Meet The General. He lives on Interstate 90 about 40 miles east of Seattle, Washington. Over the years, I have hauled my eight-foot rendition of this old tree to many arts and craft shows, and have had many people recognize it as what some have called The General.
I’m sorry to report that The General lost his top during the winter of ’99, but his most complete form lives on in the many images I have made of him. He comes in various sizes, with or without some of his tree friends. I have added mountains in the background and even birds in his limbs. The photo to the right is of my eight-foot-tall metal image. The photo below is from the Bolane’s of Estes Park, Colorado. They also had a great use for the 30 Cowboys by wrapping them around their spiral staircase.
The General by Himself
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The General – with Friends
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We encourage all of our customers to choose our standard color of black, and here’s why. Powder coating is a process of baking a powder into the steel. It is a very durable finish for indoors or out, and while there are several other color options, touching up future scratches can be problematic for all colors except black.
However, if you want to explore other color options, we’d be more than happy to talk with you about your options. We can also make panels with no powder coating at all.
Will Steel Rust?
Since 1980, when I built my first weathervane, I have been concerned about the finish we apply to our products. At first it was just “rattle can” paint. Then we “wet painted” everything for years with a high quality black paint. In the mid 1990s new regulations made the paint companies take the most protective elements out of their paint. Remember seeing the trucks and cars from that time with the paint flaking off?
Then came the wonder fix—powder coating. The original paint lasted for a few years before it started fading and maybe getting some rust spots on it. Powder coating is, in our experience, pretty much the same. After a few years, it has to be refinished.
Anything—be it steel, copper, stainless steel, galvanized steel, aluminum, and even some plastics—will fade, deteriorate or rust after a period of time. Every few years, you probably need to repaint your house.
I recently spoke with a woman who had a deck railing that was 10 years old and rotten. She wanted to replace it with our steel railings, but was concerned about rusting. So my answer to her was, “Yes, steel will rust if it is exposed to nature.” Almost everything will change if it is exposed to nature. The nice thing about our steel balcony panels is that the woman who called won’t have to replace our railings, only refinish them, eventually.
We guarantee the finish on our products for one year, and they should look fine for many years after that. But eventually, they will need to be refinished.