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Rich Waugh - Friday, March 1, 2013 - 8:25pmblacksmithing | finishing | furniture
For quite a while my wife Sally has been asking me to make her a stand for this wooden box she has. After some years of procrastinating I finally got around to doing something about it. Of course, as I so often do, a simple project turned into something much more complex once I got started. The final result is absurd overkill for the intended purpose, but I do like the result.
I wanted to design a piece that had woodworking aesthetics but was made by metal working. This necessitated using welded joints as traditional metal joinery would not have fit this design. I kept all the where it is not visible.
The legs are forged from 1-1/4" square bar and the apron panels are 1/4" plate with the edges upset to about 1/2". The shell is drop forged in an open die and set in a reveal. One feature that doesn't show in the finished piece is bronze caps on the legs so they won't rust if the floor gets wet. You might be able to discern the narrow layer of bronze in the photo at the right. It was necessary to have the bronze caps as this thing will sit on our porch that often gets wet when it rains and I'd hate to have rust destroy the finish.
The finish is comprised of 95% zinc cold galvanizing primer over the pickled steel followed by a neutral oxide primer. Then a coat of light rust color was applied, followed by a coat of deep burgundy brown that was rubbed back to let the light rust show through on the high areas. This was followed by a transparent coat of the same color and finally two coats of satin clear urethane. As is inevitable in good ironwork, the finish work is as much effort as the forging, if you really want it to last.
At some point in the future I'd like to make a larger version of this as a console table with a matching mirror frame. I think that might be something I could sell at one of the local art shows. The box stand is 18-3/4" wide by 12-3/4" deep by 13" tall and I think it would work as a console table about 42" tall by 48" wide by 16" deep, with the legs scaled up to 2" or 2-1/2" stock. I'd probably forge those from square tubing to cut the weight down some. The little box stand ended up weighing over 30 pounds!