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salt and wood

Re use it or lose it

Tag Archives: re-purpose

Street found logs with some finishing to the seat surface. One cut cross section and the other long section exposing the different grain patterns. Legs created from recycled coffee table legs and hardwood dowel.



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I found this wonky old table top washed up on a Sydney beach. I think it is Maple? But with a little sanding a varnishing of selected faces an amazing transformation took place from the sun bleached out grey to this rich brown red. There was some remnant structure on the tabletop to generate ledges and legs but I ended up adding in some other timber I had found as well. I think I made 7 variations of this stand from this. Some examples shown here.


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This one was commissioned for myself. I wanted some sort of stand to have next to my work computer so I didn’t have to look down to hardcopy drawings to reference notes etc while typing. It will be located next to the screen. Basically composed of a bit of scrap plywood, a little ledge of an old cabinet, a salvaged and restored hinge and some plywood chocks to allow screw depth. I cut the designed leg shape out, shaped the ledge and pen tray and spray painted the back and front as shown. I also located a little magnet couple in the swinging leg to hold it shut when carrying the unit around.



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This one was commissioned for myself. I wanted some sort of home base for all the design paraphernalia at the end of the drawing table at work. It is custom made to fit across the end of the 1000mm deep desk and allow easy access to masking tape, pens and pencils, geo triangles, rolls of yellow paper etc. You can see the top shelf tips back so rolls of yellow paper will roll to the backboard. Under the main top shelf is a dowel rod that allows geometry templates to be shoved in floating over the pens etc.



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Not an old yellow dog but an old table top with yellow legs.

 Unlike the classic 1956 Walt Disney family tragedy, the production of this ITEM has a happy ending. No need to get the gun Pa!

The tabletop was donated by a friend who hauled out from under his mums house. Unfortunately I don’t have a before picture. But it didn’t look like it does now! A curious timber and constructed form, its difficult to even guess at the true age and previous use? The legs as you can see are salvaged from another street found unit.



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Not sure what this very heavy timber is but it restored beautifully. I am guessing these drawers are C 1930? I dissected one of the three found drawer fronts to generate the ledge and rear leg for the 2 LP record stands. And detailed them with ideas of 1930s Functionalism in mind:



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Essentially a ‘redo’ of ITEM 57 Blue Groove

 “An LP record stand to show off the cover art and protect them from the daily hazards and always know where you left it!”



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A plank from a work site hazard barrier washed up at the beach converted into 2 LP record cover (or whatever, book, picture) stands. They vary in what way the end and long grain have been used and have different legs. One of them includes a bit of yacht salvage!



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Recycled timber bangles. This is the 4th swing at this and possibly my favorite so far. A one only ITEM this time. Be your own judge.


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A washed up log segment and some scrap plywood reconfigured into this bedside/ chair side platform for your book and beer!



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This grand little unit arose from three busted old drawers (c 1930’s ?) I found a year ago on Alice Street in Newtown. I first thought they were completely lost and was just going to rescue the handles. But noticed this beautiful fine-grained timber (anybody? anybody? thanks Ferris) lurking under the muck and decided to bring it all back to life. One of the ply drawer faces was more intact and with a bit of crafty gluing and clamping was able to be retained. The gritty detail of the plywood dovetail jointing now speaks for itself. I crafted some side panel legs from a found plank of old She Oak (?) And factored in a different lifting handle from a separate find. This handle accentuated the ‘rounded corners’ theme. The middle shelf was created by cutting a curve in what was previously a drawer side to create the rounded mid shelf and half arch of the leg. Some decorative work was added to the rear face via some found old school ‘learn to speak Spanish’ book and a selection of Danish beer labels collected while in Copenhagen. Also a hidden shelf and sub tray has been worked into the base of the unit. And this lined with a random selection of colourful beer labels. Over all you get the sense that this project was heavily researched! In fact you can see from the Youngs Double Choc Stout that made it into some pictures, the research was going on rite to he last.


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Simple pine shelves found in the streets of Newtown. I am guessing they were produced some time in the 1970s or 80s I stripped the paint off and stamped them. Then used various street found scraps of timber from old cupboards etc to create the element at the back of the top shelf and a hidden base tray and fascia and then some legs, cut from a found piece of treated pine and painted. The other main feature of this embellished restoration is the imagery added to the backboard. I bought this old children’s book for $3 on a trip south of Sydney. It contained these fantastic water colour scenes. I scanned the pages to generate flat sheets then glued onto a backboard (found 3 ply cut to size) and varnished.  The book I used is referenced here below; Title: A child’s book of fishes. Author: Kay, Dorothea. Published: New York : Maxton Publishers, [1953]  

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An LP record stand crafted from a single Timber plank found on Sydney shores. Sorry no before shot :(. Despite the great erosion of the timber due to an extended time at sea it revealed great colour and beautiful grain when sanded and varnished this in turn creating a great contrast of surfaces. The rear leg and front ledge are fixed to the body with wooden pegs. A circular rebate is added to the rear surface to assist lifting and the red horizontal stripe and number stamp were added to compliment other items owned by the recipient of this item. I have no idea what species of timber this is or where it floated in from only that the over all form is from dimensioned timber and the rounded edges and attacked surfaces indicate it has been adrift for some time.



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I wrestled these two hardwood beams from a skip bin not too far from my house and carted them home on the roof of the trusty Subaru. A note here that if you ever decide to dabble in the high art of scavenging recyclable materials, I highly recommend acquiring a clapped out Subaru wagon with Rhino roof racks. There is not much I have not been able to easily shift around with this.


These beams were deceptively and enormously heavy and old by Aussi building standards. Coming from a renno of a big old Newtown terrace. I could guess that this is Eucalyptus that was hundreds of years old when it was cut and that was probably around 140 years ago. So lets say the tree this timber is from was a germinating seed around 300 years ago!!!!


Once home I determined the choice cuts to chop the beams down to more manageable size. The scraps made exceptional firewood for the BBQ. Then there was all the knocking off of trimming timber, sanding, de-nailing and so on just to get down to the great colour and character of this timber. The legs were cut out of the beam and the rest of the process of becoming a bench is apparent in the pictures. Basically I embarked on a bit of rebating and used a found broom handle to do the doweling to pin all the bits together. Another broom handle forms the red bracing detail under the seat. And a scrap bit of timber was used to fill a rebate on the surface where it is stamped.


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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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