I don't show my face a lot on this blog. There's no need. I don't want what I do to revolve around my "image." But my wife came over to the shop with me last week to shoot a few shots of the shop and what I do. Being totally modest, she even makes me look somewhat toleable...
I generally work alone...and love it. I work at my own pace. I work when I want to. I listen to the music I want to listen to, as loud or as quiet as I want to. I don't blame anybody for the mistakes I make, but thank everyone that lends me a hand when a job is complete and turns out better than planned. I start and end my day as I like - as short or as long as I want. I give myself no limitations as to what I can achieve, but never scorn myself about shortcomings or misgivings - they're simply lessons to be learned. The paycheck isn't always the greatest, but there's no monetary value that can be placed on this kind of freedom...True. Solitary. Freedom...
Looking at these pictures makes me realize a happiness that would in most circumstances be unattainable in any other environment. Many thanks go to my wife for her unending support, encouragement and love. And many thanks to my dear friend Bob Wagaman whose level of generosity is seldom seen by most individuals these days. Funny how solitude can bring one closer to the ones he or she loves.
I fabricated the frame on this lengthy coffee/sofa table this afternoon. The cupping in the wood will go away when mounting to the frame with some lags. Here's the mock-up of how it look after a forced-rust finish....
...time for football.
I picked up a few pieces of wood from powder coating today that were sand blasted last night. Surprisingly, there is no trace of any of the blasting media imbedded in any of the cracks or crevices. Thanks, Pauly, for turning these around in quick fashion! This particular board is going to end up as a lengthy coffee table...almost 10'.
Now that all the crappy weather has hit us and passed, come out Thursday night 6-9 to Heroic Ink. If you aren't acquainted with them, meet Mump and Hugo and see some of their work in "live and in-person" walking portfolios. Afterwards, it's over to the London Underground for libations.
Table in the pic above was delivered today. Good luck guys.
Here's the beginning of what will be three tables that are a collaboration with interior designer, Daniel Hyland. Daniel and I took a trip down to Winterset this past Saturday to visit my friends Scott and Beth Henderson. They deal in reclaimed barnwood...LOTS of it. This was the first piece we looked at and it may as well have been the only one. We were told this came from a barn near Pella. It was a floorboard in a cattle barn. Everything about this piece of oak screams character: the patina, texture and knots. Dimensions? Yeah, 2" x 18"(!) x 15'.
When's the last time you saw an 8/4 oak board this wide and long?...
...Didn't think so.
Thank you Scott and Beth. We'll be back soon.
After "hard-tailing" Lil' Hutch's Sporty frame, he thought it'd be a good idea to send his aluminum oil tank down to me via UPS. With a well thought-out letter of instruction, some taped lines and notes written on the vessel, I set out to fulfill his desire to achieve "chopper stardom." Zzzzzzzzzzz.....
I started with the cut-out notch for chain clearance. Unfortunately, all I could get my hands on today was 3" x 3" x 1/4" 6061 alloy angle. The alloy was fine, but the thickness proved to be just a little too much girth for what I needed to do. I'll make it work, but I'm making things harder for myself than I need to.
In addtion to the chain alteration, a 2" pipe is going to be cut in half and welded in to create a tunnel for some frame clearance. Only then will I drill out two bungs, plug with aluminum slugs and relocate the oil bungs to the other side of the bag.
This stair stringer and treads were installed before the holidays. I finally captured some photos of it today. Bob initially finished the walnut treads with linseed, but then resorted to polyurethane after the linseed oil's resilience to foot traffic was less than desirable. Bob claims the treads were cut from a piece he'd had on the wood rack for the better part of four decades that was given to him by his father, Fred. I believe him - upon further inspection you can see the buzzsaw marks from the mill. Pretty sweet. It was fun to collaborate on an installation piece with him that not only serves a much needed (read OVERDUE!) purpose, but also has a lot of history behind it.
So, I picked up a 1/25 scale '32 Deuce Coupe yesterday at Hobby Haven in Des Moines. I was looking for a flathead V-8 for my Model A pinewood derby car, but had to settle for a standard mill. So, the block was glued up so I could mock up the "motor mount" and "tunnel" for the transmission. Just as I was getting ready to leave the shop, I started looking at the body. "That top has to go," I thought. Two hours later, I had a roof, windows and door posts. Tomorrow, I'll work on putting in a dash and a driver's seat.
Oh, what's this? This is what we in the industry call a "glue-up."
"What is this glue-up for, Boonie?"
You're gonna have to wait and see. This is going to be my modified class entry.
I finished up the Heroic Ink facade signs today. Mump and I are planning on starting "Mump and Boonie's Electrical Service." But you have to sing the company name in a catchy jingle cadence in order for it to be effective. Our slogan? "Zap. Zap."
I really couldn't be any happier with these two signs...
After the install, Mump tattooed me. These lyrics come by way of Joe Huber of the Milwaukee's .357 String Band. Their sophomore release, "Fire and Hail," was my favorite album of '08. They're still the best thing I've heard in years. Lyrics are from the tune "Long Put Down That Gospel."
All work and no play makes Boonie a duller boy. So, after finishing up the lighted sign for Mump and Hugo today, I started work on my pinewood derby car. No, I didn't miss out on my youth by not building one. I actually did quite well winning first place in 1988 for Cub Scout Den 150 in Madrid, Iowa.
"Then what derby are you speaking of, Boonie?"
Why, the one put on by BlueCat Motors in St. Paul, MN of course! All the pertinent information is at their website. However, I was disappointed to learn the open modified class did not allow for propulsion systems. I had something "green" in mind...
Here's what I've come up with for my stock entry. I'm basing it on a fictitious "1929 Ford Model A 'Wagon'"...Bonneville-inspired. I'm gonna pick up a model kit so I can drop a flathead V-8 mill in it.
Interested in racing? Grab a kit and get to fab'n, fella...Races are January, 30 at BlueCat Motors.
I notice I usually show only the beginning of a project and the end of it. Eh, I don't know how interesting it is to show me welding or ripping boards down on the table saw. So, here's another end product. I'm absolutely taken aback with how great this sign turned out. It's great to do cool things like this for friends. If you're around Ames, IA on January 21, stop by Heroic Tattoo for their open house 6-9 p.m.
Yesterday, the illuminated sign was worked on for Heroic Ink. Today, the hanging storefront sign fabrication began. A HUGE thanks goes out to Adam at Howe's Welding and Metal Fabrication in Ames, for getting letters cut out on the water jet in quick fashion. I dropped off a flashdrive with my vectorized font and bam! - 3/16" mild steel letters. I can't say enough nice things about Jim and his crew. It doesn't go unappreciated guys and gals!
In addition to getting the letters, I picked up some cedar boards the letters will be mounted to. The lumber in the picture has been biscuit-jointed and glued-up. Tomorrow, I'll sand the glue-ups, scribe the letters, determine where the mounting holes will go and then weld the 1/4 x 20 all-thread studs onto the back of the letters. I've yet to determine what type of steel frame the wood will be wrapped in...looks like it'll be dealer's choice. This sign will hang from a 1 1/2" gusseted tube square.
The intention of this design is to convey a modern feel - timeless, clean lines and lacking any allusion to any current or future logo Heroic Ink might have. The cedar will be sealed, but not painted. All the steel will be painted black. The text will likely be black as well. Stainless letters were considered, but then abandoned due to cost.
I started fabricating an illuminated sign for the Mump and Hugo at the newly opened Heroic Ink at 409 Douglas Ave. in Ames, IA. I've been tattooed by both of these gentlemen and continue to refer people to them time and time again.
The sign is 20 ga. mild steel measuring 4" x 7" x 36". Next step is to weld together the seams, fabricate a cap and then figure out a piece of semi-transparent, red polycarbonate or a vinyl sticker that illuminates "4 0 9" vertically. Two fluorescent bulbs will be enclosed inside the box.
Thanks to Don Shearer for the use of the press brake...and the useful tips to go along with it.