Thursday, January 28, 2010

Maybe It's Not Always About the Fastest Time...

...Maybe sometimes it's simply about paying ATTENTION to time.

Inspiration can come from bizarre places for me. It's obviously no secret I'm a sucker for gears, cogs, and mechanisms. I state it here almost every other post. But how about detailed and artistic craftsmanship when creating a machine that's intended to be useful. There was a time when machines were not only useful and functional, but were also works of art. Where have THOSE days gone?

It's really a shame that a lot of times we have to look to history to show us artistry in mechanisms. In most cases today, creating a machine that was once beautiful and detailed, would now cost 3-fold what it would have cost in that era and take far too long. Delivery dates would be unacceptable for something that simply "serves its duty" and doesn't have to look nice. The end-users ultimately wants to pay less and that's understandable. In the shop it doesn't have to be this way, though!

Anyone ever think about old clocks? Anyone ever notice the amount of detail associated with clocks and time pieces? INCREDIBLE! Everything from the tiniest of gears, to jeweling and engine-turned surfaces. The materials themselves were beautiful. Polished brass or copper, porcelain faces, hand finished chassis. Every functional piece still had thought put into it.

So what's my point? Are you guys paying attention when building your cars and/or other crazy machines? Just because it's function doesn't mean it can't be beautiful! There were actually engine builders that would metal finish and/or engine-turn the INTERIORS of their automotive power plants, even though it would never be seen unless it was dissassembled. Yes, crazy. But the time spent showed dedication to perfection. Functional parts can look beautiful too, and the inspiration can be found in some unique places.

A few years back, I made a trip to Paul Frank's collection of tower clock movements in the basement of his Chicago home. I was fortunate to get a wonderful tour and see some of the most incredible time machines from all over the world. Every one of them boasting some of the most amazing craftsmanship I've ever laid eyes on!

Just some visuals to think about when you're in the garage fabricating parts.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Killer 32' Five-Windows

Somethin' about 32' 5W Coupes heavily chopped and sitting on the frame instead of channeled! The third one just KILLS ME! Love that stance!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Whatchaworks Does CAD and Cutting

For over a decade now, I've been helping people with CAD design for brackets, header or intake flanges, tabs, plates, and/or any other parts they may need a little help getting off of their napkin and into their fabrication project.

All parts are designed using 3D CAD software and then are transferred to machine related software for Water-Jetting and Laser Cutting. Can provide a finished product if desired or just the CAD files.

Design and execution assistance also available for any complex parts you may need to have machined in a CNC Mill or CNC Lathe.

If you would like additional information on what's involved, shoot me an email at:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Uhh... almost done??

Apart for final detailing. Time to start thinking seriously about paint supplies!

Simply Riveting...

The ultimate in traditional construction... Riveting! Everything from Boats to airplanes, riveted construction has been around since the begining of panel joining! It sure looks cool too! Nothing says "mechanical" like a row of rivets!

Clecos help keep the panels aligned during construction. There's something about the look of those clecos laid out, as well...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Metal Artist - Michael Ulman

Today I was browsing around the HAMB and came across the topic of "Steampunk". Not a new term by any means. The term has been around since the late 1800's, referring to futuristic steam powered mechanical devices, but people have even gone so far as to make a lifestyle out of it making it. Fad, maybe? Strange. Anyway, while checking out the topic, a metal artist by the name of Michael Ulman came up. Now being that I REALLY like all things mechanical, and when it comes to art if it's mechanical and "Rube Goldberg" like, then I love it even more. Throw in a little hot rod flavor and you've got something even more exciting.

If you like mechanical, appreciate a little artsy fartsy, and dig hot rods and motorcycles, I think you'll appreciate what's going on here. Check out Michael Ulman's website ----> Michael Ulman

(NOTE: Pictures are from Michael Ulman's website and are not my own)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Grand National Roadster Show - 2010

Going to be another great year! Don't miss it!

Grand National Roadster Show 2010

Also, join us for breakfast at Papa-Z's before the show. Just up the street from Donut Derelicts. We meet at 7:00 AM and then head to the show.

Papa Z's! Fountain Valley, CA

9121 Garfield Avenue, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Unifinished business... 1953 Pontiac Chieftain

Three years ago, almost to the day, I sold this...

Stayed in touch with the new owner all that time. Recently went to visit it...

Was time to get 'er back...

Long term project for Holly and I. Lots to do, but will make a great car to put lots of miles on and explore this country!

Man... that blue is GROSS!! HAHA!!