Joel Hester turns junk cars into furniture

Joel Hester makes gorgeous steel furniture from the rusted sheet metal of old American cars and trucks. This table from a truck hood costs $850. Modern steel furniture product page [ via Design-Milk via Freshome]
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11 Responses to Joel Hester turns junk cars into furniture

  1. pork musket says:

    That’s pretty awesome, although I’m not such a fan of the feet… that’s picking nits though. I’m curious how he fills the spaces to make a uniform plane, and what sort of treatment he applies to the rusted parts.

  2. dculberson says:

    Totally awesome. I’m guessing they have one hell of a hydraulic press to flatten those things out.

  3. dculberson says:

    I just looked at the tables in detail; that’s a lot of work and materials for only $850. The frame is really stout. The feet have individual heim joints to allow them to meet unlevel surfaces. Looks like stainless hex head bolts, too. Pretty sweet.

  4. zikman says:

    man, I wish I could take junk and sell it for $850

  5. dculberson says:

    Zikman, after you pour a couple hundred dollars in materials and dozens of hours worth of good work into “junk,” I’m sure you could get $850 for it.

    Calling these tables “junk” is like calling any manufactured good “junk.” It’s not the hood itself but the massive amount of additional materials and labor they put into it that make the value.

    Making this table yourself would be an exercise in frustration. By the end, you’d be begging someone to make it for you at $850.

  6. pork musket says:

    @10 – Cheers and keep up the cool work.

  7. jacke says:

    Green furniture, great. Something to put new green Dell Studio Hybrid on ;)


  8. jimmyPop says:

    $57 – 2×2 14 ga. P/O square tubing
    $65 – raw truck hood
    $10 – 5) 4″ cut off wheels to remove sheetmetal skin from structure @ $2 each. or buy $900 plasma cutter, taking donations.
    $75 outside vendor to notch corners and place in hyd. press to form corners. not done with brake press.
    $30 – auto body shop to shoot 4 coats of clear, 4 table minimum. but thats after welding and grinding corners down and buffing oxidation off hood.
    $16 – 8 bronze spacers in feet
    $40 – 4 heim joints in feet
    $8 – stainless steel socket cap hardware in feet. must buy in bulk to get this price.
    $36 laser cut feet .25″ material.must buy in bulk to get this price.
    $24 laser cut 3/16″ bracket material to make legs removeable so table will ship via UPS. gotta buy these in bulk too.

    not getting rich but it sure is fun.


  9. Anonymous says:

    Wow, that looks really great. A little cheaper and I really would consider buying one :)

    Cheers Chan from TheJunction

  10. SamF says:

    I guess that’s one use for them.

    In high school, my friend hit a truck in his Chevy Nova. So, we took off the front quarter-panel that was damaged. Then we jumped on it until it was as flattened as we could get it (i.e. not very). And then we wrote a bunch of unflattering remarks all over it, and left it on his ex-girlfriend’s front porch.

  11. toxonix says:

    I’ve made lots of furniture out of square section tubing. But I have a MIG welder.
    I’ve built stuff like this for less than $30, in an hour or two. Most of the metal was scrap though, so that makes it a lot cheaper.
    4×5′ A36 rect. tube: $100
    4″x4″x5/8″ (x8) plates: $16
    Misc hardware, finish, consumables: $40
    At the most I’d say their material cost per table is $150. If they’re spending more than that, they’re getting ripped off by their suppliers.
    Also, I don’t like their construction. It takes a little more time to grind welds down so they don’t look like shit, but I’d expect that for $850-2500.
    That said, I’d probably charge that much myself. I’d want to make money.

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