How to plane wood pallets

Updated February 21, 2017

Wood pallets are used for storing any type of item that will fit on it. They provide around 9 square-feet of space that is around 4 inches above the floor. Pallets are made out of rough cut soft woods like pine as well as hardwoods like oak. Rough cut woods are not soft and usually preferred for pallets due to the abuse they take. Planing a pallet will allow the pallets surface to be smooth and even decorative. Planed pallets will not snag furniture or items coated in fabric.

Adjust the blade on your hand planer so it is 1/32-inch away from the flat surface of the planer. This will allow you to cut 3/32 inches deep. If you have a hardwood pallet then you have decrease this measurement. If the wood is soft wood can cuts easily you can increase the measurement. Alter the blade distance in tiny increments in all cases.

Remove any screws or nails from the pallet using your screw driver or hammer. This will protect your planer blade. If your blade runs into these screws or nails it will likely damage the blade.

Position your planer so the blade is at a right angle to the grain in the wood. The grain in the wood is always parallel with how the tree grows and boards are usually cut parallel with the grain for strength.

Hold your non-dominant hand on the handle that is on the front end of the planer and hold your dominant hand on the rear handle. Push forward with your dominant hand and down with your other hand. Pull the weight off of the front of the planer as your planers reaches the distance of 3 to 4 inches. Notice the wood shavings coming out of the planer where the blade is. Continue this motion until all the wood has been planed.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand planer
  • Screw driver
  • Hammer
  • Screw gun
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About the Author

Brandon Salo is a world-traveling writer, musician, medical technician and English teacher. After earning his degree at Northern Michigan University, he traveled the world while writing, performing as a jazz pianist and teaching English. In 2014 he worked as an emergency medical technician in New York state before he left to travel the world while finishing his first book.