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Folks Of Interest Machine shop specialists ? A question ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by VANDENPLAS, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,068


    I used to take my stuff to a meticulous machinist in Lenexa, KS (Bob Hutsler) who had all the best equipment, was slow, and his shop was a mess of machines and parts, with crowded aisles between it all. He did the absolute best work of anyone I've ever used. He spent a lot of time talking to you, and I think he did most of the work at night when he wouldn't be interrupted. Bores and pistons were always measured and labelled to the 4th decimal point. He was an overweight diabetic, and in the middle of a chat it was not unusual for him to hike up his dirty XXXL T-shirt and shoot up with a dose of insulin. He died at 59 years young, and I haven't found another machinist in the Kansas City area who is as good as he was.
  2. I wanna know what "The Ross engine thread debacle" was. I must have missed that one.
  3. Okay, found it and read most of it. I do a lot of custom engines, mostly Y-Blocks but will do others, I'm sorry to hear this about Tony. Always thought he was a good guy but I wonder now. I try not to bite off more than I can chew and I would never tell someone that their engine would take two years. If I feel I'm over loaded I just say call back in six months and we'll see if I can fit you in. I'm a small shop in a small town and happy to stay that way. I always though it would be nice to have Tony's reputation and publicity but I was wrong.
  4. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,284


    I was very lucky to move to a place with an old engine specialist nearby. Living in L.A. I had several choices for engine machine work but when I moved up to NorCal I was afraid I'd be schlepping my stuff back down there. But when I walked into Baechler Machine in nearby San Andreas I knew. Just like described in a previous post there were old engines of every kind everywhere in various states. Lots of flathead v8s, Ts and As but what caught my eye was a freshly rebuilt 324 Olds on the run-in stand. I guess I was a good fit too because I recognized a lot of strange stuff lying around and asked intelligent questions about stuff I'd never seen before. I told them what I was going to need and didn't ask about the cost. I started by bringing my '56 Olds heads in for rebuilding. We changed course and had a few hurdles to overcome during the engine build but I got my 345" Olds short block and heads in a reasonable amount of time and at a reasonable price but most of all, I made a dear friend in the process.
    Willy hired a guy to do the bulk of the bread and butter valve jobs, etc, thus freeing him up to do the specialty stuff.
    They do mostly automotive machine work and balancing but he also does some general machining and machinery repair. He really likes unusual and challenging projects but he knows what it takes to keep the doors open.
    Great guys doing great work while putting up with us PITA gearheads.
    A little restoration project they did last year. You just never know where you'll find a Hemi!

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