After the first pallet or so Photo Dude really got the whole process down to a science. He is going to explain his technique just in case you haven't done this before. We really only damaged a few boards and those can still be used for the smaller pieces we'll probably need for something anyway.
So after the trial and error period I got this down pretty good.
If you are planning on doing this I hope to save you some time getting it down. You want to start by removing the bottom slats.
This is the side with the fewest boards. Prop the pallet up on some other wood so there is nothing touching the wood to be removed. Using a small sledge hammer, I was using a 3 lb dead-blow, strike the slats next to the main crossbars starting on the outside of the pallet. Next step just flip it over and do the same thing with the top. once all the slats are removed it is time to pass them on to my lovely wife to pound the nails out. I did help once I got them apart. It is best if you have them to do this on some saw horses if you have them. It just saves some time and is a little easier on the back. I know this sounds like common sense but I did not get it figured out until half way through for some odd reason. I would recommend finding a mattress store and check with them for pallets. they are sturdy and have long pieces. Last not I would strongly suggest safety glasses for whoever is tearing the pallets apart.
All together we salvaged 12 2X4 that are six feet six inches and 36 1X4 that are six feet one inches along with a few smaller pieces.
EDIT* We actually got
(4) 62" 2X4
(12) 78" 2X4
(11) 82" 1X4
(23) 86" 1X4We estimate that it would have cost us around $100 to
purchase that much wood new.