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Woodland wedding banquet with reclaimed timber from Cambridge Wood Works

Woodland wedding banquet with reclaimed timber from Cambridge Wood Works

Cambridge Wood Works customer Phill sent us this story about how he made a shelter for his wedding banquet with reclaimed wood from our wood store.  He’s also gone a bit Buckminster Fuller and built a geodesic dome too!

“Our wedding was on the first weekend in August and we had the party in my mother and stepfathers garden in Suffolk. An awesome mini woodland setting.
We were planning a garden banquet for 30 odd guests sat along one long table, over which we envisaged a camp style canvas shelter.
finnjoist wedding banquet shelter

wedding banquet made from reclaimed finnjoists

Upon visiting Cambridge Wood Works to pick up some scaffold boards for the table top, I found some engineered timber floor joists (Finnjoists) and decided to take a load to store in the unit until a suitable a project came along. Of course that’s when it struck me to use them as a more robust form of shelter for the wedding instead.
As the canopy would be a temporary structure it made sense for it to be simple to assemble and disassemble, therefore I opted for a basic bolt-together kit with colour coded members. Following transit from workshop to venue it took about 4 hours for me and my brother to assemble, including finishing touches such as guy ropes and tarpaulin.
finnjoist canopy

wedding feast under a finnjoist canopy

The dome kit was also manufactured in house by myself and completed in time to use at the wedding for some magic and amazement. It certainly did that!!  I’ve been throwing ideas for domes around for the last 3-4 years. Inspiration came during a dry spell when work was scarce and I used the time to learn some new modelling software.  I became fascinated with geodesic frames and focused on the ‘2V’ configuration.
buckminster fuller geodesic dome reclaimed wood

geodesic dome from reclaimed wood

I first built a smaller 3m diameter dome about 2 years ago using the same geometry but a smaller strut cross section and different method of manufacture, which turned out to be far too time consuming and lacked rigidity.
The dome you see with myself sitting atop is 7m diameter. The design is simpler to repeat than the first attempt due to fewer cuts and uses laser cut plywood plates at the joints. I’ve yet to have it run through structural analysis but first real-life impressions are as expected, it’s extremely bloody rigid.
I expect to run off a batch of scaled down versions before the spring to get some real world feedback [contact Phill for more details]
I have a potential project in the pipeline for a garden studio/workshop which may well see the canopy materials re-used once again too….”
Have you made anything you’d like to share in the Cambridge Wood Works  “made from waste” blog?  Why not get in touch?

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