Sometimes only the very best will do.

Those who know me know I love rusty stuff. To me, a rusty patina on a piece of steel is magic and beautiful. Somehow those who also love rust are drawn to the things I make and so I often get to include some rusty parts in my designs. The owners of the Fox and Hounds agree.

We are telling the story of a 200 year old business and with something that age there simply has to be a little rust. We decided the bulletin boards, story board and special chalk board would be the perfect place. We fabricated the oversized barrels to provide a frame for the rusty steel panels. Magnets will hold on the posters and other papers, making them easily changable when needed.

Because these bulletin boards are front and center I needed some exquisite rusty steel for the task. Although I can create some pretty awesome fake rust, in this case it simply wouldn't do. Only the very best would be good enough. I had to think about this...

A couple of years ago, my neighbor Gord had offered me a piece of rusted and pitted steel. It was so rusty he couldn't use it in his shop. I had no use for it at the time, but I just knew that sometime in the future it would come in handy. I put it out in the boneyard until I needed it. While it languished out back it rusted some more. We used it a couple of times to stop the forklift from sinking into soft ground. The heavy traffic simply added more character to the piece. Each time after we used it, the sheet of rusty steel went back out to the boneyard to gather more rust.

As I thought about the current problem, I remembered that rusty steel out back.  I went outside to my bone yard... and there it was! The surface was pitted badly. It was a little bent from the forklift use. But it was plenty big and perfect for this task. I used my grinder to whip off a surface layer of loose scale, then fired up my plasma cutter - hand held of course, for a straight line was the last thing we needed here. 

Today I carefully packed the rusty steel into my truck. I didn't want to scratch it. I took it to the pub to install in the places of honor.  I drilled the holes, slipped on the spacers and bolted each piece into it's final home. I took care not to use a level for I didn't want them perfectly plumb. They were eyeballed to perfection.

On one I had painted some blackboard paint. This would be the special board, drawn on with chalk each morning. This piece of steel was oriented vertically to allow room for the four specials of each day.

The other boards were oriented horizontally. We just liked the look of this format as it allowed the barrel bung to be visible. These boards will hold the notices held on by magnets.

While I was at the pub, I also climbed my giant step ladder (which I had brouht) to hang the Harold Fine Wines sign. This finished off this area of the pub nicely.

The guest view is not from that angle however. They will look up at it like they would in real life on a London Street.

Now it is on to the next...

-grampa dan