• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Julia Winter
stewards:
  • Burra Maluca
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Bill Erickson
garden masters:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Bryant RedHawk
  • Mike Jay
gardeners:
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Dan Boone
  • Daron Williams

fence made from pallets  RSS feed

 
master steward
Posts: 25063
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Karen Biondo of La biondo Farm and Kitchen, on Vashon Island in Washington state, shows off her fence made of pallets.  After getting this bit of video, she showed me another pallet fence that wasn't doing so well - it used a zigzag design - but apparently could not stand up well to the animals.  And then there were designs with steel fence posts that weren't doing well either.  But this design, the one in the video, help up especially well.

Goats and pigs are both known to be extra hard on fence.  And this fence has held in both goats and pigs.

And she is in the same county as Seattle.  So this fence is tolerating a lot of wet rot!





pallet-fence-3.png
[Thumbnail for pallet-fence-3.png]
pallet-fence-4.png
[Thumbnail for pallet-fence-4.png]
pallet-fence-closeup.png
[Thumbnail for pallet-fence-closeup.png]
 
                  
Posts: 5
Location: Great Falls
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Right on! I was pondering how to fence an area to keep the goats and such OUT of my witch's garden. (ie-Herbs, medicinal plants, of course some pretty flowers!) I was thinking of planting lilacs around as a natural border along with these pallets would be extra pretty and the fact that they are free makes them down right beautiful! Thanks for this video!
 
Posts: 1502
Location: Chihuahua Desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
the only fence that ever worked for my goats was electric.  They'd get over a pallet fence without it even slowing them down...
 
Posts: 23
Location: Nevada
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is outstanding.  No posts anywhere?  just the pallets sitting at grade?  I see those spaces as little "bays" and think planting in the bays would be a great addition (on the non-goat side of course).  Well done; I want to try this.
 
Posts: 555
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Whoa!What about all those nails.The last thing I want to be thinking about(esp in the future)is blood poisoning.I work hard to never allow nails to sit around in wood outside.Sure it works for now but when it comes time to dispose of the pallets?Of course Im partial because I stepped on a nail as a child that was in a half rotted peice of wood that wasnt completely burned in a bon fire and sat in the grass for a year or two first.
 
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
299
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you sift your ashes, and crush your charcoal, whatever nails are there can be separated and saved for your next project.  You are more likely to get skin cancer from the sun in a pasture than you are to get blood poisoning from the nails in the pasture.

The biggest problem is finding enough FREE pallets to get the job done.  A good place to look is at a trucking company.  They are often required to remove pallets (in exchange) when they deliver palleted goods.  If they are in good shape, they are worth money to the company.  If they need repairs, they are a liability to the company.  Replacing one cracked board would cost them more than the pallet is worth.  In this case, YOU, the good citizen are saving them the tipping fee at the city dump when you haul them away for them.
 
Posts: 17
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Does anyone know how the in-line pallets are attached to the cross pallets?
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
299
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
She said screws, but nails would work also.
 
Posts: 44
Location: Bucks County, Pennsylvania [zone 6]
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John Polk wrote:
She said screws, but nails would work also.



bailing wire could probably do the job, too, I'll bet. Frankly because of the free nature of the pallets I might be inclined to drop some dimes on nice painted square head deck screws. Keep a can of bright paint handy and mark where you drive each screw and then when you have to replace a section you can reuse the nice screws.
 
Posts: 38
Location: East Tennessee
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is great!  Thanks for sharing!
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
the goats would likely escape if they had reason to. shes got about 6 acres of paddock with plenty of grassa nd some brushy fodder, the goats are very socialized and have room to wander- and they get treats and feed so they havent a whole lot of reason to get too rangy. not to mention that excpet the back acres, where a different fence is used, her surrounding neighbors DONT have desireable acres for goats.  the fence itself is a neat reuse, and actually aesthetically nice compared to t-posts and wires. that said, shes started her first willow plantings and is looking deeply at multifunctional hedgerows and fodderbelts - used as living fences- which IMHO is alot more more interesting than the pallets on a bajillion levels. Karen is a really neat, powerful and energettically charged woman. all the more joyful for the art space she opens at her farm, walls to paint and art space offered to the community. shes taken that design charge to the planning of her site to become more of a perrenial farm, and its a really neat thing to watch unfold.

as far as nails: after if years aof working old farms with crumbling bldgs and nails everywhere, ive come to the conclusion that they are actually a great source of mg and zn for  soils and let em be when they in wood and out of drive/foot traffic areas.. Ive stepped on one or two, and its never been an issue. last tetnus was in 88. I leave them in hugel wood piles from salvaged buildings. my 8' perrenial kale agrees. I get more problems from paint (dont tell karen, her place is adorable but I could never do that to wood!)...paint on salvage wood, I never feel like Ive done enough to stop the lead and other nasty stuff in that unretreivalable uncycleable detritus.
 
                              
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What about snow rot?  If snow accumulates and sits at the bottom of the fence wouldn't they fall apart much sooner?
 
Posts: 258
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow, very impressive resourcefulness.    I will not be forgetting this idea.
 
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
92
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I needed a gate beside the leaf heap so I did not have to climb through the heap or walk all the way around.  I picked up a couple of  heavy duty galvanized hinges, hung a pallet.  I had to add a pole so I could keep it closed with a piece of rope.  So far, Bull has not figured out how to get through it.
 
Posts: 1110
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
54
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have a lot of pallet fences. Pallets are free and very solid. Some we simply tie together. Others I stick a log or 2x down between the slats to lock a group of them together to form a wall that is even more solid. Setup in the fall they freeze together for our long winters. Also great for making compost bins.
 
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Crubin wrote:
What about snow rot?  If snow accumulates and sits at the bottom of the fence wouldn't they fall apart much sooner?



depends, most likely not because in most areas where it snows the wood will spend most of its time either dry, or to cold for rapid rot. I can't imagine a temperate climate where wood would rot faster than here on the NW coast, so the chance is your fence will last longer than hers
 
Posts: 18
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just made my first pallet fence! just a small one to keep in some chickens, I have about 4 laying hens and so far they have been very well contained. LOVE IT! So stupid easy! I'll try to get pics up soon
 
Glenn Koenig
Posts: 18
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This fence is being used to hold in 4 laying hens in an urban setting. Unfortunately most of the time these birds will be in a "sacrifice zone" so to say, where there will be basically nothing growing due to the small space, over grazing and thick shade. Although I do have plans to let them out and forage around the yard on days when I am out and can supervise, I do think this is a less then ideal system for my chickens, but they are my first attempt, and I am dealing with very limited space. I am also growing sprouts for them on a semi daily basis and have plans to start trays of wheat grass on rotation for them.

OK, anyway... about the fence. You can see in the first photo a couple heavy duty zip ties that I used to help hold two pallets together. I mostly used zip ties to hold the thing together; two for each pallet connection, I also used a couple screws here and there to help too. The only problem I had (which I had a feeling would happen) was that the chickens could just jump up on the pallet and jump to the other side, where my garden is, and where all the goodies are. In the last photo you can see how I used screws to put up some sticks and stapled chicken wire to the fence, it does look a little like a prison, and I feel a little bad, but honestly they have a much better life then most so don't hate.
Pallet-Fence_01.jpg
[Thumbnail for Pallet-Fence_01.jpg]
Pallet-Fence_02.jpg
[Thumbnail for Pallet-Fence_02.jpg]
Pallet-Fence_05.jpg
[Thumbnail for Pallet-Fence_05.jpg]
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 25063
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This building cost nothing to build. Well, nearly nothing. It is built of mostly pallets. Used pallets. Pallets that would have been thrown in the garbage. Karen Biondo of La Biondo Farm and Kitchen tells us the story and shows us around.

It's a sturdy shed that is used for an honor system farm stand in the front and the "No Trash Bash Stash" in the back.

The "No Trash Bash Stash" is where folks in the Vashon Island community can come and borrow plates, forks, cups and all the fixins for a party without having to resort to plastic forks and the like.



 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 25063
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just a filmstrip style collage of the pics for the video

pallet-fence-filmstrip.jpg
[Thumbnail for pallet-fence-filmstrip.jpg]
 
Posts: 260
Location: De Cymru (West Wales, UK)
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's a great idea, but wouldn't work for us. For one thing it's hard to fine that many free pallets in my area, and another thing is transporting them - even with a trailer I can't move more than about 10 at a time, that's a lot of trips! And of course that design would only work on a very flat area, which we also lack. I love making use of pallets, I just wish I could get someone to deliver me about 50 of them!
 
pollinator
Posts: 254
Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
32
books goat homestead kids
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm about to build one of these for my soon-to-get nigerian dwarf goats, so I'll post back here to let you all know how they work. Now I just need to find a large source of free pallets! I have a place where I can buy them for $2 apiece (and they will load me up via forklift which is nice) and the $2 each is cheaper per linear foot than traditional field fencing but I'm going to still try and find some freebies.

I like the idea of these because I can build a smaller paddock for my goats and then expand as I am able to acquire more pallets.
 
pollinator
Posts: 598
Location: Victoria BC
28
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So, do ya'll worry about contaminating your land by using treated pallets for this sorted of use, or do you consider treated pallets a bonus for fence longevity?

I try to only collect pallets stamped DB-HT or HT(DeBarked, Heat-Treated / Heat-Treated, ie *not* chemically treated), leaving anything stamped within something else that may indicate the wood is chemically treated, such as MB for Methyl Bromide. Occasionally I take an unmarked pallet that's just right for something. Up here, most pallets are DB-HT stamped, not sure about outside Canada.

My favorite pallets are the ones I get from an equipment dealer; pallets made to hold outboards or outdoors equipment are built strong!

 
Posts: 100
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I use mine to pile wood on works great
 
steward
Posts: 802
Location: Italy, Siena, Gaiole in Chianti zone 9
213
books forest garden trees woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In Italy I use only DB/HT pallets too, I use them for furniture, very careful from where I get them
madia.jpg
[Thumbnail for madia.jpg]
only pallets
IMAG1585.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMAG1585.jpg]
made from pallets and an old window
 
Posts: 4
Location: Mendocino County, CA
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've used pallets to make walls to beautify my IBC Tank Aquaponics systems.

Here's a photo or head over to my Facebook page for a video here:
https://m.facebook.com/aquabioticsystemscorp/videos/?ref=bookmarks
image.jpeg
[Thumbnail for image.jpeg]
image.jpeg
[Thumbnail for image.jpeg]
 
Posts: 77
Location: White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
5
books dog hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've used pallets for several projects here at Moose Hollow Farm. The best was my Pallet Goat house, a run in 3-sided shelter. Using all scrap materials, my only expense was some metal L brackets. I lost my photos when my computer died last month, but I had uploaded them to the website 1001 pallet projects, so if you search under goat house it shows up. If you are having a hard time finding free pallets, check on craigslist. There are always several places in there with piles of pallets.
 
Posts: 39
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Pallet wood store displays at living the good life naturally Store in Logan Utah.
image.jpg
[Thumbnail for image.jpg]
Notice the Permaculture playing cards for sale.
image.jpg
[Thumbnail for image.jpg]
 
Posts: 56
Location: Meade County, South Dakota
greening the desert hugelkultur trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I was a young boy, my best friend's parents loaned him and I some pallets and wood posts, so that we could build a "fort". We measured one pallet, and set the posts accordingly. We put the first pallet in between the first two posts, and tied it in with baling twine. It fit beautifully! We put the second pallet in and, UH-OH! As it turned out, every pallet was a different size than any of the others. We got our "fort" built, but only the first pallet looked good, the rest had varying sized gaps between them and the posts. One pallet was way too wide to fit between the posts, so we had to stand it on end, then the gap was huge! Lesson learned: Check measurements on ALL materials before you start a project!
 
Posts: 20
Location: Alberta,Canada US Hardy:3b Annual Precipitation: 15" Wind: 62mph Temperature:-45F to 86F
2
food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We have had good luck with pallet fencing, the oldest is around 7 years old. No rot as of yet but we only get around 15" of rain and up to 4 feet of snow. They do catch snow and work well as wind break for young trees. We have tried almost every way you can think of to attach them to each other and some work better than others. We mostly get the 2 & 4 way stringer style pallets almost always spruce heat treated only. I have only came across two or three treated pallets and did not bring them to the farm. We like using deck screws for fasteners instead of nails. Also steel wire used to fasten to posts if you cannot get a good anchor point with screws. short sections of 2 x 4 1 to 2 ft long(scrap & cut off's) work very well between pallets to secure them together. Do not scrimp on hardware, the animals (Cows & Sheep) can find weak spots and if you forget and only put in a couple of screws on each side they will know We have found that a spacing of 3 pallets and a post is about the strongest. We have tryed longer spacing but it is a weak spot and the fence will sag. You will also find weak spots if pushing snow against the fence. In this case only one screw was holding up the fence and it sheared off.
DSC04334.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSC04334.JPG]
400' paddock fence wide spaced posts alternating cross pallets
DSC04320.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSC04320.JPG]
vertical and horizontal pallet fences over existing wire fence to keep sheep
DSC04339.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSC04339.JPG]
approx 3 pallet space posts sheep fence.
 
Ron Duft
Posts: 20
Location: Alberta,Canada US Hardy:3b Annual Precipitation: 15" Wind: 62mph Temperature:-45F to 86F
2
food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A few more of the not so good you learn by doing.
DSC04351.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSC04351.JPG]
Only one screw and pushing snow oops
DSC04349.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSC04349.JPG]
really need another post or you get sag:0
DSC04328.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSC04328.JPG]
steel wire around post to secure as needed don't scrimp
 
Posts: 145
Location: MA
forest garden purity trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I see above you've used designs like this:
--|--|--|--|
You might also consider some of these:

/\/\/\/\/\/\

‾\_/‾\_/‾\_/

‾\__/‾‾\__/‾

‾\___/‾‾‾\__

‾\         /‾‾‾\
   \___/    

As I recall, the sine-wave shape is rather efficient. 
While this isn't a fixed-width font, each of these lines has 12 characters.

If I'm not mistaken, the fence will resist tipping over as the third-power of it's "thickness".  So having it having it zig-zag even slightly will go a long way toward keeping it upright. 
 
pollinator
Posts: 1112
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
164
books forest garden rabbit solar tiny house woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've used pallet fences on my farm and they were fine for a quick, ultra cheap, temporary barrier. They lasted exactly 3 years in my climate before the bottoms rotted and the fence started to collapse upon itself. But in a drier area located 10 miles from me, a friend has the same pallet fence and it has lasted five years so far with only dry rot crumbling some of the slats. Different climates, different results. But we both discovered that zigzag configuration doesn't work with strong winds. Our tradewinds eventually skewed or blew down sections of fence. So we both went with the -|-|-|- style (one pallet one direction, the next perpendicular to it). This was stable even in our heaviest wind.

My pallet fence was to protect the garden area from my sheep. So I replaced the pallets with a Premeir brand electric net fence. A local goat rancher has been using their Premeir fence for 10 years now, taking it down and moving it to a new location daily. Yes, daily. And they told me the netting was still in good shape. 10 + years is really impressive in my corrosive environment. I've just started using the Premier fencing, so I can't say much about it year.
 
Mike Phillipps
Posts: 145
Location: MA
forest garden purity trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I believe Su Ba that if you're getting 60"/year of rain, untreated wood will rot out in 3 years.  I suppose this is one more reason why designing for efficient use of materials is worthwhile. 

Maybe I should have said a "zig-zig-zag-zag" design.  I agree that |-|-|-|- is more stable than /\/\/\/\ , IF each "/" is only one pallet long; however, if each "/" is 2 pallets long, then in theory the /\/\/\/\ is just as stable as the |-|-|-|- design where each "-" and "|" are only one pallet long. 

I think the trapezoidal design  ‾\_/‾\_/‾\_/ is more efficient.  Take the case where the angle of the / and \ makes 30 degrees with the horizontal , and as in the half-angle of an equilateral triangle like this  <| , and where the / and \ are each 2 pallets and the ‾ and _ are 1 pallet, then the fence still remains 1 pallet deep (since 2*sin(30deg) = 1), same as it was as in the H design  |-|-|-|- .  Suppose we defined the "normalized material-efficiency" to be the length of the fence divided by the linear length of the materials.  Then I suppose the  |-|-|-|-  H design would have a normalized material-efficiency of (0.5) , while the ‾\_/‾\_/‾\_/ would be (0.92).  So in theory the trapezoidal design should have an 84% more efficient use of materials. 

But this should be verified because I could be wrong.  I was thinking of making a cardboard model of each and then moving a fan toward them to see which one tips over first. 
 
garden master
Posts: 2021
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
339
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As long as you're doing models, try --|--|--|-- as well.  Or in real words, two fence pallets then one perpendicular brace.  I like the idea of a zig zag with two pallets for each zig or zag.  That seems like it would resist tipping better.

I built a temporary wall using odd-ball pallets.  They are 3' wide and 5-6 feet long.  I used four on end and then one as a horizontal brace.  I was trying to keep deer out so I extended it higher with those crappy looking boards.  It held up to pretty high winds and kept the deer out.  I did tie it down to some stakes as a safety measure but I think it would have handled up to 50 mph winds.
DSC03494s.jpg
[Thumbnail for DSC03494s.jpg]
 
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!