Turning scrap into gold – part1

Shelf 2

I had thought stripping out the usable timber from the pallet had been hard work. Now with my first task the reality dawned that this would be incredibly time and labour intensive. Even with a good Bosch belt sander cleaning up the years of weathering and making good the pockets of rot took considerable time and effort.
The picture below shows the chunky shelf I made from two of the top pallet planks. I thought it frugal to take on a small, easily complete able task to kick things off with. Frugal because at this stage it was still experimental, I still did not know just how affected by the years this pallet wood was.

shelf step 1
Joining two reclaimed pallet top panels to make a chunky shelf

Unfortunately I could not escape the fact that this pallet had been abandoned to the elements for a considerable period. This is a shame as I have had to use epoxy fibre glass to make good the bolt holes and any rotten crevasses present and normal wood filler to finish (this can be seen as the light areas applied in the picture above).
As I have already started to mention my choice of materials then perhaps I should take a moment to explain in part the design brief that was running through my head. I wanted to build a solid structure that was portable and robust and could quite literally take a person’s weight with ease. Another part to the design principles is for it to be natural and traditional. The key values from which the design draws upon are on the About Us page.

Shelf 2
The shelf has been sanded, planed and holes drilled for the manila rope suspension.

The shelf was then dyed and varnished. I did not take any more pictures of the shelf it’s self but the finished article suspended from the gallows by hessian rope with a hangman’s noose (with 13 turns, the traditional number tied as it is considered unlucky).

handmans shelf
The hangman’s shelf suspended from the gallows – Halloween 2015

It all started with a discovery

Original pallet

I have often felt short changed and ripped off at events with mobile bars. I don’t wish to list a series of moans and whinges about the service that I experienced and the lack of quality product choice but it is safe to say that many comprises to the detriment of the consumer often occur. I don’t agree that these compromises are founded purely because a mobile bar is a temporary outlet. I believe the same levels of service, quality products and value should still be observed. And so it is the seed was sown in my mind that perhaps someday I would right these wrongs.

The story of Bravura Bars started in Jun 2014 when I came across this very large wooden pallet that had been abandoned to rot away.

Original pallet
The source material (pallet) of the main bar unit

At this point it did not immediately strike me to embark on a mobile bar business. I just knew that this pallet would become something great. As I started to salvage the useable timber from this monster of a pallet, the concept of constructing a flat pack mobile bar totally from reclaimed timber began to take hold. It took two whole days to dismantle the pallet and cut away the substantial amount of rotten. Unfortunately only a fraction of the original timber could be saved.

Dismantling the pallet
Dismantling the pallet
Dismantling the pallet
Dismantling the pallet
Dismantling the pallet
Dismantling the pallet