Posts Tagged creative reuse

The Reuse People’s National Contest – congrats to our local winners!

It was a tough group of projects to choose from, but we have 2 category winners and a runner-up for our entries to the national level of The Reuse People’s 2015 contest. Thanks to all that entered — and congrats to:

  • Construction & Remodeling Category Winner: Julie Clinton & Clint Boushey for their sauna/guest house building where just about every material was salvaged or repurposed materials – from framing, windows and siding to all the the interior details (top pic).
  • Art & Furniture Category Winner: Wayne Chaudiere – who built his Good Tillage table from discarded plow parts and salvaged glass (bottom left). 
  • Runner up: John Harris and his desk made from a salvaged office door and transom window along with old framing and trim (bottom right).

winners TRP contest

These three will be entered into the national contest – winners will be announced no later than January 15th, 2016. Stay tuned — and good luck to our local winners!

Update (January, 2016) – Congratulations to John Harris who won FIRST PLACE in the Art & Furniture category with his desk project. And to Wayne Chaudiere for THIRD PLACE in the same category. Way to go Bellingham entrants for a great showing in this national contest!

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Many salvage details make a home

An office building originally built in 1912 for the Gooding Shingle and Saw Mill has slowly been made into a home since 2006 by its current owners — with a lot of patience and many trips over the years for parts and materials at The RE Store. Salvage items from The RE Store listed below:

 

A) Storm sash in place for old double hung window—enough for all the windows collected from the store over the years.
B) Computer work station. 1″ CVG fir top, solid oak cabinet, refinished.
C) Workshop storage cabinet, from WWU chemistry labs. 1 3/4″ maple bench top rescued from dumpster at Whatcom Middle School when they converted the wood shop to a computer room.
D) Double swinging doors.
E) Claw foot tub, refinished along with beveled tongue & groove red cedar paneling.
F) Light duty Dayton table saw.
G) Hemlock ceiling—beveled and tongue & groove milled on table saw.
H) Slate blackboard and CVG fir frame and chalk rail.
I) Stairway with 1″ CVG fir treads came in two pieces from a South Hill home. Oak hand rail also salvaged. Balustrade from re-used straight grained old growth fir. Cedar stanchion, 45 rings per inch, beach-combed from Cherry Point.

Do you have similar projects that use salvage materials?  From the big gestures to the small details – we love to see them all and see the new chapters of our materials’ lives. Send us your pics — and inspire others!  bray [at] re-store.org

 

 

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Shine Brite – the lite brite of reclaimed materials

By Rose Lathrop, Green Building & Smart Growth Manager with Sustainable Connections

For the last few years I have picked one project that I think is ridiculous and fun and try to make it happen. I focus on interactive and sustainable projects. Last year it was an Advice Booth made from recycled pallets and doors from The RE Store. I have dreamed of building this giant lite brite for years. The key was figuring out what the pegs would be made of. I was brainstorming at the Sustainable Connections office and someone suggested plastic water bottles. That was the ‘ah-ha’ moment.

shine brite

The 8’ x 8’ giant lite brite was constructed out of nearly all reclaimed and recycled materials (lights excluded). Using three hollow core doors, door jams and other odds and ends found at The RE Store, I constructed the light box and used over 350 500ml water bottles filled with colored water to create the pegs. Instead of a static white light, I used RGB LED light strips that change color, fade, flash, and is reactive to music. This adds a new dimension to the 1980’s tiny version.

I am happy to report finding that many water bottles wasn’t super easy. I found a couple of good sources and now that I am mostly done collecting them, I can go back to those places and suggest alternatives to those DAMN WATER BOTTLES! Hotels, sporting events/workout gyms, and construction sites were the biggest offenders and contributors.

Posted in: RE Store Rockstar Project, Stories about people, Stories about stuff

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“I like to make things from old stuff, the crustier the better.”

Regular shopping at The RE Store, Laurel Hair’s life-long love of salvage began with her dad taking her and her sister to garage sales when she was a kid. She loves to browse salvage stores for treasures and making new things out of old things – a few of which she is sharing with us below (in Laurel’s words): 

Laurel Hair projects

1) Fireplace gate hanging — the gate with original hinges is from my fiancés’ parents’ old house. He grew up in the house in Kirkland, and I took some items before it was sold and torn down, not knowing what I was going to do with them. Once we moved into our new house, I saw on a TV show the idea of using a piece of gate as a wall hanging, and spiffed it up, mainly wire brushed it. My son had given me the rusty sign as a gift a while ago, which I thought was a good compliment.

2) Wall hangings for the bedroom (one shown here) — I had found the turquoise old gate pieces at a garage sale a couple of years earlier. I decided to hang them on our wall, cut one down to size so they matched, and left the old hinges on them. I found some old farm pictures that I framed with old looking frames at Michaels that happened to have a great turquoise rim, and attached those to the gate.

3) Map wall hanging – my fiancé likes maps. We had one of the San Juans, so I stained it to make it look old, pieced together some old cedar fence pieces, and then added some old hinges and a few other rusty items. The ring was a piece from my fiancé’s cabin in Cle Elum off an old post. The metal piece I bought at a salvage store, and the other pieces were found at a junk fair in Ellensburg. I then cut the map into pieces and decoupaged to the wood.

4)  Christmas trees – again, I saw a different version of this idea somewhere as a wall hanging, and for Christmas gifts I decided to make smaller ones on stands out of old molding we had, old wooden rulers I found at garage sales, and pieces of driftwood. I cut the stars out of a piece of galvanized metal HVAC piping that I had lying around.

5) Christmas balls – I saw this idea at an antique store, and made my own frame out of old cedar I had collected, then added some old screen, and the balls. I can put other things on it for other holidays.

Thanks to Laurel for sharing her projects! Have your own before & after projects you’d like to show off?  Send us your pics!  bray [at] re-store.org

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REframing the Sustainable Office Certification program

wwu os logoWestern Washington University’s Office of Sustainability is committed to renewable energy and waste reduction, incorporating sustainability into many areas of campus operations and academics. Their Sustainable Office Certification program rewards offices on campus that have taken the extra efforts to operate sustainably — daily practices that reduce energy and materials consumption, impacts and waste. And now, after going through the certification process they are rewarded with a RE Vision Division framed certificate. “Prior to our partnership with The RE Store’s RE Vision Division we were purchasing mass-market frames, and while they looked nice, it wasn’t ‘walking the talk’ as well as we would like. We love that we can have something made with custom materials and created by a local artisan” says Campus Conservation & Sustainable Transportation Program Manager, Carol Berry.

FullSizeRender (37)It has been a great partnership for RE Vision Division as well. Projects like frames are a perfect use for furniture remnants and trim shorts, allowing us to save these things more and more from the landfill. Using a miterless frame detail (think window or door frames, examples left) allows for a quicker production, while using contrasting yet complimenting wood and stain combinations allows for unique and individualized frames. Eberhard Eichner, the RE Vision Division Designer/Builder who started this project, found this style of frame symbolic for the awards, since they are recognizing achievements of environmental responsibility — i.e. opening doors to new ways and looking out windows to set our sights on.

We are so appreciative of partners like the Office of Sustainability for their role in the community as well as helping us expand and perform the core mission of diverting, inspiring and educating through the RE Vision Division program. Thanks so much to Carol Berry, the Office of Sustainability and all the offices participating in the program thus far!

Want to find out more about how to make your own miterless frames? Download the pdf here:
miterless frames tutorial

 

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Welcoming David Spangler to our Revision Division team!

FullSizeRender (36)We are excited to announce a new designer/builder has joined the Revision Division team! David Spangler grew up in Port Townsend, WA, where he was surrounded by local history, Queen Anne buildings, and antiques. He was also exposed to the woodshop early on by his wood working father, who made furniture and toys. As children, David and his brother were always on the hunt for found objects for use in their play. In his early twenties, David started creating miniature architectural buildings from found objects (examples, below right), branching out later to build several larger wall hanging architectural art pieces from salvaged building materials.

 

davids miniatures

A Bellingham resident since 1988, David found his way to The RE Store in 1995 and has been working for us, off and on, ever since. In 1998, he fabricated a series of little repurposed bookshelves from salvaged materials, then moved on to start an earth friendly debris hauling business that ran for over seven years. His dreams of rethinking unwanted building materials continued to brew.

Returning to work for The RE Store in 2006, and still interested in finding new life for low value discarded materials, David implemented The RE Store’s successful furniture repair program in December of 2013 that continues today. Ever excited about upcycling, and the creation, design, and building of products based off of unwanted materials, he joined the Revision Division team in February, 2015, where his varied expertise is helping us grow this program.

Check out our Revision Division showroom to see our latest repurposed and upcycled furnishings, or come get ideas and ask questions about your own projects – and give David  a warm welcome to the Revision Division team!

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A cart of the community

20150511_180919300648166

We love it when great partnerships happen. When it is with our local business neighbors — even better. This vendor cart was a team effort built by Eberhard of our RE Vision Division and Bikesport owner, Andy, during a skill-building workshop last summer – sponsored by Transition Whatcom and showcasing salvage and portability for vendors to sell their wares. The cart was showcased around The RE Store for a spell and then found a permanent home at GOODS Produce stand. In exchange for the cart, GOODS owner, Cory, gave us store credit — which we are using to fill our greenhouse with a few starts and do some landscaping around our building. Thanks to our community of neighbors doing great things — and for this full-circle exchange!

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Partnership Highlight: HERTCO Kitchens

The RE Store’s aisles are not only filled with items donated from customers or by the deconstructed used building materials that our salvage crew is bringing back from the field. We also make various manufacturing by-products available to the public. Over the years we have been developing partnerships with local manufacturers to reduce the material going to the landfill. We defray or even eliminate the disposal costs through regular pick-ups of unwanted materials by our salvage crew. These components are sorted out by the manufacturers through stringent quality control systems, but the flaws are often only minor, such as non-matching stains, off-set drill patterns or miscomputed sizes.

Now our new waste audit program is furthering this salvage process. In teaming up with our partners and bringing in the builders and repurpose specialists of our REvision Division we assist on site in evaluating and diverting those industrial byproducts to new uses. As a non-profit we are also able to issue a tax receipt to the manufacturer for the value of the items received. In all these steps we help to raise the “green” profiles of our partners, bring about a significant reduction to the waste stream and give you, the customer, quality and affordable building materials.

HERTCO Kitchens, the Ferndale, Washington, high end custom kitchen cabinet manufacturer is one of our oldest and foremost partners in this endeavor. We’ve been picking up materials from them since 2004. The cabinet doors, drawer fronts and panels of all kinds that are not making the “final” cut into Hertco’s fine line of cabinetry have become longstanding and prized components to our customers for a variety of uses. Their exceptional solid construction, select wood and lasting stains and finishes are outstanding attributes for reuse. It matters to us, as well, to save the time and energy that went into that production by HERTCO’s craftspeople.

hertco collage

For over 4 years now these salvaged parts have also become featured building blocks for a variety of furniture items built at The RE Store in Bellingham. Eberhard Eichner, the REvision Division’s leading material salvage furniture designer, brought over 35 years of international shop experience and several innovative re-use construction techniques to the repurpose world. New uses for the HERTCO material components have been introduced through his experimental background and prototypes, constantly changing showroom pieces and custom work. They have become the sides of chests, boxes and urns, bookcases, benches and seats, tables, reconstituted cabinets and beds.

With more builders and designers recently joining the staff of REvision Division and the development of a training program at The RE Store you sure will discover these doors and panels as well as the many other reclaimed parts from various partners in a wide variety of items, available for purchase either at the store or through our Etsy shop.

Of course, through your own desire to create you will imagine a good many more uses. We invite you to come and browse the aisles for “the goods” and always ask for the builders of the REvision Division to unveil some construction secrets.

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The Summer of Repurposed Fun

Summers are fun. Summers are packed. And all these sunny days makes one want to go to all the little neighborhood art and community festivals that pop up on the weekends. And some truly have more unusual draws.

In Bellingham, the month of August started with some “Repurposed Fun” at a few of these festivals. Eberhard Eichner, Lead Designer/Builder of THE RE Store’s RE Vision Division, gave the strolling public two occasions to contemplate the art (and craft) of reuse.

art throwdown door

August 1st – the 4th Annual Door Art Throwdown was organized by Allied Arts in the parking lot behind the Federal Building on Cornwall St. Eberhard was one of the four teams of artists given two hours to do a door make over (all were reclaimed and donated by The RE Store). All the door artists were painters, but Eberhard decorated a reclaimed solid core door with a collage of “real” salvaged items, both sides having been given a makeover. Hung in a jamb, it retained its full functionality after the materials were added, the front side included: a “flattened” chair, a small piece of rug, a bookshelf with a rather eclectic selection of books, a former kitchen cabinet door as window, a framed picture, a wall mounted reading lamp and, last but not least, a golf club. The working title for this side was “A Room In-Between”. The back side of the door was an abstract application of door handles, mirrors and sample picture frame corners. In a Cubist, Dada-esque, and very silly fashion, it vaguely resembled a self-portrait of the artist. Title: “My Repurposed Self in a Mirror”. At the end of the event all doors were sold by silent auction as a fundraiser for Allied Arts.

make

 

And then on August 2nd, the REvison Division partnered with Bellingham’s Make.Shift Gallery in giving their annual block party a repurposed “Built-In”. Eberhard took his tools and tubs of marginal, orphaned and overstocked RE Store material to the street. Similar to his regular Saturday in-store building demos, he constructed on the spot a gallery seat grouping for the Make.Shift main gallery space. Two Windsor-type chairs were “joined at the hip” by former bed frame boards, crib rails and arm rests. They were oriented in love seat fashion opposing each other. Two loose side chairs or stools of different elevations completed the arrangement. He used underpinnings of salvaged barstool legs, and for the seats, heat exchange grates.

Randomly selected hinges acted as fasteners, plumbing parts as accents and two rows of the springy type of door stoppers gave it “interactive” detail. Now, the tired or contemplative gallery viewers can rest their bones, while looking at art on the walls. The gallery seat will be a permanent feature in the Make.Shift gallery.

Both of these demos, and the resulting pieces, gave the public a further example of how, why, and where repurpose works. And, as the packed summer fades into fall, they will tell of the repurposed fun we’ve had and provide good summer memories to reflect upon.

 

 

 

 

 

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Volunteer Finds Creative REuse in Off-cast Manufacturing Materials

Brandon McNamara, a Western Washington University student has been volunteering with The RE Store in the Revision Division for three months now on a weekly basis. He has worked independently and alongside Eberhard Eichner, Lead Designer/Builder of the Revision Division.  These crates are the first of many projects he plans to be involved with. Come find them in the Bellingham Revision Division showroom!  

crates and shelves

By definition, a crate is a slatted wooden case used for storing goods. These pragmatic crates allow you to do so with entirely repurposed materials. The wooden slates had previously been the rungs of ladders for bunk beds from a local manufacturer. The construction process was rather simple and straightforward.

  • The wooden slates came to us precut and finished
  • Holes were drilled into the slates and a jig was used to put the sides together
  • The sides were attached to each other using recycled screws
  • The bottom was then attached and then finished with light oiling

Thanks to Brandon for his work with us, and for writing the details of this piece!

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