so i was just assigned projects by the wife for some projects using pallets. I made a head board, and went off and found other projects, now I'm hearing bad things about that. they sound legit, just trying to find out if there really is a problem with using pallets (indoors in particular), and how I can make it safer. I am a novice at woodworking, and realized that I can practice with these things a lot easier (its cheaper). any insight would be appreciated.
pallets are typically made of the junkiest wood, but you can occasionally find some good pieces with a little sawing, jointing, and splicing.
But most of the time you have to be careful of wood that may be under torsional stress and you could get hurt by sawing into it
usually , the effort and time isnt worth it
be extra careful of embeded nails, bullets (yes, ammo), I did find a 45 cal. slug in a piece I tried to salvage
I,ve used pallet wood but only after a thorough inspection and for small stuff only You also should try to fimd out what kind of wood was used, sometimes the pallets are made over seas and toxic wood is used, breathing the dust and fumes from , prehaps a saw burn. or from a chemical that may have spilled on the pallet could realy screw you up
My advice, unless you are an experienced woodworker , stay away from them
Pallets are all the rage right now - we haven't quite reached the point yet where everyone realizes that making things out of pallets are like the naked emperor. I've worked some projects where things were made from pallets. I've watched a dozen people oooohhh & aaahhhh over the fantastic things they created out of free pallets. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as all of it looked like crap. Ugly, splintery crap.
As Nona points out, pallets are really crappy. The wood is rough and of uneven thickness. They are difficult to take apart without cutting the nails - leaving small bits of nails stuck in them. unless you have no money at all and lots and lots of time I cannot imagine why anyone would use them for anything - except as a pallet.
Some heavy industrial pallets are actually made of some pretty substantial wood. If you can find some of those, then it becomes a process of cleaning them up, planing, jointing, etc. If you don't have the tools for those kinds of operations, whatever you make is going to look pretty rough.
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