Date Posted: Sunday, January 30th, 2011
It was just like any other Monday and I was doing what I normally do on Mondays which is to settle in and think about Friday. This Monday was different. I just didn't know it yet. As I picked up the phone to follow up on work done over the weekend the door opened and a weathered old man walked in.
"Can I help you?"
"I hope so. My name is Frank and you're my last chance."
"That sounds dramatic."
"Maybe son, but no one else has been able to do what I need done."
For a moment I thought I was in a Clint Eastwood movie but then I snapped back.
"What do you need done?"
"It's my 1950's dresser. My beloved Delores used to fold laundry and store it there. I need it back in the same condition she would've remembered."
"Well, I'll do my best to get your dresser back"
And that's how it started. After unloading the dresser and finally getting a chance to see it in full light I knew I had signed up for one of my hardest challenges. How was I going to restore 90 years of wear and tear? How was I going to meet my customer's needs? And how was I going to make sure Delores was happy? The challenge was made alot easier because Frank had all of the confidence in the world that our state-of-the-art powder coating would restore his medical cabinet to pristine condition.
I knew from the beginning I needed to take a different approach in my powder coating process. I used plastic blasting media, part of the Blast Coat Assemble process (B.C.A.), which is how I removed years of old paint and memories. Once the dresser was finally down to its original, unfinished state, I had to take a step back. This is how the metallurgist who created this piece of art felt; like introducing something knew into the world. It was only days away from being in Delores' hands.
Now that I had it in an unfinished state I needed to imagine what the dresser would look like. My first thought was to harken back to the fashion and music of the 50's; Chuck Berry, Blue Suede Shoes, Slack Dresses and Sock Hops. I used this inspiration to pick the powder coating colors for the dresser: white, green and brown. But which shade of white, green and brown? It took hours to match the right shades and tones. I finally settled on the color details and started the powder coating process.
The powder coating process is involved to say the least. I had my team sandblast, mask and paint the dresser three different times to get just the right look. It was worth it. When the dresser came out of the oven with the final coat of paint I knew Dolores would be happy! The result was something I was proud of and I felt I could let Frank know the job was done. I picked up that phone and asked Frank to come over.
A few hours later he walked back in and saw the dresser.
"This is exactly what I had in mind"
"Well, I hope Delores would say the same."
"I'm sure she would"
And that's how it ended. That's the last time I saw Frank but I know, somewhere, he has that dresser and Delores is happy with the result.
Next week for Project 5, we powder coat lobby stools.