Saturday, November 3, 2012

Earthcarers recycling pallets.

Today I was involved in a fun Earthcarers activity at the Karrinyup Community Centre. All around the idea of making Christmas presents, there were a range of workshops to chose from, with people making soap, dukkah, dream catchers,  tea-light holders, and more. I was running the workshop on recycling pallets and wooden crates. It was a hoot.
With ute and trailer loaded up with pallets and crate material, I arrived on site.
My demo piece : A "folded pallet" garden seat.
The seat pictured above was a demo that I had made a couple of days beforehand, just to help convey some the wonderful potential of pallets for making stuff. This pallet was from the Czech republic. A folded pallet, as I call the method, required one pallet and just  couple of other pieces of timber pulled from another pallet.

Making a pair of Stilts.
Wheel chocks from a pallet which once shipped a ride-on mower. What better use for them?
Those wheel chocks nailed to the sticks just screamed of stilts. They just needed longer handles. I pulled a longer stick off another crate, drew a diagonal line down the middle, and ripped it down the line.
Cleaning up the cut edges with a block plane.
Nailing the handles on to the wedges (chocks).
One pair of stilts, ready for action.
Testing out the completed stilts.

The Stilts being put through their paces again!
Making a garden seat.
A couple made a folded pallet garden seat together, with some guidance from me. They'd never done anything like is before, and were very proud of their creation.
Very quick to catch on to using a saw! 
The finished seat... it's a beauty!!

Test drive! It's definitely a good one. And it fitted in the car ... just.
Making an occasional table/stool.
It all starts with an idea. The timber was found in the pallet pile, there's a discussion about technical stuff, like construction methods, and away we go!
Mum and daughter together, making the occasional table/stool.
The odd bit of input from me, but the project was all her idea...
Another nice job. A great little occasional table/stool.
One proud maker with her completed project. A gift destined for her grandparents.

It was a great day. A couple of kids shaped skateboard tops from some wider crate material, using panel saws, coping saws, block planes and spokeshaves. They did a really good job. Shame I didn't get any photos. Amid the making of stuff from the pile of material, there was also lots of  talk about wood recycling, tool selection and use, talk about the ISPM 15 Mark, and how to pull apart pallets and crates with minimal damage to the timber. The day just wasn't long enough...

There is so much recycling potential in pallets and crates. A bunch of Earthcarers had a good taste of that today.

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