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I would encourage caution when using dunnage. Lumber that is used on trucks, ship or in storage yards for stacking products on. Be as sure as you know where it has been. A number of years ago I got very sick. I got some nice big mahogany 6x6 boards left in a truck after a delivery. The truck driver is a friend and knew I carved. I cut off a 12 inch piece and set to work on it. I used a dust mask so I did not breathe much dust. The next day My hands were swollen and red and I was having trouble breathing, to make a long story short the lumber had come off a ship from South America and they use pesticides and other chemicals band here. It turned out to be expensive scrap. Over the years I have heard stories from other carvers that had issues with dunnage. It can be good source of wood just be careful. If you're not sure do not use it.
 

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Timely post. Mostly I don't take old pallet boards, primarily because they can be hard on tools but yesterday I found a couple nice long pallet stringers that were made of hardwood. I have a hard time turning down free hardwoods.

Pallet boards should have a stamp on them indicating what they were treated with.

https://www.1001pallets.com/pallet-safety/

The ones I grabbed look like they were heat treated to kill pests. I'm not sure of the species. Looks like they could be maple but they're really hard and dense. Maybe eastern hard maple, maybe something else.

I'm hoping to get a couple good shanks out of them.

Rodney
 

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"Looks like they could be maple but they're really hard and dense. Maybe eastern hard maple, maybe something else."

Rodney, most pallet lumber that originates east of the Mississippi is made from red oak. Very hard and coarse grained. Also a very beautiful wood when finished. One way to determine if it's red oak is by smell. Dried red oak has a feint smell of urea when sanding or cutting. Freshly cut red oak has an almost overpowering smell, thus the Midwest nick name of "piss oak" We cut up the oak pallets left over at the hardware store makes for great firewood. Also I use the slat wood to make bird houses and feeders.
 

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Most of the pallets I’ve seen are made from sweetgum, oak, Maple, yellow popular and even pine, you still need to be careful when working with these woods.
 
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I turned a shank out of some of it yesterday. Pleasant enough to work with. I don't think it's maple. Looks similar but not quite the same. Could be almost anything, not necessarily a domestic species. Nice clear straight wood though.

Rodney
 
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