30 April 2012

end of an era

Last week Pigpen and Sloppy came down to pick up the T-bucket.

pigpen's t-bucket

Now that he's been growing roots up in hosetown(SJ) for a year now,
it was about time!
pigpen & sloppy

Luke/Pigpen had the brilliant idea of taking it all apart,
therefore utilizing a smaller trailer.
Hopefully it will be put together before he knocks his girlfriend up!


Grateful Dead - lovelight - april 17, 1971

The Dead had a monster east coast tour in april of 1971.
Pigpen (ron mckernan)  absolutely rocked those shows
with his 20+ minute good lovin's and love light's.

Grateful Dead Live at Dillon Gym - Princeton University on 1971-04-17 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

This particular version was/is a staple on the old Imac at the shop.
Try to stick around after the 7:30 mark.
The ultimate concert hook-up - if you click you click!

Check out more april '71 shows here...

Internet Archive Search: april 1971 grateful dead


Luke/Pigpen was in a bit of a rush to get his long drive on,
but a banana pancake breakfast slowed him down.
Than somehow the kids suckered Sloppy and Pig into a game of Butt's Up.

butt's up - better run

The kids are killers at this game - ruthless.

pigpen's butt's up

Yeah than Luke had his revenge...

Pigpen's Revenge

And yeah I got my butt up too.

TP's butt's up

It was a fun time.
So fun that we played long enough for the truck's battery to die.
Hey I didn't know he was parked in the middle of our street!

end of an era!


29 April 2012

floored part II

Christened some new gloves after burning my hands a couple too many times.
The old ones were like a second skin and I'll still use them for TIG work.

They were the type with the nylon tops - not made for the MIG anyway.

bull chit

These Tillman's are actually shorty driving gloves,
somehow I ended up with a few pair that I need to burn through.
They take a while to break in but they last a long time.

Yeah I know some of you are too tough to use gloves.
I've got a side job washing dishes and cuts and burns slow me down.
40 coupe floor

Not that you guys give a rat's ass about my outerwear.
It's a slow sunday morning and I'm in a chatty mood.

Last time I left the tunnel and one diagonal piece was fitted.
Since than I got the other side diagonal,
and some tubing reinforcement along the bottom,
similar to the first panel frame on top.

It's actually tubing cut in half.
This doubles the length I can get out of a piece,
cuts the weight in half,
and is just as stiff.
Also water/dirt won't get trapped inside.
Good excuses for being cheap!


My old buddy Mike turned me onto this metal shop up in his hood.
They had this 1x1 16 gauge angle that I couldn't say no too.
This helped ease the transition from the tunnel to the floor.


Instead of needing to make perfect measurements and bends,
the floor panel could simply overlap the new angle.
I'm at the point where I can handle a bit of imperfection and speed.
Yeah I'm a hack sometimes.

battery location

The green 40 has the battery placed behind the seat.
It isn't as convenient but I like the weight placement near the rear.

battery box

Yesterday I was able to whip out a battery box and that was about it.
Hopefully tonight I'll get a couple hours in.

After a month or so of stumbling around unfocused,
it's a relief to want to go to the shop every spare moment!


28 April 2012

holey chit...

Went to the dentista again.
Yes I've been cramming my dental woes down your virtual throats I know.

double root canal fitting post

It seems like this chit is dragging on indefinitely!

So the reason why this has been such as hassle,
is it's not a simple one tooth problem.
Basically what happened started years ago before my wisdom teeth were pulled.
The teeth were pushed forward,
and somehow these 2 teeth pushed into each other like the Himalayas.
One actually was crushed by the other one.
This was like 15 years ago.

more grinding to fit post(s)

Fortunately the TJ dentista knows what to do to save the teeth.

Even with dental insurance my cost was thousands of dollars,
I think the estimate was about $4800!
Our TJ dentista will be under $800,
unless I go for the gold!
That's good enough reason to do all these trips.

In these pictures,
she's fitting the 2 posts that I need.
So much grinding.


oval window

This guy dropped by yesterday driving this cool vw bug.
Yeah I said vw bug.
My first cars were volkswagens,
starting with a '67 bug which bumped up my driving points,
I ended up getting hooked on bay window buses, '71 in particular.
The book "how to keep your vw alive" by John Muir,
helped actually understand that cars were more than just metal.

1956 vw oval window bug

Anyway I still have an appreciation for them.
This guy dropped by yesterday with a really cool little bug.
A 1956 oval window.
On the outside it looks thrashed,
but the sheetmetal is fairly straight and there's a nice 1600 DP in it.

1956 vw beetle

Maybe you see something really cool about this little sleeper.
There's some hard to find 356 porsche brakes on it.

porsche brakes

Those 356 guys cover up those aluminum drums with hubcaps,
but they look way better out in the open like that.

Anyway I thought it was a bitchin little car.


27 April 2012

floored part 1

You remember the rusty 40 coupe project?
Yeah it's been a while.
A month and a half ago I had made a rule
 to finish the sheetmetal welding before adding more.
perich brothers (and sister): 2 down 27 to go

It was a sure way to get into a builders slump.
Now that I'm down to the last couple feet,
it was time to start adding some acreage.


Time ticked away as I tried to figure out where to start.
The missing subrail seemed a good a place as any.


Now there was a frame for the sheetmetal.
I had this great idea to make forms out of scrap wood.

wooden forms

But it was too soft to make a good line.
Than I remembered the bead roller I've never used.

Jack's Machine & Welding Bead Roller

Twenty years ago my Dad bought this at the Big 3 swap,
and quickly lost interest.
Its been dragged around unused til now.
Making a base for the hammer stand made it much easier to use.

first bead project

Instead of practicing on a bunch of scrap,
I had to try a relatively big sheet.
Holey Chit this wasn't as easy as I'd hoped,
especially with the hand crank.
The piece couldn't be wasted so I tacked it into a framework.
Thus the start of the floor had truly begun.


Next came the driveshaft tunnel.
The roller works wonders making circular bends,
but not much making U's.


Some scrap pallet wood helped flatten out the C into a U.


There was a point where I thought this piece was lost.
Thankfully it turned out okay.
driveshaft tunnel

Now there was a framed gap to be filled.


Of course the pieces aren't simple squares or rectangles.
I definitely have an appreciation for guys that like to do this part.
Hopefully it will look semi decent when I'm done.
I'll be happy to coat it with that epoxy goop,
and cover it with some sound deadener and carpet.

Let's pretend this was all in a day,
even though it's taken a couple hours a day over the week!
Part 2 coming soon.


25 April 2012


The perfect opportunity for a simple bike ride came up last month
when I picked up that 50 chevy for Hans.

breezer thunder at the beach

Sucks to need an excuse lately to get off my beaten path from house to shop etc.
The car was about 8 miles away through the beach town of Mission Beach.
This was my stomping ground as a kid.
Also the stomping ground of the old breezer thunder I got a while back.

mission beach boardwalk

This place gets packed in the summer.
So much it can be impossible to ride a bike.
Tourists and partiers come from around the world to hang out here.

breezer on the boardwalk

Even though it was a rushed ride down the boardwalk,
it was a needed time to get out and enjoy the area I live in.
Definitely need to get out more.


24 April 2012

one big rock

I'll admit that after the thrash of the Chocolate & Cheese roadster,
my project focus has been a little blurred.
There have been a few mini-projects since I guess,
it just doesn't feel like much has gotten done.
Maybe cause I'm juggling too many balls instead of pushing one big rock.

Well remember Spinner who helped do some fab/weld work?
He had the same withdrawals as well,
but was able to channel it into,
well one big rock.

spinner's clean suzuki

I've shown his bike before,
however it was naked.

perich brothers (and sister): spinner

spinners dirty suzuki

Using the "rainy" weather as an excuse,
he tore up his daily driver and glopped on a series of paint.

Yeah it's hard to see cause my pictures suck,
but basically he rubbed out the whole thing,
except for the engine!

tank patina

I'm a sucker for the patina look,
whether it's real time or accelerated.

fender patina

Maybe cause it's a good way to not get caught up in perfect bodywork!

Well Spinner did smooth the bike out,
obvious from the clear paint.

spinner's suzuki 550

The only drawback of having shiny paint,
it's not as much fun to ride,
knowing it will get dirty or chipped.
Can't win for losin!


23 April 2012

Hey, can you fix my brakes?

For the past 21 years this painting has been dragged around
from shop to shop to garage.

a chip tracht original

I'm not a big time art collector,
but with the help of watching Mad Men,
I realized it's like having a Rothko painting.
Not really a picture of anything in particular.


the friend who painted it - CT,
never made it huge as an artist,
but you never know.

The other day,
he needed some help with his brakes on his 2006 chevy Silverado.
Or so he thought.
The brakes were fine.


So what else are you gonna do.
let's pull apart the interior!

Although we both have serious addictions to music and stereo equipment at home,
we both have shitty original stereos in our cars.
At least he has a CD player in his.

We never found out why his front speakers don't work!


19 April 2012

chief gets a bath

Last year I freaked out a little bit
when  the fog started attacking the new nickel plating on the old RPU.

1929 ford roadster pickup

To protect it I smeared grease over everything shiny.
It seemed to work.
The side effect was the "tar and feather" look,
attracting dust and dirt.
1929 ford roadster pickup

The old truck deserved a bath,
so out came a diesel soaked rag.
1929 ford roadster pickup with hallock windshield

The grease did the job protecting the plating.
The idea was to do a quick wipe down of just the shiny nickel,
but I couldn't hold back,
wiping the whole car down with diesel.
Half an hour later...


grateful dead - me and my uncle - 12-30 77
(tried to wash off some of that dust and dirt)


It reminded me of the old days when the finish was seasoned rust and primer.
After every oil change,
I'd wipe the RPU down with the dirty oil,
letting it soak into the paint and rust.
Waste not...
6-volt brights

Later that night we both had the urge to burn some gas.
Way too short!
The new rear end configuration cut the chatter down big time.
Chief just wants to go.
This summer I gotta get more freeway miles in!


KC cheerleader

I bit the bullet last week
and ordered that auto darkening welding helmet I was hemmin' and hawin' on.

jackson WH60 truesight welding helmet
by kimberly-clark

While I usually try to support local business,
a company out east, Cyberweld, beat their price by $50.
This included free shipping.
The only drawback was the week it took to show up.

jackson WH60 truesight

It finally arrived yesterday,
and even though I really wanted to go and weld,
I was only able to adjust the headpiece.
The few settings make a big difference,
as I like to have my face centered in the view screen.

I also found out it only takes 2 AAA batteries not 3 AA like I thought.

jackson WF60 truesight digital ADF

The $$ that was supposed to be saved,
instead went to a bunch of random accessories.
There are special lenses inside and out,
so it's good to have a couple extra handy.

old and new welding helmets

I also really like those sheepskin headband covers.
Not sure if my old one was white like that.
I've actually washed it 2x in the past couple years.

blue point ya-551 vs jackson truesight

Tonight I went and did some welding on the rusty 40,
and I'm hooked.
The switchover is so fast - 0.00015 seconds.
No timed blinking needed like the cheapy ADF's.
the window is 3.25" x 4",
not as big as my old passive helmet but totally sufficient.
The amber lens makes the puddle super clear.
What took me so long?

old 40

The ADF cuts the weld time in half.
No more headshake to tilt the helmet forward.
No more half-pedal to make enough light to see the welding gap.

On sheetmetal speed can be dangerous,
as being slow minimizes heat buildup.
On the plus side,
it is possible to hammerweld without removing the hood,
way more efficient.


The controls are so easy to use.
There is just enough room to see the big bright buttons.
It's easy to switch from grinding/torch/welding modes,
with TIG gloves and my nasty air filter mask on,
without removing the hood or even flipping it up.

air filter mask

That's where the one face shield for all uses is a little different.

dave clark ear protectors

I'm used to wearing huge mickey mouse ear protectors when grinding.
To me they are more comfortable than having a foam plug in my ear hole.

foam ear plugs

So that is one of the habits I will need to change,
in addition to stopping the automatic head jerks,
and using the special man bag to protect the helmet.

welding man bag

after 2 hours of fun,
I think the Jackson Truesight was a good decision for me.

Hopefully after all this cheerleading,
the Kimberly-Clark people will sponsor me and I'll get a bunch of free stuff!