Posts Tagged reuse

Community Co-op Connection building – materials to live on

coop connections bldg salvage collage

On Feb. 16th The RE Store salvage crew pulled materials from the former Community Food Co-op Connections building at the south end of the Forest Street Co-op’s parking lot. The whole building is currently being deconstructed by Bellingham-based Reuse Consulting – all to make way for more parking and a bike structure for the Co-op. There was some strong interest in moving the beloved mid-century building as a whole, but some aspect of that plan did not work out with the City of Bellingham planning department, and thus the Co-op set out with the goal to have 95% of the materials be reused. Some materials will stay on site to create the new bike structure, while others will be used to create an event center off-site.

The building was designed by Bellingham architect Jim Zervas, who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright and was a distinguished NW architect and planner for more than 50 years in the Bellingham and Whatcom County community.

In the words of our out-going Communications Director, Peter Frazier:

One of the finest examples of PNW mid-century architecture is being deconstructed to make way for the Food Co-op’s enlarged parking lot. James Zervas’ early ’60s Western Optical Building looked gorgeous from every angle, featured impeccable lines, and divine proportions. It was a lovely human-scale building that, like the best PNW architecture, brings the outside in, establishing a two-way relationship with the environment.

It’s been in my life for a half century. I first noticed it when I was about four years old because it looked remarkably like my house on Chuckanut (the house I still live in) but was improbably placed in the middle of the city. I’ve had the pleasure of shopping for glasses there as a boy, leading a strategic planning session there for KCLT about ten years ago, and most recently, inspecting the original hand drawn plans at Dominique Zervas’ Bellingham law office.

It was one of those classic PNW things, like a Salish Sea cobble beach, a Skagit Valley landscape painting, a crab feed with garlic butter, a Boundary Bay IPA, a live edge table by Smith + Vallee, a kayak in the rain, or a smoke-filled Waterfront Tavern.

It will be missed.

The RE Store salvage crew removed fir trim, windows, doors and stainless counters – all of which are in the store now. Come get a piece of this unique landmark for yourself!

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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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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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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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I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas…

Tips for a more sustainable holiday season from our  intern extraordinaire, Diane Lawrence

The holidays are a wonderful time centered around family, cheer, and the idea of giving. Moving away from our consumerist mentality and focusing on these key values, we can also be more conscious of the holidays’ effect on the environment. Did you know that Americans throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve? That’s a lot of excess waste! To help eliminate this waste and to conserve our natural resources, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to keep in mind during all the festivities this holiday season:

snow_trees_and_barn

DECORATING

  • Decorate with LED string lights – they save 90% more energy than incandescent lights and will last up to 100,000 hours
  • Set your lights on a timer – turning on the lights only once it’s dark will avoid unnecessary energy use
  • Use bows and garlands instead – replacing lights with this energy-free option will cut back on your electricity bill and the planet will thank you


CHRISTMAS TREES

  • Use a real tree – artificial trees consume energy and petroleum based materials during production, plus real trees have that authentic pine smell!
  • Compost your tree – they are a great source as mulch after the holidays


ENTERTAINING

  • Donate excess food to the food bank (if possible) – the holidays tend to mean lots of leftovers, help someone in need instead of throwing that extra food away
  • Send invitations and holiday letters via email  – save a tree by sending your holiday mail digitally this year
  • Use your finest tableware – instead of disposable plates and utensils, which will reduce waste and make your table look festive
  • Lower the thermostat during a party – the body heat should be enough to keep you warm!


GIFT GIVING

  • Do a Secret Santa exchange – reducing your gift giving to one person saves you money and allows you to focus more on one special gift while also reducing the total consumption of your family
  • Give battery free gifts – the EPA estimates that 40% of all battery sales occur during the holidays, keep these hazardous materials out of the landfill by giving a gift that doesn’t require batteries
  • (and our favorite) Give a gift made from reused or recycled materials – or make one yourself! Look for materials down at The RE Store to create a thoughtful homemade gift – or give a gift certificate to The RE Store for that person on your list in need of home project materials.  

Thanks to Diane for all her work with us this semester!

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Serendipity at The RE Store

IMG_2212We love a little serendipity here at The RE Store – and we recently had one of those moments at the Seattle store where just the right item was no longer needed in its home at the exact moment that it was needed in a new place.  Our crew backed up the truck to the store from a day in the field, and unloaded a set of French doors from a 1909 West Seattle house.  The door set was still leaning on the back edge of the truck as Bruce, the owner of Comstock Apartments – a 1909 building on Queen Anne – walked into the bay of the store in need of some doors, with the exact dimensions of this set that just came in. He wanted to keep with the original look of the apartment and building – and found it here, just off the truck! As many of you know, and our door sections can attest, most anything built in the Northwest before the mid-last-century was not of a standard size.  So to find the exact size, from the same year/era building at that moment must have been fate.

You never know what might be waiting for you – come to either store to see if that hard-to-find item is here!  

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World’s Market Waste IS a “Local” Resource

by Eberhard Eichner,  REvision Division Lead Designer/Builder at The RE Store in Bellingham

This is the season where even the best of us can get bit by the shop-and-buy bug. It is also the season for reflection. These two, seemingly contradictory endeavors can go together, when our thinking/shopping habits include the notion of “repurpose”.

When our trees are cut, and ships are loaded with them for far away countries whose economies with cheap labor manufacture ready to assemble furniture components and other items to send back to us – we have also shipped off the pride in our own ability to craft and build. That can suck us down into depression. Not only for the loss of our jobs and skills and the undervaluing of theirs; or for the exploitation of human and environmentally resources globally; but also for the ultimate waste that happens when we consume to excess. What a burden we have taken on in believing we have a duty to consume new goods in order to spike the graph of limitless growth! Even when we shop sincerely for the things that make us functional, cozy and secure (a basic human need!) – what is happening to all the stuff that doesn’t make quality control anyway, that isn’t of consistent stain color, hole pattern and size, or just ‘outdated?

You may be boarding my thought train now, headed for the landfills in those same denuded hills or, more cynically, another way of “outsourcing”- sending the now jettisoned flotsam by barge to more “disposable” locations. But wait! There is a station called “Repurpose”, where we can stop this train wreck in the making and divert it’s direction to a more viable goal.

Repurpose is the grown-up sibling of Recycling. Though recycling is a respectable way of saving our planet and resources by properly disposing and regurgitating our wastes into “new-and-raw-again” materials for production, it is still quite energy and resource intensive.  Repurposing is the way of direct conversion that increasingly can be seen in our communities. It’s the growing trend of artisans, craftspeople, manufacturers and do-it-yourselfers to turn the waste of our market economy, including the “global”, directly into imaginative re-uses by simply converting the components with no or little alterations into new items of stunning beauty. We honor the efforts, resources and energies spent. We continue the story of making, rather then trash it. We have fun!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And it is done here, locally – yes, jobs and the “stuff” –  case in point is a load of imported, yet orphaned parts from an Asian furniture manufacturer once designed to be bed headboards, rails and drawer fronts. Now they are REvisioned by virtually no cutting or refinishing into bookcases (photo above), stand-up desks, storage shelves and for “new” components to hall benches and more at The RE Store.  These and more can be viewed on The RE Store’s website galleries.

‘Tis the season, alright, to reflect on what we consider waste, how we can use it as local resource and turn it into good, for good.

Get inspired to do your own re-creations.  Shop local, shop repurposed.

 

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4 Easy DIY projects for Anyone to Try!

Are you interested in creating a project made from recycled materials but don’t know where to start? Do you feel you lack the “handyman” skills necessary to revamp salvaged items? Some larger projects can definitely feel a bit daunting, but there are plenty of small scale DIY items that do not require any construction experience.   Here at The RE Store, we know it can be intimidating to scour our store searching for inspiration and it can be difficult to visualize a finished product from the vast selection of materials, so here is a list of simple projects to get your creativity bubbling.

collage of easy DIY projects

1. Ceramic Tile Coaster

The RE Store’s tile section is overflowing with various sizes and colors of tile. Pick some up to turn into coasters or hot plates. Use your imagination to decorate the tiles to spice up your decor; I like the idea of mod-podging a map onto the tile, as seen above. Purchase some felt adhesives at your nearest craft shop, and you’ve got some unique coasters to show off on your coffee table. (PS-tiles similar to the ones shown above are on sale at Etsy for $18 dollars. You can make the exact same thing at the RE Store for under $5!)

2.  Repurposed Picture Frame

Use a cabinet door or window trim to create your own custom picture frame. All you need is a saw to cut the frame pieces and some wood glue to put the frame together. Use all the same materials like the one pictured above, or mix and match different trims for a funky, vintage vibe.

3. Cabinet Door Turned Chalkboard

The RE Store has a number of cabinet doors waiting to be recycled into a new product. One of the easiest re-vamping projects is to select a cabinet door you find appealing and simply paint it’s face with chalkboard paint. Tape off the outer border of the cabinet door before painting to maintain a frame for the chalkboard. You can purchase chalkboard paint at most hardware or craft stores, and keep an eye out for chalkboard paint offered in colors other than black as well!

4. Salvaged Window Coffee Table

For a more involved idea, you can tackle this project to build your own piece of furniture. It might be easier to modify the picture shown above and create a box as the base of the table, as seen here on the Oh! Glory Vintage blog. The RE Store has tons of awesome salvaged windows that have an antique feel to them. Find one you like and purchase some wood and a few hinges to complete the project.  Build a box to fit the dimensions of the window and search for some furniture legs in our cabinet hardware department.  Attach the legs to the bottom of the box and attach the window with the hinges, place a few of your favorite books and knick knacks on display and voila! You have created a custom coffee table that fits your personal style.

As you can see, DIY projects don’t have to be intimidating or labor-intensive! Use these project ideas to channel your creativity and add your own personal touch to each of your creations. Using salvaged materials in your DIY projects is doubly rewarding because you exercise your right brain-creativity and feel accomplished about your finished product, while also feeling good about reducing unnecessary waste and lowering your ecological impact on the planet. So head down to The RE Store to find the supplies you’ll need, and perhaps you’ll find your own source of inspiration there as well.

Special thanks to Diane Lawrence for authoring this article. Diane is an intern at The RE Store in Bellingham, and a senior at WWU, graduating with a Marketing degree in the spring. 

 

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Ebbets Field Flannels Updated with (Way)Back-to-school Materials


ebbets field salvage retail displays

Ebbets Field Flannels has been hand-crafting authentic reproductions of baseball shirts, caps, and more from historic teams all around the country – from right in the heart of Pioneer Square in Seattle.  To celebrate their 25 years in business, they have a brand new facility and retail store on Jackson.  Almost all of the details and displays are salvaged and repurposed – including lighting fixtures, globes, crates, benches, and lockers.  And many of the build-out details are made from bleacher board made of Southern Pine that The RE Store brought back this summer from Prairie High School in Battleground, Washington.  This dense yellow pine, most likely installed in its original use in the 1960s, has a new life as many great warm details throughout the space in their caps storage, rack tops, counters and more.  They’ve also built table tops out of a piece of bowling alley that found its way back to The RE Store – having already had a repurposed life before this latest incarnation.

 EFF_25th_Anniv_flyer

To celebrate 25 years and a new space, Ebbets is hosting an open house this Friday evening – complete with beer and dogs.  Check out the invite above – all are invited!  It is a great space to get some REuse inspiration.  Get inspired and then come find that special material for your own projects in Ballard or Bellingham!
www.ebbets.com

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