Today, we had the chance to ask some questions to Chris Gagnon who make all kind of video tutorials around recycled pallets. If you think you deserve to be featured in the next interview, please, drop us an email.
Why do you craft?
Building things from other things has always been something that I love doing. The fabrication process keeps my mind sharp.
How did you learn to do wood crafts?
I am a self-taught crafter. I had no mentor but I do have many people that inspire me to do projects.
How long have you been working with pallets?
I just started working with pallets about 10 month ago or so in 2016.
Why did you choose to work with pallets instead of purchased wood?
I did not have the money to go out and buy expensive wood to learn on so I looked for an alternative. Pallets are a great alternative to expensive exotic woods and there is an added challenge to working with them.
What are your can’t-live-without essentials?
Shade from the heat during projects and cordless drill. I just can’t see myself trying to put things together without it.
Are there any brands or products you use that are your favorites? Why?
At this time I am not loyal to any brands but I would make a few recommendations based on my experience. I have started buying Ridgid cordless tools for one reason. They have a lifetime warranty on the tool, including the battery! If the battery goes bad (and it will) they will replace it for life. That’s good for my wallet.
How would you describe your crafting style?
I am not sure I have a specific crafting style. I will basically make anything that I can use or that a person wants that fits that person’s preferences.
Are there any crafters/artists/designers that you particularly look up to?
Glenn at DYICreators has inspired me he shows people how to make things that look nice even if you don’t have fancy tools. In my opinion, many of the people out there after they get a few sponsors start making thigs that are way too complex for the everyday crafter.
Where do you do your wood crafts? How would you describe your workspace?
My work area is a one-car garage in my back yard that I share with a riding mower, yard tools and many other things that I have to move out in to the yard so that I can have a limited amount of space to work. The thing that has made this possible is that I have put wheels on all my tools. This allows me to push things out of the way to work. Sometimes I have to work in the yard with a shade over me. Other than that my work area is dark and dusty like most people’s workshops.
Where do you look for inspiration, or what inspires you for a new wood craft?
Most of the time I am inspired by things that I need or want that I can’t afford to buy. Or when a friend says they like something and wish they had one for a gift.
When do you feel the most creative (are you a night owl or a morning person? Or weekend warrior as examples)?
I have a full-time job so I use my weekends to get creative. The exception is during the winter, as I have very little motivation to go out into the cold.
We live in such a mass-produced, “buy-it-now” society. Why should people continue to make things by hand?
People should make things by hand because things that are made by hand can make great family heirlooms for many generations. Whether it’s a knife for the kitchen or a bookcase, these things can help us remember and appreciate people long after they are gone.
What is your favorite medium to work in (other than pallets)?
I don’t have a favorite material. I enjoy making things from all materials.
What are your tips for people who’d like to start crafting?
Get some pallets a pry bar, skill saw and a cordless drill and start building!
What are some of your other hobbies or favorite things to do (other than crafting)?
I enjoy fishing as often as I can.
What are some of your best tips for breaking down, prepping, and cleaning pallets before you build with them? Do you have a specific tool you use, or a technique for cleaning the boards/removing nails, etc.?
I made a video on this subject and some of the tips are in here. I usually don’t clean my pallets before use but I do remove all the nails with a hammer and punch tool. I also use a metal detector to make sure I don’t have remaining metal in the wood that can damage the tools or blades.
What are some wood working skills you really want to learn?
Finger joining is something that I will try soon.
What is the one project you’re the proudest of so far?
All of them make me proud as long as they make the recipient have a smile when I give it to them. But I am very proud of the parts storage that I made from scrap plywood that I found on some pallets. I made a video of it and put it on my YouTube channel storage is a must have for crafters and this project hits the nail on the head.
Editor’s Note: Thank you for your time and for sharing your story with us, and with our fellow Crafters. Your work is beautiful and inspiring to all of us, and we truly look forward to more from you in the future! Keep those gorgeous pieces coming!
Thanks Chris for this interview :)
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