Jamaica Cottage Shop

Thursday, April 11, 2013

FREE Pallet wood- to use, or not to use? How to know if they're SAFE.....

There's a lot of thrift building through recycling, salvaging, and securing free building materials in the tiny house, and diy scene, so while this isn't a wildly entertaining, funny, or mind-blowing read, you may find it helpful, and more so "healthful".
 ----------------------
I've seen many decent posts and blogs dedicated to re-purposing free forklift pallet wood, and even a few half-decent posts dedicated to instructing you on what pallets to use, and which to avoid (the one's sprayed with fungicides). I've also noticed that every one of these articles I've come across has neglected to include any visual aids as to what, branding-wise, you should look for.

So here it is, plain and simple....


A PALLET LIKE THIS IS OK TO USE....granted, if its been left outside for sometime and is developing mildew and mold from its exposure to moisture, you'd still want to pass on it, but "HT" is a good thing.

A stamped "HT" means that the pallet has been "Heat Treated" and not sprayed with, well, poison


One stamped "MT" signifies that the pallet has been sprayed with Methyl Bromide.....and lets just say you don't want to lick those type pallets or build a crib for infants from them....or make garden bins for your edibles out of them either (something I see ALL the time, and out of pressure-treated wood too- a no, no).

As you can see, the stamping differs on many pallets you'll find, but the "HT" or "MT" will be there most of the time....

Also keep in mind that as pallets weather or age, their branding fades. In those cases, if you're worried, or hesitant, its better to play it safe and pass them up (esp. if the destined project is an INDOOR piece of furniture) .

 Above: A nice clean pallet, in good shape, and marked "MT", that is ready to be re-purposed.

 -Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

5 comments:

  1. Thanks Deek, timely post for me, we burned pallets tonight - a neighborhood/beer/social event - and I put aside a few with 8 foot 2 x 4s. I'll check for markings tomorrow, maybe keepers, maybe not?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd be careful burning any kind of chemically treated wood. It releases the chemicals into the air and if you're standing around the fire you'll breath them in.

      Delete
    2. We started out burning the old wood (not reuseable for anything else) from this 1920s home after I purchased it 4 years ago. Then it just evolved into the neighborhood firepit ...
      mostly now it's pallets and whatever the neighbors are tearing down. Nobodys had a problem yet, but your point is well taken, and we really do need to look closer at what we're burning ...

      Delete
  2. Thanks for posting this, Deek! One just can't be TOO careful when it comes to reusing/repurposing/recycling certain materials.....

    ReplyDelete