pete@commonwoodco.com - 0414834804 - Sydney, Australia

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Growing Up

Updated: Aug 5, 2018

I had been trundling along building one off tables, chopping boards and other home décor bits and pieces trying to grow my online presence when I got an email from a cool Sydney bar called Papa Gede's. They were after 14 reclaimed rustic bar tables for their new refit. After much discussion with the bar owner we came to an agreement on two different table designs, pricing and delivery date. 14 tables; 4 weeks.


Having to upscale instantly was going to be a challenge but I was more than confident I would be able to fulfil the order in the timeframe given. With this new order came a whole world of new obstacles. How was I going to manage my time building 14 tables? Where would I source the 30-40 pallets needed? Would enough of the table bases be in stock in time for delivery?


I began by sourcing the table bases from a local supplier. I try and ensure that everything I don’t build myself, such as steel table bases, is either made locally or from a local supplier. Keeping it local is really important to me. I have to try and practice what I preach. Once I had sourced the legs I began collecting all the pallets needed for the build. This is always followed by my least favourite part of any pallet wood build, the dismantling of the pallets themselves.


After a few days of pulling apart pallets I was eager to get the project underway and start actually constructing the tables. I figured the more complicated circle tables were going to take me longer as I needed to set up a router circle jig so I was going to get them out of the way first in case I ran into any problems. I measured, routed, nailed, planed, sanded, screwed and glued for days on end. Eventually I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it was looking bright. It was a pleasant surprise how well it all came together.



We had decided on half the tables being stained and half to be left with a natural finish to ensure there was plenty of individuality to each table. I went with a walnut stain with the intention of sanding it back a little bit after the staining in order to really bring out the rustic, worn character of the pallet wood.


As they were to be used in a bar I used a polyurethane finish in order to seal them off from years of beer and wine getting spilled on them. Once the clear coats had dried it was time to assemble and deliver them to their new home in the city.


Tables at their new home @ Papa Gede's



I think I learned a lot from this project. Having to plan to a deadline with woodworking was new, and has helped me down the line in getting things ready for market stalls and other customers in a timely manner. Dealing with a customer about design ideas and needs was a big thing as well; I now understand wholly how to engage a client when it comes to this aspect of the process. It is important to make sure that they get what they want while still allowing you a bit of creative license to make sure the piece is ‘yours’. I had a lot of fun with this build.


If you're keen on your own bar tables, drop me a line! If you are in the Sydney CBD DEFINITELY drop in to Papa Gede's bar.. Great bar.. Great people!!


Next Week – Market Stalls... What I know so far.

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