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Where to Find Pallets for Woodworking Projects

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Perhaps you're just starting out in woodworking and looking for wood to practice on or are a DIY craftsperson, independent carpenter or contractor searching for ways to improve your bottom line. Identifying sources where you can find free pallet wood on a consistent basis is an effective strategy for saving money woodworking.

If you're someone interested in learning where to find pallets for woodworking projects, there are a variety of locations in your area where it's common to see quality reusable wood on a consistent basis.

Best Places to Find Free Pallets

In your search for pallet wood, it's important to take a respectful approach. Let the business know what you are looking for and why and make sure it's OK to either visit its location and/or remove pallets from the premises. It's also critical to make sure the wood is suitable for use and has not been compromised by chemicals, toxins or deterioration. Scrutinize the pallets to ensure they are structurally sound, clean, dry, have no disturbing smell and are free of mold.

Where to find free pallets:

  • Shopping Locations: A grocery or pet store is continually receiving products on pallets they typically have to break down and dispose of. Especially when dealing with a small store with limited space, the owners will likely be pleased to have you remove what they consider waste and even call you when they have pallet wood for you to reclaim. 
  • Furniture or Equipment Store: Large items such as sofas, flat-screen TVs, and even bicycles and motorcycles are shipped on pallets. Reaching out to your local furniture store, bike shop or electronics dealer and establishing a relationship is often among the most effective methods to score high-quality wood for your pallet projects. 
  • Construction Sites: When it comes to variety, few sources of pallet wood beat a busy construction site. You'll commonly find pallets of all different sizes and types that are free for the taking. Just make sure to speak to whoever is in charge to gain clearance, ensure your safety and not disturb the operation. 
  • Your Local Paper or Publisher: Newspaper companies and print publishers are often practically buried in old pallets they plan to throw away. If you have a company like this in your area, let them know you are willing to take some of that pallet wood off their hands and inquire about when are the best times for pickup. 
  • Online: The magical place known as the internet offers myriad ways to find free pallets. From Craigslist.org and Freecycle to online classifieds and forums, a quick search can lead you to all the wood you need for your projects. 

There are many other places in addition to these five ideas on where to find pallets for woodworking projects. From small businesses and shipping and distribution centers to restaurants, schools and hotels, finding usable pallet wood for free is possible just about anywhere.

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