Military Grade Picking

Military Grade Picking

On a road trip to Tucson looking for a specific piece of reclaimed sheetmetal for a Washington DC based client, I was looking for a needle in a haystack. I was specifically looking for a red piece of NAVY specific sheetmetal suitable for a coffee table to go in a contemporary condo. I knew that probably wasn’t going to happen. I have no military experience but the only thing I could think might be red was something medical related. I wasn’t optimistic but I was making the 2 hour drive from Phoenix to a grave yard I had heard about. You never know unless you do the work. I am always willing to do my part to put in the effort but the rest is fate.


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I spent several hours walking this place. It was large and packed with alot of different things to see. It was a time capsule for sure. Everything was old and the real deal. It was amazing weather to be out picking. After a while, I really needed to find what I needed or call it a day and get back on the road north.


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I never found the red sheetmetal for my Navy client in DC. I was bummed and didn’t have a backup plan for the client as they were specific on what they wanted. Maybe they were just messing with me? Nevertheless, my efforts were rewarded at the end of the afternoon. Across the street, there was another lot with fewer pieces but cooler pieces of history. I stumbled upon a section of a helicopter fuselage that said NAVY. It wasn’t red but it was bad ass. I knew that is what I was supposed to find that day.


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After a short trip to the ATM to get more cash, I was back and loaded up. Physically, this piece was large but it only weighed 25 pounds?? First time I picked it up, I almost fell over backwards cause the lifting effort I exerted would have made for an impressive burpie. It was full magnesium, riveted construction. It was awesome! Such a cool find. Perfect Perfect wall art for any modern or industrial interior design.


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Back at my shop, the only thing I did was clean up the haggard perimeter, install a hanging cable and some stand-off “feet” to keep the art from touching the future clients drywall. I shot it with a clear coat for a gloss finish and added my serial number badge, signature and date.  I was so stoked to find this piece of recycled metal artwork. It was not what I set out looking for that morning but I knew it was for me the instant I saw it. I really love this line of work.


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