Here’s the second installment of The Scrounge Chronicles. This is how I made garden stakes from wood palettes, and includes the fastest way I’ve found for disassembling palettes.First I disassembled the palettes. As a side note, one of my experiments for fast disassembly was “Der Schmasshen Truck”. It was a full sized Dodge truck, that I had removed the rear wheels from. I laid the wheels on the ground, then cut out one side of each tire, leaving the tread and inside sidewall. Then I filled each tire with concrete, and let it dry. I put the now very heavy and solid wheels back on the truck. The idea was to drive quickly in reverse onto a pile of palettes, and smash them into firewood. Well, that was another idea that din’t quite work as planned. While the wheels were solid enough to do the job, the back of the truck was too light. So I put a bunch of scrap metal in the truck, but it only worked so-so.
This method does work faster than other methods, but it’s still a bit of strength and effort required. After the pieces were separate, I bent the nails over, or cut them off with a 4 inch angle grinder. You have to think about where a saw blade will cut through the wood, and remove nails there.
The ends of the stakes are cut to a point on the table saw. Be sure to use a separate piece of wood to push the scrap piece away from the blade. I did that, but not well enough, and got a VERY nasty cut about two weeks ago.
The thinner cross pieces where cut from a heavy duty shipping palette made of 2 X 8’s. They were left over from a remodeling project. The paint is all left over from other jobs. The black is straight out of the can, the green is yellow with a little bit of dull blue added. Both are latex paints. The stakes are pounded in where I needed them, then the cross members were attached with 1 inch screws and an impact driver.
I really like the way these stakes look, but honestly, they are SO MUCH more work than tomato cages. Our cages were made from tall used livestock fence, the kind for goats and smaller animals. Those cages are literally 10 times easier to use for tomatoes than these stakes. I made the stakes because I ran out of the fence material, but I’ll spend until next season scrounging some more fencing just to avoid the stakes. If I want looks, I theme the garden like a v patriotic victory garden.