Monday, June 6, 2016

The Joy of PalletCraft - Recycling Pallets and Packing Crates.

Pallets and packing crates are moving around the world in the countless millions  every day. The majority are made from wood, and while many are reused again and again, there is a massive number here in Australia which end up in landfill. 

Madness, really, for the following reasons:

1. Organic matter in an anaerobic decomposition process (buried deep in the ground) produced methane. More than 20 times more dangerous for global warming than carbon dioxide.


2. Wood is a great energy source. It is solar energy trapped in the lignin, cellulose and other matter which makes up plants. Better to burn waste wood for its energy than to  bury it in the ground. The carbon dioxide produced in combustion can be taken up by growing trees if we plant them!


3. Wood is a wonderful natural organic material which is renewable, recyclable, and reusable. Unless it rots or is eaten by insects, wood can be used again and again for Millenia.


While there is a lot of quasi recycling going on out there due to the trendy nature of the concept, those pallets and packing crates bound for landfill offer a real opportunity for wood recycling.


I have coined the term "PalletCraft" as a generic term to give a name to the activity. Of course, packing crates and dunnage are also a wonderful source of timber too, which often offer more options than the standard pallet.


PalletCraft is delightfully simple, requiring very few and very basic tools. With a hammer, hand saw and some nails, we can create some amazing stuff. Add a pinch bar and some pincers to aid the pulling apart and denailing process, and your options are greatly expanded. If it helps, a pencil, square and measuring device will enhance the quality of your work too. A few dollars spent at a flea market can get you all the gear you need. No electric tools are needed, making the activity very accessible and safe for people of all ages and levels of experience.


Ah... The joy of PalletCraft!

How about this Day Bed shown below. Made in pieces so it can be carried to an upstairs apartment balcony and readily assembled. I helped Nathan to construct it from mostly standard pallets, with a packing crate giving us the longer material for the backrest. So simple. Next it was to be painted and have cushions made for it. Very flash!


I am running two PalletCraft workshops in July 2016 - one for adults and one for kids. Check the "Upcoming Workshops" page for more info.

Come share in the fun!

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