Once you dismantle your pallets and have a good look at the wood, you will notice that the pieces are not identical. They haven’t been put through a thicknessing machine, so some pieces are thicker than others. The edges are often banged up or very rough. The widths often vary by at least half a centimetre. And of course, there are numerous holes from the nails you’ve just pulled out.
You have a couple of choices with how to manage this. You can either accept that you are using reclaimed wood, and build pieces that lend themselves to that ‘rustic’ feel. You can bang the pieces together with nothing but a light sand (to prevent splinters) and then stain the wood so that the variation in all the colours and textures can be proudly displayed.
Or, you can spend the time (and a few extra bucks on the machinery) to cut, trim, sand and putty the wood so that it comes up as good as new. You may consider doing this if you want to make really modern looking, stained (as opposed to painted) pieces. The choice is yours!