I do a lot of container gardening. Last year, I had terrible trouble with rats (or perhaps voles -- certainly some kind of rodents) climbing up in my containers and eating my plants. It was my observation that the closer to the ground my containers were, the more rodent nibbler problems I have.
So this year, I'm trying to make platforms to get my containers up off the ground. Stacks of pallets are the easiest, but pallets are not easy to come by in my little town. Commerce has almost ceased here.
Serendipity: last week, while driving to a nearby town I found a blue plastic food-grade 55-gallon barrel on the side of the road. Somebody had drilled the bottom to use it as a garbage can, and the top third was full of cracks and breaks, but if I cut that off, I'll have a fine growing container.
So today, I went to my local hardware store to buy a blade for my saber saw, so that I can trim that barrel. I also needed some seed; that hardware store sells an in-state sourced collection of bulk seed, including some giant curly mustard that was my best performer last year. (Sadly none of the plants I let go to seed seem to have generated any volunteers.)
The 80-year-old man who owns the local hardware store was waiting on me when I checked out my seven bucks worth of saw blades and mustard seeds. I asked him "Hey, do you happen to have any pallets you want to get rid of?"
Jackpot! He pointed me to a pile of 10 pallets that were up for grabs. I can get five pallets at a time into my light SUV, so two trips later, I have 10 more pallets. I can turn that into three garden tables for my plant containers.
We get a lot of pallets because we burn wood pellets which naturally are shipped on pallets.
My father made a shop floor with them. he laid them flat out on the ground, then screwed sheets of 1/2 plywood too them. Yet when we needed to put a clutch in the tractor, wanting to be warm, we opened up the shop door and drove right over that makeshift pallet floor. I am not sure how much that floor will hold, but it held up a 3000 pound farm tractor just fine.
Love me some pallets,almost done with my first pallet fence.
6 foot tall, with 3 horizontal two by four rails.
The pallet boards go on on the bottom 2 rails, not trimmed to length or de-nailed .
I've been using 2" brads from a air nailer and it's been a revelation.
Air nailing is fast and easy, brads are cheap, and the results are sturdy
The top rail gets an layer of pallet boards to create a nailing surface in line with the boards below, then we finish the top of the fence with more untrimmed, nail infested pallet boards.
The top rank of boards overlap the bottom rank of boards, by as much as 8".
This leaves plenty of leeway for short boards.
I think this would also be a decent way to side a shed, especially if you ran a shiplap pattern.
I just butted the boards together,so we will see what happens come summer heat.
I have carefully built 3x3 squares of pallet boards to use as weed suppressing "stepping stones".
I like how they look and work, but creating them took to much labor.
In the future, I want to throw a bunch down when I want them to end up, line them up roughly, and nail them together with a perpendicular top layer, with little thought to measurement.
For me, the more effort I have to put in to make use of them, the less useful pallets become.
The brad nailer has opened up new possibility for using pallets.
I can even see laminating a beam, post or an arch out of pallet boards, and brad nails.
The same nailed does narrow crown staples.
I'm not sure why one would use one or the other.
Currently my favorite way to dismantle pallets is to use a jigsaw to cut through the deck boards, just inside the outer most stringers.
Then I pry them off of the center stringer.
Cutting the nails seems to take longer, even with a metal cutting blade, so l settle for losing about 1.5" on either end.
I have the parts for a self designed pallet buster, but so far I haven't taken the time to build it.