks like mahogany. Someone who works there must heat with wood or something because they don’t put the pallets out anymore (sniff).

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1982 posts in 2978 days

#10 posted 05-08-2013 02:49 PM

I have a local sears that sells appliances and asked the manager what he was doing with the pallets and he said all they do is throw them out. He said I could take them when I want to. Also a local auto supply place near my house always has good hardwood ones that kindly said I could also have them when I want to. (His reply was all anyone uses them for is bonfires and Bull#[email protected] So grab them whenever their there) Appliance places and auto parts places. Always be nice and ask, they appreciate that. There are some where they give their pallets back to whatever company ships them and don’t have to pay for them. I built my workbench out of pallets and several other projects also. Just look around and ask. Also buy a crowbar, you will need it

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View bandit571's profile


27837 posts in 3692 days

#11 posted 05-08-2013 04:16 PM

Skip the nailed up ones. Around here, there are a LOT of Amish “farmers” with a barn dedicated to making truckloads of pallets. They saw their own lumber, too. You could take a load of “scrap” off their hands, as otherwise, they just have a burn pile going.

Check behind stores like Walmart, and such, and see if you can have a few of theirs.

Construction sites: ASK FIRST BEFORE ENTERING! Look for a load of steel showing up, and ask about the cribbage under it. Lots of time, this is either 3×3s, or 4×4s of Oak or other hardwood. If any large machinery is going into the “new place” look at the wood under it. I saw 12×18s under a blowmolder being unloaded one year! Some were as long as the flatbed truck!

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View ncwooder's profile


3 posts in 2856 days

#12 posted 05-08-2013 08:12 PM

I have been getting pallets from my employer and have gotten some really good boards and 4×4’s that were 12’ long.These were all ht type and really good quality.Also got some good oak boards.Have to keep check often as to what is coming in but it can pay off with some good usable wood.

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 3155 days

#13 posted 05-08-2013 08:17 PM

Best source around here is this place called Leisure Time that sells hot tubs, playground equipment and above ground pools.

View DS's profile


3680 posts in 3429 days

#14 posted 05-08-2013 08:32 PM

There is a Pallet factory here in Phoenix on 35th Ave down by the River. They have a sign out front that says they will buy all used pallets for $3.00
They use Pine almost exclusively there and thats about all I see used in Pallets in this area.
They mill raw logs to make the pallets. You can see lumber trucks delivering logs all the time.

Every time I drive by there the smell reminds me of Christmas time.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 4049 days

#15 posted 05-08-2013 08:46 PM

I work for a walk-in MFGR – We have pallets to spare, cause we have to make our own size to ship on.

A lot of oak & Pine out there, but I have gotten Cherry, Maple, Sycamore, Hickory, Mahogany, & a few other I can’t name just yet

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

showing 1 through 15 of 55 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics