30 April 2015

#tbt whaler 13

Yesterday Macey and I were driving around.
She wondered who the new owner of her yaya's (grandmother) old car was.
That was worth a Thrifty Ice Cream stop.
Not sure what her attachment was to the SUV,
but it was neat she realized it didn't just disappear.
Today a strange coincidence happened.
The new owner of our whaler 13 came by.
I'd been wondering what happened to it.
We found out he had been living a parallel life.
Almost immediately after acquiring the old beater,
he tore through it.
Sanding, fiberglassing and painting the hull,
and adding a workboat like wood rub rail,
somehow pulling it off inside his garage.
The fumes and fiberglass dust is bad enough outside in the wind.
It happened to be nearby,
so I had to take a look.
He wasn't kidding about the tugboat style push-bar!
Since he's a boat mechanic,
the whaler is basically a tool,
modified to serve his purpose,
while also an example of his abilities.
I'm envious he beat me to it!
Fortunately his styling is different than mine.
Maybe a stainless pushbar on ours will do the trick...
Cool he kept the wood benches,
that was quality mahogany.
And the old Zuke and tiller seat.
here's to it's second life,
or third...
Great job Whaler Joe!

23 April 2015

the Moreno Coupe

I've been waiting at least 7 years for this project.
It seems Mario had tested me with a series of other small tasks,
to see if I was capable.
His Dad had lost interest,
and so did the rest of the family.
Lucky him!
The coupe was a mix of 60's-80's trends.
It had some of the baddest ladder bars known to man.
So thick and improperly side mounted,
the rear couldn't be lowered.
The mighty gap!
Like most old cars,
the smooth body hid a dirty mess,
new parts with no drive miles,
rusty from neglect.
The slow dismantling process,
uncovered the truth behind traditional hot rod engineering.
These clamps were made 
for the emergency brake.
The crossmember was a work of art.
More custom holey chit.
The builder kept the same drilled bolt theme throughout the e-brake line.
A last look at the custom crossmember.
Now where to start.
The rear end was to be remounted with 36 radius rods.
The 50's chevy Posi needed to be stripped of random brackets.
The welds were very traditional.
This is what 3 hours of torching and grinding get you.
I hope he wants to reuse this!
The front had other issues.
The engine was too far forward,
so the radiator was bumped out of alignment.
With the engine out,
the grille placed the radiator to the hood.
Over an inch off!
Space was tight even with this custom shorty water pump and pulley.
Possibly another reason this 302 ran hot.
What an honor to cut out a cherry firewall!
Don't worry most of it will go back.
The engine was mocked up,
positioned with space for an electric fan.
Almost 5" from before.
A gearhead friend Jason suggested a mechanical fan.
Saving almost 2.5"!
That's a big difference when modifying the firewall.
Before - the rear spark plug hidden...
After - much better.
That's ford in a ford problems.
Custom motor mounts were made from choice scrap.
Gussets made to fit.
Way better than modifying a universal kit.
Clean and strong.
I'll grind and finish weld when the engine is out.
With the engine front mounted,
the tranny mount/crossmember was up.
A lot of open space to work with,
cause there was no x-member left in the center!
More parts made from premium grade scrap.
This was 1/4" all beef.
Now it'll be strong.
Next step is mounting the rear end,
or maybe the firewall.
Next time...

21 April 2015

shoe whore heresy

For most guys,
there's a loyalty that goes with shoes.
Certain brands fit certain foot types,
and for people that don't have time for uncomfortable surprises,
and wasted purchases,
we'll traditionally rebuy the same shoe.
I've gravitated to Adidas Stan Smith's 
for at least 25+ years,
sometimes dipping into the Rod Lavers.
The SS's are durable leather,
and hold up to metalwork - welding & grinding,
for a really long time.
Two months ago I took a detour,
and tried out the revamped suede skate versions,
 with the gum sole
It was like a custom made shoe for my feet,
getting more comfortable with each step.
 was leery about the construction,
The thin suede reinforced with "sprint skin",
a thin plastic skeleton.
The wife was so enthusiastic at the new styling,
she scored a white soled pair.
The difficulty is knowing these would flame up with serious metal work,
the reason I stopped wearing the Rod Lavers.
The plastic-y tongue will not hold up.
Besides the suede isn't nearly as durable as the shiny leather.
I'd limit my work to not destroy the shoe.
it's endless summer here,
and no big work boots with shorts...
The tough part is ruining new white stan smiths.
They'll look good for about an hour,
although looking good in bright white shoes,
only works for senior citizens in track suits.
Yeah I know this is my OCD secret stash.
My problem is venturing out of the Adidas lines.
Even my rarely worn dress shoes have Adidas soles.
Which made me realize,
I should have just got a shiny black pair of stan smiths for dress up...
Dang it.
Which comes to the heresy.
Someone ditched these Nike's on us years ago,
probably some dead old guy's,
 I don't know.
They're obviously wannabe stan smiths,
with the green bottom.
They've been shuffled under the couch,
in my closet,
under Jaxons bed...
Time to give them them a workout.
Let's see how they hold up.
Definitely not as comfortable...
Yeah yeah yeah...
Waaa was waaa...

19 April 2015

Low Budget Stylin'

Ever since losing that wallet full of cash,
I've been tightening our already frugal lifestyle.
Frugal does not mean meager.
For a moment I thought,
F this.
Sell everything,
boat, cars, stereos...
press the reset button.
That moment passed.
What would we do with money?
Too much makes people act weird.
There's value in our clutter.
Maybe more organized though!
The thing I realized at that weak moment,
was most of our stuff is projects,
or is a finished project.
That means there's an adjoining history,
a lesson learned,
or a little piece of my soul attached.
Sometimes it's worth it to lose that memory,
and send that item down the road.
Sometimes the piece was so cheap,
the deal so good,
there's no way to replace it once gone,
unless paying face value.
This little project was a reminder of that.
A $5 pair of new factory broken Hobie's,
after a little magic,
just as good as an $80 pair.
It's like a very light trickle down theory.
Then I go blow it on a suit to wear twice.