Workshops & Repairs

Repairs

Furniture Repairs bring new life to old pieces. It could be a family heirloom, or something you’ve picked up off the side of the road. We can fix missing legs, wobbly bits, refinish and refurbish.

Bower Bespoke is our program to create bespoke wood furniture for private clients and for our stores. We accept commissions and produce furniture based on client’s ideas and specifications, using top quality recycled materials. We also design our own pieces, which are sold at our Marrickville and Parramatta shops, as well as in our eBay store.

To enquire about a commission or furniture repair, email us at woodworks@bower.org.au

Repair cafe

Bring your broken electrical items to the Banga workshop and our volunteers will attempt to repair them with you, while sharing solutions to common electrical problems. Note: More complex items such as televisions, microwaves, computers and mobile phones take too long to assess at repair cafes. Please contact electronics@bower.org.au if you are in doubt about whether your item will be too complicated to look at. When: Wednesdays, 1pm – 4pm; last Saturday of every month, 10 am – 12 pm Cost: donation (suggested $5-$10 per item)

Repair is an essential strategy in reducing landfill, and the Bower is doing our bit to keep the skills of repairing alive.

What is a Repair Cafe?

A repair cafe is a place where skilled repairers meet non-repairers to teach them skills to fix things. Repair Cafes originated in Europe, and the Bower was the first to bring this concept to Australia. To come to one of our repair cafes, you need to bring your broken item and we’ll put you on the path to fixing them. Please note this is a free advice service,not a guaranteed repair. Come along, have a cuppa and our skilled repairers and volunteers will do their best to help. Generally we are only able to look at one item per person.

Cost: Free

Items: Small electronics, wood furniture and bikes. Please note we are unable to repair microwaves or large whitegoods within the timeframe of a Repair Cafe.

When: We run regular Repair Cafes around Sydney – list provided below.

Electrical Repair Cafe @ BANGA

When: Every Wednesday,1-4PM & Every last Saturday of the month,10AM-12Noon Cost: donation (suggested $5-$10 per item) Where: Banga Community Shed, 3 Joynton Avenue Zetland (or Green Square) (Access is via Portman Street, Zetland. Head to 130 Portman Street and walk towards an open space where a playground is. Banga will be behind the playground, it is the building with the sloping roof and public toilets next to it. Free parking is available in nearby streets.)Bookings: Not necessary

Furniture Repair Cafe @ Redfern

When: Every Wednesday, 1-4 PM Where: 107 Redfern St Redfern (Entry via Turner Lane at the rear of the building) Bookings: Not necessary

Furniture & Electrical Cafes @ Parramatta

When: Last Saturday of the month, 10AM – 12Noon Where: The Bower Parramatta, 10 Hunter Street,Parramatta 2150 Bookings: Necessary – click here to book and please let us know what you are bringing. We can help with both electrical items and furniture.

Please note that parking on Hunter Street is free for fifteen minutes only, so you can bring your item in quickly to see if it can be fixed. If so, you can park in the Justice Precinct Car Park for $3 an hour on Saturdays. Please also note that bike repair is not available at Parramatta.

Paid Repairs

We also provide repair services. This service allows you to drop your item off and have it repaired by the Bower for a fee. If you have wood furniture you’d like us to fix, click through to our Woodworks page. If you have electrical items you’d like us to fix, please contact our electrical team on electronics@bower.org.au. Electrical repairs are done at our Green Square location, >Banga Community Shed.

Bring your broken electrical items and we will repair them for a fee. When: 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday Cost: $55 per hour plus replacement parts

Bower Workshops

Why do we offer workshops?

As an environmental charity, we want to help educate the community about reuse and repair. It’s part of our charitable mission. Workshops are currently taught at our locations in Redfern and Parramatta. With thanks to City of Parramatta, Parramatta residents can attend these workshops for the reduced rate of just $25. Enter the code LIVEPARRA at the checkout when booking. Residents MUST show proof of residency upon arrival at the workshop (failure to do so will require additional payment of $45).

How to book

We offer a range of classes across multiple locations. Bookings open 8 weeks prior to the workshop date. Click on the name of the workshop to be taken through to online bookings.

Parramatta

  • Basic Carpentry 2 February, 4 May, 3 August, 2 November
  • Furniture Repair: 9 February, 11 May, 10 August, 9 November
  • Furniture Painting: 16 February, 17 August
  • Introductory Upholstery:18 May, 16 November

Redfern

  • Basic Carpentry
  • Furniture Repair
  • Introductory Upholstery
  • Furniture Painting
  • Home DIY
  • Woodwork for Beginners
  • Woodwork – Intermediate
  • Upholstery Course for Beginners – Ottoman
  • Woodwork – Stool Making
  • Make a Bird House

We also run our unique Tiny House workshop in partnership with SCC. Click through to read all about tiny houses (2).

About the workshops

Furniture Painting (5 hour workshop)

Learn how to restore furniture pieces to recreate your own favourite circa look, be it French provincial, retro or industrial. The workshop will cover surface preparation, paint application, colours, sanding techniques and appropriate accessory enhancement choices. You will need to bring 2 small items of timber furniture, paint and brushes. Full details are explained in the online booking form.

Furniture Repair (5 hour workshop)

Learn the basic skills needed to solve common issues with timber furniture. Bring a piece of furniture with you from home and get hands on experience with repairing wobbly legs, split table tops, and replacing broken pieces or parts. Please ensure the piece of furniture you bring in is of a manageable size.

Basic Carpentry (5 hour workshop)

Our experienced woodworkers will teach you all the basics for carpentry construction. You’ll be taught how to use different tools – both hand and power – and how to select the right tool for the job. We supply all the timbers and fixing materials (nails, screws) for you to construct a storage crate/box to take home with you.

Introductory Upholstery (3 hour workshop)

During this hands-on 3-hour workshop you’ll learn the basics for upholstering a flat surface (e.g. a dining chair, a bed head) by creating your own milk-crate upholstered seat base. This workshop includes choosing appropriate fabric, measuring and cutting foam and padding and what timbers to use for creating the base.

Home DIY (2 x 5 hour workshops)

Learn to use basic tools to do general maintenance and repair work around the house. Get a run down in using drills and drivers to hang pictures and mirrors on timber, brick, or tile walls, change taps over on a sink and learn how to fix a leaky pipe, and patch a hole in a wall. Get the run down on a basic home tool kit and where you can get one secondhand, as well as what materials are good around the house, in wet areas, and outside.

Kid’s School Holiday Workshops

Panpipes and castanets, lagerphones (monkey sticks) and windchimes. Using 100% reclaimed materials, participants at this workshop will create a range of scrapyard musical instruments while applying skills in using hammers, fine motor control and knot tying. Suitable for ages 7 – 12.

Tailor Made Workshops

We provide workshops to schools, business and community groups and can tailor-make an activity suitable to your needs. From making insect hotels with scout or school groups, to team building days creating wooden crates from recycled materials, we’ve got all kinds of creative activities. Get in touch to find out more.

Cancellation Policy

In the event that The Bower Reuse & Repair Centre is unable to run the workshop, a full refund or credit towards another workshop will be provided. If you are unable to attend and provide no less than 10 days’ notice, then we are happy to transfer your booking to another workshop. No refunds, credits or transfers will be given for any cancellations less than 10 days’ prior to workshop date. To cancel, please call us on 9568 6280 or email info@bower. org.au.