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Free Pallet Wood0

The frugal woodworker has a keen eye for wood sources. If you are heading out for a Sunday drive, don’t pass by a stack of wood with “Free” next to it. Many times we’ve loaded up the trunk with scraps of pine bark slabs that make great rustic birdhouses. A heap of old cedar fence post ends make sturdy vases when hollowed out to hold glass inserts. 

Pallet wood is a special treasure trove of lumber for a number of DIY projects around the house. Shelving, containers for gardening, outdoor furniture, compost bins, shelters for firewood, even playhouses and sheds are the oft’ times fruits of a stash of pallet wood.  And best of all, you can pick it up for free.

You can often find stacks of pallets behind stores next to dumpsters. If there isn’t a “free” sign posted, ask the owner if you can help them out by carting away the pallets and save them the cost of having them hauled away by a refuse service.

Pallets are often made of red and white oak. Some pieces when run through the jointer, planer, and touched up with a sander can be quite nice. Finishing the pieces in this manner and laminating them together can give you one fancy butcher block cutting board.

A stack of free pallets is a source of free lumber. If nothing else, even the ones in the worst condition make great fuel for the outdoor fire pit. 

text by Ann D. Travers

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