Wulf's Webden

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Depalletising

I am planning to build some more firewood storage in the garden and I have collected some pallets to use for that: free wood that stands up pretty well to sitting outside. I used pallets for wood storage in Oxford but the depth of a full size pallet isn’t ideal because it is too far to reach to the back and you end up stacking wetter wood in front of the seasoned stuff so, this time round, the plan is to disassemble the pallets, giving me much more freedom in how I design the dimensions of the final store.

So, what you might call ‘depalletising’ — or turning pallets back into a collection of plank — has been my DIY task for the week. Unfortunately, it has also been a pretty wet week, so I’ve spend some time in my shed seeing how far I can get with a reciprocating saw. That works okay but it takes longer than you might think because you have to create a bit of space for the blade to get through the wood to the nails and you also end up with embedded bits of cut-off nail in the planks.

Today I took advantage of dryer weather to finish off the job with a different technique. If you support the wood the nails are hammered into and (using another piece of wood to spread the load) hit the back of the nailed on piece with a hammer, you can generally knock those planks off or at least loosen them enough so that a claw-hammer doesn’t splinter the wood. Not every piece came away cleanly and I also had a quite a few nails that pulled through the plank and then lost their head when pulling, which had to be nailed down. However, I’ve now got a stack of decent lumber and more that just needs some care when reusing it.

Now my pallets are ex-pallets, I now need to finish creating the space where they are going to go (unfortunately that involved moving a couple of compost heaps, so more exercise that I’d like!) and then I can get on with building the wood store.

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