I have been building for years and look for any material to use, whether its old or new, but I like recycling because it stretches my dollar and saves things being tipped.
Of late I realised pallets come in different sizes and the longer ones often provide nice bits which can be used as strapping over plaster sheet joins, architraves, moulding around doors, windows frames etc.
I don't machine it, but it does make good mouldings if you don't like the rough finish.
I sometimes leave it raw, or undercoat and paint it what ever colour I have in mind.
It saves a lot of money, looks good if thats what floats your boat as they say.
Where I live in Bendigo, Australia, there is even a bloke who dismantles pallets and sells the lengths separately.
I collect my own and spend the time pulling them apart.
There is a good tool which firs a pin through the wood and punches out the nails.
Its easier than the alternative, but I have made useful levers and wedges which also help pull the pallets apart without damaging too much of the timber.
John Daley Bendigo, Australia
The Enemy of progress is the hope of a perfect plan
I like this as well. I have been using pallets in the garden for years. I normally don't have to disassemble them, for my uses.
This idea occured to me when I was working in a print shop that regularly got pallets made from furniture- and stain-grade lumber. I swear I had the prettiest raised bed enclosure and composter on the whole block!
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
I agree, a factory near me gets hundreds of pallets a week and just puts them out back for people to take. They are excessively heavy (100+ lbs) and the runners are often 3x3" oak. We dismantle them for the slat wood and use it as paneling in our remodeling. The runners turn into firewood. Last year's pallet disassembly heated our house for 6 weeks.
Here's a pic of our laundry room with planed down pallet boards and another of our root cellar with unplaned.
By planing them they look pretty and I get a lot of shavings for the chicken coop.
"Hundreds of years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the type of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that it becomes a tourist destination"
Collection of 14 Permaculture/Homesteading Cheat-Sheets, Worksheets, and Guides