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My Very First Boxes (From Pallets!)

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My Very First Boxes (From Pallets!)

Post  Amy in Idaho on 3/30/2010, 1:20 am

So the excitement of the snow melting got me into the garden center where I saw the book and now I'm hooked. Read it in one night. Those of you from South East Idaho can relate to my complaint of clay soil. I had great yield on my regular garden the first year but it hasn't yielded much since. In my search for inexpensive and environmentally friendly recycling I decided to try making boxes out of pallets, even though everyone says they are a pain to get appart. A phone call to my engineer father (Mel might like that) led me to not try to take them all the way apart but just cut off the bottom six inches. He was thinking of the ones that are completely covered in boards. The ones I got were not fully covered but easily adapted. And they were exactly four feet wide. So three pallets and not much work later and I have two 4 x 4 boxes. I have two more pallets with irregular length boards to make some 2 x 2's next. Here's how I did it. First off, pallets are nailed together with horrid nails, luckily I got most out ok and re-used them to nail my slats on where I wanted them. I wore gloves to protect my hands. A flathead screwdriver inserted along the nailed edge makes it much easier to get the nail heads far enough out to use the claw of the hammer. I had to pound it in with the hammer and wiggle. But luckily, I didn't need to remove many boards. Just the good ones I wanted moved elsewhere from my third extra pallet and the broken and crooked ones. Here's how it looks.

Back of the pallet after I removed the back three supports and all the crooked and broken slats. I then filled in the gaps with good boards.

One side down. After this I nailed two more boards to the flush ends.

My finished box, 4' x 4' x 7". Took me two hours to make two from three pallets.

I will have to reinforce my corners but not bad for free.
Tools used: gloves, hammer, flathead screwdriver, measuring tape, old fashioned sweat driven wood saw.

Last edited by Amy in Idaho on 3/30/2010, 1:30 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Re: My Very First Boxes (From Pallets!)

Post  Theresa on 3/30/2010, 5:59 am

Amy I love FREE!!

You really did some great work changing that pallet around and turning it into a SFG!

Keep the pictures coming, I want to see more!!


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whoo hoo free!

Post  chocolatepop on 3/30/2010, 8:25 am

I used pallets last year for some of my boxes too (namely my potato box). The work involved is nothing compaired to the pride that you get to show with a great FREE product.

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Re: My Very First Boxes (From Pallets!)

Post  ayanefan on 3/30/2010, 9:30 am

This post is very useful, quite ingenious.


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Re: My Very First Boxes (From Pallets!)

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/30/2010, 9:33 am

If this is what you can do with a pallet, I can hardly wait to see what you do with the plants ....and recipes!

Deborah ....thinking that this is just the start of WoW
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Post  minimom56 on 3/30/2010, 11:13 am

This is my first day on site-so excited. Now I have lots of pallets and didnt know what to do with them as I am in process of moving and wanting to do above ground gardening. I live in a very rocky area so above is best and easy! Thanks for the tip and cant wait to read more- gotta keep packin!!!


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Re: My Very First Boxes (From Pallets!)

Post  choksaw on 3/30/2010, 11:21 am

Awesome way to recycle and very cost effective great job look forward to seeing how things go for you good luck

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Re: My Very First Boxes (From Pallets!)

Post  Retired Member 1 on 3/30/2010, 12:52 pm

Great post -- thank you.

I had wondered about using pallets for raised beds myself, but it looked like too much work. With this inspiration, I might just try for a flower bed.

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Re: My Very First Boxes (From Pallets!)

Post  timwardell on 3/30/2010, 2:17 pm

Congratulations. Nice job! You earn a dancing banana! rock on
Can't wait to see what they look like planted.

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Re: My Very First Boxes (From Pallets!)

Post  SirTravers on 3/30/2010, 8:33 pm

Now that just gets my redneck side to brainstormin..... I say Git R Done!


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Re: My Very First Boxes (From Pallets!)

Post  Kabaju42 on 3/30/2010, 9:26 pm

I love the boxes, those are great. And those of us in Utah know the clay soil too, what a pain!

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Thanks everyone!

Post  Amy in Idaho on 3/31/2010, 12:32 am

I love all your comments! Thanks so much for the support!
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Re: My Very First Boxes (From Pallets!)

Post  aptgardengirl on 3/31/2010, 12:54 am

Wow they look Great! and free to whooo hoo


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Great idea

Post  tomgnh on 3/31/2010, 10:46 am

A short piece of 4x4 outside the corner to nail the 2x4s to should be pretty strong


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Re: My Very First Boxes (From Pallets!)

Post  jerzyjen on 4/2/2010, 10:07 am

very nice! I too used pallets last year to start my first 2 boxes. I was lucky enough to get decent pallets with 2 x 6s on the tops, so i just carefully pry-ed them off with crowbars and removed the nails, then just built the boxes like mel says in this book. I'm thinking I will need to replace them next year. I don't mind rebuilding boxes every two years if i can save money and the environment by repurposing.

I also used leftover crate wood to make my new boxes this year, but this wood is in great shape and should last a while hopefully.

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Re: My Very First Boxes (From Pallets!)

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