Ray Ffrench, Camberwell, VIC

Ray Ffrench, Camberwell, VIC

Upcycled pallets by ray ffrench

Ray Ffrench is President of the Waverley Woodworkers Club in Melbourne.

Ray Ffrench, Camberwell, VIC

Upcycled pallets by ray ffrench

Ray Ffrench is President of the Waverley Woodworkers Club in Melbourne.

Ray Ffrench, Camberwell, VIC

Upcycled pallets by Kristen Montgomery

Ray Ffrench is President of the Waverley Woodworkers Club in Melbourne.

Ray Ffrench, Camberwell, VIC

Upcycled pallets by Mark Wakeham

Ray Ffrench is President of the Waverley Woodworkers Club in Melbourne.

Ray Ffrench is President of the Waverley Woodworkers Club in Melbourne.  There are over 100 members who not only have an interest in some aspect of woodworking as a hobby, but also wish to belong to a community of fellow enthusiasts. Ray has used two pallets to create a student's desk, draw, chair and a number of other small items.

What have you made with your pallets?           

I made a student's desk with draw and chair, lidded paper tray, pencil box, utility box, paper weight with clock, pen and letter opener, potpourri container and a waste paper bin.

 

Where did you get your inspiration?

I have made most of these items before and thought that a set for a student's desk would be interesting. I was hoping that one of the grandchildren could use it.

How many pallets did you use?

I used almost all of the 2 pallets. There was only some sawdust and a few rusty nails left over.

What species of wood is in the pallets that you have used?

There is a variety of north American species contained within the pallets, including white and red oak.

Why did you decide to use pallets to make these items?

Most of the things that I make are from recycled timber. My friends give me timber from renovations and I always give them something back. A rough sawn 40-year-old hardwood wall stud can become a ‘thing of beauty' once dressed and made into a jewellery box.

Tell us about your experience in working with the pallets

The pallets were old, wet, dirty and heavy.  There were lots of splits, twists and the nails were rusted. I used a belt sander to remove the dirt and expose the timber.  Because there was no consistency with the timber type I never worried about trying to match the boards for appearance.  The nail holes were filled so they became a feature.  By the time I was ready to make the seat for the chair I had to laminate small pieces together.  By not worrying about matching timber by type and colour I achieved an interesting result. 

Why do you think it's important to reuse materials such as pallets?

Old timber is great to use.  It is usually dry and stable.  Any timber at least 30 years old is just magic. Nail and screw holes can be cut out or made into a feature. 50-year-old floor boards destined for a fire can be made into something that will be used for another 50 years.  Hopefully the items I have made from the pallets will still be in use when I become sawdust.

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