By Dustin Hornsby
When the tornado came through in 2008, a tree fell on one of our decorative settees and trellis.
The settee is a decorated city park bench variation and the trellis was designed to look like a weeping willow. We were not sure if the settee was salvageable. After analyzing the settee and trellis we decided that we were going to try and save them.
We took the back of the settee completely apart by drilling out the rivets so we could straighten the metal slats on the back rest. To straighten out the slats we had to heat them up and bend them back. The frame pieces and legs had to be straightened as well. There was an issue finding new rivets that matched the same size and shape of the original rivets.
The solution was to use hex head bolts and grind them down to match. All the replacement “rivets” were then welded in to place. After all metal work was complete, the settee was painted. Through this process we saw that the original color was a softer green, so the settee was painted the original color. When the settee was complete we started on the trellis. It had to be taken completely apart, straightened, welded, then painted to match.
The moral of this work was clear, even when things seem to have irreparable damage, with creativity they often can be put back together.