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salt and wood

Re use it or lose it

Tag Archives: modernist


These laminated beam off cuts were pulled out of a skip bin over a year ago. I trimmed them to size sanded them, stamped them, gave them multiple coats of varnish and spray-painted one side and then waited a long time to find some metal plate in the street. Then was ready to cut the base plates with a grinder to this aeroplane tail shape and add some paint detail. I used a router to countersink the plates for a flush base and screw fixed them from underneath. This is a great example of the importance of the ingredient of time in the Salt and Wood manufacturing process. And the need to have a little storage space to hold odd bits until the parts become unified.

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An old IKEA stool found in the street, the seat top was rotten and thus discarded and the legs delaminated in spots with surface wear. I simply removed the legs and screws and sanded them all back, re glued and clamped the ply lamination and then varnished and spray painted the legs as seen here. The new top was crafted from a section of hardwood plank found on the streets of Newtown.


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This is the end scrap of a laminated timber post that I pulled out of a skip bin. It already embodied loads of character with pre pencil rounded edges, laminated striping and zig zag joins. I applied some simple cross cut ideas to yet another CD stand. Utilising no other elements but the post itself to generate the functioning sculptural body. The rest was finishing the timber to bring out the colour and texture. It has an ink stamp on the side and a pressure stamp added to the base. The separate bits were glued and then I dropped a few long countersunk screws up through the base to ensure a 1000 year shelf life.


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I built a kids drawing table while attending Richard Crosland’s ‘School of Fine Woodwork.’ A course I will highly recommend to anybody interested in adding layers of insight to their skills. The table was crafted from some rough sawn planks of American Oak. There was a couple of random bits left at the end. This little square was destined for the BBQ. However for sentimental reasons Central Control deemed it could not be burned and was thus converted into this simple little cheese and olives platter! The raw piece had cupped over time adding a satisfying form. The legs are street recovered dowel.


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I found this discarded unit not far from my house. Judging by the style and crafting my guess is that some time in the 1960s some geezer picked up a couple of Maple planks and set out to grace the entertainment corner with a cheeky budget cocktail shelf! Remember this was a time before IKEA and the concept of DIY because… well… unless you were ‘well to do’ pretty much everything was DIY!

 It was looking past the point of salvage but it is amazing what turning something upside down can do to hide 50 years of drink stains! The maple proved to have plenty of life left in it revealing a charismatic colour and grain when sanded and varnished. The remnant white paint and black oxidized nail holes all added more character and interest. The holes and some removed rot where filled with orange wax and or wood putty. Legs were restored and added from another discarded table. And the locking lip of a piano lid was restored, cut and fitted as a rear barrier detail to the top edge. You can see the brass lock plate still in place. A two-part backing was cobbled together from scrap with the top inside edge painted orange to carry the wax detailing.

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This wholly horrible thing was cast onto the footpath at the end of our street. But the size was good and the structure sound. What was most attractive was the standing height top surface above the reach of children. Adorned in a fashion best described as post Romanesque nostalgic and sporting drawer handles that would make a Belgian proud as fittings in his secret basement dungeon. All I did was cut the top back to expose a bit of wood grain, removed the handles and drilled out finger holes and painted everything else white. And voila.

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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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Bower (A donated materials and objects enterprise on Addison Road) recovered timber mantle cut and varnished. Bay found flotsam has been doweled to main shelf to create legs.

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This piece of ply with cedar (?) spine was found among the rocks along Botany Bay. It seems like it was some type of storage box cover off a boat. The sea had honed it to a clichéd modernist trapezoid shape. I lightly sanded the underside to remove lose flakes but retain the paint history then stamped and varnished it. The top side ply was not that attractive after cutting and varnishing so it was attacked with the bright gloss orange paint to great effect. The legs were rescued from a table thrown on the street near Enmore road and simply sanded back and oiled. With the internal corner mounting brackets also rescued and reemployed into this item. The timber bracing is cut from two pieces of restored beach found timber. Also likely off a boat given the strong and light nature of this timber (?). The timber bracing was chiseled into the legs. And the little spine cut into the bracing. The odd height proportion is a comfortable standing use table. Say for drinks at a party.

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