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how to keep pallets off the ground

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by punchy, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. punchy

    punchy Burning Hunk

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    jusy checking to see what you guys are doing to help palllets to last longer off the wet ground. bricks, concrete blocks?

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  2. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

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    If you keep any amount of wood, pallets are out the door and 3" saplings cut to length are the ticket
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  3. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    Luckily I get plenty of wood scraps from construction jobs that include plenty of treated wood. All of my wood racks and pallets sit on treated wood.
  4. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Even better than treated lumber now is the "fake" treated wood, the plastic stuff that looks like wood often used on docks and decks now. I have some scrap 2x6x8' planks of that which works great as a base for a stack. OR, do what I did and bury four treated 2x4x10' studs into the ground about 2' deep, then bolt (4" galvanized lag bolts) on cross members a few inches off the ground to make racks. My cross members are 8' long, the racks are 8' tall, and 18 to 20" wide (lenght of my splits), so it comes to about 0.75 cords per rack, and takes up very little space, yet dries the wood very nicely!

    Racks1s.JPG
    Jack Straw likes this.
  5. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I've started doing this, using Sassafras trunks from dead trees, 4"+ diameter. I'm waiting to see how stable these stacks will be, but it seems like they should be pretty good as the weight is evenly distributed all the way along the sleeper poles.
    I still have a lot of pallets out there on concrete blocks (bricks might be easier to find or cheaper.) Latest configuration is three concrete half-thickness blocks spanning between two pallet ends, under the beams, then three beam supports under the middle of the pallet to prevent sagging. One place I will keep using the blocks/pallets is on my main supply stacks close to the house (no shed yet.) It's twelve pallets in a 4x3 rectangle. I figure it will be easier to walk in this area with pallets instead of poles...
  6. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I just replace the pallets as the beak down.
    Free from Lowes & HD & other places here.
    the ones under roof last a long time, it's the ones I use out in the open
    to season the wood on that are only good for a few years.
    They are empty often enough to cull the bad ones.

    The plastic one would be sweet .
    Might even pay for some of them :)
  7. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy Minister of Fire

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    I spray the bottoms of the pallets with a generic brand of Thompson's water seal. I live in an area with a lot of clay and I've found putting bricks, blocks, stones and the like just cause the stacks to lean and fall as the settle into the clay. During the dry season the clay shrinks and causes the stacks to tip and fall as well.
  8. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Stacking on a rolling surface, using splits right on the ground I would say is easier. I've had fairly good luck with rotting, but I wonder even if rotting did ocurr, would it only be confined to the bottom layer? I have a fair amount on pallets, but they are hard to come by, and as I said, it's easier to follow the undulations of the ground without. The ground isn't really wet though.

    Anybody else just stack on the ground?
  9. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I disagree. I have my pallets arranged in three long rows, for three years of storage. Each row is made up of 19 pallets, with 12 laid flat and 7 as book ends. Each "crib" is one cord, when stacked 5.5 feet high, making for very easy tracking of what you have. I figure that a hardwood pallet should last about 3 years under such conditions, so when the wood stacked on it gets moved to the house, the pallet gets cut up for kindling. Saplings and Machria's racks might work well enough if you're storing just a few face cords, but for storing mass quantities, I'll stick with pallet cribs.
    Ralphie Boy likes this.
  10. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I have lots of red bricks lying around.
    I prefer the height of a concrete block though.
  11. JoeyD

    JoeyD Minister of Fire

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    I bought plastic pallets for $5 and $6 a piece over the last few years. In about two seasons I should be on all plastic. I am hoping the last because plastic will be more of a pain to get rid of then wood. Cutting up old pallets is only slightly better then stacking in my book, at least I get to use a power tool. I use a sawzall.
  12. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    To each his own, but I'm not sure how "19 pallets" laid about your lawn is going to save any space! ;? Yikes! If your only stacking 5.5' high, then your going to almost double the required space that I use on my racks which are stacked 8'+ high. You can line up as many of them as you like, for as much storage as you like. They only require 24" wide each(18" splits plus 6" space between racks). I also add an exta foot between every other rack, so you can walk down the row to access them. I only have 4 of them, equalling 3 FULL cords (0.75 each X 4), and I keep 1 full cord in the shed in the background which I use to burn. I only have 4 because that is the only space I have, I have a VERY small yard. I have the rest of my wood (5 or 6 cords) stacked as rounds on the side of my house.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I am not a lover of pallets so we simply cut some saplings in the woods, lay those down and stack on top of them. This keeps the wood off the ground and the saplings cost us nothing. Occasionally we do have to replace some saplings when they start to rot but they last several years with no problems. Believe it or not, we also sometimes stack the wood directly on the ground. However, we live on yellow sand and there is no problems with water. But overall, it is a bit better to get the wood off the ground just for some additional air circulation.

    The picture below shows a close up of one of the wood stacks so you can see the two saplings under the wood. btw, this particular picture is of a wood stack that was built in April 2009 and the wood pictured is still there. It will probably get burned next winter. Should be nice and dry, eh?

    Ends-5.JPG
  14. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Looks like some nice Locust in there ready for next winter! ;)
  15. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Something I forgot to mention, ah, kinda a MAJOR thing for me! Pallets won't work in my yard because it's not flat. My yard is all sloped, so it would be difficult to make the pallets flat. Burrying 2x4's and bolting the cross memebers on lets me actualy utilize the extra space I get from the slope nicely. ;)
  16. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I just replace them when they start to break down . . . and then they go on the burn pile . . . it's very easy to find pallets around here.
  17. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    19 per row x 3 rows = 57 pallets! Only 36 are laid flat, though, the rest are propped up as book ends. In this way, 18 cords stacked will take up only about 13,000 sq.ft., with 5 feet space between rows. You're right, though... to each his own! I found this system works well for me, but it's by no means the best system out there. It's just what I was able to come up with quickly, in a time of need. I'm already planning something better, and more permanent. I don't like stacking more than 6' high (0.5' pallet plus 5.5' of wood), as I've seen too many taller stacks capsize after a year.

    I put concrete pavers or bricks under the low corner(s), and roughly level each pallet, when I'm setting up a new row. It works well enough on grades up to 20% - 25%, but probably not a good option on anything steeper.

    ... and we come full-circle to the OP's question. I keep pallets off the ground by putting pavers or bricks under the lowest corners, and sometimes at mid-span of each pallet. I don't care if the high side sits right on the dirt... the pallet will be cut up for kindling, after the wood has sat on it seasoning for three years.
  18. tigeroak

    tigeroak Burning Hunk

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    I put all my wood in racks that are 4' wide 5' 6" tall and up to 16 feet long , with a metal roof.
  19. USMC80

    USMC80 Minister of Fire

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    Same here, last two years or so then replace
  20. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    2 words: Plast ic

    Worth the effort to find them.
  21. USMC80

    USMC80 Minister of Fire

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    keeping my eye out for plastic, free ones hard to come by
  22. Brewmonster

    Brewmonster Burning Hunk

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    Maybe you could put your pallets up on other pallets. (Kidding!)

    Seriously, as others have said, a pallet will last three years or so, which is all I need. After that they can go on the outdoor burn pile. I do enjoy an unlimited supply of free pallets from work.
  23. JrCRXHF

    JrCRXHF Burning Hunk

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    free pallets at work so i just use those.
  24. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I can't really picture that. When I used pallets it took 7 or 8 of them to fit 3 cords.
  25. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Think two 40" x 48" pallets laid flat, with one stood on end at either end. Makes a crib with footprint 40" wide x 8' long. Since I cut to exactly 20", I fit two rows, using the entire 40" width x 8' length. If I stack this 5.5 feet high, I have 5.5 x 3.33 x 8 = 146 cubic feet = 1.15 cords per crib. 6 cribs requires 19 pallets, sharing the intermediate "book end" pallets, so I get almost 7 cords per row. I estimate it at 6 cords per row, though... since it's likely my packing isn't 100% as dense as it could be (uglies / shorties tossed on top, etc.), and not all of my stacks are exactly a uniform 5.500000 feet tall.

    The book ends help me get to 4' height, and above that I use the criss-cross method on the ends, for the last 18" of height. Our math is the same, though... your 8 pallets per 3 cords is 2.7 pallets per cord, and my 19 pallets per 7 cords is the same 2.7 pallets per cord.

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