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Author Topic: Poplar for pallets  (Read 596 times)

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Offline JoshNZ

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Poplar for pallets
« on: August 06, 2022, 08:31:47 PM »
I've been reading these threads about some of you palletising your operations and think it's a good idea for me too. I have a bunch of Poplar logs coming to me for free and wondered how suitable it would be to make them out. Not just for timber but for palletising waste too - log ends/rounds in particular, if I'm going to start standardising lengths.

Can it be sprayed with something quick and cheap to make it last a little longer? Diesel even? Some of them will have to sit on the dirt for some of their life.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Poplar for pallets
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2022, 08:46:12 PM »
If the wood is free, then consider it a free pallet that will live its life (probably 2 years) and then be disposable. Investment limited to the labor and expense of turning the poplar into a pallet.
Doubt any treatment would add much to the pallet's life and only will add to the cost of the pallet.  
If there was something to spray that was quick and cheap, then many would be using whatever that is. IMO
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Poplar for pallets
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2022, 08:58:41 PM »
   What kind of poplar do you have in NZ? Around here poplar is Tulip poplar and is not very durable in contact with the ground.
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Offline esteadle

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Re: Poplar for pallets
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2022, 09:08:42 PM »
How old is this wood? Poplar is not that strong and can degrade quickly in too moist or too dry conditions.

Offline Ianab

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Re: Poplar for pallets
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2022, 09:53:27 PM »
What kind of poplar do you have in NZ?


Most likely Populus nigra. But same issues with durability (lack of) 
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Poplar for pallets
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2022, 09:59:26 PM »
At the place I use to work at we got some wooden pallets, them things did not hold up at all. 
I was some mad. Asked the higher up what kind of wood they were. High density hardwood was the answer the pallet mill gave them.  ;D
If they are free, they are worth just about that amount for pallets.
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Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: Poplar for pallets
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2022, 10:17:53 PM »
The poplar around here rots very quickly when in contact with the ground.  When it rots it kind of crystalizes and becomes very brittle even though it looks like the wood is mostly still there.  A few months on the ground and it will be no good any more.

Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Poplar for pallets
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2022, 12:50:43 AM »
Well crap. I'm not going to cut my walnut logs into pallets lol.

Maybe Lawson Cypress/port Orford cedar would suit better? I'll come into some of them sooner or later.

Offline Ianab

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Re: Poplar for pallets
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2022, 12:59:06 AM »
Yeah, Lawson would be about 10X more durable, and probably the best (common) local option. 
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline Don P

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Re: Poplar for pallets
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2022, 07:10:14 AM »
Make a small run of 2 sets of poplar. Don't treat one, give the other a healthy soaking in a borate solution. Let the wood dry before using. Compare and see if it buys you much more useful life. 
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Poplar for pallets
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2022, 08:14:24 AM »
Pine is not ground contact logical but is commonly used for crating around the world. Poplar here in KY/US is a major sawmill product and is mostly sold for millwork and to the furniture industry as it machines well and when stained it takes on the appearance of many other woods such as cherry, maple and walnut. For about 25 years or so local processors have begun to produce KD poplar wall paneling and flooring. It's soft for high end flooring but in use works well, esp. in cabins and such. Those large local mills have dipping tanks for poplar but not to make it ground contact material but rather for staining and PPB's to allow air drying before the kiln process. Near me a millwork factory has tens of thousands of BF, covers maybe 5-10 acres, in air dry stacks on sticks waiting for it turn in their kiln, 100% is poplar.
Lower grades of poplar would make great crating, esp. were the base a durable wood, meaning strong not ground contact. Stronger hardwoods that standup to weight and crazy forklift operators are the pallet woods of choice?
 Fact is most pallets don't sit on soil, they are inside factories, trucks and warehouses. 
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Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Poplar for pallets
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2022, 03:04:39 AM »
We just got done with this stack, 3 days of work for Kels and I on the manual mill, poor girl got a rough deal being with me hah.



 

We've dead stacked off the mill, restacked when filleting, and will probably restack again into kiln and dead stack again out of the kiln.

If we're going to do any more we need to go on pallets, and it needs to be filleted at the mill then the pallet goes with the timber through the whole stage as suggested.

This is all Blackwood Acacia melanoxolyn, been sitting around a while and has a few boards showing signs of decay, I've got this horrible feeling it's all going to end up in the bin but fingers crossed.

Offline Nebraska

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Re: Poplar for pallets
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2022, 01:47:52 PM »
If it weren't for Cottonwood (similar to Poplar)  we would almost have no timber industry here.   The bulk of our mills sell or manufacture pallets from it.
My solution to the quick decay is to add feet to the pallets made of treated wood to keep them off of the ground. It helps some. Maybe 4 years instead of two...


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