Friday, December 25, 2009

I'm back!

Again, my apologies for such a long time since my last post. Lots of things going on. Sold the '41 chevy truck. I wasn't planning on selling it, but someone asked and gave me what I wanted for it. I miss it, although I am excited about starting something else. More on that to come. It didn't take long to find something else to take up my time. A 1962 Ford F100 Unibody. Check out the pic. Also Travis has laid down a challenge to finish the bike by Indy World of Wheels Autorama. Approximately 6 weeks away. Not impossible, but still quite a challenge. I will keep you posted. I promise.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tail light mounted

I got the tail light mounted. Looks good so far. Not sure what the finish should be. Chrome or black? We'll see.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The pan has lights!

As promised a pic of the headlight mounted. It's a BLC fog lamp. Something about a yellow headlight that sets a bike off. I also finished the taillight shell and lens ring. Travis and I talked about using a marker light, but I thought I'd try fabbing something up. I got the idea from an old dust seal cap lying around the shop. The lens from a newer HD light fits pretty nice in the cap. I just added a piece of 2" exhaust pipe and hammered out an end cap and lens ring. Not bad. I'll finish the mount later this week.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I love this bike!!!

Travis and I spotted this on Chopper Dave's blog. Travis dug it right off. It took a while before I really got it. The Kawasaki KZ400 belongs to Nikki. I love that people are creative enough and not too narrow minded to see that, something like a KZ 400 can be cool. Hope you like.

I gotta a little burn out

Sorry for not posting for awhile. I gotta a little burnt out after finishing the truck. My real job has been a little more stressful lately. Wahh!! Anyway, check out the truck. Also finished the headlight bracket and suicide shift lever on Travis' pan. Forgot to get snap shot of the headlight bracket. Next time.
Just want to say thanks the Automotive Hammer Art in Speedway for punching the louvers. Denny was awesome.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Travis' pan- out of the shop

Travis, my brother and I got the spool wheel on today. We had to lower the front end two inches, to get the stance right. We thought about going with shorter tubes, but went with a lowering kit instead. Saved a little cash. There is something about getting the project out in the sun that reveals all those things you just don't see inside. Like to front pipe sagging in the rear.
The spool wheel was put together with Flyrite hub (sweet!), Buchanan's SS spokes, a cheap factory 21" rim and a Avon SpeedMaster tire.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Getting somewhere...maybe?

The new grill has been a challenge. Same goes for the front pipe on Travis' pan. I still have one panel to finish on the grill . Still trying to work out the grill insert and the rear of the shell. Should be interesting. Later.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Hunnert Car Pile-up

The Hunnert Car Pile-up is just around the corner, Saturday October 10th to be exact. It is held at the Grundy County Fairgrounds in Morris, IL. You owe it to yourself to attend this show. This will be our third year, the first year with the truck. It is in October, so of course, the weather can be cold and unpredictable. First year it was cold, last year it was sunny and warm. Go figure. Regardless of the weather, the show is one of the best in the Midwest. One of our favorite parts of the show, is the line of cars waiting to get in the morning, if your car passes their rules, you're in. If not, your parking in the lot with the spectators. The Chrome Czars put on a great show. We love it. Check out their website for more.

Monday, August 24, 2009

UPDATE- Travis' pan

Been off and on lately. A few things are in the works. I will post pics as they finally make it on the bike. Travis got the lower legs shaved. I tried my hand at polishing them. Not too bad. I'll post pics when the front end is finished. Travis scored some small apes from Front Street Cycle in Dayton, OH. Small and clean. Check out the risers. Travis' Ebay score. Nice. Working on the pipes. Front cylinder is a bear. Trying to avoid a squash pipe. Not easy.

It's about time- back to the shop.

I officially suck! I keep telling myself to update my blog. None the less, life is full of changes and those changes don't always match your best of intentions. My son is now in college. Super proud! My daughter started high school. Talk about feeling old. I have been to the shop between all these life events, but nothing noteworthy. Definitely nothing worth posting. But what's the point of having a blog if you don't post something. Other than Travis' pan, the only other thing going on is a new grill project. Check it out.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Travis' pan- tank and seat mounted

Mounted the gas tank and seat pan over the weekend. Looking pretty good.

Ebay score- new carb scoops

Found these on Ebay. What do you think?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Busy month- Travis' Pan update

I apologize for not posting much as of late. Pretty busy. Between my real job and a few car shows, not much time at the shop. I did finish the oil tank and started on the seat pan. Seat pan was fun. I had to hand form the ribbed section in order to fit to the rear fender. Not bad. Later.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Obsession- The Van Doren Rubber Company

I love Vans.
I remember buying my first pair back in the 80's. A custom made pair of hi-tops. Green suede with blue and white stripes. That's what happens when you give a 15 year old that many choices. He thinks he has to pick the most outlandish combination.
I tried to do the mainstream thing for a while, basketball shoes or the newest running shoes. I just never felt quite right. Then I visit a skate shop to reminisce about the old days. There on the shoe rack I see a brand new pair of "Old Skool" Vans. Black with a white stripe. Sweet! That was back in '97. I have went through countless pairs of black "Old Skool" Vans since then. Hell, I was keeping the old pairs lying around in the garage for sometime. Just couldn't bare to throw them away. Since then I have branched out to other colors and other styles. My wife just bought me a pair of the "Suicidal Tendencies" Vans for our anniversary. Thanks honey.
I just don't collect them, I wear them everyday. They are just me. I'll admit they are not the best shoe for working in the shop. Most definitely not the safest. But nothing else feels right.
Did I tell you that I love Vans?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Travis' Pan- new fender struts and oil tank mounted

I got the new fender struts fabbed up and mounted. Turned out pretty nice. I wouldn't normally mount the oil tank before it was finished. Since the battery box and fill cap would affect the mounting or the position, I decided to mount it anyway.

Travis and I talked about not changing the frame too much, hence the hinged clamps on the bracket that holds the fender and oil tank in place. I may still add lightening holes to the main bracket. It's a little on the heavy side. I will be starting on the templates for the seat pan. Check out the trump for an idea of what I am going for on the seat. Basic idea, but Travis' fit to the frame and seat better. Definitely wider. Later.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Heroes- real people with real lives

I tend to be a day behind everything that goes on in the world. So when I do get a chance to catch up on what's going on. I am sometimes floored by what I find. Case in point, Steve Sellers.

My heroes or the people that have had a positive influence on my life, are varied and probably strangers to most. One of those "heroes" is Steve Sellers. Steve is a west coast car builder that has inspired me more than a few times. I could break down his resume or I could simply say that he is a "real" person. I say that without ever having the opportunity to meet Steve or seeing him on the latest reality show. What I know of Steve comes from the skills that he displays in his work and the passion in which defends that work. I would tell you to check out his website or his Myspace page, but you would find what I found today. Steve has shut down both and claims that he is getting out of the business. He states that he is ready for a life change. I am truly bummed by the news.

Whenever I would get frustrated or hitting my head against the wall on a project, I would check out Steve's cars and parts. Usually that was all it would take and I was back on track. The word "hero" is a funny word nowadays. Doesn't seem to mean what it used to. Steve was one of the few that I consider to be my "hero". Thanks Steve. I hope you change your mind.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bros and friends- one in the same.

It is unusual that I post twice in the same day, but today I had something on my mind that I wanted to share. I believe in karma, the golden rule or whatever you might call it. I try to do right with my family and friends. Through all that, you hope that it might come back around. Well today, karma paid a visit.

Recently I gave away a set of '51 chevy truck doors to a friend from work. My wife wasn't too keen on the idea of me giving something away. Especially nowadays. But this friend has always done right by me and I wanted to do the same for him. To make a long story short, when he picked the doors up we got to talking about old junk yards and how they were disappearing. He said that he still knew a old timer that still had some old tin lying around. I asked him to check with the guy to see if he might have some old '40's Ford rims lying around. Two of the rims on my truck are bent and barely balanced. I needed 16" X 5", hard to come by.

This afternoon my friend calls to tell me he has three 16" X 5" rims for me. Awesome. I am truly grateful for all things that my brother and my friends have done for me. Without them I wouldn't be doing any of this. Thanks, you know who you are.

Travis' Pan Progress- oil tank

I know I said that I would post drawings of the oil tank, in an effort to commit to a design. But when the sparks fly, sometimes you just have to go with it. After a crappy start to the weekend, that resulted in me only getting a few hours of shop time. I am more than stoked with the outcome.
I thought that the old horseshoe tank was what the bike needed, but it just was never meant to be a stand alone piece. What I mean is, a lot of OEM parts work with the total package, but when you use them alone, you see all the ugly brackets and welds. So I thought I would just use that basic design with a little more detail and simplicity. Still need to finish the battery box, inlets/outlets and mounting brackets. Hope you dig it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Travis' tank is done.

I finished Travis' tank today. I have to say I am very pleased with final product and can't wait to see it on the bike. Travis stopped by after I finished it and I think he dug it.
Hope to start working on the oil tank next. He already had one for the bike. I like the style, but it needs cleaned up a bit. This time I think I will sketch out the idea first and then post it.
That way I will be challenged to follow through with the design, rather than letting the occasional mistakes dictate the outcome. Have to wait and see and that all works out. Until then, enjoy a pic of the tank.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Travis' new tank

Jim picked up his tank and fairing yesterday. I was glad to see that he liked it. I try to do my best and it takes me a little longer than it should. I definitely have gained a new respect for the pinstripers that do a job at a car show. On the spot and in front of everybody. Wow!

As promised, I started on Travis' tank. I had hoped to fabricate the tank from scratch. But after banging out the first piece, I just wasn't satisfied with it. I have a couple of old "Mustang" tanks lying around. So the idea struck me to narrow one of those. I have always dug on the choppers from the '70s. Narrow forks, narrow bars and narrow tanks. They look fast sitting still.

Travis actually stopped by after I finished welding the two halves together. He commented on how small the tank was and how it wouldn't hold much gas. That's when I informed him that the tank was for his bike. Not sure he took me seriously. I'll finish it, mount it on his bike and then see if he really likes it or not.

Until then, see ya later.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I'm back!

I promised myself that I would try to post everyday. So much for promises. I have been busy trying to finish Jim's pinstriping. I finally finished tonight. I am pretty happy with it. I hope Jim likes it. I also started the gas tank for Travis' bike. I will try to post pics of that as soon as possible.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


As promised, here are pics of the pinstriping for Jim's police bike. Jim asked for orange and cream pinstripes on the black. So far so good. I should finish the fairing tomorrow and start the tank. I also posted a pic of the welding helmet that I "warmed up" on. I don't pinstripe enough to keep my "skills" sharp. So I've been trying to warm up on things lying around the shop.

It was nice out today, so the wife and I took a drive in the truck. She the took the pic of the truck in front of the hardware store in Roachdale. Which is now closed down. Later.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Inspirations- Crafty-B

One of the reasons for starting this blog was to share the things that I have created and the things that inspire me. One of those inspirations is Crafty-B. I met Kirk at the 2007 Road Rocket Rumble in Indy. I believe it was the first time I saw the "B-line Special". Very cool truck. Kirk was super nice and answered all of my stupid questions. Kirk recently started a web page for his sand-casted hot rod parts. He has some great products and projects going on. Check it out.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Just a little insight as to what is going on at Shorty's. Right now I am working on pinstriping Jim's Harley Davidson FLHTP Police Special gas tank and front fairing. He bought the bike recently and wants me to hand paint "Harley Davidson" badges on the tank along with more than a handful of tasteful pinstriping on the tank and fairing. Should be interesting. I will post pics this weekend after I get a good start.

I am also trying to get started on a custom gas tank for Travis's '57 panhead. This is a project that I have not paid enough attention to. Travis has been very patient and understanding. So I definitely want to deliver. I have already fabricated custom "Z" bars from 4130 cro-mo. More to come.

(Note- I am posting random pictures of different parts and such that I have fabricated. The hoops you see are the belt bands for the gas tank in my '46 truck. In the future, I will try to post pics relevant to the post. But until then, enjoy.)