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Technical Learning Curve

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by J.Ukrop, Nov 13, 2020.

  1. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,891

    Staff Member

    J.Ukrop submitted a new blog post:

    Learning Curve

    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
    wicarnut, 35cab, olscrounger and 18 others like this.
  2. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,960

    from KCMO

    Good post.

    It’s been fun watching you change along with the roadster. Some of us the other day were talking about similar things. About building hot rods not space ships, and the stories behind each little thing.

    Putting memories into the car, which really makes a lot of since when you consider most of this hobby is based in nostalgia.

    good stuff.
    tractorguy and catdad49 like this.
  3. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,771


    Nice job Joey. I have a co-worker who’s your age comes over at times and helps me on my coupe, I’ve done something similar with him welding, give him some scrap to practice and then let him at it on the car. It’s a chance to pass on the knowledge and also make some progress.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    tractorguy and catdad49 like this.
  4. 66gmc
    Joined: Dec 4, 2005
    Posts: 589


    The headlight bar looks great, you will be a master welder in no time! Tig welding is even more fun and you dont have to deal with being constantly barbecued by welding slag.
    catdad49 likes this.

  5. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,666


    Did you say welding?
    Like you, I took a Community College night course while living in Iowa.
    I had never weld anything in my life but my buddy talked me into the course.
    The first piece of metal I weld together was not bad really........oh, with one exception. I manage to also weld it to the metal table.
    Instructor said other than that, not a bad first time weld!
    I haven't weld anything since that course!
    catdad49 likes this.
  6. I wish I had a pic of my first weld. I had my buddy Ken come by and supervise me (I bought a rather pricey Lincoln MIG and had no clue what to do with it) and it looked like a worm trying to fall off my roof panel. He just laughed at me, but it was expected since thats how we do. Now 17 years of practice later on MIG andTIG I lay it down like so... 8FEADEDC-B5CD-421B-8A98-8A045C4750D3_1_105_c.jpeg 464EE852-FCCE-4644-8485-38EC449267E3_1_105_c.jpeg

    and with more practice I will get here, the pinnacle of ability. 43301886-78FB-4884-8481-84EF5701FC76_1_105_c.jpeg
  7. Nick32vic
    Joined: Jul 17, 2003
    Posts: 3,033


    It looks great, Joey! Also, thank you for writing this and sharing your experience. It is SO easy to get discouraged with our skills, or lack thereof, by seeing such an abundance of incredible work by people we follow on social media. I think the number one reason I don't post more stuff from the shop is because I am embarrassed with my skills compared to things I see on here and on Instagram. I love your post though. It's a great reminder that no matter what level of skill we have, sharing our stories might help someone else. And after all, we are not trying to out-do our peers, we are trying to improve on our past selves. Anyway, the headlight bar looks PERFECT. Love your design! Next time you are able to visit, we can do lots of welding!
    J.Ukrop and catdad49 like this.
  8. Bluedot
    Joined: Oct 26, 2011
    Posts: 320


    Building a hot rod when you don't weld is a real challenge. I don't weld, usually can figure out how to avoid a weld by using bolts and brackets. (Hammer & Hacksaw Engineering) For times when it has to be a weld, I am fortunate that our son welds, and lives just 4 miles away.
  9. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 5,240


    The drop test, I Love It! There is also a hammer test that I have employed from time to time, what’s next on your project list?
    J.Ukrop and Nick32vic like this.
  10. Brian Lundgren
    Joined: Jul 16, 2016
    Posts: 29

    Brian Lundgren

    Great piece Joey, I've really enjoyed following your roadster build. Nice reminder take time to enjoy the little projects that make these cars so cool.
    J.Ukrop likes this.
  11. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,049


    That came out slick enough I saved the photos for reference. That car is progressing pretty decently one step at a time.

    Back in the 70's I wasn't much of a welder and only had a little Monkey Wards 110 stick welder that took special rods from them to work. I'd tack pieces together and carry them to the bodyshop in town to have Frank Graves weld them, to the welding shop out on the highway or to my buddy down the street who I usually paid in Budweiser.
  12. Nothing to it but to do it. Amazing how much gets demystified once you actually jump in and try it.
  13. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,707

    Atwater Mike

    I had a 'mentor' when I was 12, my fascination and endless questions eventually led to Ritchie saying, "O.K., Mikey... Hell, you can't learn any younger..." and with that he cut a slice down a Model A hood top!
    Acetylene torch cut it, not 'scraggy', actually it looked like a razor had cut it!
    He then changed torch tips, (small one, an 'O') and welded an inch without rod...Tiny little weld, beautiful.
    I watched with another pair of goggles...
    I tried it...It was frustrating, but he said "Just 'work' the metal, not wrestle it. Join it like you love it..."
    I was NOT a 'quick study'. But 2 weeks later, my Mom bought me a Victor Aircraft torch set, we rented the tanks at first...I then chopped the top on my '36 Three window, 4". Then corrected some mistakes, so the chop ended up coming down 5-1/4"!
    Live and learn. By the way, that headlight bar is the SHIT! (Kids' slang for 'best'...) Good proportions, and I liked the 'jig' you made.
    I'm from Santa Clara, BTW
  14. RyanAK
    Joined: Sep 7, 2019
    Posts: 212


    In my opinion, there needs to be more posts like this and threads like your roadster build. It makes the idea of building a traditional rod approachable, builds enthusiasm, and shows that the right build recipe is achievable for a would-be hot rodder.

    My first passion is fly fishing and making bamboo fly rods. When I first decided to make a rod completely from scratch, the task seemed insurmountable. There’s so much to research and learn that analysis paralysis soon set it. I eventually pulled the trigger and bought the one specialized tool that’s needed to make the blanks. I then dug in and made a rod with minimal tools and documented everything on a forum. The response was overwhelming... because some kid with minimal tools built something as involved as a bamboo rod and had obvious fun doing it. A bunch of guys then went and bought planing forms and a block plane and made their own rods. Because making their own rod now seemed achievable.

    Show people that the craft is approachable, be enthusiastic, and show that a simple build is achievable, and you’ll have would-be hot rodders converting to actual, real hot rodders.

    Good on ya.
    dmikulec, Graham08, J.Ukrop and 7 others like this.
  15. And here I thought was gonna begin with, "Hold my beer while I....." and all it was, was some good welding. Welcome to the world of non-destructive testing!
    J.Ukrop likes this.
  16. Ya done good, Kee-id.
    J.Ukrop likes this.
  17. Mikko_
    Joined: Aug 3, 2018
    Posts: 379

    from Sweden

    Great post, and a very nice headlight bar.
    Reminds me of the fact that I should really buy a welder of my own, currently I'm using the one at my work. :rolleyes:

    And funny you mention CCR, as I'm listening to them as I'm writing this.
    J.Ukrop likes this.
  18. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 11,078

    from Zoar, Ohio

    RJP, catdad49, J.Ukrop and 1 other person like this.
  19. Gahrajmahal
    Joined: Oct 14, 2008
    Posts: 440


    Looks great, entertaining post too. Thanks!
    J.Ukrop likes this.
  20. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,444

    Gary Addcox

    Very good read from Pennsylvania and Atwater, CA. !
    J.Ukrop and 48fordnut like this.
  21. RidgeRunner
    Joined: Feb 9, 2007
    Posts: 906

    from Western MA

    Great post that brought back a lot of memories from over 50 years ago when I started with a Craftsman O/A set up and the book that came with it. Went that route because I could also cut with it and the barn didn't have electrical service with enough 110V only omph to run anything that took much amperage at all. Yup, drop test on the wooden barn floor was my quality inspection. A quick peek at my fabrication projects and Dad would just walk I know all he could think of was his barn going up in flames and didn't want to be trying to explain it to an insurance adjuster........

    Still have the same O/A set up and along the way have picked up a cheap 110 mig and a Lincoln tombstone AC/DC. Moved out of the barn long ago but still playing (including the occasional drop or BFH quality inspections) but either over a concrete floor or outside now.

  22. Binger
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,732

    from wyoming

    Great post! Thanks for sharing your adventure. It sums up the spirit and enthusiasm that makes this hobby great. It also shows how someone without a large amount of tools and skills can still get a car built. Having a great support system of friends makes it much easier. Not only did you get some parts made you also shared a nice evening with friends.
    catdad49, J.Ukrop and RidgeRunner like this.
  23. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 11,542


    Thanks for sharing your story Joey, looking forward to seeing your roadster.
    J.Ukrop likes this.
  24. Blade58
    Joined: Mar 5, 2012
    Posts: 347

    from apopka ,Fl

    Nice job
    J.Ukrop likes this.
  25. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 5,673

    Staff Member

    Way to go kid.
    J.Ukrop likes this.
  26. Very cool!

    Nothing feels better than doing it yourself. I'm at that stage now at 60 working on my 57 Pontiac and doing so many things for the first time, albeit slowly.
    RidgeRunner, catdad49 and J.Ukrop like this.
  27. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 5,240


    You're Never too old to learn!
    J.Ukrop, RidgeRunner and dmikulec like this.
  28. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,237



    KUDOS to you guys that just go ahead and weld. I stopped welding after our accident, but kept the welding set we made for our Willys Coupe build. It would have been a couple of years after when I tried one last time to weld a desert racing motorcycle kick stand for pit work. It needed one and I still had the two tanks in the backyard garage. So, a few practice runs and the parts were ready for the nice bead.

    Arc welding was already in place, but we had the gas tank system on our home made rolling cart. It was a simple bead around a round bar on top and a simple bead on the attachment flat plate for the bottom support. It was not a bad weld, but I could not see well through those dark glasses.


    The dark glasses and the ridiculous arc welding helmets turned both of us off to any further welding adventures. My brother had me make the same kickstand for his similar racing motorcycle, too. Then when I sold that bike and bought a faster motocross/desert racing bike, I needed another portable kickstand that purposely fit the new bike.

    It was the last time the tanks were used and then we gave the system away to a friend. Our motorcycle racing adventures lasted two more years until life called to complete college studies. Then it was meeting my wife and that set the whole life long adventure on is current track. When we needed a good welding job, the local welding shop was just a short drive away. Time was of the essence, so, the job took less wear and tear on the old guy.

    Nice result on your light bar and continued good luck on your build.
    J.Ukrop and catdad49 like this.

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