Sometimes when you want to build something, you just have to use what you have available to you. Especially if you’re low on cash and can’t buy all of the expensive materials to build it. Like this guy who built his own little pontoon out of wooden pallets if you can believe it. He was able to get the pallets and then take them apart to use the wood. Then he used 55-gallon plastic drums as the floatation portion of the pontoon. He built the raft out of the pallet wood by using the best pieces from the pallets. Taking apart the pallets for this project would be the hardest part. But there are ways to make it much easier. For example, you can use a crowbar or a pry bar to lift the wooden slats up from the nails gently.
Ripping them off is not recommended as it can really damage the wood, splitting it in two. You can also try getting the nails out of the pallets too; this can be tricky as well. You can use a hammer or another device that works to remove nails. Just always remember to be gentle when you’re doing this. You still may end up with warped or cracked boards so once you’re done taking apart the wood pallets, go through the pieces of wood and see which ones you’d like to keep. You’ll also have to find yourself the pallets first. So look in your local buy and sell pages online and see if anyone is giving them away. Usually, people will post them online or for sale in your community, so they don’t have to take them to the dump themselves.
This way they don’t have to spend money on dropping stuff off at the dump and someone else can have a chance to use the materials for something else instead of them just going into the trash. Some people may charge for their pallets, but most will give them away for free. You can check with big box stores for pallets as well since a lot of their orders will come in on these pallets, and they may have some left over. Don’t be shy to call and ask, many of them are happy to get rid of their pallets.
You will also need a bunch of 55-gallon plastic drums. You can get these at garden or farming supply centres or even home depots. You might even be able to find some for sale that are recycled which would be even better.
To craft the actual pontoon, you’ll take the larger boards from the pallets and make them the base by placing them a couple of feet apart from each other to create the frame for the pontoon floor or deck. Then you can add the pallet boards onto the frame by securing them in place with screws for security. Then, you will attach the bins to the bottom of the pallets you’ve created using ratchet straps. For this larger project you can see that they needed 16 barrels to create the floatation portion of the pontoon, so make sure you add enough barrels for the size of yours.
You can also see that they were able to take the pontoon apart and load it onto their truck and then reassemble it once they were at the water. They even bought a nice shaded tent to stand on the pontoon and were able to fit chairs and a table on the pontoon as well. It’s pretty incredible what you can build with a few recycled materials and some imagination.