A project undertaken by Suzanne Carr. This will one day be the norm , upcycling materials; in this case pallets into sliding wardrobe doors. Unique and stylish I think this is a brilliant use of reclaimed wood I helped Suzanne with some of the technical issues that arose but apart from doing some machining of the pallet wood the doors were manufactured and installed by Suzanne.
“I am really pleased that I became involved in this project and would be very happy to advise you if you are considering something similar.
‘Having had quite difficult experiences with rented accommodation over the years, I have always felt very appreciative to now be living in ‘my’ house, owned by a housing association. It’s been important for me to make it a real home for my daughter too and I’ve always been keen to do as much as I can myself, DIY wise. Some time ago I knew I needed to make more storage space in my bedroom. I decided to build my own sliding wardrobe doors as I wanted something a bit different and was on a limited budget.
I approached different skilled trades; carpenters and blacksmiths, to see if my idea was possible – I had found an image of a door online I really liked and used it as inspiration, made from horizontal wooden planks sat in a rectangular steel frame.
Phil Candy, a blacksmith near Otterbourne, really helped me put my plan into action and was an incredible support right from the start. He made four steel frames for me from 25mm steel.
I then ordered some reclaimed pallet wood online from a really helpful guy in Wellingborough, who sent approx 6 sqm of pallet wood. I also sought a lot of advice from Chandler’s Ford Timber in Eastleigh, who were fantastic.
I encountered quite a few problems on the way as when I originally constructed the doors and put the wood in the frame, the pallet wood bowed the steel completely out of shape! I had really underestimated the strength of the wood. I was devastated as I’d already built the structural frame for the doors to sit in and at that point was unsure if I would be able to use the 80 bits of pallet wood I’d purchased, sanded and varnished or the four steel frames! I phoned round some carpenters to see if there was anything that could be done and was lucky enough to come across Ian Stone.
He had such confidence in my project and such a passion for sustainability and using reclaimed materials, it gave me renewed determination! He also really brought it home how important using recycled alternatives is for the planet, not to mention that you end up with something different and individual.
He advised to use a thicknesser to take the pallet wood down to 8mm, to then insert a large piece of Eastern plywood into the steel frame first, then once that’s secure (from the back with screws) finally attach the pallet wood onto the plywood with a polyurethane glue. It was also really important to weight everything down so the wood didn’t bow out before it was set to the ply, therefore keeping the shape of the steel and door itself.
I am so pleased to say, I finally finished the doors and now have unique, self made wardrobes that I absolutely love. Not only did the experience teach me so much, but it was a pleasure to work with so many inspiring and skilled people. I could not have done it without them, Daryl, who helped me immensely and my daughter who put up with our house being turned into a workshop for some time, and as always, gives me purpose!”
Suzanne Carr , Hampshire