I have no idea why I felt compelled to do this knock-off interpretation of artifact “art” from Restoration Hardware, especially considering my new-found love of all things gold, curvy and swirly. Maybe it was the challenge of acquiring old gears and wheels or maybe it’s just a great “upcycle”. Either way, I couldn’t get it out of my head (for months).
When I dropped in on a tractor dealership and asked about vintage gears, they all looked at me like I had 3 heads. (I still think it’s funny that there’s a tractor dealership about 2 miles from my house, ah, Kansas!) Anyway, once I explained why I wanted them, Chris brought me to what he lovingly referred to as the “scrap heap”. In fact, he suggested that I come by at least once a week and start making a lot of art (hmmm, is that lucrative?) Anyway, I chose a few funky pieces just to get started.
These weren’t vintage as in “rusty”, but they were legit. And really greasy. I degreased them (in the kitchen sink – it wasn’t pretty) using some orange stuff Hubby bought years before. I have to mention this because there was a fairly major argument over this purchase in 2003. At this point, he wins the argument and gets a huge apology. It’s all-natural and worked like a charm! (and I can’t believe we held onto the stuff for that long!)
I’d searched Craigslist and eBay for some antique pulleys and gears, but they were even more expensive than RH’s versions, so I decided that it just wasn’t going to happen. Then, I dropped in on an estate sale one day and in a corner sat a sad little (big!) pulley for $8! Game changer!
Once I had all the pieces, it was pretty simple. I cleaned them all up and painted them Krylon’s Oil Rubbed Bronze to get a uniform look (you knew that was coming, right?). I used L brackets on the back of each one with the Loctite liquid weld. It worked for some, but for a couple, the liquid weld just popped right off. I used my trusty E6000 and it worked! Then, I mounted each of them to a thick piece of trim.
Here’s the finished product!
A few of these are really heavy but I think they’ll be perfect for a bookcase.
I might add a pretty treadle sewing machine wheel to the collection.
What do you think?
PS. my little guys love these and have already “called” certain gears for their rooms’. (“One looks like a Lego Mom!”)