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Pallet projects have been the trend for the past few years. And why not? Who doesn’t love free lumber? If you find some older pallets with a little grey weathered patina to it then you are a lucky duck.

I love some pallet wood or weathered fence boards as much as the next person but I also buy my share of stock lumber from Lowes for many newer projects in my home. Apart from scavenging building site dumpsters, free new lumber is hard to come by.

However, if you think outside the box (pun totally intended) there are free sources if you are willing to do a little work. Enter on stage left a box spring headed for the trash.

how to scavenge lumber

We actually got these box springs about 11 years ago. They were already in used condition when they came our way. But we were poor and living on love and had these two twin box springs under our king mattress.

7 moves and three states later, it was time for an upgrade. After inheriting my mom’s bed and box springs the ones we had were ready to be tossed.

I could have donated them to Goodwill or something. I am sure they would have taken them, but I knew there was good wood that could be used if I just took 30 minutes and a little elbow grease to make it happen.

old boxpsring


1. I first started by removing the dust cover from the bottom of the box spring.

Upon removal I saw all the glorious pine lumber underneath. Score!

boxpsring wood

2. I took some needlenose pliers and removed the staples and the fabric cover off of it.

free wood boxspring

removing staples

I actually kept the cardboard that was on top of the wood (it will be great to cover my garage floor when I spray paint small projects).

And the rest of the cover I compacted as tight as I could and taped it up and tossed it in the trash can.

free wood from a boxspring

3. Then I just used my Versa-cut to cut the 1 x 2 wood slats that ran the width of the bed.

rockwell versacut

boxspring wood


4. Then I cut the sides and the bottom of the bed to get as much of the length of the 1 x 4″s as possible.

I ended up tossing the 4″ 2×4 chunks in the burn pile because I don’t think I have much use for those.

boxspring dismantle

There were some boards that were nailed to each other so I just used a hammer and a pry bar to pry out the nails.

The nails that were too hard to remove from the boards just got chopped up and will be used in a bonfire soon.

The goal was the get a much wood, as easy as possible.

If I had spent hours prying nails out I probably could have gotten more but it wasn’t worth it to me.

boxspring lumber

All in all I ended up with just over 100 feet of scrap wood.

I thought it was worth a 30 minute investment of time.

Not to mention it was kind of fun for my neighbors to see me wrestling a boxspring in my driveway. {giggle}

Now I am not recommending cutting apart your current boxspring, unless they are ready to be trashed.

But I see old boxsprings in the trash all the time, especially by apartment complexes or college dorms (at the end of the school year).

If you are a little crazy like me and aren’t afraid of the stares as you load a boxspring in your minivan then go for it!

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  1. I did the same thing with the slats for the ikea bed. It was a whole helluva lot easier but I used that wood to make cute little signs for our wedding. Score for free decor!

  2. such a wonderful idea. I like this better than using pallets. Around here people look for pallets because they are paid some good money for them. So it can be a bit dangerous just “taking” a pallet. Also, this actually looks cleaner and that the wood is in good shape.

    I love the comment that your neighbors can see you wrestling with the box springs. I am sure they are NOT suprprised to see unusual things in your drive way.

    Thanks again for such great, BOLD, ideas!!!!!


  3. Yes, the wood was in good shape because it had been protected by the fabric cover. We haven’t even lived in our new house a year yet, so my neighbors may not know quite how crazy I am yet. Ha!

  4. I have done this before!! And my new husband thought I was a little weird , but, living on a farm for most of my childhood, we made do with stuff before ever getting rid of things. Thanks for educating the rest of us to use up stuff before trashing them just out of habit!

  5. Beckie!

    You crack me up! Only you would think of this. Super job and good score. Can’t wait to see what you do with all that new (old) wood.


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