About this project
Perched high on a hill, this enormous antenna is visible from more of San Francisco than any other landmark. It's San Francisco's Eiffel Tower.
As a furniture maker, I've often looked at Sutro Tower and thought its design would make a fine coat rack. So I built one -- and it did!
Built right here in San Francisco, the Sutro Coat Rack is made from precision-cut plywood with a hand-rubbed oil-and-wax finish. The red-and-white Sutros are then screen printed with an exterior-grade enamel to give it the "don't fly into me, helicopters!" look we've come to love.
It ships disassembled, along with the necessary tools to make it whole. Behold, the Beer Hammer:
You'll use the Beer Hammer to pound in the middle piece, which works as a keystone to hold all the parts together. Just place a can of your own beer (or any standard 12-ounce canned beverage) into the Beer Hammer, and you have a weighty mallet ready to pound. The carbonation also keeps you from pounding too hard -- nobody wants a damaged Sutro or an exploding beer.
Assembly was designed to be easy-peasy. Just slide the open triangles into the legs, drop the middle triangle to just above its final resting place, then pound it down with your beer hammer.
The Sutro Coat Rack was designed to be complete at this point, but I've added three screws and a screwdriver to further secure this from underneath the small triangle. No hex keys to add to your collection!
The Beer Hammer is made from the plywood waste that would otherwise be thrown out, so it's saving the planet too (or reducing my trash, at least)!
$10 "BURN" - I will write any name or message of your choosing (up to 100 characters) onto a specially made, solid wood Sutro Coat Rack and light it on fire at Ocean Beach on a date TBD. You will receive a link to the video, and an invitation to watch it go up.
$99 "MISTAKES WERE MADE" - An unsanded, unfinished, and unboxed Sutro Coat Rack that didn't quite pass inspection + a Beer Hammer. Issues may include: beveled edge too wide, slightly loose joints, or minor veneer chipping. Honestly, they're fine, but I'm too particular to sell them at full price. Local pickup only, so I can easily refund your money if you are not completely happy with it.
$399 "SUTRO NATURAL" - One Sutro Coat Rack in the natural finish and a Beer Hammer. Free shipping in the Continental US.
$425 "SUTRO WALNUT" - One Sutro Coat Rack with walnut veneers in a natural finish and a Beer Hammer. Free shipping in the Continental US. New product, so no photos of the finished product available. The plywood edges will be the same as the others, but the faces will look similar to the walnut sample above.
$499 "SUTRO RED AND WHITE" - One Sutro Coat Rack with the red-and-white finish and a Beer Hammer. Free shipping in the Continental US.
$499 "FIRST" - One Sutro Coat Rack with a red-and-white finish and a Beer Hammer ready to pick up before everyone else. No box and fully assembled. Local pickup only.
$3000 "THE SEEMINGLY OBLIGATORY HIGH PRICE REWARD" - Not only do you receive a Sutro Coat Rack in red and white, but you'll also get two Thick Chairs made of walnut and leather. Local pickup or delivery within 25 miles only.
If I can reach these stretch goals, I'll offer new variations of the Sutro Coat Rack:
$10000 - Sutro Coat Rack will be offered in new color schemes.
$20000 - Rainbow Sutro Coat Rack. Hang your coat with pride!
NUMBERS & STUFF
Dimensions: 18" x 71.25"
Material: 3/4" thick birch-core plywood with maple face veneers
Finish: Osmo Polyx Oil with optional enamel ink graphics
Floor Glides: Nylon
Here's my very conservative timeline for production, which assumes I sell every last one and do not build any until the campaign is done. The "FIRST" and "MISTAKES WERE MADE" rewards will be available as soon as all payments have cleared.
March 6-March 20 - Parts are cut on CNC router and packaging is ordered and delivered.
March 20-April 24 - Sanding, finishing, and screen printing.
April 1-April 30 - Packing and shipping.
GETTING TO THE PEOPLE
Coat Racks will ship in one large box (unless otherwise specified).
Shipping to the Continental US will be free during this Kickstarter campaign.
If you would like one outside of the Lower 48 and don't mind being charged up the wazoo, let me know -- maybe I'll cave and offer international shipping if enough people yell at me.
MORE THAN YOU WANTED TO KNOW
It has been an adventure developing this into a fully grown-up product! Starting in mid 2012, I designed several prototypes out of various materials until I knew I had a winner. Then I worked with CNC router shops until I found one that that could reliably deliver the quality I required (tolerances need to be within .002"!). Luckily, I found a guy just a few blocks from my studio.
Next, I had to figure out how to finish these. First, I had to decide how I'd sand them (not easy as there's about 50' of edges to sand!), then how to add an attractive protective coating along with the requisite red and white stripes. I tried it all, and I'm very pleased with the final results.
The finish is an oil and wax hybrid that is both attractive and functional. It's applied by hand in two coats, which means that I didn't spray 90% of the wood finish into the air while trying to coat thin sticks of wood. It has a pleasant, waxy feel to it, which allows the parts to easily slide together. It's a floor finish, so it's durable, but if you should somehow damage or wear out the finish, you can purchase more of it through the retailer of your choosing and apply it yourself without any special skills.
Figuring out how to do the stripes sucked. Spraying was out, as it required a ridiculous amount of masking. Adhesive vinyl wasn't as cheap as it looked (and performed). So I thought I'd try screen printing them on. The screens do all the masking for you, and the ink is very durable, as it is made for signs that sit in the sun and rain all day.
I come from a printing family, so I taught myself how to screen print. It's not rocket science; just a little messy.
WHO THE HELL IS THIS GUY?
Godar Furniture is only me, Justin Godar. I've been building and designing wood furniture professionally in San Francisco since 2001. I do a lot of custom work, but I am also working on a line of ready-to-ship products, with the Sutro Coat Rack as the first.
The products I develop are products I want. I'm counting on Kickstarter to let me know if enough others want them, too.
I've been making these in small batches and selling them fully assembled at Aldea Home on Valencia Street. I would like to sell more of them to a wider audience at a lower price than I've been charging, but to do so, I need to make larger production runs and place larger packaging orders. My hope is to raise enough interest and money through Kickstarter to fund a moderately large production run.
To my editor wife for helping me not sound like a moron.
To my cousin for showing up to Christmas with a drone.
To you for listening to me ramble and for sharing this with absolutely everyone you know.
Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA
Risks and challenges
I don't foresee delays or problems because I'm keeping the manufacturing in-house and local; I've already done all the investments into the final product; and I'm limiting the quantities to a very realistic number. All that's left is packaging, for which I have a plan.
That said, this all depends on me and my health. So long as I don't cut off my thumb (again!), you should receive your Sutro Coat Rack in the time promised.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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