Rustic Down Under

James Henderson/Sandra Dollin from Grace Community Church in Maryborough QLD, Australia brings us this rustic look for their stage.

From the team: This design has been in the back of our minds for the last few years and was finally realized in May this year. As a small regional church of less than 100 people, resources are limited. Our building is 90 years old and was originally the Power station for the area.

As you can imagine old industrial buildings are not the typical ‘nice’ church buildings. Instead of trying to renovate an old industrial building to look ‘nice’, we tried to work within the bounds of its character. This industrial styled stage construction achieved a couple of goals, rotating the room from narrow and long to wide and shallow orientation, aswell as a major aesthetic upgrade.
The pallets were sourced over a period of a couple of months(you have to get them all the right size) with unfortunately about a dozen of the 44 pallets required had to be purchased for a bank-breaking $84 ($4 each).

Steel 40mm(1 1/2″ish) flat bar is running up the verticals to brace the pallets together, with a horizontal bar welded to the verticals on top of each row. This secures it all together as a single piece. The walls were stood with winch blocks and bracing welded behind to create a backstage area either side.

The corrugated iron backing was secured for free from a local roofer from a single house in town. This is attached to the wall simply using vertical pieces of wood attached to the wall(the wall was previously the entrance to the Pastor’s office and had a couple of windows aswell). Strips of salvaged carpet were attached to the wood to stop vibration of the iron against the wood(also free).

The overhead lighting grid had to be lowered and modified to fit the new configuration with the pallet walls on a 25 degree kick.
Total project cost including 3 new projectors and screens(LR + Centre) cost approximately $4000.

The main costs were the steel for the pallet wall reinforcement, screws and fixings and the floor of the new tech area, the rest of the project was mostly recycled framing and timber.

This project was a major DIY for our church. Over a period of only 10 days, 28 of our amazing people contributed, some taking the entire time off of work. For those smaller churches out there like us, DIY can be a great opportunity to bring the teams together. The biggest win for us with this project is that we got through without major setbacks, no people issues and it brought us together more as a team. We still like each other even after that week and a half.

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