Did a little better on the pallets this morning…


Did four pallets, and quit because I got hungry rather than because my old back was singing to me. Another two sessions like this and I’ll break out the chop saw and make stovewood. I may or may not hit it again this afternoon.


The generator is humming happily along, giving me no trouble at all. It’ll be due for an oil change once I’m done here, and I’ll hopefully drain the fuel and put it away for the season. Hoping that I go through the winter without needing it again, that is.

Wish I could say the same for that Craftsman recip saw. It acts and sounds like it’s giving up the ghost after only two seasons’ hard work. That’s very disappointing. It’s too useful to do without: Before next autumn I may look for an opportunity to upgrade.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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10 Responses to Did a little better on the pallets this morning…

  1. Mark says:

    for the price, I am happy with Harbor freight power tools.
    Their recip saw is CHEEEEEEP compared to milwaukee, but I can get a couple years work out of it before replacing it.

  2. Mike says:

    Looking good, glad that your back is holding up.

    As for Craftsman, all power tools eventually fail, some power tools just fail faster than others.

    Personally, I’m a fan of Black & Decker and DeWalt. For example my B&D jigsaw is something I use regularly and I’ve had it since 1983. My drill and power driver are older 18V units that I’ve had for over a decade. The only thing I’ve done was replaced the batteries with new ones last year.

  3. Ben says:

    That saw may just need the front gearbox repacked. U-Tube is your friend.

  4. Dygert says:

    On tools: I’d rather buy from Japan than China. That said if purchase price rules China is the way to go. Just expect a replacement every two to three years.
    I’d really like to hear about your energy budget. How many watts from which source at what cost. Where does the wood go. Home heat? If so what tech is rocket stove with thermal mass or conventional

  5. Joel says:

    Where does the wood go.

    It goes here.

  6. Norman says:

    Mark makes a decent point: buy real cheap, buy several. Is there a Harbor Freight within your travel radius? I can supply a 20% off coupon good for several months or download one from their web site. Buy a couple recip saws, they have one at $30. 20% off a pair would be $48, 3=$72. That’s less than the price for the cardboard box a Milwaukee saw comes in. Phil over at Bustedknuckles.com does point out, though, that if a power tool comes from HF the first thing you do with it is disassemble, inspect and grease it because apparently there’s been a severe grease shortage in China for the last 2 or 3 decades….

  7. Sendarius says:

    The cheapest crap-tastic power tools available OTC in Australia come from China (well, duh!) and have a THREE YEAR WARRANTY.

    Buy cheap, use it, abuse it, and replace it for free when it fails within three years vs pay through the nose for a “higher quality” tool, that most likely comes from the same factory.

    FYI, Techtronic Industries out of Hong Kong makes tools for Craftsman, Milwaukee, AEG (AEG Powertools, licensed from Electrolux), Ryobi, Homelite, Hoover US, Dirt Devil, and Vax, as well as other brands that don’t advertise their association with TTI.

  8. R says:

    Have you considered using a circular saw for pallet disassembly? Cross cut parallel to the stringers and you’re going to quickly wind up with nail free (except for the stringers) wood ready for cutting down with the chop saw. Use a sacrifical blade for the stringers and hope to miss most of the nails.

  9. Joel says:

    Tried that. In fact it’s the first thing I did when I began depending on pallet wood. It leaves chunks of wood on the stringers that are difficult to deal with when stacking the wood and loading the stove.

  10. Oscar says:

    Be careful burning pallets as the are treated to kill invasive insects. They are either chemically treated with poisons or heat treated. The chemically treated can release the poisons if burned. They should be identified by a stamp or a branding. Please google.

To the stake with the heretic!