There was a golden age when the expansive hood of the American automobile could double as a picnic table. Thankfully, engine compartments have conformed to smaller motors and superior aerodynamics, but why give up the pleasure of dining (or making out) on the hood of an American classic just because you drive a Honda Fit? Joel Hester, in his Dallas-based Weld House, is scrounging the scrap yards of Texas and turning grizzled steel into tables, beds, armoires, and more.  (Pics)


Hester’s most enchanting creations are his coffee and end tables, which start at $700 (check out his gallery on Flickr). Working with car hoods and trunks ravaged by sun, weather, and even custom paint jobs, Hester and his torch-happy gang flatten the metal, shape the edges, add custom legs and casters, and give each one a sublimely smooth finish. Some tables even bear their original hood ornaments and vin tags.


We’ve seen furniture recrafted from car parts, blue jeans, bicycles, and salvaged wood. But in this beleaguered economy it gives us great pleasure to see someone truly turning clunkers into cash.


Browsing through the Weld House inventory reveals some remarkable treasures, but you can also see what yet-unmolded artifacts of sheet metal are available, and Hester will build a custom creation. Still don’t see what you’re looking for? Itching for a piece of that yellow Carmengia you never should have sold? The crafty people of Weld House will search and send pics for your approval.


Via Treehugger