Posts Tagged ‘hubcap’

h1

Obsessonomics

November 19, 2016

Sometimes an idea gets so firmly ahold of me that it drags me down a pricey rabbit hole, kicking and screaming the whole way.

In the beginning it seems harmless, a modest acquisition that shows promise. But then it starts to make demands. It’s like adopting a rescue dog that’s so cute and friendly you can’t resist, but it’s not young. So there are vet bills and meds, and pretty soon you’re thinking, What was I thinking?

But you love it, so on you go.

This project started with a pair of jackstands from an estate sale. Then I got the idea in my head that they had to have Volkswagen hubcap shades. I found a pair on eBay, for not too much (as hubcaps go), but I could tell they weren’t in the greatest shape. I thought I’d go rustic. But once they arrived I just couldn’t do it. They were less rusty than crusty.

So things sat.

Eventually, I decided to paint both stands and shades, which meant getting the hubcaps sandblasted. And that meant venturing – twice – into the wilds of San Leandro (though the folks at Myers couldn’t have been nicer) and parting with a chunk of change. Then filling the pits and low spots. Then sanding the filler. Then priming and painting.

In the meantime, the shades wanted accessories of their own: high-end acorn nut finials and teeny VW bugs for pull-chain ornaments. And then, when I thought I was finished, I realized I really needed some way to keep the legs from scratching the tabletop. Trying different things took another couple of weeks.

But in the end they got done.

Learn more about the Roboto Ronin in my Etsy shop.

h1

A tale of two whimsies

November 22, 2015

Back when I was taking writing classes, I had a teacher who would say about a piece he felt wasn’t quite working, “Leave it on the desk.”

It was good advice – not that I always took it. But I find it applies to making lamps at least as much as to poetry. I’ve been working on a couple of lamps for a few weeks now – not because they’re so complicated as just that they’ve been a bit stubborn.

This first one came together fairly easily, except that the piece I’d originally intended to use as a shade – a domed but shallow lid from something or other – just didn’t work with the cocktail pitcher base. So I went looking online for an alternative, found one, bought it, and made a shade of it. And then the lamp squatted on my dining table, making me wince inside every time I looked at it.

Finally, last weekend I found a stainless steel colander at my local Goodwill, and after a bit of dithering, got it, reasoning that I’d eventually use it for something. A few days later I found the time to drill out the center hole, and tried it on the lamp…and OMG the relief. It worked so much better in every way.

The other one was less problematic, but still kind of balky. I’d bought a nice Ford hubcap earlier this year, and when I stumbled on a listing for a space-age Presto percolator, I knew it was just the thing. So I bought it, only to have my payment returned immediately: the seller had already sold it but hadn’t taken the Etsy listing down. So I went to eBay, reasoning that there had to be more of them.

And there were. I chose one, but when it arrived a few days later, one of the plastic feet had been smashed to bits in transit. The coffee pot still stood up though, so I figured I could repair the foot well enough, and that would be easier than hassling with a return.

So, Superglue and tweezers, and a Sharpie for touchups, and it worked. Setting the bubbler in the hubcap took awhile, mostly because my cheap hole-saw attachment was worn to nubs. Wiring the switch was a little trickier than I’d anticipated, due to tight spacing, but not too bad. No, what fought me most was getting the shade to sit straight. Sigh. But in the end all was well.

Ford Presto coffee pot lamp

Ford Presto coffee pot lamp

Both Ford and Mimsie are available for adoption in my Etsy shop. Happy Thanksgiving!

h1

Caffeine & gasoline

December 12, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, I was trolling online for hubcaps, looking for something to complement a motorcycle brake disc that’s been hanging around for a couple of years. I wasn’t successful, but in the process I did find some pretty tempting wheel covers. I also stumbled on a squarish midcentury-style percolator that I was very taken by. But I resisted.

Well, for awhile anyway.

But at some point I heard what I call the Click, when I realized that one of the hubcaps I’d seen echoed the shapes and finishes of the coffeepot – and then I was lost.

It was supposed to be an easy project, but I ended up having to (pain-in-the-ass-stakingly) repaint the black areas on the hubcap, since the original finish came off in the wash. On the other hand, I already had the perfect saucepan knob in my stash to turn into a finial, along with a shiny metal cup to hide the socket in.

So here’s the result.


Details in my Etsy shop, as always. Happy holidays!

h1

Pair-shaped, part III

February 4, 2014

jstandcropWhat do you do when you find a couple old jack stands at a salvage place? If you’re me, you decide to make lamps out of them – and then start hunting for hubcaps.

Before

Before

Why hubcaps? For shades, of course. But they have to be just the right ones. It’s surprisingly difficult.

And it turns out that, when you find them, they look like they’ve been coated with marinara sauce and allowed to cure for, say, a century or so. Yuck.

But there’s some satisfaction to be had from playing with paint remover – and spray paint. The jack stands weren’t quite as crusty as the hubcaps, but I decided to repaint them as well, in two different blacks: one flat, one glossier and slightly textured.

Figuring out how to suspend the hubcap shades was also a bit of a challenge. It took some trial and error – as did compensating for the slight off-kilterness of the stands. Overall though, now that they’re done, I’m pretty happy with the result.

War of the Worlds jack stand and hubcap table lamps

War of the Worlds jack stand and hubcap table lamps


WoWsgl
WoWcu
All they need is a Tom Cruise bobblehead fleeing in terror. Keep an eye out for me?