Thursday, March 3, 2011

Recycled Pallets

At the Opportunity Center, in addition to a sewing center, we have a wood shop. We've been making mahogany and pine deck chairs for about a year. We've also made a couple custom wood items, and experimented with some others. The wood shop offers a great place for missionaries, volunteers, and those to whom we minister to work with their hands, use creativity, and develop basic measuring, assembling, and safety skills. And we all really enjoy it.

We have now found a source for free wood. Thiel Tool and Engineering Company has started donating us their hardwood pallets. And they are conveniently located just under a mile from us. The pallets are mostly oak, with some assorted hardwoods, and some yellow pine. Once we sand the wood, it is very pretty and sturdy.

We have started making garden benches, picnic tables, and compost bins. Pallets are a huge waste problem for businesses (much like coffee bags); they have to pay for them to be removed, and they pile up in landfills. We are turning them into furniture, allowing a setting to teach various job skills.

If you are interested in sprucing up your yard or garden with handsome, recycled products, you can email Jason at

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