Thursday, February 02, 2006

Island Treasure

I think I’ve purchased 6 cast iron things on Ebay and 4 of them have arrived broken. Cast iron is notoriously brittle. This begs the question: Why didn’t I get insurance on the last cast iron thing I bought which arrived broken yesterday? It probably has something to do with the price and the size. They were only about $20 with shipping and they weren’t very big compared to other cast iron purchases. I just had to save that buck, didn’t I.

The broken items in question were a pair of cast iron brackets for the kitchen island that I hope to start building in a week or so. I had wanted old wooden corbels like you see on the frieze of old Victorian homes, but I either couldn’t find anything I liked or anything I could afford. I found very little locally and the ones on Ebay were really expensive. Van Dykes carries some, along with other similar suppliers, but nothing caught my eye.

The brackets I bought were made to hold up small marble sink vanities in bathrooms, or at least that’s what I’ve been told. They are probably similar in age as my house, and they have the paint to prove it. I guess they also could be used for shelves. They stand 16-inches high and they stick out from the wall 12-inches. At any rate they are big, fancy cast iron brackets and they should be perfect for the island. What I really liked about them was the small sunburst motif in the corner. The exterior of my houses uses this extensively.

The brake wasn't life threatening and I didn’t get insurance so I decided to just keep them. I emailed the seller and told them of the problem and suggested they pack better in the future. I’ve had some success with a product called J.B. Weld. It is an epoxy designed for metal repair. Surface prep is important I’ve found. I decided to repair them immediately instead of waiting until after I stripped the paint. I figured the fewer impurities the better. Next I’ll need to get a pan large enough to boil them so I can strip the paint off.

The other island purchase I made was 4 Queen Anne feet from Van Dykes. I think they are 5-inches high, which is a good height for a toe-kick. There will be a box just beyond the feet under the island that will hide plumbing, electrical, make easy to sweep around, and help to secure the whole thing to the floor. I’ll paint the box dark green just as I did the toe kicks on the cabinets I made.

This is one of the brackets and one of the feet.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

I'm glad I read that about the cast iron ... I've been eyeing some things on eBay lately, too. I've had trouble with items breaking in shipment, but it's always due to the shoddy packing job of the seller. I'm an eBay seller, so I'm not knocking all sellers, but you'd think some of these people would have more common sense!