Tips On Preparing A Pallet For An Upcycling Project

Wooden pallets can be made into hundreds of different things from shabby chic headboards to stylish coffee tables. But how do you prepare a rough pallet for its transformation?

How to prepare a wooden pallet for an upcycling project

When sourcing a pallet for an upcycling project, always choose a reputable supplier of recycled pallets to obtain your pallet from. Alternatively, look for pallets that have been used for storing animal feed, fruit or plants. This way you can be reasonably confident that the pallets won’t contain any residue of toxic chemicals, which could be harmful to you when you work on them.

Some wood is treated with potentially harmful insecticide too, so be sure to ask your supplier to confirm the origins of your pallet. If you have a pallet and you’re not sure about its source, have a look around it for export markings. Pallets often have a stamp on them showing where they came from, together with information concerning any wood treatment that has been applied.

A local pallet recycling company will be able to interpret these markings for you.

  1. Begin by using a pry bar resting over a block of wood to pry apart the pallet without inflicting damage to the surface of the wood.  
  2. When the pallet planks have been loosened, the nail shanks will be exposed. Use a hacksaw or oscillating tool to cut through the nails.  
  3. Remove any remaining nails by using a nail punch to push stray nails through the wood. Don’t try to pull them out, as this could split the planks.  
  4. Remove any serious splinters from the wood by making a quick pass with a wood planer, and then go over the wood with coarse grain sandpaper to make it smoother.  
  5. Now use a natural beeswax finishing product to make the wood smooth, whilst keeping its natural colour and patina. Use a rag to apply the beeswax and allow it to dry. When dry, buff the wax to a dull shine using a clean duster.

Your wooden pallet is now prepped and ready for action. You can now begin to cut and shape the pallet according to the project you’re starting.

When cutting the planks, avoid making cuts close to nail holes or splits in the wood. The wood will shrink slightly as it ages, and it’s therefore more likely to break or split if you cut near a spot that is already weakened.

For more information, contact companies like Smart Pallets.

3 Uses For Recycled Scrap Metal

When recycled metal is used, there’s a reduction in air pollution, water usage and water pollution when compared to the use of virgin metal. Recycling metal also reduces the pressure on landfill sites, and when you take your scrap metal to a recycling centre, you have the additional benefit of earning some spare cash for it. So, what actually happen to scrap metal? Here’s an overview of three ways recycled scrap metal is used:

Industrial Production

Scrap metal can be used in a number of industries, including construction and transportation. Scrap iron is used in the construction of bridges and roads, and scrap aluminium is used to make appliances, such as washers and dryers. Aeroplanes, cars and shipping containers can be made with scrap metal, and it’s cheaper to manufacture goods with scrap metal than it is to use virgin metal.

Home Furnishings

Metal furniture can be made from recycled metal, which can either be melted down and transformed into a new product or kept in its original state and used in a new way. For example, melted scrap plumbing parts can be made into a lamp, while an aluminium sign board can be used as a table top. Furniture made with melted scrap metal is highly-durable, as the process used to melt the metal, which involves the use of an electric arc furnace, uses lower temperatures than is required when working with virgin metal. This manufacturing process can lead to the recycled metal being stronger than its virgin metal counterpart.

Artistic Uses

Artists can transform scrap metal into sculptures, decorative frames, grilles and wall hangings. For example, nuts and bolts from cars can be used to create a sculpture of an animal for an art installation focusing on the impact of modern conveniences on the natural world. Using scrap metal for a purpose that’s purely creative might seem wasteful to some, but creating art can be therapeutic for the artist and the observer.

When you take your scrap metal to your local recycling centre, it will be weighed and sorted by type. The price paid per kilo of scrap metal goes up and down in accordance with market fluctuations, but you can call ahead and ask the recycling centre for the current prices for the types of metal you have. Recycling scrap metal is both environmentally conscious and financially savvy, so give your aluminium cans the opportunity to travel the world as part of an aeroplane.

Scrap Metal Recycling: How to Get the Best Rates for Your Scrap Metal

The scrap metal industry experiences significant price fluctuations every year, and it’s hard to ascertain the metal pricing rates at a particular time in the future. However, if you wish to sell scrap metal, it is important to devise ways in which you can get the best rates for it. There are various factors that scrappers consider when establishing the value of scrap. Here are some valuable tips that will help you get the best rates for your scrap metal.

Choose valuable metals

Some metals are more valuable than others, and these are the metals that you should target if your aim is to make money. Here is a breakdown of the commonly recycled metals and how they fair in terms of value.

Copper scrap metal is one of the most valuable metals to scrappers. It is found in plumbing systems, electrical wires, roofing materials, ornaments, electronics and machinery. Copper is valuable due to its versatility and conductive properties. Also, it is resistant to corrosion and can maintain high performance even after being recycled.

Brass is less valuable than copper, but you can get good rates for it as well. It is a heavy metal with a characteristic yellow colour and is commonly found in light fixtures, door fixtures and keys.

These are the metals you should consider recycling if you want to make the most money. Aluminium and steel are also commonly recycled, but they are less valuable than brass and copper.

Prepare the metals

Scrap yards usually pay for labour to prepare scrap metal for recycling. The preparation process involves disassembling the metals, separating the various types and cleaning them to get rid of mud, oil and dirt from the surface. Cleaning the scrap metals before presenting them to the scrappers can help you get a better price since they won’t need labourers to prepare them. Ensure that you separate the various types of metal such as copper and its alloys, brass, aluminium and steel.

Check the prices

As aforementioned, the scrap metal industry faces price fluctuations very often. Checking the prices before trading scrap can help you get a better rate for them by selling during the peak season. You can make use of the recession period when the rates are low by collecting more scraps and preparing them for the peak season.

These tips will help you get the best rates for your scrap metal. Also, compare the prices offered by various scrappers in your location before settling for one.

Raise Money for Charity and Help the Environment by Selling Scrap Metal

There are so many good causes to give to nowadays, it can be hard to drum up support for another. Novel or unconventional methods can often encourage people to give to your collection, so why not ask people to donate scrap metal? You might have seen charities that ask people to donate items to be sold, rather than giving money – this suggestion takes that concept one step further. Asking people to donate their scrap metal will capture attention, and can raise large amounts of money, as well as helping the environment.

If you offer to collect any type of metal, not just those that can be sold, then you’ll also be helping the environment by recycling anything that can’t be sold. This also adds an extra incentive for any donators who have large amounts of metal that they can’t recycle themselves.

Read on for some tips on organizing your scrap metal collection. One man’s trash really is another man’s treasure!

Collecting the metal

When it comes to selling scrap, not all metal is created equal. Some metals will fetch much higher prices than others, and informing your potential donators of this can help you to get the highest value donations possible. Create a simple list of metals, advising where each might be found. For example, scrap copper may come from old cables or pipes, and is worth a high amount. Scrap brass often comes in the form of old doorknobs, kitchen or bathroom taps, or fittings. If a reader has recently had work done in their home, chances are they might have a few of these lying around. Scrap aluminum may come from old wheels, radiators or cables. Having a phone number on your flyers is a good idea – readers can then contact you if they’re unsure about the type of scrap they have.

Selling the metal

You should contact a few local recycling centers and ask for a metal price list from each, as well as details on the grade of metal they accept. Grade one metal is pure, uncorroded and not associated with different alloy types, while grade two may consist of multiple alloy metals. Different dealers may accept different types of metal, and different grades. To get the best deal, you may want to sell your scrap to more than one dealer – write down each price list and compare.

Depending on the amount of metal you accumulate, you may need to hire a vehicle to transport it to your chosen recycling center. It’s best to gather all of your donations together in one place, then sell and recycle them all at once. This saves you time and money, which would be wasted by making multiple trips back and forth.

Identifying Scrap Metals

If you want to get rid of some of the junk around your home, you can make money by recycling items made from metal. When doing this, it is important that you separate the metals into their own categories because not all scrapyards take all kinds of metals. Once you know what you are looking for, it is pretty easy to identify various types of metals. Here are some of the most common metals you will be dealing with and how to identify them.


The majority of aluminum items in your home are likely going to be aluminum drinking cans. Many pieces of outdoor furniture are also made from aluminum, such as metal folding chairs. You will be able to identify aluminum by its light weight and dark silver/grey colour. If the metal is painted, simply chip away a bit of the paint to see the metal.

Magnetic Metals

It is easy to tell which items go into this category. Simply place a magnet on the metal. If it sticks, the metal is magnetic. There are a few different metals that fall into this category, including steel and iron. You can put all magnetic metals together in one bin without any further sorting.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is usually light in colour and has minimal shine. Another way to identify stainless steel is by its weight. It is heavy. Some stainless steel items may be magnetic. If this is the case, put them in the magnet metals bin, and put the non-magnetic stainless steel into a separate bin.


There are three categories for copper, and it is best to have separate bins for the different types of copper. All copper is a gold/red colour. The first sub-category is copper wiring. If you are throwing away electrical items that no longer work, remove the cords because they have copper wire. This is lighter in colour than the other copper grades. Use wire strippers to get rid of the insulation around the wires.

Plumbing parts, such as tubing, are often made from copper. If you are doing renovations and are putting in new plumbing, you can recycle the copper tubing. The brass fittings will go in a separate bin. If you don’t separate the metals, you may not earn as much money because the scrapyards will have to do extra work.

The final copper grade is hefty copper. This is usually found in tanks, such as water heaters. Again, make sure that you remove all of the fittings before recycling tanks.

For more information, contact a company such as Raw Metal Corp.