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I am hearing different opinions as to if it is safe to burn. Most of what I hear is it is treated with chemicals and should not be burned?
I have access to some broken pallets and if it is safe would use them for cooking stove wood.
 

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I am hearing different opinions as to if it is safe to burn. Most of what I hear is it is treated with chemicals and should not be burned?
I have access to some broken pallets and if it is safe would use them for cooking stove wood.
I would exercise caution. Any pallets that come in as part of a container load from overseas (or are intended to ship to overseas in a container) are by law treated to kill pests, either chemical treatment or pressure treatment.

Also, I have been to a couple of the companies that make pallets locally, and they use about 70% recovered wood, and they aren't particular about where the wood was recovered from... could be a torn down building that had asbestos insulation, somebody's old deck that was treated with sealant or painted... they don't much care as long as they can make a 48x48 pallet.



ETA: A treated pallet will almost always have a stamp on the side saying it was treated, so customs agents can see at a glance that it is ok to pass.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If nothing else I could always use as fencing. Maybe up at the retreat I could stock pile some and use as a quick fencing set up to slow down muntant thugs. Probably not very bullet resistant:xeye:
 

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i use wood thats tainted with chemicals and paint makes the fire green but it goes out and the door on the wood stove is closed..
 

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at one time i worked at a small plant which made wooden pallets they did not coat them with anything ,but it may be possable that what was put on the pallet was spilled onto the pallet so it really depends on your source and what they shiped
 

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I take 'em home from work from time to time and use them as bonfire wood at the beach. As far as chemicals go I know the one thing I look out for is what was shipped on the pallet (usually engine room spares in my case) and did it leak / spill onto it? Other than that, haven't had any trouble.
 

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The best way to gather firewood--the most space effective way of storing cords of wood is to haunt construction sites during the framing stage. Pull up with a truck and load up with the "trims." Cut them to 12 inch lenghts with a chop saw and stack. A cord of stacked 2x4's is actually more than a cord. It burns hot, and clean. Do not pick up wook that has a green tint--this is treated stuff. Only good for burning outside.
 

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Pallet wood is fine and I've never seen any that were treated. I heat my home with wood and have burned hundreds of hardwood pallets over the years with no ill effects.

Best part is they were always free for the taking......as many as you wanted, year round. Could still get them now but I have other free sources of cord wood and use it instead.

If you can get pallets and have the time to process them, by all means do it.
One thing is, they burn quick and hot and you must tend the stove far more often than when using larger pieces of hardwood cord wood.
 

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Nearly ALL pallet/dunnage processing is done with HEAT not chemicals. Not to say I have not seen any treated, but like maybe one in 2-3K. The stamps are ususually indicative of the "required" stamp granted (usually burned into the wood) by either our Dept of Ag (I cant remember which bureacracy I spoke with about this), or USFS. You basiscally run a "batch" in your kiln with their control monitor device, then once they are satisfied with your process you simply sign an agreement to process ALL stock in the same way, and they give you the stamp "go home" and dont come back. Not all units are heat driven but my guess would be nearly all, as far as overseas likely the same as chems are $$$....

I have built ALOT of stuff from overseas pallets especially tile pallets from third world countries, and some are really cool woods,.....I have NEVER seen an international pallet that was treated, IMHO. I did alot of this while serving in the military when I didnt have alot of extra money..... Some of this "dunnage" is actually pit sawn as we did in this country 100 years ago...

I think the challenge is the lack of BTU density of the pallets, but if you dont have access to cordwood, it'll heat your place, esp. if near or in a city....
 

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Old pallets are open pit burned to get rid of them, per what the EPA says to do with them. That alone says they can't be treated. Sounds like a good source of cheap firewood.
 

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I picked up a few pallets to build a base for a free kitchen sink I scored at a renovation. It is installed in my back yard now. Some of the wood had termites because it was stacked outside and probably not treated. Just paint it, termites hate that.
 

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i use wood thats tainted with chemicals and paint makes the fire green but it goes out and the door on the wood stove is closed..
Exactly... Unless one is heating a yurt or teepee with an open fire, everything should go up the chimney.

I've burned a bunch of pallet wood, and also "slabs" from sawmills (where they slice off the rounded edges before sawing boards).
 

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I picked up a few pallets to build a base for a free kitchen sink I scored at a renovation. It is installed in my back yard now. Some of the wood had termites because it was stacked outside and probably not treated. Just paint it, termites hate that.
I lived in Kentucky, which had a batch of termite problems. What we would commonly find is that the termites ate all the wood up to the painted surface. Pressing on a piece of wall trim would collapse the paint and there would be no or little wood left. Everything "looked" good but it was GONE.
 
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