SmartPly

JOSB A GOOD ’UN AT SMARTPLY


The finalists were tasked with constructing a piece of furniture in just 90 minutes. Harry Halligan (22), a carpentry apprentice from Bashley in New Milton beat his fellow finalists Dean Davies, also from New Milton, and Shaun Kennedy from Glasgow.

Harry and Dean were both nominated for the contest by their employer, Pennyfarthing Homes, while Shaun Kennedy works for Mactaggart & Mickel Homes.

A panel of industry experts judged the competition at SmartPly’s mill in Waterford. Speaking about the decision to award the top title to Harry, Operations Director, Jim McCann said:

“The competition was incredibly close throughout and we had two very strong and sturdy chair designs from Dean and Shaun. However, Harry’s picnic table and chairs set, considering it was created in just 90 minutes and used only one 8 x 4ft OSB panel, was outstanding. Reducing waste remains a top priority in the construction industry and the fact that Harry used so much of the board, making the most of his materials was key in our decision to award him the title.”

Having accepted the award Harry said:

“OSB is a material we work with on a daily basis, however, I’ve never been asked to make a piece of furniture out of it before. I had my design prepared ahead of the final and I’d made some practice attempts beforehand, however, nothing could prepare me for the final itself. We were all conscious that this was a timed competition, but in the end we finished with five minutes to spare. It was impossible to tell who was going to win, as both Dean and Shaun had created such strong entries, so I was really surprised when my name was called out.”

As well as taking part in the competition the apprentices got a chance to get a behind the scenes look at how OSB is made, with a tour of SmartPly’s factory.

Speaking about what he had learnt Dean said: “I already knew that OSB was strong and reliable. I was less aware of its environmental credentials. I hadn’t known for instance that SmartPly is made from wood grown and sustainably sourced in Ireland, or that it is made from small logs that would otherwise go to waste. We live in a forested area and I work with wood every day, so I understand the need to look after our forests and make the most of our resources.”