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Pallet wood delivered for 25$/load???

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Cedrusdeodara, Dec 13, 2008.

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  1. Cedrusdeodara

    Cedrusdeodara Member

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    Ok, my "junk man" offered to deliver a pickup bed a week of broken pallet wood for about $25 per delivery. Junk man meaning that he makes a living scraping iron, copper, aluminum, or whatever anyone else doesn't want to clean up.

    Anyway, he apparently had an "In" at a local pallet company and he can pickup and deliver as much damaged pallet wood that I can take. At least a p/u truck load a week at $25/load.

    How does this sound?? Are the nails an issue to deal with, or do they just "go out with the ash"??

    As a man that that has spent two months of sundays cutting/hauling/splitting/stacking oak and other hardwoods, it seems kinda cheap to accept predried/precut/softwoodblends. But if it generates heat........

    Opinions????

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  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Assuming 3 loads make up a cord, that would be $75 a cord. Most pallets are made of hardwood. Being small pieces the stove could runaway if you load it up with just the pallet wood. If you're around to spoon feed it, that's fine. Maybe you can use them to augment larger splits.
  3. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    I burned a bunch of pallet wood this fall and I agree about the runaway , I had alot of puffing and even blew open the damper a couple of times. I still burn some but only a little at a time and it works just fine. If he has it cut down to usable pieces that would be ok if you have to do it it's a pain.
    When I burned it in the EKO I never took out any of the nails and I never found any nails in the ash chamber .
  4. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    "Broken pallet wood" means ""effed up old pallets"

    It will be more trouble than it's worth once you have them pulled apart and cut to length.
  5. WonderingWoman

    WonderingWoman New Member

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    Pallet wood seems like a pain to me. It's so thin and time consuming to cut up.
  6. Summertime

    Summertime New Member

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    There is a pallet company near me that sells a 4'x4'x3' high pallet load of defective hardwood pallet boards (no nails) all layed tight and flat that you just have to run the chainsaw through once for a perfect size length (my stove takes up to 24") the boards aren't seasoned but because they are so thin season fast. When loading my stove I stack several boards on top of each other so they burn longer like a thick log. They charge $5 per pallet and I can only haul two pallets with a full size truck.
  7. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    If that's about 15 pallets in a pickup bed that's mostly air.

    If that's 30 or 40 pallets worth of lumber in a truck, maybe.

    Cheap pallets (for conventional weight loads) are often southern white pine.
    Pallets for heavy loads and multiple re-use might be oak.
    Hand made pallets for odd sized packages may be oak, may be anything.
    (I have a friend with a portable saw mill and he makes pallets for local factories)

    Pallets for international shipments get sprayed and dipped / treated.
    Personnally, I wouldn't even want a splinter from one of those piercing my skin.
    Probably unwarranted paranoia, but I prefer to select my risks when I can.


    I burned pallets for a whole Winter many moons ago.
    The cheap pine ones will keep ya busy. :)
    I was able to cut mine up on company time, with company tools. Just had to clean up all the sawdust real good. :)
  8. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Pro'lly not. Maybe 1 or 2 loads. I love hardwood pallets for kindling. I get my cold stove up to temp fast with 2 oak 2x4 thirds, and a handful of slats. After that, it's too hot and fast. Runaway, as has been stated above. But GREAT for kindling.
  9. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    That, on the other hand, is a darn good deal.
  10. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    I really don't think that $25 is absurd. But consider this... You are paying for someone to go around and collect these pallets, load them up and secure them on his truck, drive them out to your property and unstack them on your land. You are pretty much paying someone else to do your work. Is your time doing that worth more than $25? If so then it's a good deal. Pallets are easy to come by. Broken pallet boards even easier. Taking the time to collect them... maybe not. At our mill I set aside ones that are good hardwood that have the thickest boards. Some of these are almost 4X4 stringers with 1" slats. Just make sure you use your old chain when sawing them up. Some suggest a sawzall, but I find that to be wayyyyy too slow compared to a chainsaw. You could do some looking around, not with pallet companies but with places where they get large shipments in (not chain stores). Maybe even a feed store. We've got an office furniture person in a warehouse we share and he gets tons in that he would never use and in fact, pays to get rid of. My bet is if your junk man is dependable then they may be paying him the same amount. Just remember that the pallets are free, it's the service your paying for.
  11. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Agreed, drdoct. $25 is a pretty good price for the work and expense involved. Personally, I wouldn't burn that much pallet just because it's a little too dry for anything but kindling, IMHO.
  12. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    Yeah, definitely a kindling and coal reducing burning for pallet wood. Never for actual cord wood. I use quite a lot of kindling though because I dont like waiting for the fire to start. I never worry about the nails because I dump it right behind my shed where all the old mulch goes to decompose.
  13. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    Mill-ends are usually delivered at about one third the price of cordwood and are a far better bargain. Specially if you are only going to use them as a supplement to your ordinary cord wood. Most of these are 2x~s or larger, and are excellent mixed in with your regular wood.

    Actually, I like the mill-ends so much that I have practically become addicted to them ;-P
  14. fattyfat1

    fattyfat1 New Member

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    Mill ends from the place that makes pallets is right down the street from where I work. a level fullsize truckload (8ft bed) is 11 dollars. U-load. No nails. still green. haven't bought a load yet, but have been toying with the idea.
  15. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    Jump on it and enjoy for next year. Remember not to stack them with- out some kind of spacing inbetween, otherwise, they take century`s to dry. Eg-when I load the woodsheds, I go one row of mill-ends, followed with another row of splits and just keep loading up the woodshed in that order.

    Beauty of this procedure is you got kindling when you want it, and lots of quick and hot heat when you call for it.
  16. Jake

    Jake Member

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    proccessing pallet wood is a real PITA


    That said, I burn KD hardwood (4/4 and 3/4 flooring scraps) Almost exclusivly, and have yet to have a runaway, or a chimmney fire
  17. bvpbill

    bvpbill New Member

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    I own a printing company and have had to take my skids (pallets) on
    which all my paper is delivered to the land fill - at $60 per ton.
    I'll be bringing it home now for heat, Thanks for the incentive.
    I'll just spend a little time cutting them up - but I do that with wood anyway.
    Bill
  18. fattyfat1

    fattyfat1 New Member

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    That is an awesome idea, i was wondering about stacking opposite directions, but it would take up far too much room, I like your idea much better!!! :p
  19. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Agreed w/ all previous, mostly I don't mess with pallets other than getting a few to use for stacking wood on...

    Haven't seen any comments on nails, so my take is that they aren't a big issue when burning.

    In the ashes they may or may not be an issue depending on what you are doing with the ashes - obviously you don't want to be sprinkling nails around if you are spreading them on the garden or lawn, it's less of a deal if you are burying them or sending them out with the garbage truck...

    If you need to remove them, the easiest way is just to get a big magnet and wave it through the ash bucket. Wrap the magnet in a peice of poly tarp or nylon fabric, then when you have got a bunch of nails, just pull the fabric off and the nails come with it and fall off...

    The other option is to sift the ashes - this is what I do as part of my spreading - I have a big kitchen collander I shake the ashes through onto my garden patch or lawn - any charcoal gets saved for the grill or to throw back in the stove later.

    Gooserider
  20. Risser09

    Risser09 New Member

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    I just ripped apart 3 pallets this Saturday. I think pallets are a vital part of burning, especially since my company lets me take as many as I want. You can burn down coals, or fill in gaps in your stove with the cut lengths. The bottom slats always seem to be oak and the thinner boards were either pine or a reddish looking wood. This morning I stirred my ash/coals, threw in some newspaper, and topped it off with some pallet lengths. In a few minutes I had a fire that easily lit a few big splits quickly enough for me to turn the cat on. I use the thicker oak slats to fill in the gaps when I want a long fire.

    As for broken pallets...I would much rather have intact pallets. I can just imagine the guy dropping off pallets with all the boards cracked down the middle which will double your workload, and you won't have as many neat, stack-able boards. Instead you'll have a bunch of splinters.

    To each his own...
  21. GKG-MO

    GKG-MO New Member

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    It depends on where he is getting them. There is a pallet shop about 5 miles from my house that always has a "mountain" of scraps out back. I usually get a load or two through the winter and burn it when I'm home or when its not very cold. The pieces are anywhere from an inch thick to 6x6's but even the 6x6's burn pretty quick compared to cord wood. if I stack it tight with no air spaces it'll burn about 5 hours in my stove. I'd get a load and see what it looks like. If its a pallet of scraps then, yea its a deal. If its old busted pallets it not worth the hassle for the amount of burn time you get from them except maybe for kindling.
  22. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    My take on pallets . . .

    When I'm grabbing them and loading them up on to my trailer I'm thinking "cool . . . free wood."

    When I'm home cutting them up into firewood sized pieces I'm thinking "this is a real pain in the patooey . . . why do I bother with these."

    When I'm using the thin pallets to start up a fire or some larger pieces to get the fire cranking I'm thinking "these are pretty good . . . glad I took the time to get these."

    When I'm sifting through my ashes looking for nails I'm thinking "this is a pain in the patooey . . . maybe I'll just start dumping the ashes without sifting through them."

    So in summation . . . pallets for me are a love-hate relationship. I don't think I would buy them, but grabbing free ones and burning them on occasion . . . sure . . . but as I said it's a love-hate deal.

    Up here there was a guy on Craigslist earlier in the season who was actually trying to make a business selling cut up pallets, neatly stacked in cubes (about 1/3 of a cord according to the ad) for $75 I think it was. I don't know what happened with that business venture -- can't say as though I would have paid those prices for pallets . . . haven't seen any ads lately . . . but I did notice this guy who has an ad that looks pretty similar to the pallet sales ads . . . and if I had to venture a guess I would say he's probably picking up his ash from the Peavey mill (which makes Peaveys) as they are selling trailer loads of ash for $15.


    http://maine.craigslist.org/for/921250520.html
  23. boogieman

    boogieman New Member

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    We have several Amish sawmills within 30-40 minutes of here, you can buy the odds and such from them. Its mostly oak and hardwoods, a 3ft diameter, 4 ft long bundle is $5. My brother in law uses them in his outdoor wood boiler.

    My father in law used mainly pallets for years. It will over fire if you put much in there. Its a pain IMO unless you are there alot. We used to do some metal salvage aka junking in his basement so we could feed the stove every half hour or so with no problems.

    There is also a pallet company that has big chunks, of 4x4 or 6x4, 6x6 etc, that they sell for $25 a farm wagon load. That would be a great deal, probably 1.5-2 cords, but they were all spoken for lol.
  24. Postalizer

    Postalizer Member

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    Just jumping in here to ask about the pallet company in CT.
    Any contact info would be really appreciated.

    Thanks

    Ed
  25. leaf4952

    leaf4952 Member

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    The best pallets I've found bar-none are from the marble factory I go to for free wood. They make custom countertops and when they get in a shipment of fresh marble and granite slabs they unpack it from these really above-average pallets and lean the marble against special holders they already have on their property so customers can come & veiw the stone and choose countertops. They no longer have any use for the pallets at all - so they just pile them up. The pile is HUGE and on my way home ! Some of this wood is 4x4's of a very high density kind with Asian writing stamped onto it like its practically burned into it. Much of it is already cut into 20 inch lengths, some with bolts, some corner chunks, but all fit in my stove. I suspect they cut them small when they were releasing the stone slabs from their bonds of the method they secured them all during their very long journey to here. I suspect the bolts could not be undone so cuttin was easier. Well . . good for me ! They fit in my Geo Metro way tighter packed than an actual pallet would. And of course it burns good. Some of this wood is so good looking I've saved it in my barn to make a coffee table at a later date. It has a nice tight grain and would look nice as furniture legs. I could probably grab some marble scraps and make a marble tile table top too ! Voila ! All for free !
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