Steel Base for Map Storage Cabinet
"There's just something hypnotic about maps." - Ken Jennings
I always appreciate getting pictures of my finished work once it's installed, but for various reasons can't always get to the final installation to take photos. Joe and Sue were very kind to send me these shots of the steel cabinet base they had me build. It now resides in their beautiful American Craftsman influenced home in Bend, Oregon. My wife and I stayed there once and will definitely have to visit again. If memory serves me correctly, Becky had a hand in the quilt on the wall.
Joe collects vintage maps, and to store them he found these old plan file cabinets, two of five drawers each, which stack one on top of the other. After refinishing and adding an oak top plus the drawer pulls and label holders, he ended up with one fine looking piece of furniture to keep his maps in.
A little closer look shows the design elements of the steel base. Joe happened to commission this piece just at the time I had been thinking of some design ideas for furniture. What we came up with together has a fairly simple elegance, without being overstated as a lot of wrought iron work tends to be. The legs received a radius up to the frame and are lapped over it. A few rivets but not too many, and a light touch of Deco with the forged crossbars, and the result is a base that looks good with the cabinet while neither overwhelms the other design-wise. Also I think the dimensional scale of the ironwork, otherwise known as the weight of the piece, ended up being a good match for the cabinet.
The finish is several applications of a chemical treatment that gives the steel a black patina, then it was rubbed with oil. Time, changes in humidity, and ultraviolet light if any reaches it through windows can all affect the patina over time. That's just the nature of patina, as well as a big part of its popularity. Time will tell.
All in all a nice addition to the room, and we're both happy with the shared results of our work.