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Technical Realizing your work is...substandard

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by F-ONE, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,766

    from Alabama

    Or in other words Crap!

    After running new brake lines under the front of the F100, the hardest most difficult line. I set up for the second most difficult line.
    It then I realize that my flaring tool is not up to the task. It's a piece of junk. I didn't know any better. I've never actually run lines before. The cheap tool is garbage.

    This got me thinking. It looks beautiful. The new line looks really good. It might even work. The flares that you don't see are crap. I thought they were OK but as I learn more about this. They are crap.

    It's better to realize this now, make corrections and go further. Part of doing this, building or repairing these old cars is doing it right. It's a hard pill to swallow sometimes.

    The reason I took this on is I wanted a quality job. There's just too many stories of shops getting this wrong. It's my job to critique myself. No one else is going too. As skill is gained, the ability to critique should gain as well. Some systems brakes, chassis, suspension, steering, fuel delivery and wiring demand perfection almost is not good enough.

    Many of you have Traditional Hot Rods built by 17 year olds almost always on a shoestring budget. Sometimes those kids did good work. Sometimes not. Stock should be the default. I'm not meaning a old car made safe as they say a new Volvo is. What I mean is basic good workmanship and design.

    Before big cams, fancy wheels and all the tricks, are the basics sound and are you willing to accept it your work was well.....not so good? It's better to catch stuff early than later.
  2. chevy54man
    Joined: Feb 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,683

    from NC

    I agree, I'm still learning as I get older and acquiring the better tools as I can
    F-ONE and Donuts & Peelouts like this.
  3. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,640


    I've used a harbor freight 10 dollar flare tool for years my stuff works and doesn't leak ,what exactly are you having a problem with ?

    I've used a big dollar hydraulic flareing tool and had more problems with leaks , high end tools don't always mean better quality work
  4. dan31
    Joined: Jul 3, 2011
    Posts: 1,072


    Are you running stainless lines?. Can be a lot much more difficult due to material hardness /splitting with a cheapo tool.

  5. I have been building hot rods for a more years than I are to remember and I can assure you that using a double flaring tool is sometimes a lesson in futility,they don't all turn out perfect no matter how many years you have been doing them but it is vital that none of the flars are cracked.

    I recently made new lines for a car and had to re-do two lines.

    I am aware there is a new tool on the market but it is extremely expensive and not within the budget of your average back yard builder.

    I'm still using the same old Double Flare set I have had for the past 50 years.HRP
  6. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,651

    Jalopy Joker

    Usually the hardest critic is ourself. But, we can see things from another perspective with the eyes os others

    Sent from my SM-G930V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  7. Clay Belt
    Joined: Jun 9, 2017
    Posts: 381

    Clay Belt

    Every day. There isn't a show, cruise in, or other event that goes by without someone saying my low investment, former yard art car is a hooptie. I know it, and take pride in the fact that it runs (sometimes), so I usually agree. Having one subpar body with quality mechanicals is worth it to me. Doesn't mean much if it looks nice but can't drive!
  8. rusty rocket
    Joined: Oct 30, 2011
    Posts: 4,189

    rusty rocket

    This is my sub-par creation IMG_2567.JPG If a real fab guy ran his hand over it he would just have to laugh. I guess I'm having fun going to the garage and making sparks and grinder dust.
    Keep at it!!!!!!
  9. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,526

    Rusty O'Toole

    You do the best you can with what you have. The standards of the very best shops keep getting higher. That is one reason for building traditional rods. If you don't have a million dollars to spend on your shop and another $250,000 to spend on each car you don't have much choice.

    As far as the cheap flaring tool goes there are a couple of lessons here. One is to not buy cheap tools. The other is, if it is something you use only once a year or less maybe you can work around it. I am still using a cheap KD flaring tool I bought for $14 in the late sixties. It will do a good job IF you are careful and get everything right. This is where the skill comes in. If I take my time and do it right I can get a perfect flare every time. If I get sloppy or in a hurry, no.

    Doing the best you can with inferior tools and materials is fair craftsmanship. The real serious builders have more respect for someone who can build a nice car on a budget, than for the guy whose only skill is writing checks.
  10. RR
    Joined: Nov 30, 2008
    Posts: 106


    You are probably being too hard on yourself. If it disturbs you the way the flaring tool is working, either buy a new one or seek out someone that can do a good job and have them show you how to make a good flare with your tool- if possible.

    I like a lot of the shows you see on TV about building cars, but these shows and comments by others online really set an unrealistic bar that some people think they have to reach with their vehicles. While it is important to build a safe vehicle (you might be behind me when we go to stop), not every detail must be show quality for a daily driver or even most cars you take to a show. I have been playing with the same pickup for over 30 years- it is not show quality but you can definitely see how my workmanship has improved over the years with it. Stick with it and your experience will improve your results.
  11. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,043

    from Michigan

    The challenge to learn the many skills involved in building a hot rod.
    Can't think of a lot of other things that require such a high degree of both industrial ability and artistry.

    Sent from my VS835 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  12. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    Do the best you can with what you have and make sure your personal standards are befitting the task. An expensive tool doesn't make you a craftsman. I flared my brake line with a tool my land lord got in the 60's. I took my time, screwed up a couple flares, but kept at it, until it was done. That was quite a while ago and since my car isn't finished, I occasionally take the time to give the brakes a few pumps and check for leaks. Just in case.;)
  13. RMONTY
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 2,188


    "I occasionally take the time to give the brakes a few pumps and turn the steering wheel left and right and make motor sounds and shift through the gears while smiling like a shit eating possum when no one is looking......."

    There! I fixed it for you......
  14. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,271


    In your defense, there is a little bit of art in making flares. At least in my case. IF there is a problem with the tool, it's futile. Practice a few flares on some scrap pieces, it'll get better.
  15. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,192

    Donuts & Peelouts
    from , CA

    If your not hard on yourself, who will.
  16. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,081


    The Eastwood double flare kit is a great one to have, (or the use of one a friend has). Proper flairs and neatly run lines make you feel good, and safe. Nothing better than having a proper looking chassis exposed for all to see while the years go by finishing the body that will hide it all. Bob
    chryslerfan55, BigChief, LM14 and 3 others like this.
  17. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,496


    If you see or feel any flaw in your flare its going to leak. I use a KT kit,, not a real high end but gets the job done. Easier just to buy brake lines off the shelf as there are many size lengths available.
    I'm sure we all know where the flaws are in our vehicles and to each of us they stand out like a sore thumb. Most go unnoticed in public
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  18. cjtwigt
    Joined: Dec 23, 2017
    Posts: 141


    I think everybody on this forum recognizes this: sometimes you are unhappy with the result of your own work.

    When it happens to me I immediately undo/unmount the job I did. It is least painful that way because that way you force yourself to the job again and you put yourself in a position where you can start building up again.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    chryslerfan55, dan31, trollst and 4 others like this.
  19. Pat Thompson
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 225

    Pat Thompson

    I have found a lot of the newer sets are crap. I have an old used set I bought years ago and it does a better job than any of the parts house currently available sets.
  20. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,299


    Some on this blog are true craftsman, I marvel at their skills and abilities, I'd like to be and there isn't enough time in the world for me to have those skills. I do the best I can, sometimes it ain't great and my wife just recently was surprised that I couldn't metal finish good enough on the Stude's fenders and would have to use some plastic:(

    Back to the flares, I picked up a used one at a garage sale, can't think of the brand name but I checked and I could get a new one for about $50, I have been SO Lucky making flares with it, and I am sure it's not my skills! Biggest problem I have had with it was forgetting to put the nut on first, dumb me!

    Makes me think of the TV advertisements for kitchen appliances that chop/dice...well you remember them. When you got it the damn thing never worked like it was advertised. I guess on my Flaring kit I got the one they actually used on TV:)
    hotrodharry2, czuch, The37Kid and 2 others like this.
  21. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,766

    from Alabama

    Fellows it's a $4.99 tool. I was enamored with the my first flares after the "learning curve". Then I took a closer look. It's not going to work. The heads of the flares are uneven. There is too much slack in the tool. The bar does not set straight making each side of the die uneven. Sometimes you have to know when to bail and chunk stuff in the garbage.

    Eastwood has a inline tool that looks perfect for my purposes. It's 49 bucks...10 times the price I paid for this jewel.

    My main point to this is I caught this early. Being Cunifer line it may have actually sealed.

    I'm being honest with myself. It ain't cutting it. I'm taking the steps to re do it and do it right.

    31 Vicky with a Hemi has a thread about rebuilding a truck that big money was spent on. Fundamental things were not right. The foundation was not right. Instead of correcting, good work was done on top of crap making the whole build crap.

    When stuff is not right. Fix it make it right.
    The worse case scenario in this was to have completed this job and realized this. Even worse complete it, it holds for a while and eventually fails.
  22. RMONTY
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 2,188


    I borrowed a flaring tool from a fellow HAMB'er (Thanks 325w!) to do the brake lines on my project. It was a quality tool, don't remember the brand but I believe it was a Blue Point. I found almost the exact tool from Snap On, and went ahead and dropped the coin on one. Ive used it a couple of times and it works well. Just take your time, do the prep (most important!) and use a few drops of brake fluid for lubrication and any decent tool will do the job. Practice on some spare line until you are happy with your results. You can do ittttt!

  23. Good call on the Kunifer, much easier to work with than S/S line and it the brake line of choice over here. I have the cheaper Eastwood tool but recently borrowed a turret tool and found it to be great to use.

    Sent from my SM-A520F using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Stogy and F-ONE like this.
  24. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,161


    Brake lines, gotta be right for safety, dont necessilary have to be bent perfectly though, just safely.
    Sucks to have to go thru it again, but youre well ahead of having someone else do the job.

    Itll only take you half as long the second time....
    Stogy and F-ONE like this.
  25. john walker
    Joined: Sep 11, 2008
    Posts: 1,114

    john walker

    Mastercool, say no more.
    HotRodTractor, bobss396, jvo and 3 others like this.
  26. RacingRoger
    Joined: Sep 11, 2017
    Posts: 208


    ...ever notice how alot of folks talk about the new expensive tools being junk, but the cheap tools made 40+ years ago are great? Just sayin'.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  27. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,312

    Dan Timberlake

    Yeah, my 1972 vintage NAPA new Britain tool works pretty good. The flaring cone is really hard, highly finished and maybe even chrome plated. The result is the working face of the finished tubing flare is really smooth. I started inspecting some of the prefab green coating tubing I recently purchased, and they are pretty ugly and malformed in comparison.

    And yes, the preformed stainless lines a friend bought for his C3 Corvette a couple of years ago were a misery. Several flares leaked pretty bad right out of the box, and the larger sizes were too stiff to bend to align with the master cylinder etc without serious effort.
    F-ONE and Stogy like this.
  28. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 19,583


    Some things really can't be sorta right...brake lines is one (as eluded by yourself and others)...there is cheap cheap tools and there is might just want to upgrade the cheap a bit. The other thing you can do is rent one...those rental places usually carry quality stuff. There is one more possibility. The tool can be tuned as in rework its shortcoming. It may be the point that flares is off center to the line or the female end is not true center. Junk is junk and if its junk you may be blaming yourself for the fault of the tool. You have said it may be next years car body as there may be no fix.

    New stuff, even old stuff can also have faults but doing test lines and inspecting the results is the only way to find out. Good luck and failure is a form of learning.
    F-ONE likes this.
  29. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 19,583


    Better QA back in the day perhaps...
    F-ONE likes this.
  30. If I did a job and got it right the first time, I think I would pass out...:(. I get used to doing it over again to get it right. Hey, failure is how we learn.
    I learned to use pre made brake lines and fittings like Elcohaulic said when I can and only make my own when pre made won't fit properly.
    mkebaird, F-ONE and Stogy like this.

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