Frequently Ask Questions
How Do You Do That?
IS YOUR FURNITURE HEAVY?
Very. But even the heaviest design is well within the limits of the average home. Consider that a king size waterbed weighs in at 2000 lbs., but our king size Streamlined Bed weighs in at a mere 650 lbs. Most other pieces weigh less than two good-sized men, so placing them in your home or office is no more weight than two men standing in the same area.
Can I Make One Of These Myself?
We understand and appreciate all the craftsmen and woodworkers that build one of a kind furniture and encourage you to continually create new designs. But we do strongly discourage imitations of our designs for several reasons:
- Your Safety
- Our Patents
- The Laws Regarding the Use of Railroad Materials & railroad right of ways.
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DO YOU WELCOME CUSTOM WORK?
Yes, much of what we do is commissioned work. We have quite a selection of already created designs that you will see here. Those are all available for purchase as well without any custom charges. It is important to note that while all pieces are built to Robert Hendrick's exacting detail and design standard, no two pieces will ever be exactly the same. The reclaimed rail and repurposed but never used timbers are all slightly different and produce a unique final creation. Regardless of your final selection (in-stock, built to order from current design, or a new custom design) we understand you will have questions and exacting expectations. Please call us anytime to discuss a possible selection. You can place your order by phone as well. We will present you with a complete bid detailing your purchase before an invoice is created.
IS IT ART OR FURNITURE?
We think of our designs as both custom furniture and "one of a kind" art. Any item shown as "in-stock" is available for immediate purchase. Images shown are for the exact piece you will receive. If you prefer an item not in stock, it will be built to your specification usually in less than ten days.
HO MUCH DOES A CUSTOM ITEM COST?
Each new custom design request from a client is quoted before work begins. There is no charge to talk with us about your ideas and there are never any surprises. All cost will be presented to you and agreed upon before we start. Robert minimum charge for a custom concept is $3,000 but that is the minimum cost for the entire project. It is not a separate additional fee on top of building the piece. We will work with you every step the way and you have approval on each step.
IS THIS ALL OF YOUR DESIGNS?
Not even close. The pieces here are merely representative of the types of work we do.
IS IT DANGEROUS WORK?
As in all heavy equipment use there is a chance of accident but we are very proud of our safety record. Our Design Studio is very safe and rules are stridently enforced. Our on remote site professional railroad crews know the dangers and are always careful. Laid rail is under heave stress and even it looks like it should just come up they can pop and flip when rail nails and spikes are remove. That is another reason you should never attempt to collect rail yourself. Additional most rail paths are private property and trespassers are not wanted or welcome. Let the experts remove the rail. That is what we do.
Do You Sell Raw Materials for Other Projects?
We do not sell our hardware individually. We appreciate your understanding. Our steel components are of materials that have seen over a century of heavy industrial use, and as such are subject to high variability in terms of sizing, color, shape and other characteristics. Our timbers are seconds that do not meet grade and are subject to equally wide variations in terms of size, color and quality. Our materials present truly unique challenges. I am certain that you are an accomplished craftsman yourself, so you can appreciate that as craftsmen ourselves, we have developed a number of unique means for compensating for those variances that contradict traditional word-working and metalworking techniques. We appreciate your interest, and if you would like for us to develop a custom piece to your specifications, we are happy to work with you on that.
ARE THE TIMBERS OR CROSS-TIES USED?
No. All of our cross-ties are virgin timbers that have never been treated. We use only stains and finishes that are consistent with what you would expect to find in just about any American household.
WHAT SPECIES OF HARDWOODS TO YOU USE?
The majority of our timbers are varieties of oak with white and red oak being the most common. We do get the occasional hickory, maple, elm, cherry, walnut and other species. We note the species for each piece as definitively as possible. With our designs the exact would many times is not the key presentation differentiator. Occasional the same piece may have different types of hardwood included. It is more how the grain takes the stain, how deep the imperfections and the overall feeling the pieces presents.
WHAT ARE CULLS?
Culls is just the railroader term for describing timbers that have been "culled" from a stand of timbers. These timbers may be split on the end, have excessive knots or may have twisted or warped in the process of drying. These timbers were viable material for ties when cut, but as the wood dried and seasoned, some fared better than others. While our timbers do not meet standards for running 180,000 pound rail cars over them, they do quite nicely in home service.
WHY CAN'T THE SAME RAIL BE REUSED FOR RAIL LINES?
Rail that is not overly worn can be relayed, but much of what we use is worn from use and has been taken out of service. In addition, the size of the rail may no longer meet standards for rail traffic. Much of the rail we use is 70-, 80- or 90-pound rail. Today's standards require a minimum of 100-pound rail or more.
WHERE DOES YOUR RAIL COME FROM?
The rail comes from track renovation projects where maintenance work is being done. Most of the rail we use comes out of the southeastern U.S. However, we can only speak definitively for its last point of service since rail may have been relayed repeatedly many ears ago and may have been in virtually any part of the country at some point in its life.