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salt and wood

Re use it or lose it

Category Archives: HQ Cabinet

A section of eucalyptus flooring became the mid shelf with various bits of a discarded wardrobe utilized to make a hidden base drawer. And angled legs cut from a little plank recovered at the beach. Probably the most interesting feature is the pattern created by some type of wood worm on the inside face. I spray painted this blue then sanded it back to highlight this alien language. Another original feature was the use of Perspex as a backing panel. Cut from a broken sheet I found on my street it introduces a fantastic light quality to the unit. In addition to this light play is the mid shelf being deliberately off set from the rear of the unit to allow light to be evenly spread over the inner rear face. Note also the integration of the restored old school wooden ruler as the back edge to the mid shelf. And the restored/ reshaped corner of the old drawer face. Some old boy had resin bogged a rough corner on years ago and I was able to sand and polish this resin to reform a perfect little corner with all the detail of the resin and previous paint.

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The Inter War Deco Architectural style is a personal favorite of mine and many of the best examples around Sydney are the beautiful pubs built in that style by the hot young Architects of the day and paid for by the cashed up breweries of that era that still owned most of the pubs. Stepped roofs, patterned facades and horizontal patterning, coloured tiles and geometrically even curves reminiscent of the older P&O Liners are but a tad of the magic. This is a little homage I whipped together from these two drawers and various other bits of street and bay found flotsam.  Engineering wise this piece is interesting because the drawers are mounted pointing out to the sides. This created all sorts of shenanigans with regard to imagining a sturdy structural compilation. You can see I pushed the 1970’s handles aside for something more befitting the Inter War Deco design objective. These are the same type of handles I salvaged for the Tiki Lounge Key Cabin (a recent post). The paint colours are also intended to be reminiscent of some c1935 pub tile colours.

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This was probably a medicine cabinet complete with spilled iodine stains. Guessing from the craftsman’s stamp found under the paint it was put together in either May 1911 or September 1905? By DB? The other mysterious stamp is the ‘HO EC’ on the left side.

I found this in a back lane in Petersham Covered in layers of old paint and full of a colony of insects including Redback Spiders. After some meticulous stick flicking the cabinet was declared non-deadly and mounted on the back of my motorbike with a couple of ocky straps.

Just to be clear this was a rescue mission rather than a sculptural re purposing of accumulated components, as would generally be the intent of the item projects. And thus the character of the piece is more akin to its original intent and crafting some 100+ years ago!

Basically I was able to knock many of the joints apart and give it all a sanding. It still had what are probably the original hinges and screws though the door handle and latch were long gone with the housing rebate the only clue. The inside face of the side walls have multiple shelf slots but only two shelves leading me to guess this is a mass produced component to suit different uses.

The back panel was badly cracked and thus replaced. Where the wood was badly stained for various reasons I spray painted white and set up a contrast with the natural timber grain components. The whole unit seems to be a combination of pine and some sort of White Cedar? I put together an additional component that was fitted into the top rear to stabilize the whole structure and provide a secure mounting area to wall hang the unit. A little extra half shelf was incorporated into this. The white knob was some random street find.

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This was a commissioned piece for a surfer, thus the theme of the detailing. Two old drawers (face timber type unknown) and handles restored and doweled together to generate better shelf depth. And a variety of other street and beach found components have been restored and incorporated. From the coloured rope to the airoplane wing legs (note the grain in this unknown timber) to the islander detail trim from the edge of a little abandoned table to the shelves and horizontal rod hangers. The internal sides and back panel were spray painted blue in keeping with the ocean theme. The back of the drawer faces (now the ceiling) has been left as found to incorporate a bit of the history of the components. The shelf ledges are timber doweled to the sides of the unit generating these tidy little circle details on the outside faces as a counterpoint to the already interesting pine grain formations. This is also the first time I have finally incorporated some of the electric detail that has been a long time evolving in the SALTANDWOOD sketchbooks. With the components picked up from a Jaycar electronics shop. The retro switch was a purchase not a find. But I am on the lookout for some switches to re purpose! So this is AA battery powered (mounted behind the shelf ledge) and the little night access light can be turned on independently for the upper or lower shelf.

 The top shelf is designed with a smooth top edge to aloe wallets and phones to slide easily in and out. The bottom shelf has the upturn to allow a build up of secondary items and bits and pieces/ coins etc without spilling out.  The bottom shelf also has a newly developed feature in the ‘double entry lip’ that provides a spot for say a pen or zip stick not getting lost in the tray. This particular commission also came with a request for a place to hang a hat at the end of the day and you can see here the protruding disc that facilitates this. It is made (as was the switch mounting) from the second drawer backing that was removed and some found pine rod that can be popped out left or right if the unit goes up against a wall on one side. I also added some beautiful molded hooks that I coincidentally found in an abandoned cupboard (circa 1930s?) a few day before and restored well in a jewelry cleaning solution.

You can see the rear of the unit was finished of in a particular way for a bit of fun and colour and is slid in and held with a removable dowel peg if need be.

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Long drawer was the first item posted on this blog. It had a brother piece that was found with it and has now finally been converted into a companion CD shelf. Unlike Long Drawer one that was shelved with sides from other drawers, this one is shelved with restored driftwood boards and has a white painted internal surface rather than the paper lining.  

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Melf 2 Orange is the second ‘Man Shelf’ I have crafted and it is themed orange. Man Shelf, Man Station you know a place to locate your keys, phone, wallet etc when you get home as a means to managing your daily accoutrement. I stripped the old chromed handles off these street found drawers and used a jewelry cleaning concoction of water, white vinegar and detergent to eat them back to bones. I used the same evil to restore the spring that you see tensioning the orange rope. The spring is from a discarded deck chair and the rope was washed up on the beach. This creates a handy area to stuff cards or hang things of the deck. Not to mention this tensioned rope is actually adding strength to the hull. I cut one of the found drawers down to become a drawer within the other. And lined the base of it with some soaked off beer labels, using archival wood glue and a sealing coat of varnish. There is a storage/ hold area located beneath this drawer if you fully remove it. There is also a slide out deck extension for dabbling with keys, coins, cards etc built into the ceiling of the unit. This is faced with a rich red piece of driftwood and the underside also lined with beer labels. All nail holes etc have been sealed with orange wax before cutting back surfaces and varnishing. The middle shelf with the leading groove edge is a satiny piece of tongue in groove Eucalyptus floorboard recovered from a skip bin.

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This was an old hardwood drawer (as you can see in the before picture) found in the street. Circa 1930’s ? There is timber from at least 8 different trees in the restored unit including Eucalyptus and some boating timbers. The removable bottom shelf and the chocks it sits on is restored flotsam off two different boats. The middle shelf is a section of Eucalyptus flooring pulled out of a skip. The bottom shelf comes away to reveal a storage space in the base. The facade was laid out to emphasise the horizontal elements including using the flooring tongue detail. 10 horizontal elements in all if you include the shelf spaces. All the nicks and nail holes are filled with red wax before sealing.


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