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Inspired by Ed Roth, Plowboy and Racerdad

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Steelsmith, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. Steelsmith
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 581

    Steelsmith
    Member

    OK OK, I hear ya! Ha LOL!

    You want more pictures, I've got more pictures!

    MVC-001F.JPG

    So here is the original decklid as it sits after removing a whole bunch of extra material! That's 47" down to 19", can you believe it's that much?!

    MVC-002F.JPG

    I took the center section which is still lots wider that the 19" needed for the finished lid, and started making some guide lines. These guide lines aren't nessessarily cut lines, they are more like idea lines/points of reference/things that May matter when choosing exactly where to cut.

    MVC-003F.JPG

    The two outer halves of the lid retain the inner structure that gives the lid something to close against the opening in the body. They also house the hinge attach points for the decklid to open from.

    MVC-004F.JPG

    What those two outer halves don't have is the housing for the latching mechanism, to keep the lid closed.

    MVC-005F.JPG

    So, what we need is the outer skin from the center section and the mounting housing for the latch combined with the innerstructure of the two outer halves of the original decklid.

    It's the blending together of those components into one seemingly continous design that takes a bit of thought.

    More pic's to come!

    Dan Stevens
    dba, Steelsmith
     
  2. Steelsmith
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 581

    Steelsmith
    Member

    MVC-006F.JPG

    After removing the skins from the two outer halves of the narrowed decklid, this is what you have left.
    Remember I have already shortened the decklid opening, not by a huge amount but it's still significant. You can just see that the twin halves have been cut in half again to allow a bit of overlap, which will determine how much has to be cut out/removed at a later time, after all of the head-scratchin' has been done.

    MVC-007F.JPG

    This second view again allows you to see the overlap of the panels. It gives you some perspective on how much will still have to be removed before it all gets welded together. The top edge too has to either be recut or the center of the already removed middle section of the decklid has to be transplanted into the two outbound halves while still retaining the hinge locations. It all depends on how much room/clearance is needed for everything to still fit the opening and lay flush the way it should.

    MVC-008F.JPG

    MVC-010F.JPG

    Now we have to take a look at the innerstructure where the latch resides. How much do you need, to have a smooth blending of the two structures and have everything line-up and work as it should. The difficulty comes in, in the difference in thickness from the center section of the decklid to the much thinner thickness of the outer edges of the decklid. Now you've really gotta start thinking and measuring.
    It's OK, take your time, these are some of the details that will either make or break this car's appeal. Does it look right and work the way it was intended to? If you open the lid and the innerstructure looks like it was made in the factory that way, and the lid opens and closes smoothly and the closed lid is a solid watertight fit you have won! Anything less is just that, ... less than it should have been!

    For me, reusing the skin from the original center section of the lid without having to have a seam down the middle of it would be just the way it should be! I'll give it my best efforts and see if I can get that done, without making any big mistakes!

    That's all I've got for tonight.

    Dan Stevens
    dba, Steelsmith
     

    Attached Files:

  3. MotionNova
    Joined: Mar 29, 2010
    Posts: 113

    MotionNova
    Member
    from Ohio

    Dan your the man!
    I'd love to see some of your finished cars.
    Maybe you could make an album in your profile. Or post them here.
    Keep up the good work I'm always looking forword to your post.
     
  4. Steelsmith
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 581

    Steelsmith
    Member

    I appreciate your interest in seeing finished cars done by me. However, I am more widely known for doing metal work (or tool building) or the metal work and and body/paint prep work, then handing off the project, either to the owner or to a production body shop. I seldom actually get to do an entire car start to finish.
    Most of the time I am contracted to do rust repairs/panel fabrication/replacement. Once the owner sees my work and the ensuing bill, (very reasonable for what you get) I end up doing more of the project.
    While I do have a paint booth, painting is something that I don't do enough of, to be 'fast'. So for me painting is not a money maker. Metal work on the other hand is, or has been in the past. Lately it doesn't seem to matter what I do or offer, I can't seem to make a living around here.

    That said, it looks like this project will be sold before it gets more than the metal work done too. It's a sad state of affairs when a guy my age, (52) can't earn a living.
    In this Valley, industry is minimal, construction is all but dead and with so many younger guys out of work, my 33 years experience is seen as a liability rather than an asset. It's all about how cheap they can hire, has little to do with skill/experience.

    So, my wife and I are down-sizing, preparing to have an auction of our accumulated stuff, including all of my metalshaping equipment and the house/shop. We have simply run out of other options. It is our intention to 'go mobile' in an RV situation and go where the jobs are. That sure ain't here!

    This is a truely hard decision to make, since I've been in this same location for 20 years. I made a poorly timed choice to use borrowed money to expand my shop's capabilities just as the economy tanked! Now with the economy in such sad shape, paying back that money and covering the overhead for the house/shop is just not supportable when people around here no longer have disposable income.

    Anyway it is my intention to keep on working on the Cutlass until I run out of time. I'm sure you will understand if posting is sort of hit/miss, as I have other stuff to gather-up and organize in preparation for the big sale.

    If any of you have a need for metalshaping equipment, PM me. Posting the auction here where it might do some good, is not allowed.

    Thanks for being a great audience for this build! It's been fun and something I too look forward to seeing.
    Don't give up on the project yet, cause I'm not done!

    Your fellow Hamb'r
    Dan Stevens
     
  5. brad2v
    Joined: Jun 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,650

    brad2v
    Member

    Very sorry to hear Dan. I've been following this thread for several months, amazing metal work. Good luck.
     
  6. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,121

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    Just found this thread and I'm digging the build. Since you're going RV-ing, you'll need transport on short trips wherever you stop and this car would be perfect. Imagine all the HAMBers getting to see this in person! subscribed.
     
  7. captainjunk#2
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,418

    captainjunk#2
    Member

    to bad im sorry to hear tough times have fallen on you , i was following your build and it looks like a way cool project ,i was also hoping to see this car done i hope things get better for you and the wife $$ wise good luck
     
  8. Racrdad
    Joined: Jul 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,208

    Racrdad
    Member

    Sad to hear about your situation Dan, keep your chin up and try to stay positive. You seem like a good guy and I am sure you will land on your feet somewhere better.
     
  9. :( Sorry to hear about your troubles Dan.
     
  10. robleticia
    Joined: Oct 15, 2007
    Posts: 2,497

    robleticia
    Member

    Dan,
    Very sorry to hear about you troubles. Being a part of Racrdad's build, I can honestly say that people like you and Racrdad are very inspiring and motivating. I have enjoyed watchin your build, you are a true craftsman! I will folloow this build till the end and I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
    Best of luck to you,
    Rob Griffin
     
  11. dustdevil
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 814

    dustdevil
    Member
    from illinois

    Sorry to hear about the bad news. Hopefully you will find a new location that will support your skills and you can continue to keep building in the future
     
  12. HeyyCharger
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 941

    HeyyCharger
    Member

    What an amzing build! What an amazing talent!

    That is one hell of a project.....

    Damn... Strong brother!

    HC.
     
  13. Steelsmith
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 581

    Steelsmith
    Member

    Hey Guys, Thanks for all of your support! It's very gratifying to know you guys have my wife and I in your thoughts and Prayers!

    If I was the only one suffering in this economy I'd feel pretty abused, but I'm so far from the only one in similar circumstances and there are alot of people who are in much worse shape!

    I feel Blessed in a strange way to have made it this far! I have gotten to experiment with metal shaping, how cool is that!? Some guys have just as strong a desire but will never know what that's like. Yeah, it's a bummer to have to throw in the towel here, but things will get better and I may have a chance to try this again in some new location that will actually support this as a viable income, stranger things have happened!

    Having bought and built many strange and various metal shaping tools and equipment, I now know how I'd go about pursuing this dream without spending all of the time/money on stuff that maybe wasn't exactly what I really needed. I can now define how to set up a metalshaping shop using the 'best bang for the buck' principals. That may come in very handy at some time in the future and those are lessons/experiences I will never forget/wouldn't trade!

    Who knows, I may just write a book about how to do just that, for the home builder on a limited budget! I know I could do it!

    Your fellow Hamb'r
    Dan Stevens
     
  14. Dan, sorry to hear about your problems. It sounds like your wife and you are a team and I'm sure you'll get through things OK.

    Hang onto that dream, 'cause things will come right eventually _ I know, I've been there myself.
     
  15. MotionNova
    Joined: Mar 29, 2010
    Posts: 113

    MotionNova
    Member
    from Ohio

    Dan I hope it all works out for you. I too know where your coming from. I've been out of work for 2 years now! Here in Ohio jobs are gone! If any one is hiering it's as a temp with no benefits at $7.50 an hour.

    I applied for a job recently that had more then 2000 applications for 100 position to fill over the next 3 years.

    "They" expect people to make ends meet on $7.50! With gas $3.00 a galon.
    "They" think $400.00 a month for health insurance if a fair price!

    Sorry to vent we just have to remember it's much worse for many other people and try to keep a positive atitude.
    I wish you all the best and I still look forward to your build.
     
  16. Man, I gotta think there is some "disposable income" over Eagle way??? :confused:

    Maybe things have gotten a lot worse since I was up there a few years ago...
     
  17. satin&flake
    Joined: Oct 1, 2010
    Posts: 100

    satin&flake
    Member

    man sorry to hear. hope all turns around for you and yours .
    am not sure if this will help any but cobalt truck was hiring for a body repair /paint man ,not sure if they fill the spot but you can try and see what happen if you want if i knew about it before i got the job am at now i whould have tryed for it but i got my job a week or so before the spot opened .
     
  18. 5SPOKE
    Joined: Oct 24, 2002
    Posts: 67

    5SPOKE
    Member

    WoW !, I have been reading this thread over the last couple of days and Wow is about all I can say....you do some awesome work and its a shame that a craftsman like yourself is unappreciated in this day and age. I myself am feeling the pinch, I have 30 + years in automotive retailing, minor fab. work, welding, machining and metal polishing and I am working part time hours selling auto parts for $10 an hour....:(, better than nothing but....
    I love what you are doing with the Cutlass panels, Much more radical than my own Cutlass that I posted here but the same 60s show car influences just done in completely different ways......I wish you and yours some luck and keep on going its looking great !
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Steelsmith
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 581

    Steelsmith
    Member

    I appreciate all of your kind thoughts/Prayers on our behalf!

    Yes things have definately deteriorated around here, even in the Eagle area.
    What we have here is a throw-back to the old agriculture based economy from decades ago. The Hi-Tech Industry that was supposed to lead this area to prosperity has lead us off a cliff! Lots of people who used to work for high wages in those businesses are now unable to cover their overheads @ the currently prevailing wage of about $10 an hour!
    With that going on, disposable income is non-existent.

    My combination property, (house and shop) on commercial ground will bring less than $200K it was appraised @ $600K just a few years ago.
    All I can do at this time is try to get the Cutlass as far as I can. That may or may not have any impact on what it sells for at auction. It still won't be finished. I'm sure my time would be better spent else-where but I'm not done!!!! Ha
    I may be screaming that as I'm dragged off of the property after the sale! (hope not)!

    I'll try to get the decklid done this week.
    We'll see ...
    Dan Stevens
     
  20. 5SPOKE
    Joined: Oct 24, 2002
    Posts: 67

    5SPOKE
    Member

    well I don't know if the Feds. have a program coming in your area but in Cali. they are supposed to in January have "rescue" funds available for people who are unemployed (and soon to lose benefits) behind on mortgage payments and/or owe more than the house is currently worth........after-all the Feds or the mortgage Cos don't want our houses, they want $, and until you fall behind they are not willing to help.....
    anyway thought I'd pass that on......good luck Dan
    -SAM
     
  21. Plowboy
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 4,270

    Plowboy
    Member

    Dan sorry to hear things aren't good out there. I sure enjoyed seeing your updates on this project.

    It seems like a lot of communities are going back to the agricultural based economy. There were a lot of people I knew who left the industry for "greener pastures" so to speak, and now they are trying to get back in. You might not get rich working in agriculture, but good black Illinois dirt is something that can not be outsourced (yet).

    Good luck on the sale of the car, unfortunately those things are also going for pennies on the dollar these days as well. I would love to see your car finished some day. I would buy it from you and finish it, but I think the Illinois DMV is going to put the keebosh on any freaky projects around here. I have several in the shed that will probably never see the light of day now.
     
  22. Steelsmith
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 581

    Steelsmith
    Member

    As far as titling the Cutlass goes, it is currently titled in my name as just what it is, '61 Cutlass! It will still resemble a Cutlass if you close one eye and don't look out the other! Ha
    I've saved the front frame section from the uni-body, (with frame numbers intact) should that mean anything to the next owner. The original body number is still intact inside the drivers side door frame (on the post). Around here you'd be good to go!

    Dan Stevens
     
  23. Steelsmith
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 581

    Steelsmith
    Member

    Regarding the 'Fed's coming to my aid? That ain't gonna happen! My property being listed as commercial keeps me from refinancing as a regular home mortgage. That and I'd have to actually have some level of income and I'm all out of that too! Being self employed I don't qualify for unemployment benifits and this is a 'right ot work ' state, so wages are in the toilet.

    I'm afraid this is a foregone conclusion. If I'd done a few things different a few years ago, I wouldn't be here in this position, but I took my chances when things were good and I'm going to have to deal with the fall-out now.

    Dan Stevens
     
  24. Deadbird
    Joined: Jul 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,128

    Deadbird
    Member



    Hey, I'd buy that book!


    Sorry to hear about your misfortune. Sounds like you have as good an attitude as possible about it. That bodes well for you. Here's hoping and praying it will get better soon.
     
  25. Steelsmith
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 581

    Steelsmith
    Member

    Deadbird, I too would 'buy that book'! Ha It's too bad that no such book was available 30 years ago, when I first started down this path, it would have saved me a lot of grief and an embarassing amount of money!

    Knowing what I do now, my path would have been completely different and the tools list would have been greatly simplified.
    Not sure I would have been smart enough to listen to my own advise, but I'd like to think so.

    Thanks for your positive comments! My wife and I are in this together, for better or worse. I'm hoping we've gotten passed the worst of it. Only the 'Lord' knows the path we will go down from here. We just have to keep trusting him for his leading in our lives.

    Dan Stevens
     
  26. Best of luck Dan- a lot of folks like what's been happening here- follow your heart mate. Hope you have a happy new year.
     
  27. Steelsmith
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 581

    Steelsmith
    Member

    Thank you Spoggie! I have met a lot of wonderful people through the Hamb and am not a bit sorry for time I've spent here! It has been an experience full of exchanging of ideas and has been very worthwhile. Hopefully I have given back as good as I have gotten!

    With all of the stuff my wife & I have to liquidate I haven't been in the shop much and when there, it hasn't been relating to the Cutlass ... I've tried to down-size the shop and maintain some ability to still do some work on the Cutlass. It's fast approaching a time when that will no longer be possible.

    I still haven't decided what to do with the Cutlass. A couple of local guys who've known me for years have expressed an interest in storing it for my return or eventual transport to my next shop/location ...?

    I did participate in my 3rd job interview in two years, last week! It was a 12 hour drive one-way and not where I ever expected to live again, but we're just following the Lord's will in all of this. We go where He leads!
    Don't have any results and don't expect any until after the Holidays. Keep us in your Prayers!

    Dan & Jan
    Stevens
     
  28. good luck man. I've been on the yo-yo too. Worken now but who knows for how long. And that book may be the ticket even if books are headed the way of the buffalo too.
     
  29. Steelsmith
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 581

    Steelsmith
    Member

    SKO Ford, you are right that book may help 'balance the books' so to speak. I over invested, used everything I had to setup and advance my small metalworking shop. Not my smartest move in view of what happened to both the economy and my business! Ha Gotta keep a sense of humor over all of this, because the alternative is unthinkable.

    I have acquired a vast amount of knowlege concerning small metalworking shops. I'm thinking that if I was to create a written resource, such as 'Setting up a Metal working shop for the Enthusiast and the Professional' might be the way to do it! That way a guy could choose how far he wanted to go in any of the various facets involved and cater it to his market, or his needs.
    I know there is nothing like that available at this present time.

    Anyway, I'll continue to give it some thought, maybe start on an outline and see where it takes me ...

    Your fellow Hamb'r
    Dan Stevens
     
  30. Gday Dan
    Andrew from streetneat - down under.
    http://www.streetneat.com ( so you can see what I do)
    Man what a wild read and a wild ride! I actually rejoined the hamb forum after this was brought to my attention. I too have come up with what I thought was a unique ride - based on a Holden ( I call it the Holden rod). Anyhow some rodders here in NZ told me about this thread and its uncanny how yours is in the similar spirit to my concept. Mine is a lot simpler- just using the cowl section and front doors from a EK 1962 Holden. Mine has only progressed to the design stage on computer and in my head. I have collected some parts. I came up with my concept when I had cut a car up and the parts were just lying around the workshop..design by accident! I approached the powers that be to find if I could register a car like this if I built it - and the answer was no way - forget it...
    So fast forward a few years and I have migrated from Aussie to New Zealand- ( thats a strange thing to do in its own right- most kiwis flock to Aussie!) Anyhow I brought four of my cars with me and some parts for my Holden rod. I asked the same question here to the powers that be- and the answer was - "hell yeah - when ya building that?!"

    So by reading your thread on your amazing build - its inspired me to get more serious about my own plans.
    However Dan - just like you Im in the same boat - mortgage and virtually no work. Im a body man and have re established my panel beating shop in the hills here in NZ. Being so remote means work is thin on the ground - and they all want it for nothing yesterday! ( thats the same everywhere isnt it?)

    So I can empathise with your situation fully - being skilled and talented dosent always translate to being successful...but it does give you and edge so stay focused on that edge and you will succeed.

    BTW- your build is way cooler than my concept in many respects - a pity I cant post pics directly from my hard drive or I could show it here. A magazine I still write for occasionally in Aussie is featuring my design in an upcoming issue so maybe there will be a web link then.


    Good luck Dan and see if you can at least keep the car you have built this far...
     

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