The Amazing Miracle Pallet

Never seen on TV

Free wood!

If you live off the grid or just have a lot of projects requiring wood, pallets are perfect.

They are a great choice for many reasons:

  • They’re free
  • They’re already nailed together
  • There are plenty of them
  • They have a billion possible uses
  • You can find them EVERYWHERE

Where can you find them?

  • Behind grocery stores
  • In the alleys behind hardware stores
  • In the garbage/recycling areas of businesses
  • On Craigslist

What can you do with them?

  • Make furniture for your house.
  • Craft projects: Signs, decorations, hangers for jewelry, etc.
  • Shop uses: shelves, tool holders, work tables.
  • Dismantle them and burn them
  • Build a shed or even a house out of them.

To cut them up or dismantle individual planks use:

  • a jig saw
  • a circular saw
  • a pry bar
  • a nifty tool we bought at an Ace Hardware called The Wrecker (a fancy pry bar with extra “bars” for whatever leverage you need
  • a hammer and a chisel for working the nails out
  • a hammer to just whack the slats free (might break it)
  • a couple of two by fours to remove individual planks without breaking them

For assembling various projects use:

  • A drill and drill bits for pilot holes through thick boards
  • A screw guide for the drill (a MUST)
  • Wood or deck screws of varying lengths
  • Nails
  • Brackets made by screwing two pieces of wood together or metal ones from the hardware store to add extra strength at attachment points
  • Circular saw for cutting leg lengths and larger straight surfaces
  • Hand saw
  • Hammer
  • C-clamp for holding pieces together tightly (the third arm) while installing screws
  • Jig saw
  • Tape measure
  • Wood router
  • Wood pencil for marking (works even on wet surfaces)
  • Other hardware such as hooks and hangers
  • Varnish

 General tips:

  • That screw guide for your drill makes sinking those long screws SO much easier
  • C-clamp for securing pieces – night and day
  • Pilot holes for those thick pieces. You’ll strip the screws otherwise
  • Pilot holes to prevent cracking. You don’t always have to but if the wood is prone to cracking or on the thin side, it’ll help
  • Look for the better specimens in pallets. There are some shitty torn up ones you just pass up
  • If you do end up with a shitty pallet, you can add slats from another shitty pallet to make one whole shitty pallet

Here are some photos of things we’ve done so far:

 

 

 

Progress

With a little help from our friends.

We’re making headway on the list of repairs and improvements that promise to make our lives more comfortable.

Here’s what we accomplished over the last couple of days:

  • Pulled and repaired our fresh water tank.
  • Installed an on-demand hot water system.
  • Skirted the small trailer with foam board.
  • Insulated water pipes under small trailer.
  • Insulated inside small trailer.
  • Put foam board insulation on the outer bottom of the slide-out of fifth wheel.
  • Put bubble wrap on the windows of the pull-out on fifth wheel.
  • Put leftover insulation on the floor of the basement of the fifth wheel.
  • Picked up door insulating kits for both trailers. Will install today.
  • Came up with an idea to secure the solar panels and picked up half the parts; forgot half the parts.
  • Had a family skirmish about everyone taking this seriously.
  • Finally found hot pads for the household. Still looking for a butter dish.

This could be a full time job.

The daily trip to the Do-It Center (our local hardware store) for insulation, tools, parts, and candy makes me wonder if we should just put up a tent in front and save some gas.

I sometimes wonder if I’m too obsessed with preparing for winter but then I remember last year and all doubts fade. We had frost on the inside¬†of our trailer and the cat’s water dish froze (inside the trailer) and we didn’t have running water for months.

I think I’m being reasonable.

Thank you to our friends at the hardware store for helping us to improve our lives, bolt by bolt, screw by screw and candy bar by candy bar.

Together, we make a difference.