V.I. Supply Blog

DIY Platform Bed... August 20 2014, 0 Comments

A customer used four of our vintage casters on the bottom of a platform bed they made for their son - how cool is this???

Look What You've Done: Mel's Pallet Coffee Table... April 24 2014, 0 Comments

A few weeks ago, a nice young lady from Quebec named Mel bought four of our 4 inch cast iron Vintage swivel casters. Through various messages on our Etsy store, she said that her intent was to use them to spice up a hand-crafted coffee table made from reused and upcycled shipping pallets, and I made her promise to send me pictures of the finished product when she was done.

She did not disappoint! Here are a few shots she sent me of what she came up with...

Love love love the Anchor Brewing theme! Love it so much! Those wonderful people out in San Francisco make some of the most delicious beer you'll find anywhere.

Here it is from a wider angle. You can tell she put a lot of time and effort into this project, and it looks great. She even added multiple shelves and smaller flat surfaces so she'd have many different places to misplace her remote. Ha!

Here you can see exactly how the casters make this a truly unique piece. I've seen a ton of poorly-made pallet coffee tables with casters someone picked up from the Home Depot (gross!) and they just don't give you that Vintage-Industrial feel that something with a spoked wheel hub and non-shiny finish on the swivel fork does. Mel went above and beyond, and you can tell she's going to get many a compliment on her coffee table during her next dinner party. Assuming she does dinner parties, of course.

Many thanks to Mel for sharing her work with us! I couldn't be more proud to have my product displayed so wonderfully on such a unique piece of furniture. Working with DIY enthusiasts is the best part of doing what I do.


DIY Casters Added... February 27 2014, 0 Comments

I've recently finished adding our cast iron spoke hub casters to the product page, and they are officially in stock and ready to ship!

When using casters for a DIY or industrial design application, I've found that most people prefer a vintage look on their wheels. We accomplish this look and feel by offering the spoke wheel hub design on both the 1-1/4 wide and 2 inch wide casters. Caster companies in general don't offer these types of wheels, as they see it as being an antiquated product which no longer serves a purpose.

How wrong they are!

These casters look AMAZING on a number of different applications. I think they have the capacity to take, say, an ordinary pallet wood coffee table and make it look like something out of a high-end design catalog. The more you increase the wheel diameter, the more your casters will pop to the eye, and the happier you'll be with what you've created.

Don't just take my word for it - try them out for yourself! It'll be the best decision you make all week. Or all year. Or possibly in your entire life.

What does "Vintage Industrial" mean? February 17 2014, 0 Comments

About two years ago, I would say somewhere around March of 2012, I wanted to build a nightstand. The nightstand I was currently using was plain, boring, and didn't tell a story. I felt that it didn't fit well into my life, as weird as that sounds.

I wasn't plain, I wasn't boring, and I frequently had a story to tell - regardless of whether or not someone wanted to hear that story.

Working in the material handling business, I had access to many, many wooden pallets - too many of which were being thrown away due to the overwhelming number of them in my workshop at any given time. I hate wasting anything, so I decided to take some of those pallets, break them down, and build my nightstand out of the materials left over. After gathering the wood, sanding that wood down, staining it, sealing it, and assembling it into the final product, I decided that I wanted to attach casters to the piece of furniture I had created.

I have been in the caster industry for more than a decade. If a caster or wheel exists anywhere in the world, I am very likely to know a lot about it and from where exactly to source it. I noticed that there was a tremendous lack of product available in what I referred to as the "vintage industrial" line, and that seemed odd to me. I defined "vintage industrial" as a product that seemed to be from a different era, or something that seemed to at least be an homage to a time which had long since passed.

I wanted a caster with a cast iron wheel that had a spoked wheel hub, and I wanted that caster to have a matted, non-shiny finish on the fork. I looked high and low, in every nook and cranny in the caster industry, and I couldn't find the product that I had envisioned in my head.

So I had two options. I could either accept that the "vintage industrial" caster I wanted didn't exist and use something in its place that I would ultimately be unhappy with, or I could create the vision I had from scratch. I chose the latter, and my line of Retro-Vintage Casters was born.

So, what does "Vintage Industrial" mean? I don't know that there's a legitimate, dictionary-type definition that one could assign to "Vintage Industrial". I suppose I see it as more of a movement than an actual physical, tangible product or collection of products. To me, "Vintage Industrial" means taking something that others consider useless, old, and past its prime, and making something wonderful out of it. Taking a torn-up wooden pallet, and making a really, really cool piece of furniture out of it. Creating something with a story to tell. Breaking away from the plain, the boring, the plastic nothingness of the typical consumer market, and planting your uniqueness onto something, or a collection of somethings, that would have been otherwise overlooked.

In short, "Vintage Industrial" means making something cool out of something that was not cool when you found it.

If you aren't plain, if you aren't boring, and if you have a story to tell, you probably know what I'm talking about. This is what "Vintage Industrial" means to me.