I'm not gonna lie to you, shipping products to out-of-state clients is pretty cool in a somebody-from-far-away-digs-something-I-built sort of way, but the actual logistics of shipping things can sometimes turn into a fiasco. The reclaimed wood and steel bar stools, they were a fiasco.
But, after a couple hours getting everything boxed up, and after 4 separate trips to 3 different post office branches, all 6 are on their way to their new home in Arkansas. I'm pretty excited to both get an order completed and move on to the next project.
The stools all turned out pretty well. On one of the stools I had a little hiccup with the steel finish I was using, which required a bit of rework, but otherwise things went relatively smoothly. The feet all fit snuggly and I didn't make a giant mess with the epoxy used to hold them in place, I didn't accidentally drill any pilot holes clear through the seats when attaching them to the frames and I had an appropriate quantity of clear coat on hand to complete the job (I almost always run out of clear coat mid-project because I tend to get a little carried away with it...but hey, better safe than sorrt, right?).
As usual, I did everything I could to preserve as much of the wood's character as possible while making sure nobody would get a handful of splinters if they touched the stools. It's not always easy to know when to put down the sander, or to keep going with it, but I've done this enough times that I like to think I have a pretty good feel for the happy medium between too much and not enough.
The steel finish I used was a blackener. I don't know the science behind how it works - in the bottle, it looks like blue dish soap - but the warnings about it burning skin during application are plenty legit. Regardless, when it was all said and done, I really like how it looks. It's hard to tell in the pic, but the stuff ends up making the steel a uniform, sort of antique black with little hints of rust or age. I wish I had taken a picture of a joint that was welded a little more cleanly, but the truth is when I go back to grind the welds flat, I don't try to make them all 100% perfect. The corners are always a little tricky to deal with, and I think the stools would look a little funky if every last bit of the welding cleanup was dead nuts perfect; the seats have a little character and very obvious marks left by the milling process 100 years ago, I figure the frames ought to follow suit.
Anyhow...they're out the door and headed south. On to the next job...