One of our favorite projects here at Bear Creek is recycling old pallet wood. We love uncovering the beauty and versatility of this abundant wood source.
Pallets are fairly common around our area because of all the shipping and manufacturing companies that surround our little shop. Most of the pallets, once they are unloaded from their shipments, usually sit in a far corner of a lot waiting to be demolished and shipped to the landfill.
The owners are often more than happy to give us access to the pallets. It saves them time and money from destroying the pallets, hauling them to the landfill, and then paying a discard fee.
Once we get the pallets back to the shop, it’s time to break them down. Usually current projects will determine how we take the
pallets apart. For example, our feature walls require full length boards, while the boards that we scout out for our table and desk tops may require a certain length and thickness. Either way, tearing pallets apart can be tedious work, requiring long hours.
However, the process is fairly straightforward, simple, and repeatable. This type of entry-level work will eventually allow us to fulfill our bigger vision of being able to offer a job to anyone that needs one. Right now, our small staff handles the demands of getting pallets torn down to meet our current project needs.
Believe it or not, all pallets are not created equal. Before we started working with them, I figured pallets were pretty uniform. However, pallets come in all shapes, sizes, thickness, and color.
The length of time a pallet has been around or sat in a field determines some of the coloring it needs. Newer pallets tend to have a yellow hue to them that can be really beautiful with the right stain or a clear polly coat. Older pallets tend to have a more weathered look, which comes from sitting out in the weather for several years. Personally, I prefer to only clear-coat weathered wood, as it often brings out a beautiful coloring that would be missed with a dark stain applied.
Either way, pallet wood can offer a diverse look to handmade furniture and feature walls. Some folks like to sand and finish their pallet wood creations down to a fine finish. Here at Bear Creek we focus on the rustic appeal more than the super clean, finished look. While we do sand our pallet boards to help reduce splinters, our products will show the normal wear, nicks, and scratches that come from well-loved wood. I believe that these natural pieces hold their own story, and would much rather let that story shine through, instead of sanding it away.
For all of our DIY fans out there, we offer pallet wood cut, lightly sanded, and in weathered or non-weathered batches over in our Online Store. Each batch will cover up to 19+ sq. feet. If you need a smaller order of boards than our batch option, please Contact Us for availability and a product quote.
This is a perfect solution for those that would like to tackle a pallet wood project, but may not have a great source of pallets or a way to effectively tear them down.
If your not sure about the DIY route, be sure to take a look through our Online Store and see what we currently have available for your home or business.
Have more questions about pallet wood or a specific project your working on? Feel free to send us your questions on our Contact Page.