Slim Pallet Pickings

It’s been a rough couple weeks looking for long pallets. Very few have been posted on craigslist and our usual lucky spots have been dry. Julia and I went out today and found lots of small and standard pallets but only one 6-footer. We also spotted a stack of really decrepit ones but decided there wasn’t one good 2×4 in the pile.

I need 16 more 6-foot 2x4s to finish the roof framing and I can get three 2x4s out of each pallet so I need to find about 6 more pallets. I think I have enough standard pallets for the wall sheathing stacked up at the farm so I’m going to keep an extra good look-out this week for at least six more long pallets and skip picking up the small ones. If I can’t find enough by the end of the week I might break down and spend some of the money made by selling free stuff found on craigslist and buy a couple 2x4s.

I’ve spent very little money on screws and saw blades so far; money very easily recouped by selling the free stuff I’ve already found free on craigslist. I figure that since 2×4 studs cost less than $2.00 each it might make more sense to get these last few pieces of lumber at the store instead of burning up gas looking for the free variety, as much as I hate to do that. I’ve used some pretty scrappy looking, yet solid, wood in the walls but I want to make sure the roof is sturdy enough not to come down on our heads. So in a way it seems like cheap insurance if I have to break down and spend $30 on 2x4s.

Julia snapped a photo of me loading the one good pallet we found. It came with a very nice piece of masonite attached to it. I’m not sure how I’ll use it but I’m certain it will come in handy. Below that is a photo of the pallets I left behind.



Now that’s a lot of pallets!

Thunderstorms and lack of long pallets for framing the roof will keep me from working on the tiny free house this weekend but I’ll definitely be out looking for the last few long pallets I need to complete the framing.

On another note, Julia just spotted this about 150 miles away from us. Too far for us to go on a three hour drive Freemont but if you live in the SF South Bay and want to build a whole town of tiny pallet houses you might just be in luck. Take a look at this craigslist post. Makes my mouth water.


Furniture built from free pallets and barn wood

The furniture you see below was made from free pallets and barn wood. When I first saw the photos I really couldn’t believe my eyes. They were made by Jeff who seems to have an endless supply of talents including tiny house building. I posted an article on Jeff’s tiny house on my tiny house design blog a little while back. Be sure to take a look at that house, also very nice. Here’s what Jeff said about this furniture:

The first is a wine cellarette and is built from reclaimed barn boards. It appears to be Southern Yellow Pine with lots of insect damage, which actually adds a lot of character. The other is a Low Boy made of oak.  Typically you would not find an oak low boy, but pallets are free. The pallets I used for the low boy were from pallets used to ship heavy equipment, they were 1″ thick.

It’s really amazing what can be done with free found stuff. It take a bit more effort to turn the trash back into usable material but it can be done, and in this case done very well.