Dismantling a Pallet

Pallet collage.jpg

With the excitement of the week being my Silhouette Cameo being delivered I started to do some prep work for future projects. I have always loved and admired signs I saw on crafters blogs or pinterest, especially salvaged looking signs. Now that I own a machine that can cut vinyl and create stencils I am excited to figure out to make these signs myself. 

I was out back by the loading docks, for a company I frequently freelance for, and noticed a small pallet that had been sitting there for about a week ready to be put in the dumpster. 


Naturally I loaded it into the back of my car saving it from the dumpster. I figured sitting in my car for a week or two was better than a trip to the dump. 

Since today was fairly warm 45-50 degrees in November, I miss living in the south, I decided to give it a go and try to take the pallet apart.

What you'll need

Small crowbar
Larger crowbar

Below is an example of how not to use a crowbar or so I've been told. We all learn from our experiences. I should probably mention this was my first time ever using a crowbar.


After flipping the smaller crowbar around the right way I hammered it in between the two pieces of wood. I did this carefully so not to crack the wood. You'll want to do this on the outer side and the top edge. 


Once I had the smaller crowbar wedged I hammered in the larger crowbar. I used two crowbars to make it easier to get in between the two pieces of wood, also I found with this method I cracked less planks. 


Using the flat part of the crow bar pull down easily, becareful not to do this too hard it can crack the plank. Continue to do this on all sides and the plank will either pop out or you can use your hammer to hammer the plank back and pull out the nails.


Another way to get the planks off, but with a higher risk of cracking the planks, is to use a hammer on the back of the planks instead of a crowbar. This way is much faster but I had more success with the crowbar and keeping my planks in tact. 


Using the hammer left most of the nails still on the frame. 


But I still had a whole pile of planks with nails in them. I just turned the planks over and hammered the nails out. Making sure to pick them up since I was in the driveway. 


The whole thing took me about an hour. Which I didn't think as bad for my first time doing this. I am sure the next pallet will go a lot quicker. 

I am excited for all of the planks I have to work with. Now I just need to start looking for quotes and inspiration. Check back for the finished project in a week or two.


Update: I was told about two other products that make dismantling a pallet easy and don't require power tools. Pallet Buster and Deck Wrecker (affiliate links). Now they are a bit more expensive than a crow bar and a hammer but are worth checking out if you are going to be taking apart pallets a lot.