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#1 2024-06-30 16:53:54

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,314

DIY pallet home building

Several pallet shelters and tiny home exist in this topic Climbing out of poverty

One needs land and knowledge of zoning so as to be able to build but once that is possible then one needs material that can come from recycled materials to make a shelter, starter habitat so as to raise a greater sum of money to build a final much larger home.

15 Places to Find Free Pallets Near You

intro-1637694518.webp

Then again one can purchase a home that is tiny from a number of places.

Do Tiny Houses Really Save You Money?

intro-1669286528.webp

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#2 2024-06-30 17:29:38

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 18,189

Re: DIY pallet home building

This post is reserved for an index to posts NewMars members may contribute over time.

The theme, of building a living space using lumber that is available after commercial use might stretch to other categories of material. In the early days of the United States, starting long before the nation was founded, enterprising settlers created their own components by harvesting wood from the land. That was a lot more work than taking apart commercially used wood such as pallets.

A challenge for designers of homes that might be built this way is using the available shapes.

Pallets have boards of a length on the order of four feet, and square blocks cut from 4x4 timber.

This topic certainly provides plenty of opportunity for creative thinking.

(th)

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#3 2024-06-30 19:12:04

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,314

Re: DIY pallet home building

There are also the much longer and odd ball sized pallets that get used as I have seen for the snow mobiles and other stuff. These can have long 2x4 of 8 to 10 ft in length as well as the wider than 4 ft pallet boards.
Sure, it's going to be some work to pull in the resources of these pallets and take them apart so as to be able to build with them but its free materials.

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#4 2024-06-30 19:35:21

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 18,189

Re: DIY pallet home building

For SpaceNut re #3 and new topic in general...

Do you have any experience trying to disassemble pallets?

I ask because I lived in relatively close proximity to a gent who operates a retail liquor establishment.  This gent apparently gets pallet loads of supplies, because he sets pallets out in the ally every now and then. Most of the time the alley gleaners do not make off with the pallets, so I have taken on the job of disassembling the pallets and cutting them up for the City disposal crews.  The pallets are usually difficult to work with, and the wood quality is low.

Having some experience with these materials, I have a sense of what a project it would be to try to make anything useful with them.

The extreme examples of large pallets are definitely interesting, but if your goal is to build a structure that is weather tight out of such materials, I would imagine you'd need a significant quantity, and I'm wondering what the actual supply might be.

In any case, you've launched an entire topic for NewMars members to report on their experiments with this feedstock.

(th)

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#5 2024-07-01 18:24:49

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,314

Re: DIY pallet home building

13 Different Types of Pallets (by Style, Design and Material)

Pallet-styles-diagram-oct9.jpg

hard wood mostly Oak but soft woods such as pine are just some of the types that can be found which include plastics.

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#6 2024-07-01 19:04:44

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,314

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#7 2024-07-04 09:26:07

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,314

Re: DIY pallet home building

DIY A Firewood Rack With This Practically Free Wood Pallet HackBB1nYie2.img?w=768&h=431&m=6

This article has a video of pallet tear down.

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#8 2024-07-04 13:32:57

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 18,189

Re: DIY pallet home building

For SpaceNut ....

The pallets in that video look brand new.

I can understand that!

Used and heavily weathered pallets would not look good in a video.

My experience with used pallets that have stood in the weather for a while tells me that they don't come apart as easily as the demonstrator showed.

That said, the examples of creative use of pallets ought to be inspiring to some folks.

The decor looks "early bachelor" to me.

I'll be watching for posts in this topic  that show how to use a stack of heavily weathered pallets to build a home with multiple hundreds of square feet.  ** That ** will be something to see!

(th)

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#9 2024-07-04 13:36:37

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,314

Re: DIY pallet home building

Yes, the old dirty pallets are typically used as firewood as it's easy to cut and stack to make use of as the nails are rusted within the boards. One needs a much heavier claw to pull them apart.

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#10 2024-07-04 17:18:41

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 18,189

Re: DIY pallet home building

For SpaceNut re post #9...

Do you have any direct experience dis-assembling an old weathered pallet?

I do have such experience. 

Your suggestion of a larger claw hammer is interesting.

It suggests to me you have no experience with pallets, let alone old weathered ones.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

(th)

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#11 2024-07-05 12:40:49

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,314

Re: DIY pallet home building

6 Things You Should Know About Working With Pallets

The Must-Have Tool For DIY Wooden Pallet Projects

First I would make a pallet disassembly bench that allows for the boards to be driven off from the 2x4 so that the boards drop downward from the remaining part of the pallet. Flip it and do the same for the other side.

Another method is to use jack to push down on the board like a press.

BB1mvGC2.img?w=768&h=431&m=6

pallet busters do work, they're difficult and even dangerous to use, . Walmart sells a pallet buster with a 41-inch-long handle by the popular tool brand Vestil for $99.49. Roughneck seems to be the go-to pallet buster brand in the U.K. but their tools are difficult to find in the U.S.

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#13 2024-07-05 15:01:38

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 18,189

Re: DIY pallet home building

For SpaceNut re #12

Thanks for the image of a ** real ** pallet disassembly tool... I used crowbars and heavy metal wedges, and many blows with a sledge hammer to dis-assemble the pallets from my neighbor down the alley.

I also used a hand power saw to cut the boards, since disposal was my objective.

The link you provided about using pallets for flooring contained the warnings I was looking for.  Pallets can be and often are treated with harmful chemicals that should not be brought into the house.

While I admire the enthusiasm of the folks you showed us via link, I am not convinced the effort required is overcome  by value. On the other hand, new wood is increasingly expensive as we humans use up the old forests, so using old wood may become more common.

Update: For fun I went to Amazon and asked about pallet buster tools. It turns out they have a large assortment, and there is a video showing how to use one of the designs. I would definitely have ordered one if I'd known about them when I was dealing with my neighbor's "gifts".

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=pallet+buste … _sb_noss_1

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2024-07-05 15:06:47)

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#14 2024-07-05 19:28:06

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,314

Re: DIY pallet home building

Pressure treated wood such as those used where water is constant but not all are.  methyl bromide is used in the treatment of pallets
seal the wood using a coating of polyurethane, wood varnish, or lacquer.

The treatment process makes the pallets immune to termites, rot, and decay. Before they are treated, the wood pallets are soaked in a water solution, which is made up of wood preservatives and other chemicals, which kills the bacteria and fungal spores on the wooden pallets.

https://woodcritique.com/blog/are-palle … e-treated/

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#15 2024-07-05 21:47:57

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 18,189

Re: DIY pallet home building

For SpaceNut re #14

It's time for you to draw research to a close, and begin practical application of all this work you've been doing.

Please bring home a pallet, and let us know what happens when you begin to dis-assemble it.

Investment in one of the pallet tools that Amazon offers would make sense, if you intend to get serious about this idea.

Your reports of working on your cars tells me you're someone who can do (and is willing to do) hard physical labor.

The pallet project will give you plenty of exercise, and at a minimum you'll have some firewood.

(th)

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#16 2024-07-07 09:16:59

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,314

Re: DIY pallet home building

68 Wooden Pallet Hacks You’ll Want to Try in Your Home

AA1hACoM.img?w=800&h=435&q=60&m=2&f=jpg

Wood pallet furniture and décor ideas to try

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#17 2024-07-07 11:54:18

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 18,189

Re: DIY pallet home building

For SpaceNut re topic ...

It's time for you to acquire your first pallet, and show us the process by which you transform it into something useful.

The process begins with your research to find pallets available to you for free.

How you get the pallet home will be of interest. You can document that for us.

How you store the pallet will be of interest. Presumably it could be kept out doors, but if you have a neighbor who objects to objects in your yard, then you'll have to store it indoors.

It occurs to me that if you don't have a garage, making one out of pallets would be a useful and instructive exercise.

However, convincing your neighbors that the end produce will be attractive to the eye may take a little doing.

I would imagine you could make a decent garage out of about 1000 pallets. You could cover the walls with vinyl siding, and the building would look like all the others in the neighborhood.

I'm thinking of roof, walls, doors ... everything, except the siding, and shingles for the roof.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2024-07-07 11:55:50)

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#18 2024-07-07 14:17:45

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,314

Re: DIY pallet home building

The towns dump has 4 very long pallets that carried metal sheets for the new shed that was built on the site. I am awaiting approval to be able to get them. These would make a very good floor for the shed that I need to build.


As for the getting them home the car should be able to fit them just nicely.

It's a good question for those that do not have such available to do so on their own.

The Home Depot and Lowes have sleds that allow for material to be taken out of a store so something similar could be created to do just that from bike parts.

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#19 2024-07-07 20:02:08

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 18,189

Re: DIY pallet home building

For SpaceNut re #18

Thank you for the good news that you have an opportunity to begin work on a Real Universe application of all the research you have  been doing about applications of used pallets!

The shed you have in mind could become a garage for at least one of the collection of vehicles you have shown us or reported upon in prior times.  It could even became a combination garage and work shop so that you can perform more complex maintenance out of the weather.

Finally, in a future time, it might even become the basis for a small business making such buildings for neighbors for a fee, that would itself go into your retirement savings account.

I asked Google about plans for building a garage, and it came up with a range of options:
https://www.google.com/search?q=build-i … rage+plans

I get the impression from a quick scan that while pallet boards would serve for walls and roof under the                                                                          shingles, the key component you'll not be able to source from pallets are the long boards needed for the studs and rafters and roof struts.  You could probably save quite a bit using pallet boards, but you'll have to invest in 2x4's for the frame (as near as I can tell).

In addition, I would think you'd want a concrete floor, asphalt roof, and siding.

A small chicken coop sized shed might be achievable with pallet boards, if a dirt floor is acceptable. You might need a 2x4 for a roof support if you want a hip roof, but otherwise a small shed to hold a lawn mower might be possible.  Come to think of it, pallet boards could be used for the flooring as well, if you have a way to raise the floor off the dirt. The 4x4 blocks from the pallets might serve as a kind of foundation to keep the floor off the soil.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2024-07-08 03:27:18)

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#20 2024-07-17 06:48:34

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 18,189

Re: DIY pallet home building

For SpaceNut re pallet home building ...

This topic lends itself to actual achievement in the Real Universe....

The last time we discussed your forward movement in this investigation, you indicated you were waiting for some "long" pallets.

While you wait for those, you can collect free pallets from the nearby locations where such pallets are sitting unused, waiting to be disposed of.

You need a way to bring them home when you find them, and a small trailer would seem appropriate.

You would have to fit one of your cars with a hitch, so between the trailer and the hitch you'd be making a modest investment.

However, theoretically, it might be possible for you to use pieces from such pallets to make the wall boards for a garage.  You'll still need full length 2x4's for studs, but you should be able to cut the pallet boards to fit nicely between studs.  If you put such boards on both the inside and outside of the wall studs, there is the potential to add insulation between the inner and outer walls, and that would permit a smaller stove to heat the building in the winter.

Taking the concept a bit further, the pallet boards should work for the roof decking as well. They would be cut to fit across two rafters with joints at the center of every other rafter.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2024-07-17 07:07:11)

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