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?'s on pallet wood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by suprz, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. suprz

    suprz Member

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    I scored a free pallet today from work, and as i was cutting it up for this years kindling, i noticed it was made of oak! I'm new to the world of burning pallet wood and was wondering who here burns only pallets, and what kind of wood pallets are made mostly made of ? I am going to go get more tomorrow. Just wondering what folks here use them for (other than stacking wood on..lol )

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  2. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    I've seen rough sawn pine and oak. I've split up a pine one that made great kindling. Try it. Oak should be real good. Pallets are usually very dry.
  3. burrman

    burrman Member

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    i make things out of the slats and i burn the rest..they burn really hot ..you just have to deal with all the nails
    TreePointer likes this.
  4. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Nowadays I mostly use the pallets just for stacking . .. and most of them I find are made out of softwood. However, in Year One I ran into some hardwood pallets -- including one that had a wood that was a deep purple color and very hard. Never seen one like it since then.
  5. n3pro

    n3pro Minister of Fire

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    I burn pallets for shoulder season a lot. Hot, fast fire but don't last long enough to roast us out. Also as others I do use them for kindling. Also use them in in the smoker.
  6. CMAG

    CMAG Member

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    Most heavy oak pallets have a deposit on them so more pine pallets
    are given away
    other than stacking on 5 pallets and some cord makes a ugly bin.and a good end for a stack
    First year I cut allot of pallets for burning it is allot of work for the amount of wood you get.
    but mixed with some green wood got me through last winter.
    one thing is if you put your cooled ashes/nails in the trash use paper bags then plastic or a nail will rip bag and !@#%
  7. tigeroak

    tigeroak Burning Hunk

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    Last year we burned several and most I get are pine and poplar. I do get a few oak but as said above the oak ones have a fee for the company to pay if not returned no matter the shape it is in. We don't burn the nails in the house I use them in the shop or fire starters for our pit.
  8. Shadow&Flame

    Shadow&Flame Minister of Fire

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    Pallets can be made of many kinds of wood. I even had a pallet made from Cotton wood. I get a few pallets from a friend every year for stacking
    things on. They are always oak because they are used for metal...need to be tough. I work in a cabinet shop and don't need the kindling...==c
  9. Fifelaker

    Fifelaker Feeling the Heat

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    In 1978 I worked for a pallet co. We used Pine, Spruce, Fir, Hemlock, Birch both yellow and white, Basswood, Maple, Poplar, Oak both white and red..... It all depended on what was ordered.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  10. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Pallets have lots of uses but ,for burning if U R just starting out they can save yo butt, and the nails hold some heat for a while :)
    CenterTree and Trooper like this.
  11. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I got a western red cedar pallet last year...that was nice!
  12. pyroholic

    pyroholic Member

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    I have a coffee table made by my grandfather in the forty's, out of a pallet. Pretty nice looking considering it is mahogany. Bet nobody can find a mahogany pallet anymore.
  13. Craby

    Craby New Member

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    As I build my wood pile up on 4' pallets, I use the slats to bridge & stabilize the stacks. With 2 or 3 rows on a 4' pallet, the slats placed parallel with the splits about every 1.5' staggered really helps to lock it all in. Also, I cut the slats in half and use them to lock the ends into the middle.
  14. bryan

    bryan Member

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    Burned about 1700 lbs of pallets last year as it was my first year and no aged wood. Some were oak, some pine, most poplar and some I don't even know what. Average weight of 40 lbs of wood per pallet (spread of 55-35 lbs each) and about 15 minutes each to cut it down. I use a saber saw to cut the slats down along side the middle runner and then pry them off the side runners. Flip the pallet and repeat. Then cut the runners in thirds. The slats easily split into kindling. Used a old window screen to filter out the nails and the ashes went on the lawn in the spring.

    That said I never want to do pallets again except if I wanted kindling or I got desperate. Part of the issue is that the place I got the pallets from stored them outside. Once they got wet it took them forever to dry out. You wouldn't think you'd see water boiling out of a pallet, but I saw it more than a few times. :(
  15. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    What do you call a saber saw ?
  16. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    3/4 to 1 1/2 thick , once wet , not a long drying time ,IF already dry
  17. bryan

    bryan Member

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    By saber saw I meant a jig saw. Though a sawsall would work well too. I just wouldn't recommend a circular saw.
  18. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    With all due respect ,U were using the wrong tool for the job
  19. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Have not done it in years but I used to cut them up with a small chain saw, did not save any pieces with nails.
    HDRock likes this.
  20. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Get er done, throw the small nail crap in the fire pit, if U want , do, done, that
  21. chazcarr

    chazcarr Feeling the Heat

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    I use pallets a lot. I grab em with the jawhorse and split cut them with a saws-all. I flip the boards over and punch the nails out with a hammer. If there are other things then I don't burn them in the stove, I save it for the fire pit.

    My plan is to get a miter saw some day to make things a bit faster.

    My only real advice is to check the pallet stamp. If there is none or if it says HT then you are good to go. If it says PT or MB then DO NOT BURN THEM! Very dangerous chemicals are released.
  22. bryan

    bryan Member

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    You guys must be getting (more) virgin pallets. The ones I was getting were riddled with nails in random places in the slats from having being rebuilt at least once and I think sometimes twice. I'd have pallets that had three runners on just one side all of them being broken somewhere thus why I didn't dare use a chainsaw/circular saw. Plus doing this around the then 4 yr and 2 yr old that follow me everywhere.

    The only plus side to all the nails was it gave the 4 year old plenty of soft wood and straightened nails to hammer in.
  23. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    bryan, sounds like its not worth it.
  24. DuckDog

    DuckDog Burning Hunk

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    We get a good mix of pallets here. Probably 40% hardwood and 60% softwood. We use them for boiling sap to make maple syrup. 25 pallets will usually let us boil down 200gal of sap into a little more than 5gal of syrup. I always use the chainsaw to break them down. It is a full time job loading the fire with pallet pieces. They seem to vaporize! I've never used them as heat for the house.
  25. Doug MacIVER

    Doug MacIVER Minister of Fire

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    South American leather is usually shipped with mahogany pallets. brazil still has an active shoe and leather industry. beef is king down there. much of the leather used in the states is South American due to loss of domestic tanneries. great burn. I burn as much as a cord of pallets a year. usually I pull the nails, some you can't pull. I don't mind them.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013

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