HomeOther Pallet ProjectsWhere To Find Free Wood? 13 Ideas to Try!

Where To Find Free Wood? 13 Ideas to Try!

You have an idea, and you have pallets. However, your project needs other free wood. Where can you find free sources of upcycled wood? We've got 13 ideas that you can use today!

Think outside the woodbin for sources of Free Wood and bring those upcycled creations to life! Where to get free pallets or pallets for sale:


Check under the “Free” section, and do it regularly. Be sure to be ready to pounce! When good items are posted, they’re gone pretty quickly. You can place a wanted ad too. In the U.K., check out the website gumtree.com for free wood stuff. Don't forget about free phone apps like OfferUp and Letgo, too!

Where To Find Free Wood? 13 Ideas to Try! Other Pallet Projects
Be ready to pounce when you see an ad for free wood availability! Craigslist is a wonderful community resource.

Online groups

Like buynothingproject.org, planetreuse.com, greenecoservices.com, or freecycle.org - organizations dedicated to helping people give away or exchange items for free. Both are into the upcycling/recycling movement, so they’re great resources to get familiar with!

Where To Find Free Wood? 13 Ideas to Try! Other Pallet Projects
There are many websites that make it easy to find, share, or trade free stuff!


Watch for curb alerts, free stuff and yard sales in your neighborhood. People give away scratched coffee tables, dressers, bed frames, and more all the time. Some may only be pressboard, but others can be great solid woods with a scratch that can be sanded! Yard sales, garage sales, curb alerts, church sales, and more are amazing resources for free (or almost free) wood. Just wait until the end of the day and pounce on those large furniture pieces that no one wants to bring back into their homes.

Where To Find Free Wood? 13 Ideas to Try! Other Pallet Projects

Dumpster diving

This can frequently go hand-in-hand with contacting the smaller retailers. Even though you see something in a dumpster or large trash can, people can be funny about “their” trash cans. You’ll develop a better rapport by reaching out to the store owners first. Offer to check back, leave your contact information, and follow up! If they know you’re interested, you’ll have a better chance of being contacted!

Where To Find Free Wood? 13 Ideas to Try! Other Pallet Projects
Be VERY careful when dumpster diving, both for possessive owners and climbing into bins to fetch lumber.

Barn salvaging

Many old barns, tool sheds, carriage houses, and old garages can have high-quality wood in wider, thicker sizes than you can get now. Talk to anyone near you who has a broken-down, dilapidated outbuilding, garage, barn, shed, or other wooden structure and offer to “help them clean it up”. Place a wanted ad in a newspaper or Craigslist, such as the following:

Will remove old barns and wood structures in exchange for Free Wood. Call 555-555-6565”

Be sure to study the structure before you start swinging a sledgehammer or wielding that reciprocating saw. Rotted wood, broken beams and shifting foundations can make barns dangerous. When barns and other wooden structures begin to decay, they become uninsurable, so this is something you can (very kindly and gently) remind homeowners about if they are hesitant. This old barn is too far gone to be considered structurally stable. If the owners don't want to repair it, the barn becomes an insurance liability. Swoop in and offer to remove that "burden" from the homeowners.

Where To Find Free Wood? 13 Ideas to Try! Other Pallet Projects

Demolition or remodeling contractors

According to thebalance.com, you can sometimes make an arrangement with the contractor and provide a trailer that they can load up as they’re doing the demolition. You’ll be saving them money with disposal fees and you may get some vintage and antique lumber and other building materials, too! Find a contractor that does a lot of work in older neighborhoods, or who specializes in revitalizing old homes. It is important to be very clear about what you’ll take – and what you won’t accept. Be sure they don’t put in the trash, drywall, insulation, or other unusable materials. Arrange to charge a disposal fee to the contractor. You should plan on understanding that you won’t always get perfect, ready-to-use lumber. You may end up with lots of scraps, but you can figure out other uses for them, or save them for your outdoor fireplace or camping trip!

Get Free Wood just by leaving a trailer on the job site!

Where To Find Free Wood? 13 Ideas to Try! Other Pallet Projects
Demolition and restoration construction workers are great people to meet if you want wood for free. Offer to help clean up the scraps if you can keep them!

New construction sites

Now, don’t get yourself in trouble. Simply ask if there’s a scrap or trash pile that you can help them remove! You have nothing to lose by asking.

Where To Find Free Wood? 13 Ideas to Try! Other Pallet Projects
New construction sites can be a resource for free stuff, including wood. ALWAYS ask first, and don't try to sneak onto a site at night!

Free bins or barrels

If you live near a local mill or company that builds a lot of wood furniture, they may have free bins out on their lot somewhere. Lucky you!

Where To Find Free Wood? 13 Ideas to Try! Other Pallet Projects
If you have a lumber mill near you, check to see if they offer wood bins or buckets!

Local retailers

“Mom & Pop” retailers, such as local hardware stores, construction materials suppliers, etc. Think of any company that may get a lot of wood either delivered or used as part of their processing.

Where To Find Free Wood? 13 Ideas to Try! Other Pallet Projects
Stop by smaller stores. "Mom and Pop" stores are more likely to have scraps that they are willing to give away.

Shipyards & boatyards

If you live near the coast, find out where the nearest shipyards are to you. When boats and ships are repaired or remodeled, you may get access to beautiful teak and other old-growth woods.

Where To Find Free Wood? 13 Ideas to Try! Other Pallet Projects
Imagine getting FREE teak wood! You may be able to at a shipyard!

Thrift stores

You may be able to find free furniture that you can dismantle and reuse, or give them a very lowball offer on a large piece of solid-wood furniture that hasn’t sold.

Where To Find Free Wood? 13 Ideas to Try! Other Pallet Projects
Find free (or almost free) furniture made of solid wood that you can upcycle into projects. Offer less - if the item has been sitting for a while, the manager may be willing to adjust the price!

Scrapyards and Junkyards

There are still a few that are open to the public. Wear heavy-duty work boots, gloves, long-sleeved shirts and thick pants for safety!

Where To Find Free Wood? 13 Ideas to Try! Other Pallet Projects
If you have a junkyard or scrapyard nearby that allows people in, start digging for wood pieces!

Wood product manufacturers

Cabinetmakers, Furniture Manufacturers, Wood Flooring Installers – any company that makes things out of wood will have scraps. Usually, the manufacturers don’t have a lot of scraps, but things get cut incorrectly or get damaged when moved around, etc.

Where To Find Free Wood? 13 Ideas to Try! Other Pallet Projects
Cabinet manufacturers, furniture manufacturers, and mobile home manufacturers all have scraps or offcuts. Contact them and ask if you can have some!

Now that you have free wood, make a Gorgeous Backyard Rolling Bar!

Where To Find Free Wood? 13 Ideas to Try! Other Pallet Projects
Bio: I'm a Licensed Vocational Nurse in Southern California, and enjoy woodworking with pallets. I've mad... read more

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