This room is calling me. I want to breathe it.
We’ve placed an order for ten feet of 1″ steel tubing. From the steel place. Awesome. Why, you ask? So I can weld a chair creation. Yes, that’s what I said: So I can weld a chair creation.
My man Chris is not really a welder, although he certainly welds. I found him through a friend who said Chris can do anything I need. He builds custom motorcycles. In other words, Reader, he fiddles outside the box. He doesn’t follow the rules (You need to go there and SEE the motorcycles in that shop!). That’s why his business has the word “Chopper” in it.
So, he looked over the rusted-beyond-description chairs I hauled over there, and when I asked if we could weld them back together, he shook his head. But when he realized that I thought his shake of the head meant we had to send the chairs to the recycling place, he shook his head again. He said we’re gonna use the rusted chairs for practice and for parts.
We? Practice? Yes…Chris is gonna teach me to weld, and I’m gonna practice on these chairs.
Parts? Yes…we’re gonna put these chairs back together however the hell we want to…we’re gonna make custom chairs. From steel. Steel that I personally weld and drill and bend.
I don’t know why Chris wants to do this. I keep asking him that. I ask him if he’ll be sorry he offered to get into this stuff with me, and he repeatedly says, No. He says it’s a nice distraction from his usual work. We like one another, you know. I mean, I always instinctively hug him as if he’s one of my dearest friends, and vice versa. We brighten up when we see one another. I liked him from the get-go. It’s just one of those things.
Chris is a perfectionist. He’s already critical of a nick I made in the steel when I got sloppy cutting a bolt loose (I get impatient). He says not in his shop. In his shop, we do it right.
He’s clearing out a corner of his shop for Liz’s Chairs. He’s gonna teach me to TIG weld. And bend steel. And think creatively about metal things.
I have now encountered my first completely and disintigratingly rusted steel tube. It’s a crucial tube on a chair that Deb likes a lot. That’s the killer part. I began disassembling it yesterday so she could soon sit in a metal chair of her own that she enjoys, and then this tube simply turned to dust in my hand.
The question: Can my trusty welding fella fix it?
The second question: Is it worth my paying my trusty welding fella to do it? Because this is not a simple fix.
So, this is my guy. He owns Cinn City Choppers—a very dark and cool back-alleyish motorcycle service and body shop. It’s a seriously dark and cool and hidden place. But Chris is very nice and personable, and we get along famously. (I don’t know if I should put his full name in this blog or not…I don’t know if he wants the publicity. I’ll ask him when I see him next…which should be tomorrow when I haul a couple of these steel-tube problems to him).
At Chris’s feet in this image is the chair I found in a wet and crumpled heap in a woman’s backyard. This chair is now beautifully welded back together (NO KIDDING…the welding work in spectacular. I was astonished by it) so that it stands on its own. I’ve sanded all the rust and flaky paint from it, and it’s sweet and clean and waiting for a nice day in which I can paint.