Pallets are an unlikely yet ideal building material for flooring. They are durable, strong and can withstand repeated use and abuse. Many pallets are made from hardwoods such as oak or hickory. Use hardwood pallets to make beautiful reclaimed wood flooring for your home, cottage or cabin. While the effort involved in preparing the wood is substantial, the end result will be wood with beauty and character from its former life as a pallet. The stains and nail holes from the pallets will only serve to increase the appeal of the reclaimed materials.
List of Items Needed
- Hardwood pallets
- Pry bar
- Nail puller
- Table saw
- Handheld cutting tool
- Rotary tool with sanding accessories
- Sanding pad
- Palm sander
- Belt sander
- Safety glasses
- Ear plugs
Place the hardwood pallets on a work surface. Slide a pry bar under each support board and pry it up along each end until it can be removed.
Hammer the end of the pry bar to get the claw underneath the ends of any of the support boards. Pry the boards up carefully and set them aside.
Pull the nails out of the support boards with a nail puller. Be careful not to dent the surface of the wood on the support boards with the nail puller as you pry them from the wood.
Adjust the table saw fence to the desired width for the flooring. Lock the fence in place. Raise the blade of the table saw so that the gullets are just at or above the surface of the pallet support boards and lock it in place. Saw blade gullets are the scoops below the points on the blade.
Lay each pallet support board flat on the table saw and guide it through the saw to cut each board to the desired width for the flooring. Alternatively you can use a handheld cutting tool to cut through the boards.
Sand the cut edges of the pallet support board a rotary tool using sanding accessories, or sand them down by hand with a sanding block. If you need to sand down the flat portions across the length of the boards, you can use a belt sander or a palm sander.
Tips and Warnings
- Plug the nail holes in the pallet support boards with contrasting hardwood plugs to accent the boards.
- Wear eye and ear protection while operating a table saw to prevent possible injury.