After laboring hard with a crow bar last year I experimented and found the easiest and cheapest way to take apart wood pallets with nothing but a hammer and a block of wood.
Last year I used a lot of pallets for construction material. I build many things with pallets so I dismantled many of them. I was using a crowbar and a hammer. This was a tedious method and was quite exhausting. I also split a lot of wood while I worked.
While studying YouTube videos and special tools to see how others were taking apart pallets it seemed like the deck buster or pallet buster were going to be the best way for me to go. I plan to build a tiny home this year and make most of my cabinets and shelving with pallet wood. But the pallet buster is about a hundred dollars which puts it out of my price range.
I studied the tool and was considering making one myself. But after some careful review of how the tool works, I found a very simple and free way to break apart pallets.
All you need is a hammer and a block of wood. The piece of wood should not be much wider than one of the boards on the pallet.
Place the pallet on the edge of another pallet and suspend the board you want to remove in the air, just hanging over the edge of the pallet underneath.
Position your block of wood on the edge of the board you are going to remove, right up against the main rail of the pallet. Choose an outside rail first.
Hit the block of wood firmly with the hammer until the end of the board pops free of the pallet and the nails are out. This takes one or more good whacks but usually comes right out on the first hit.
Move your block of wood on to the middle pallet rail and give it a solid whack. The middle will now be free. Do the same with the last side and you have a perfect board from your wood pallet with no cracks or splinters.
With this method all of the force of the hammer is transferred evenly across the board you want to remove. There is no splintering and no cracking of the board. 90 percent of the time the board comes right out with no problem.
After you have taken apart a pallet, simply put a board on the edge of your work bench with the nail head pointing down and hanging just over the edge of the bench. Give the nails a gentle downwards tap until they are driven back through the board. Turn the board over and remove the nails with a claw hammer.
This is the fastest and easiest way I have found to break down wood pallets with no special tools and no expense.
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