Friday, June 26, 2015

Cast Iron Sign Base turned Umbrella Stand

We are still sand blasting away and I have sand in places I shouldn't have sand ......don't ask me where.....just know it is uncomfortable.  We have 4 additional projects in the wings.

Here is the back story on the cast iron base. Waaaaaaaaaay back when R raced motorcycles he bought a cast iron sign base at an auction.  He wanted the base to make a light stand so we could have light in the pits.  Plus, he liked the cast iron base.  Well, so did someone else.  R and this elderly man went back and forth with R finally winning the base with a bid of $35.00.  The other bidder stormed off.

R brought it home and fashioned it into a light stand.  Like racing on a motorcycle at 130 mph with just a helmet and a leather suit to protect you wasn't dangerous enough,,,,,we also tried to electrocute ourselves in between races.  Look at that cord......egads.  We survived and the light base moved on to a few car races until R and later G upgraded to a real light set up.

In the meantime, it was stored away with all our other stuff until a couple of weeks ago when my mother gave us her back canvas umbrella because she was getting one of those crank out awnings for her deck.  The only problem with a free umbrella was that all of our patio tables have glass and no hole for umbrellas.  Bummer.

Then I saw it, the cast iron base, waaaaaaaaaaaaay in the corner of the barn. The idea to turn it into an umbrella stand hit me.  R was not happy when I told him about my plan.  He doesn't do change very good and that light set up was a reminder of his go fast days.  His only go 'fast' days now a days are days when he has blood work or a colonoscopy.

He hauled the base out into the light of day and I explained it again and he was not impressed.  I started taking the light pole out of the base and marveled at the fact that we didn't at least get a little tingle when we used the light.

R spent a day and a half sandblasting.  In the meantime, I went to the store.  My plan was to paint the base in it's original colors.  What colors, you ask?  Blue and bright yellow.  You see, this base is so old it pre dates SUNOCO.  The base says Property of Sun Oil Company.  I bought a spray can of bright blue and a spray can of bright yellow.

During the last little bit of sand blasting on Wednesday, R found some original blue and today he found some original yellow.  I had bought the wrong colors, so back to ACE Hardware I went to exchange them.  No problem,  I bought a spray can of navy and a can of spray primer.  I decided spray yellow wasn't going to work so I will buy a small bottle of bright yellow at Michael's and use an artist brush to highlight the lettering.

The base was originally painted navy blue, then industrial gray, then dark beige, and finally white. You can see some of the remaining navy paint around the word 'PROPERTY'.

Today after the sandblasting was finished, we hauled out the umbrella and went hmmmmmmmm. what now.  First, we unscrewed the pipe because we figured we would just buy the correct size but SURPRISE!!!! there was another smaller pipe underneath.  Geeeesh.

R then thought the umbrella would slide over the top of the pipe but the bottom of the umbrella had a plastic plug in it.  I walked away because I was starting to bum out so I went and watered some plants.  When I came back I found this.


R said when he removed the plug from the umbrella it was a perfect fit and slid right over the pipe.  It was meant to be.  The base is very heavy and not tippy at all.

I sprayed two light coats of primer on the bottom.  Once the primer was dried, I sprayed two light coats of gloss Navy Blue by Rust-oleum.  You can tell when the primer is dried by the matte finish. Once the finish is matte it is dry.  When it is shiny, it's wet.

The navy spray paint has a primer already added but as a precaution for both current rust and future possible rust, due to the fact that it will be out in the elements, I decided to use primer plus the paint with primer added.  I think it also helped to even out the paint coverage.  I was afraid that too many top coats would start to obscure the details that we just spent two days uncovering.

I used a 5 gallon bucket to support the base as I painted.  It worked great because it raised it up and I could get under the edge of the base.  I'm letting the bottom cure completely overnight and tomorrow I will paint the top of the base.  



R's reaction?  He said he had "no idea" what I was talking about and thought for sure "it wouldn't work."  Ye of little faith.

Can't wait to see it finished.