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December 20, 2014

The magic of these pallets is the magic of abstraction.

Take any object you like, pile it onto a pallet, and it becomes, simply, a “unit load”

—standardized, cubical, and ideally suited to being scooped up by the tines of a forklift. This allows your Cheerios and your oysters to be whisked through the supply chain with great efficiency; the gains are so impressive, in fact, that many experts consider the pallet to be the most important materials-handling innovation of the twentieth century. Studies have estimated that pallets consume 12 to 15 percent of all lumber produced in the US, more than any other industry except home construction.
CABINET // Whitewood under Siege

Posted by gerardvanderleun at December 20, 2014 11:24 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Gerard, if you subscribe, is this article typical of their editions? Just curious. Very interesting. thx chuck

Posted by: dhmosquito [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 20, 2014 3:56 PM

Posted by: chasmatic [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 20, 2014 10:51 PM

I tried taking several pallets apart one time. What a mess. I have every tool in the world yet could not get the ringshanks and spiral nails out without destroying the cheap ass horizontal boards adhered to the hardwood verticals. I ended up cutting the verticals loose with the recip saw and that left me with a bunch of 14" broken softwood pieces and verticals with curves cut out of them for the forks. Basically usesless bonfire fodder. I saw 4 pallets standing in a square, zip tied at the corners, used as a compost bin and that's about the easiest it gets. Oh yeah, their heavy as hell and usually dirty and filled with potential splinters and tetanus shot rusty assed nails. Other than that, what's not to like?

Posted by: ghostsniper [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 21, 2014 2:39 PM

Some pallets are made from hardwood. Rough cut but sturdy. I have seen them used for heavier loads, metal castings, bricks and stone, so forth.
Agreed it is hard to take them apart. I use some of them for a sort of flooring in outdoor sheds I have. Leveled and set, tied together with hay wire, good enough for the purpose.

Posted by: chasmatic [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 21, 2014 7:20 PM

See, now, if you happen to have TWO fork lifts...
Opposite sides, one goes up, one goes (or stays) down.
I've made drawer guides for heavy tool boxes from "waste" Teak (ok luan), but ESPECIALLY Purple Heart, recovered from pallets originating from "exotic locations".
HOLY CRAP, that Purple heart takes a toll on cutting edges of tools. NOT for the squeamish.
Of course, the whole mass shipping practicality bit of pallets can be lost if "the product" isn't "stack on topable".

Posted by: CaptDMO [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 22, 2014 9:53 AM

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