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Sunday, May 24. 2015
Cast iron, 120+ years old. Weigh around 65 lbs apiece. I believe they need dissembling and sand-blasting, then the powder and baking treatment, and then reassembly (they have bolts). Costly procedure.
Some antiques guy told me the set was worth around $8-10,000 but I am skeptical. Junk, or precious antiques? What's your opinion?
(A more detailed photo below the fold)
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 04:55 | Comments (29) | Trackbacks (0)
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They look like nice chairs. Definitely worth the costly procedure. when they are re done, they will not need any thing else for a long while.
I always waiting for Sunday because that day i feel very relax.
Either what you're talking about or a cleaning and refinishing process by immersion. Talk to any companies locally (if they are there) that supply finished (galvanization etc) iron products for commercial and institutional projects. If they can't help with it then decorative iron suppliers might help.
Appear to be quality chairs. With a good refurb they will be pass-downs for a few more generations.
120 years ain't nothing.
Moot subject, really. You probably don't appreciate the intrinsic value of resin or the yearning needs of wood. I'm sure some retailer has a set just like it for much less than the cost of blasting and painting these relics. I will provide the necessary dispensation if you can be moved to ship them down to Raleigh.
In another light, these things somehow escaped the Boy Scouts' war-time scrap metal drives.
See if you can get away without taking them apart. Sometimes the frozen bolts are stronger than the metal...and that makes for a difficult repair.
I have a set (the classic grape vine style, so often, so poorly imitated) where I simply sanded and chiselled the paint off, and spray coated. Granted, I had nothing better to do that winter and I was heartily sick of little grape clusters by the end. It isn't a perfect job, but more than sufficient and a lot better than some of the previous paint coats!
Those are by the way somewhat unusual, I haven't seen that 'throne' type before.
Wire brush... navel jelly overnight...wire brush.... high pressure water jet...dry...spray rustoleum.
Spend it on Macallan.
They look really uncomfortable. Sell them to the antique guy for $8,000 and take a cruise.
Ditto Steve. Any money from them can be put to better uses. I'm sure your parents will have understood.
My uncle Letsgo Lozko sold an old chicken coop for three hundred dollars and used the money, buy tires for his truck.
I remember these from when I was a kid. An elderly woman neighbor had these in a covered patio area (her house was basically a Spanish-colonial style mansion modeled in part after San Simeon and designed by Julia Morgan--they don't build houses like that any more either ). Anyway, I think they are meant to have cushions on them--hers did, anyway.
Definitely worth saving, especially if they are 150 years old.
They are lovely and I would keep them. However, they do need to have some work done and therein lies the dilemma: to take apart or leave whole. I would find a really good expert at doing this kind of work and try to leave them in one piece. I, too, have found that sometimes when old metal is taken apart it cannot be re-stored to it's original strength.
Keep them, but I agree with acairfearann. Try to avoid taking them apart.
We had some dozen ice cream chairs sandblasted many years ago and it was very inexpensive and fast, fast, fast as they simply put them in a sealed room devoted to such stuff and blasted away. I believe they did auto restoration, but I can't remember now and they are long gone from a gentrifying neighborhood formerly devoted to auto repairs, steel fabricating and scrap metal.
If you can't find someone at a reasonable price, try the naval jelly approach. I've used that, too, on smaller jobs. (Naval jelly and WD-40 -- what would I do without them?)
Id do exactly as you suggested. Take them apart even if it means cutting the old bolts out and take them to a powder coater. They will sandblast and coat for you and the chairs will go another 100 years. If you don't take them apart the rust will start creeping out of the joints and they'll need doing again in 10 years. Put them back together with stainless no,stop.
FRP wins the thread, BD. You must take them apart, and after blasting and powdercoating, they have to be reassembled using stainless hardware. Otherwise you're encouraging corrosion between pieces where blasting and new paint don't reach, which defeats the purpose.
And of course they're worth it. They're gorgeous, they'll last a century longer if taken care of now, and they were inherited. I don't see where you have a much of a choice. You'll never find another set either, I'm betting.
They'll look fantastic in new white coating.
Another comment, before I forget. Once blasted, do an inspection before you get 'em coated. They'll look like new cast metal, and the detail will probably amaze you. It'll be one of those time machine moments. (I've experienced this when in the presence of ancient theater audio equipment - you realize that aside from the vacuum tubes, the rest is pretty much immortal. There's literally noting in it to break or wear out.)
About that time you'll realize what you have here, which are fairly immortal pieces.
Then, mindful of the detail and encouraged by the beauty you'll find in the original castings, remember that a good powdercoater will lay on a fairly thin coat. If you were to coat them in a cast iron color and flat finish, for example, they'd actually look uncoated. The coating will be thin enough to leave the casting unobscured; every bit of the detail intact.
Presumably you'll do 'em in white, but discuss with your refinisher that he not put on too thick a coat so as to render them too smooth, glossy, and refinished-looking that it ruins the vintage effect. In fact, you could even coat them in a matte white, just to avoid the modern plasticy look.
You probably know that electrostatic baked coatings don't need a lot of build-up. They need to be consistently coated with no bare spots, of course, but that's where you find a competent refinisher in the first place.
I've had identical parts done by two different electrostatic refinishers. The really good ones leave the surface looking almost like its natural state but for the new color, and the parts will still wear like iron for decades. It's amazing stuff but like all things, it depends on who you use.
My expert says that they are meant to be painted in green-black, not white.
I think I will do that.
AS FRP says; take them apart to get ALL the rust out; otherwise it will come back. Then sand blast to show all the detail.
And yes, as your expert says, paint them in green-black, add some nice dark green cushions and you'll have a nice set to pass to the next generation and the next. They may have to replace the cushions; but, not the chairs.
Hammered finishes always appealed to me. Dark underneath, with lighter top highlights. A really nice vintage look.
Nit-pick on the ancient theater audio equipment. The electrolytic capacitors can dry out after many years and require replacement. Not a hard job, if the values of the originals are readable (or if a schematic or parts list is extant).
Junk if I'm buying, priceless antiques if I'm selling.
And yeah, I'd spend the money on getting them refinished. I pulled a set of Toyota truck rims out of a junk yard and had them bead blasted and powder coated--wound up costing more than buying new and it was just to mount dedicated snow tires on. But they came out looking really nice. Yeah, they were a bit pitted, and the neutral grey isn't the best color. OTOH, they're for driving through slush and snow with.
Phosphoric acid to alter the chemical structure of rust so it's no longer rust, a good scrub with steel brushes and paint with a good enamel. Done and done.
Penetrating oil on the bolts. Soak pieces for a week in coke or bug juice, wash dry and powder coat.
Priceless, the artistic detail of quality castings are a thing of the past. I purchase any older iron and bits and pieces of castings when ever I find them. The quality will never be seen
again. White and black, not green, are of the time period. White is purity and black is strength.
I highly recommend powder coating for the finish: it's really worth the money, if the prep work is done right. When finishes are supposed to hold up to the outdoors, you can't be messing around.
Mrs. feeblemind swooned when she saw your chairs. She loves, loves LOVES them!
She advocates having them professionally restored.
She saw a cast iron bench with a similar pattern at an estate sale in Omaha. They were asking $300. She countered with $195 but someone else ponied up the asking price a short time later.
As for me, they look mighty uncomfortable to sit in. I'd take the 10 grand without a pang of remorse and be glad to be rid of them.