Hi. I would like to know how to remove nailed pallet timbers without splitting the timber. Some of the nails I have encountered are machine driven and appear to be "bent" inside the timber making it almost impossible to avoid splitting. Nutta
Welcome to the Workshop community @Nutta. Many thanks for your question, I'll gladly assist!
Any levering method to remove pallet boards is inevitably going to end with a certain amount of broken boards. This is due to the quality of boards used as they are just not premium grade timber and that twist nails are often used.
If you take your time, with a pinch bar, you will be able to get most boards off. I tap the pinch bar in with a hammer from both sides of the board and lever it often from alternating sides. If you go from just one side the board will often crack.
If you do a significant amount of work then I would highly recommend my new favourite tool the Ryobi One 18v Gen 2 Reciprocating Saw Skin Only. It makes removing pallet boards a breeze as I can cut all boards off the pallet in under 2 minutes. You simply slice down in between the boards and the runners. This does leave the nail in the board, but depending on what you are using them for it may not matter.
I've also been recently made aware of the Mumme 1260mm Reno Bar which can be used to take pallets apart. You may wish to read the thread Pallet Bar as it has a community members review of it in there.
Working with pallets is something I have enjoyed and I would have dis-assembled close well over 100 pallets with a pinch bar and hammer. I've got to say it is now a pleasure to be using a reciprocating saw. There are plenty to choose from if you didn't need battery-powered or would like something more budget price-wise.
I'll also mention @LePallet one of our amazing contributors that specialise with pallet projects to see if he would like to offer some advice also.
If you would like to know more about these products or my methods, please let me know.