secrets0stolen
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Where to get untreated pallets?

I'm looking to build a compost bin and I need some pallets! I highly, highly prefer untreated but I have no idea where to get them. If someone could give me some ideas that would be great!

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Alan in Vermont
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I don't know that I have ever seen a "treated" pallet, they are generally the cheapest lumber that can be had. No real issue finding them here in semi-rural VT, doesn't help you much but most lumber and building material places have piles of them they end up burning.

gumbo2176
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I'm with Alan on this. Seems the only treated pallets I've seen are the ones that Quickcrete sends their bags of concrete mix on. They are very well made and for that reason, they want them back. So much so that they will charge you $15 for each pallet not returned. I found this out when scavenging pallets at the local lumber yard and wanted those since they are so nice.

Most pallets I see are made from run of the mill oak that is not good for much anything else and can be a bear to take apart if you desire to do so.

secrets0stolen
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Really? That's interesting. I heard they were treated with pesticides, fungicides, etc to keep from ruining whatever was shipped on them.

Thanks everyone, I'll have to look into that. :)

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Gary350
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I have never seen treated pallets.

How many do you want. We have a mountain of old pallets out behind the building at work. I bet there are 500 pallets in the pile. We burn them all every year.

If it wasn't so much trouble I would rake up the wood ash for my garden but the 200 lbs of nails are hard to deal with.

rot
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No paint

..
I'm mostly looking for unpainted pallets. Some outfits will paint them as a marking indicating provenance.

I get mine from work but I've gotten some from behind shopping centers. There are folks who will go around the back of shopping centers collecting pallets I think for recycling but I don't know who pays money for those things.

to sense
..

gumbo2176
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[quote="Gary350If it wasn't so much trouble I would rake up the wood ash for my garden but the 200 lbs of nails are hard to deal with.[/quote]



How about getting a rolling magnet like roofers use to clean up the job site after replacing a roof. If you are frugal (read cheap) like me, improvise. I made a home made magnet setup the last time I roofed a house I once lived in. I had access to several large speakers that were damaged and I took the magnets and secured them to a piece of wood, then secured some AT rod (all thread) and mounted a couple wheels, affixed an old lawnmower handle and viola, rolling magnet for a fraction of the cost. It worked like a charm. I'd roll it across my St. Augustine lawn and I'd hear---tick, tick as the nails were pulled from the grass.

rot
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That's neat.

Gumbo,

That's neat. I bet I could get old speakers cheap if not free these days.

Now I have to ask. Wouldn't a few nails provide some iron? I've got quite a few plants that I figure could use some iron.

Nails rust in pile. Spread compost. Voila, iron spread about for plants. No?

to sense
..

DoubleDogFarm
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I would take Gumbo's idea one step further. Put the magnets inside a thin wall plastic pipe. Mount the pipe to the axle with wheels. Now when you remove the magnets the nails fall off.

My .02

Eric

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Gary350
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I have a very large very strong magnet. There are probably 5 or 6, 5 gallon buckets of nails. My magnets pick up a lot of nails but it is actually much easier to rake the nail to one side with a garden rake and just leave the nails laying there. I don't mind a few nails in my garden. I have shoveled up the wood ash with a flat shovel the bad part is when I dump the ash in the bucket it blows ash straight up in the air about 6 feet and chokes me to death. I get ash in my eyes, nose, hair, mouth, etc. I have experemented I can pour the ash in the bucket slow but a tiny breeze glows a lot of the ash out into the air and on the ground too. I tried a shop vac it clogged up the filter in 45 seconds. A broom works pretty good to sweep the ash in the buckets but I can only get 1/4 bucket of ash. If I try to pour ash from 1 bucket to the next I get an ash bath it blows up in my face. Ash is too light weight hard to deal with. If I move the ash very slow its not too bad but it takes a long time to scoop up 10 5 gallon buckets of ash like that. I still get charcoal and nail in the buckets but I don't mind that in my garden.

gumbo2176
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I need to read the posts through next time.

toxcrusadr
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Egad, if I had access to that much waste wood I'd heat my house with it. Or the business.

Let's see, 200 lb nails times 3 cents a pound for scrap iron...that's a six-pack of brew to drink next to the wood stove which is happily heating the house for free. :lol:
Tox

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SatyrGrey
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Re: Where to get untreated pallets?

Better yet, can you salvage and reuse the nails?
~Bleat~

imafan26
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Re: Where to get untreated pallets?

If you scout the business districts you can get a lot of pallets for free. Sometimes they even put signs out. They are usually untreated and made of cheap wood. Some will be broken but if you have the time and the patience and ripsaw they can be taken apart and remade. They aren't too easy to pound apart. I tried. I think my hammer was too small and the staples were on way too well.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Where to get untreated pallets?

If you scout the business districts you can get a lot of pallets for free. Sometimes they even put signs out. They are usually untreated and made of cheap wood. Some will be broken but if you have the time and the patience and ripsaw they can be taken apart and remade. They aren't too easy to pound apart. I tried. I think my hammer was too small and the staples were on way too well.

A better source of good wood would be construction sites. It is good to have a friend in the business. Scrap pieces of lumber and wire are frequently just thrown away.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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SatyrGrey
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Re: Where to get untreated pallets?

Lucky you.... Mine were heavily twist-nailed.... like... each slat had about 6-8 nails, and they were embedded about halfway through, so I couldn't get to the nail heads--- luckily enough for me, I have a reciprocating saw, short work!
~Bleat~

toxcrusadr
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Re: Where to get untreated pallets?

Regarding pallet 'treatment', most pallets are now treated with steam to prevent transporting insects and plant diseases from one place to another. Not too long ago they used a fumigant, the name of which escapes me now, but that's been phased out for one reason or another. In any case it was volatile enough that it would dissipate anyway in short order. Basically there isn't anything used on pallets these days that would concern me as far as compost and mulch.
Tox

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