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Anybody use old pallets for firewood?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by woody1, Jan 8, 2009.

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  1. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    Around here the blue and white pallets are considered property of a pallet recycling company that goes around collecting the empty skids an re-supplying them to their consumers at a discounted rate vs. building new pallets. That is why they are built so much better . . . so they can get more life from each pallet.

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  2. Beanscoot

    Beanscoot Member

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    Good point MyZamboni. I am careful not to take pallets that will be reused. There is more than enough wrecked ones around, that I can pick and choose which ones to take. I try to clean up the area where the pallets are to encourage the business to keep putting them out. I figure that if I take a few more minutes to take away odd bits of shrink wrap etc. it will instill goodwill towards us scroungers.
  3. leaf4952

    leaf4952 Member

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    Oh, COME ON ! This is a favorite subject of mine, but ... why the heck ISN"T this subject on " TREAD - SPEED - DIAL " ? So that new people can access all the great information members have already posted on this great subject. This site is awesome but does the search function work on this site ?
  4. bigoak9745

    bigoak9745 New Member

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    I get free pallets from the various trucking firms around my area, in the spring. They are usually glad to get rid of them. I pile them and dont use them really for burning source but cut then up anduse dry ones as firestarter in the fall and late winter when I dont keep the wood furnace going full time and need to start up a fire every night when i get home. The pallet chunks work good as they have the gap between boards which helps air flow for starting.

    If I did not have woods to cut in, I would haul free pallets home. As many have said earlier on this thred, they burned pallets for their heat source.
  5. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    more than half the threads on this site are re-t(h)reads. Th interesting thing is each time a topic comes up the conversation gets better and better.

    Pour another beverage of choice and chillax :coolsmile:
  6. spadafore

    spadafore New Member

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    Pallet wood is a pretty general term. Pallet wood can be anything from pine to oak. Kiln dried or green wood. Nails and staples even wax wrapped. As far as the nails go, it all depends on how you dispose of your ashes. If you know what you are burning and it is seasoned then I say go for it. I burn pallets and I think they are awesome. I burn oak pallets that 5000 lb steel coils are shipped on. The runners are 6" by 6". I cut them with my chainsaw or my circular saw. I see no problem with using them. Just my two cents.
  7. Der Fuirmeister

    Der Fuirmeister Member

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    I am too cheap to pay for good wood. Especially when I can get good wood for free. I'm trying to save for retirement and this helps.

    Our company gets clean pallets and crating wood every week. All new, one time use. Much of it 2x4 or 2x6 pine. Also 4x4 and 1x4 oak, maple or other hardwood. All of the equipment crating and most of the pallets we get are non standard sizes and not of interest to recyclers.............so I help do my part and recycle it back into the atmosphere. Better than filling up a landfill.

    A large "pallet burner" was considered. Prior to my burning this clean scrap wood they were burned out back in a burning barrel or thrown in the dumpster.

    There are advantages.......no mud in the bark / chain saw to sharpen. Far less mess in the house. No ants. No splitting required.

    I mix my woods. Both by species and scrap / logs. I don't try to heat with scrap alone. I use caution with the moisture content. Since the wood we get is intended for one time use it's not all kiln dried. Mixing wood also helps with this potential problem. Overnight or in mid winter I use larger dry logs.

    Much depends on the type of wood burner you are using i.e. stove, furnace or boiler. I don't have any first hand experience with boilers, but the gasifiers I've read about are supposed to be able to handle any species of wood without problems. And some manufacturers say scrap wood is fine. In my furnace I burn smaller fires in the fall and spring. Pallets work well then.

    A 1/4" hardware cloth screens out the nails that make it into the ash pan. A strong magnet with a long handle (normally used to remove nails from a horse paddock) removes them from the furnace grate.

    Hope you find this helpful.......
  8. leaf4952

    leaf4952 Member

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    I apoligize for forgeting the H in the word "thread'. I burn wood better than I spell. I don't know if the subjects' responses get better with re-asking.
    Perhaps I'm a little impatient with redundancy and a tad overly organizational pertaining to the structure of the website, but HEY. . . I've seen the pictures of these guys woodpiles lined up with laser beams so . . . I'm amongst my own fellow-catagorizers ! I just think a really good search tool would be helpful when we wanna just cut to the chase. Whether we be NEW or not ! Sometimes I'm busy for a while and can't keep in touch with the site for a week or two and a problem comes up. I can't be always checking to see if the most current threads happen to correspond to what my problem is. A really good site search tool would save me time and certainly make me more prone to come back later to lolly-gag & shoot the bull when I have time.
  9. Beanscoot

    Beanscoot Member

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    The search function works erratically for me. Sometimes I'll find the threads, other times I'll get the message that no matches were found, although entering the same word(s) a minute later will get many results.
  10. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    Just so you know I wasn't correcting your spelling but making my own pun. There are some topics that should come up and nauseum with the search function, but I guess people get different levels of results.

    I guess the mods should take you feedback and strategically place it in the site forum so Craig can get to work.
  11. iskiatomic

    iskiatomic Minister of Fire

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    Every 2-3 weeks I bust up about 6-7 pallets for my once a day "HOT" burn to flush out any creosote in my chimney.

    In the late summer early fall I cut up about 10 or sore and split the slats to use for kindling. The uprights will get burned outside in the fire pit.

    Free wood, a little work, a little beer. All in a day of being a wood burner.


    KC
  12. SAABMaven

    SAABMaven New Member

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    In spite of temptation and the many 'pros' for burning pallets that I have seen in this thread, I do not. The pallets probably come from China along with the toxic imports that rested on them; the pallet wood itself will have been treated with heaven-knows-what. I use wood ash in my garden!
  13. Beanscoot

    Beanscoot Member

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    The Chinese pallets are full of nasty invasive insect eggs, it is our duty to burn them.
  14. mlasko

    mlasko New Member

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    Man I sawed up 4 pallets during half time of the steelers game today and threw about 4 16inch pieces in and WOW! Instant HOT HEAT! Gotta be careful with those pallets but man the heat they throw is awesome! I'm sold on the pallets.
  15. Der Fuirmeister

    Der Fuirmeister Member

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    Actually I believe most pallets are made right here in the good old USA. Someone told me there are 41 pallet manufacturers in WI alone. I know of 5 within an hour's drive from my place. Maybe someone has some stats on this. Igoogled pallet assoc etc. The US and Canada have a lot of wood compared to Europe and Eastern Asia. All the writing I saw on the pallets I cut up and burned today wasEnglish. No paint by the way.

    My beer tap is in the basement, so when on weekends it's not a problem to fill often.........and I can put more wood in the furnace too :p
  16. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    So, I'd like a few pallets to aid in stacking wood, what's the most likely source for someone who lives in the middle of the rural midwest? Should I check with local lumber store? Farm and home supply? There is a pallet distributor and manufacturer in the town next over, so I don't know if they toss broken ones too. I guess I should do some calling....
  17. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    :lol: I've never met a Chinese pallet. They're always stamped US. I'd expect the problem with a Chinese pallet would be that they wouldn't be treated, since that would cost time and money.
  18. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Just about any place that has stuff shipped to them will have pallets . . . so far some of the best sources I've found for one-stop "shopping" (i.e. lots of pallets in one place) are places that get lots of heavy stuff shipped to them (think stores that sell or service tractors, tractor trailers, newspaper printers, shipping companies, large auto part dealers, etc.
  19. Der Fuirmeister

    Der Fuirmeister Member

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    Go through any industrial park and look for a pile.

    Either that or the local Lowe's, Home Depot, Builders Square or Menard's type store. Especially the Menard's stores. Like Walmart they import a ton of Chinese stuff. The pallets probably have insects. Protect your local woods from invasive species of insects. Burn Chinese wood. Recycle US made. Sounds good, hey?

    Then again we should burn the US made pallets and provide jobs for US pallet companies and loggers. Sounds like something a politician would say.........
  20. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    What's an industrial park? Is that when one hog farm is next to another hog farm? ;)

    Seriously, though, Menards, lowes, home depot - they are all 45 minute drives for me. There is a hardware/lumber store in town. I know them pretty well, so I stopped in this morning. They said they pay deposits on some pallets, so those go back, and they give away the rest to first come. They are fresh out now, so I'll just keep trying back. Nice small home-town business. The delivery guy, Rudy, knows me and where I live, so I wouldn't be surprised if a few pallets magically found there way into my front yard sometime soon. I told them I only need ten or so in order to start stacking my wood on them instead of the cement slab that my (cross my fingers) 12x20 storage shed/workshop will hopefully go up on next summer. I'm slowly filling that slab up and I don't look forward to moving all the wood off of it in the summer heat!
  21. free75degrees

    free75degrees New Member

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    The best pallets i have found are at a landscape stone supplier. The wood is very thick compared to the typical pallets - some of the boards are an inch or more thick.
  22. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    The pallet fairy left me 2 dozen last night... the first ones found their way into my furnace this morning making short work of a relight after running the oil all night last night. Small, pea sized coals lit them pieces right up!
  23. verne

    verne Member

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    If you get the chance get pallet wood from a recycler . My friend owns a pallet business, I get full pallets with sides full of pallet tops bottoms and stringers . Its about a half a cord per pallet load . hard wood mix and you have to cut it down between sheered nails, but a hell of a bargain for free. The nails don't bother a thing and its and endless supply. my friend burns pallet wood only in his wood stove for his only source of heat. I mix it with my cord wood. Helps out when you need it and a great way to get a fire crank en.
  24. oldgrezmonke

    oldgrezmonke New Member

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    Another place to try for free pallets might be your local electric utility company [maybe also gas and water?] . Some of the ones I have gotten from there had seriously thick , heavy slats and crossmembers . The pallets are mostly odd sizes that the recyclers don't want . The place near me even helps people load them up .
  25. bluefrier

    bluefrier Feeling the Heat

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    I agree with verne, Pallet recyclers give away all the scraps and all you have to do is cut the pieces to length. No busting or taking the pallets apart.
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