Reclaimed Menu Boards to Dine For

Last week I delivered a series custom menu boards for the JAK Restaurant Group to be used in their two pubs; The Great Bear Pub and Roo’s Public House. These started from an idea to create completely custom and unique boards that were thematic to the wood grain along their websites.

The material for the creation of these menu boards began with dimensional lumber that was typically too short to be used for most applications. This material had to be ripped down (that is cut parallel along the grain) to form standardized slats. The 80 menu boards created required 1600 slats, which after assembled had a surface area of over 250 square metres.

Understandably there was a lot of sawdust generated from the table saw. Thankfully Will at BokoEco dropped by to pick up the bags. His operation creates probiotics inoculated in clean sawdust. His products work as an odor suppressant and pest repellent, another amazing example of the creative circular economy!

I cut the slats along a jig to two specific lengths, 18 and 12 inches. Compared to the earlier ripping cuts this happening at lightning speed. After diligently counting I could then begin assembly.

The menu boards are created as a two sheet ply laminate. The lengthwise and crosswise slats are arranged to provide structure to each of the pieces when glued. I made a press that would create 20 menu boards at a time in order to keep production flow. After trimming and sanding each board was varnished and stained. With over 250 square metres, these menu boards were finished outside on a sunny day.

I am proud to have the opportunity to create a completely local and sustainably sourced product for a local business. It was a pleasure to get to create a custom and unique menu board for the JAK Restaurant Group. I found through completing this project that the circular economy provides many answers to today’s challenges, re-circulating material back into use ensures a path towards a zero-waste future.