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2008-Sep-18 - Wooroloo - Free Pallets to Build Temporary Roof Frames
I'm very much on the scrounge now for any materials that will let me build the temporary roof frames - need about 500 lineal metres.($1500 new)

On Monday, on the way to an appointment I noticed some wooden crates on the verge of a machinery outlet.

I didn't have time to stop in then, but on the way back I did

I thought I would take the straight forward approach

I walked up to the front counter and said, "I'm on the scrounge for timber - is that scrap wood on the verge available to anyone ?"

The girl behind the counter said, "Help yourself to as much as you want"

Someone else said, "We have two hundred pallets out the back that we have to throw out - just go down that lane way, during working hours and you can have as much as you want"

I thanked them and promised to be back by Wednesday with a trailer.

I didn't make the Wednesday deadline (still very tired from the cold) but I did get there on Thursday.

Checked in at the front counter and then drove the utility and trailer around the back to the storage areas

I spent the next two hours picking the eyes out of a stack of 50 pallets.

The main thing to aim for is nice long lengths of 90 x 45 mm pine making up the backbone of the pallet - some pallets use reconstituted timber, or small short blocks - these aren't much use to me.

Some pallets have reasonably substantial cross timbers - 100 x 25 mm - these can be doubled up to make a cross member on my frames.

If the main members are less that 800 mm then I cannot use them as a cross member but they can still be useful as an upright.

All the pallets with nice long backbones went on the trailer, and all the smaller ones went in to the back of the utility.

One thing I hadn't counted on was the constant stream of vehicles coming and going - couriers, trucks, service businesses, people buying specialist gas bottles.

As I reached the end of my loading I became increasingly nervous as various vehicles parked me in.

The low point was reaching a state of exhaustion, standing in the rain, unravelling knotted rope.

I realised that I should have fiddled around with reversing the trailer in at the beginning of the day, before it was loaded

I found that once the back of the utility was filled I couldn't see where the trailer was. This made the situation a bit fraught as I just managed to fit past a very flash car on my way in.

In the end I decided to unhitch the trailer, roll it across in to a position where I could rehitch it later, back the car out and do the rehitch.

Just as I gathered momentum pushing the trailer, a car shot in to the parking area and occupied the area I was aiming for. A very polite conversation with the driver resolved that problem.

Rolling the trailer backwards was not too bad - but then forcing it to rotate around its axis to point in a different direction was tough work and I found myself puffing loudly

I backed and filled the utility around so that I could drive out of the narrow laneway to rehitch the trailer.

Just as I was about to drive down the laneway a courier van turned up. Another polite conversation later and he backed up the laneway a bit.

I moved in to the laneway and started struggling with the trailer. Just then the driver of the earlier car came out with his gas bottle and helped me manhandle the trailer in to position

Now the pressure was on as I had him blocked in.

Fortunately the courier van left at this point

Fearing that the trailer would make a sharp turn, and damage something on its way out, I very gingerly pulled away and moved to the front car park - just in time to see a large truck shoot down the laneway

A quick visit inside to thank them, a visit to the Jiffy van that had just pulled up, and I was away home.

I can't believe that 4 hours went in to this venture

Now I had better sit down at my desk and do some serious work for the rest of the day to earn some money

The Great White Hunter Returns