Once taken apart, pallet parts can be sorted, with reusable components used to replace broken pieces on other pallets, or used to build new pallets out of recovered parts. Broken parts or other unusable wood are then typically ground into wood fiber.
Dismantling equipment can be used to fully disassemble pallets, or to remove broken pallet components to allow replacement parts to be reattached. Once broken parts are replaced, pallets can be resold.
There are two basic approaches to pallet dismantling equipment, including the use of cutting wheels or discs, and bandsaw cutters. Less frequently, hydraulic equipment may also be used to separate pallet components.
1. Circular Disc Disassembly. This is the oldest approach to taking apart pallets. Typically this approach involves free turning discs, with an adjustable table top. The pallet is fed through the discs, which shear off the fasteners at the point where the deck boards meet the pallet stringer. The speed of the operation is determined in part by the number of heads. The more cutting heads present, the fewer passes of the pallet are required to achieve disassembly. One of the criticisms of this style of equipment is that while it can be very fast, there is a degree of lumber damaged during disassembly.
2. Bandsaw Dismantlers. Bandsaw dismantlers utilize a bandsaw blade that runs above the table at a height that will allow it to cut through the bottom boards as they connect to the stringer. The bandsaw dismantler has become increasingly popular among pallet recyclers, because pallet components are less likely to be damaged during the dismantling process. The bandsaw dismantler is also popular because there is less likelihood of exposed nail nubs after disassembly.
Either type of unit may be enhanced by additional equipment to allow a flow of disassembled parts from the unit for sorting and stacking, or further processing, such as to a chop saw to trim pieces to a shorter length.
There are several pallet disassembly suppliers to address the needs of your pallet recycling business.