It was long overdue but i knew I needed to put down the excuses and pick up the tools.
The wife pointed me towards some Pinterest articles on pallet wood creations one day and I was hooked. First because I loved the idea of creating awesome stuff with up cycled material, and second because until then I thought Pinterest was just a site for soccer moms to swap meatloaf recipes.
Of course my ignorance was soon countered with the literal hundreds of guys, who, just like me, wanted to create and showcase their hobbies online and decided to use the site to showcase their work.
Cool. Point taken. I'm a jerk, and now I know better.
So I grabbed the truck keys and drove around town to find some pallets for my projects.
Note this: you can get pallets dos free. Check Craigslist.
But for the sake of discussion, let's pretend I didn't do that and instead drove behind stores and shops like I was scoping out the place for a heist until I found decent pallets for what I had in mind.
And then let's pretend I grabbed them, threw them in the truck and hit the gas like a snatch and grab operation .
Not saying o dos that, but maybe someone else who looks like me did. Whatever. All I know is that I have a garage full of pallet wood that I using for my projects, and I am happy with it.
But for the sake of a healthy discussion let's look at how someone can get material for cheap without spending hard earned money that you need for regular life. After all, a hobby that sucks up your monetary resources is bound to drain you to the point where you'd have to quit that hobby in order to keep the lights on. And that is a lose-lose.
I mentioned Craigslist. Start there. Under free stuff. Someone is always trying to u load something. Pallets are more common than you think. The best place to get them is from small shops that don't have big shipping contracts with freight carriers. They need those pallets gone, and without those corporate deals, every time they get a shipment, they are left with a pallet that no one is coming to get but that they need to get rid of. So take advantage. You'll be helping them out and in return you'll get some material for free.
On the flip side, a big box retailer usually has a contract with a carrier who is coming back for their pallets. If you take them, you'll be screwing up their deal and you might be explaining your hobby to Johnny law, so your best bet is to leave Walmart and Home Depot to their devices.
Stick with free. Everyone wins.
Have also had some luck in the trash. That's right. Dumpster diving.
If it's in the trash it's fair game. And just because it's on the curb does not mean it's unusable. There a be a great board or component that would work in your project in someone else's trash.
That extra time you spend searching is actually saving you money. A few minutes scavenging a few minutes working? Spending that money you earned during the workday or spending some elbow grease on materials?
Figure out what works for you. But the stuff you find for free is some times perfect.