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salt and wood

Re use it or lose it

Tag Archives: talking point

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 little stick of timber held so much character between its surprising density to its rich colour to the black divot and shiny polished off steel nail remnant that it became its own object. Simply sanded and varnished with a slot cut along its length it becomes a means to compile all the odd bits of notes. Pictured, cards, reminders etc that sit around your side bench.

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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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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 hardwood wedge was found washed up along Botany Bay. It is interesting for its long concave elf shoe proportion and was just a sanding and varnishing exercise to bring out its inner beauty. It now takes pride of place as our front door wedge.

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