Thursday, October 31, 2013

WORKIN' THE WOOD

There's nothing better and nothing worse then having 4 projects going on at the same time.
 The better of it is....that you have 4 projects going on as opposed to having 0 projects going on.
The worse of it is...that you have 4 projects in various states of completion, or incompletion, depending on how you want to look at it.
 This is my newest endeavor.
My boy Collin went out on a pick in some shit hole and kept me in mind while he scooped up as much rusty, nasty metal as a weirdo like me could possibly hope for.
 This is what I'm calling a "Farm Table". The base is steel and the top is from some 100 year old planks. How do I know it's 100 years old? Funny you should ask...after all this time, I can actually tell the age when I cut it. Believe it or not, wood milled within the last 50 years is still a little moist in the center, and this slab was bone dry.
 That is why "old growth lumber" is so expensive and so sought after.
This is the type of piece that makes me want to sell my kitchen table on Craigslist for $75 and move this bad boy in it's place.
 There is still work to be done on it, but it's provided me with a excitement that will expedite it's completion.
 Over the next few weeks, all 4 of these pieces will hit the showroom floor, and that will put me close to Christmas, and then I take a little break. I'll spend that break thinking of new pieces and enjoying the Holidays.
 I'm a sucker for the Holidays.

Friday, October 25, 2013

GIVING STITCHES


After the "vagina" table was complete, we still had 2 more slabs left.
 We had talked about doing 2 benches to go with the table, but it's overkill, you may as well just prop up a whole tree in your dining room at that point.
 We didn't want to do another table like the vagina, because it would de-value the first vagina, I mean, if you're gonna drop that kind of dough on a vagina, it better be a one-of-a-kind...vagina.
 I'm a coffee snob. I visit various coffee shops, and they all have these long, high tables that you can prep your coffee or look like a asshole typing away at your laptop.
 So now you can visualize where this piece is headed.
This slab had a pretty big split. It's wood. It happens. In my eyes, it's a beautiful disaster. It enhances the character of the slab, as well as showcases the hand of a craftsman.
 On a personal level, it's says "you're kind of fucked up, but I'll fix you, I won't give up on you."
So I stitched her up, made her strong and beautiful, and one day I'll send her off into the world to be amazing.
 Share my daydream with me for a second....Let's just say there's a day when there's a 6 month waiting list for one of my pieces, and my biggest dilemma is what color Range Rover to buy...I would still want to build at Salvage One.
 It's kind of a funny situation, because I don't work there, I just kinda "do work" there.
I feel like that guy in "office space" that gets fired, but still shows up to work everyday.
 I like building there because there's so much stuff to be inspired by...just laying around...like, everywhere!
 I was out in back, and saw this rusted clump of iron. Through the corrosion, I spotted a little sliver of leafing detail. I took it back inside and started grinding away, and what was beneath was stunning.
 If I can Frankenstein some parts, it will be a foot stool, if I can't, it will be a little side table.
Whatever it becomes, it's going home with me.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

MY BRAIN HURTS

I've never really been stumped before.
 I put in a lot of work stripping the paint, and fabricating a copper top for this cart, but this whole "copper" business has thrown me for a loop.
 You see, my preconceived ideas for 99.9% of my projects don't go much further then what I'm about to do with a piece the moment I'm standing in front of it.
 Nothing ever goes as planned, so I set my goals real low so that I'm never disappointed.
The problem with this isn't in execution, it's more financial.
 My idea, as I was beating the shit out of this copper top, was to run copper bar stock along the edges to give it a more finished industrial look.
 It's too expensive. period.
That one detail would make what would be a $500 cart into a $1500 cart, and what good is it if no one will buy it?
 My other problem is...I can't give up. I don't know how to give up.
It  would be so easy to chuck the copper top, put on a kick ass wood one and be done.
 It's the equivalent of having sex, and right before your going to have a orgasm, you get up and go do the dishes.
 One way or the other, I'll have my proverbial "orgasm".

Friday, October 18, 2013

THE DEVIL DIDN'T GET TO WHERE HE IS BY JUST BEING SCARY.


My good friend John Kamys once said to me "The devil didn't get to where he is by just being scary".
 That phrase runs through my head at least once a day. What it means is, you have to be more then what you appear to be, you achieve that by constantly pushing yourself.
 My first "push" was the letter stamp.
I was like a 4 year old on Christmas morning yesterday, when UPS delivered my letter stamp set.
 I chewed through the packaging, grabbed a hammer and piece of leather, and WHACK!
Instantly I was like "this is bullshit, this shit doesn't work". I had to chuckle at myself because I of all people know that nothing is ever THAT easy. Once I regained my composure, the stamp worked just fine. It gives a very elegant effect.
 Next "push" is another KLIEN  table from by homie Jim Bigwood.
It's been here for a couple of weeks, and as much as me and father time kick each other in the balls, being patient paid off.
 I was doing a job for a woman downtown. I was packing up my tools, getting ready to leave, when she asks if I can take a big piece of "metal" off of her roof.
 My first impulse was to run to my truck and peel out, because usually when something is supposed to take 5 minutes, it takes 2 hours.
 She was a nice lady and kindness goes far with me, so I said "I'll take a look". By saying that, there was no commitment to do it, which is one of my favorite Jedi mind tricks.
 I hike up to the roof and this giant piece of "metal" is a giant piece of Copper. Cha-Ching.
Instantly when I saw this piece of copper, my head replayed a show on the Discovery channel where Jesse James builds a motorcycle out of copper. It was great because he was basically like "I don't know shit about copper, but I have a network and a blank check so I'll have the best copper smith in the world teach me how to work this material".
 Well, I don't have a network or blank check, so I'm just gonna fuckin' wing it.
I'm not building a motorcycle, I'm making a table top, so how hard can it be? It should only take like 5 minutes, right?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

SEX AND LEARNING

Interesting heading?
 Kind of. Here's where it stems from.
There are 2 things that leave me satisfied, sex and learning.
 Sex because, well, that doesn't need much explanation, and if it does, then you're doing something wrong, and I can not help you.
 Learning. I love to learn. I wish I had that thirst in my youth. If I did, I'd be a millionaire by now.
When I speak of learning, I'm not speaking of being taught, I'm talking about cultivating a interest or idea. I don't want someone to teach me, I want to discover it, on my own terms, then apply it.
 I woke up Friday morning with the idea of wrapping these wall vases in leather.
I've always thought that being able to work with fabric would be such a awesome tool to have in ones arsenal. Truth be told, that shit scares me. Nothing puts the brakes on anything quicker then fear.
 Well, that morning I took a step to overcome that fear in a "practice what you preach" approach.
"Big fuckin' deal, you wrapped a piece of leather around a bottle" you say? To that I say "yeah, basically, but what have you done that you've been afraid to do? Nothing? I thought so".
 What I did is I took a shot at doing something that has eluded me due to my own fear of failure, and ended up making something that I think is already pretty cool, and made it a little better.
 In terms of anything that has to do with working with leather, this is as rudimentary as it gets, and I'm ok with that. I did exactly what I set out to do, it worked, and now this element doesn't seem so scary.
 I won't be on "Project Runway" anytime soon, but I do plan on incorporating more leather into my work.

Friday, October 11, 2013

A BUNCH OF SICKO'S



As a testament to the advertising theory of "sex sells", I'm here to inform you that blog posts with the words "vagina" and "testicles" in the heading, generate giant spikes in page views.
 So we've established that you guys are a bunch of perverts, and that's all right.
Back to business.
 There's a secret room at Salvage One. Buried beneath it's treasures was a dilapidated shop cart. From my research, I discovered this to be from the neighborhood of the 1920's.
 As I stated before, my goal was to find the middle ground in restoring this. I achieved that middle ground, at least I think I did. It's been done in such a way that it's character is still in tact, yet it can still compliment a living space.
 It's a strange vibe working on this kind of period piece. I feel more like some kind of professor dusting off fossils in a museum then I do a carpenter. There's just a different level of care.
 The other day I was looking at my Pintrest account. I had a very proud moment as I looked over my body of work for the past year and a half. Not too shitty for a guy without a formal shop space. Not too shitty at all.

Monday, October 7, 2013

YOU...WHORE.

When I came home from work on Friday, the first words that came out of my mouth were...
"you WHORE".
After 5 plus years together, a beautiful child, a great dog, and a home that we worked hard to create together, how could you do this to me?
 I was betrayed.
NO, I didn't walk in the door to find the cable man humping my girl on the kitchen table. If that was the case, the first words out of my mouth would have been "Hey...I EAT there."
 What happened was much worse.
She went and bought a shelving unit from TARGET.
 I'm not sure if any of you know this, it's a secret that I've been keeping...I build (wait for it...)
furniture. There, I said it, it's all out in the open now.
 All joking aside, she was actually looking out for me. She see's me working like crazy, and didn't want to bother me with a petty piece. She even went as far as trying to assemble it with a butter knife.
 None the less, it's tenure in our home was under 24 hours.
I was in the home depot parking lot at 5:45 Saturday morning, waiting for them to open so I could get some steel to make a REAL shelving unit.
 Having that piece of garbage in my house was like a crucifix under a demonically possessed persons pillow.
 Although my Saturday was hijacked by this project, the end result was very nice and the moral of this story is...A closed mouth doesn't get fed.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

GETTING DIRTY

Earlier this week, I stopped by Salvage One to start working on a factory cart for them.
 I really wish I had taken a "before" picture, but who wants to see a picture of a turd anyway?
Needless to say, it was in pretty lousy shape.
 These carts aren't that rare. They're cool, and a lot of people do them, but what I've noticed is that people do too much or too little. My goal, is to find the in between.
 One reason I like working on stuff there is that you don't have to look too hard to find what you need.
After I ripped the dilapidated decking off, I had a "oh shit" moment about what I would use for new decking. After spending a whole 5 seconds looking around I found a burnt piece of 2"thick old growth wood. A little scraping and sanding revealed a toasty brown thing of beauty.
 I walked out of there that day looking like a coal miner.
Phil Cisco at Maximum Tattoo finished up the logo. It's very "Gaboratory-esque" which I wasn't expecting, but I really like. You'll see it plastered everywhere very soon.
 My buddy Jim dropped off ANOTHER cart for me to work on last night.
While loading up the other cart in his van, I noticed about 20 cases of French bread.
 He explained that he got them from a buddy who owns a bar and he was going to drop them off at a homeless shelter.
 From time to time something happens where I have a renewed faith in humanity.
If it were me, I would have taken Max to feed the ducks until they fucking exploded, But luckily, someone else saw a greater good.