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Where did you learn to do what you do

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Amoros, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. Amoros
    Joined: Nov 11, 2009
    Posts: 123


    So... I'm new to all this, but I'm eager to learn. I'm a little scared but excited. Was wondering how you guys learned to customize cars and maybe fill me in on where I could find the resources to learn also.

    I really don't want to be that person who sends his stuff out to be worked on. I like to be able to say that i did it with my own hands. Not criticizing anyone, just personally for me, I want to learn if at all possible. I've learned that there's a million ways to skin a cat when customizing whether its swapping parts or frames, or keeping it Stock and pure, or going wild and custom.

    How do I start?
  2. Books, video, watching others, jumping in and not being afraid,,,,,,,, and PRACTICE.
  3. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,961

    from Quincy, IL

    Read voraciously.......hang out with people who have skills you admire and want to acquire. Keep your eyes and ears open for tidbits of information all the time. Ask questions. You can't learn it all overnight, none of us did, but it is cumulative and the more you learn the easier it becomes to figure things out on your own.

  4. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,474


    what they said. ^^^^^^^^^^

  5. time life how to series book # 6 "how to hot rod". came with a set of steak knives.
  6. I'm in the same boat as you are and the one thing that's helping me out the most is asking questions. No matter how dumb they may seem its always better to know. I'm reading lots online and keeping my eyes open for old manuals and old car magazines anywhere I go. Good luck! :D
  7. like said above , hang with those who do !!! watch ask and learn , those that dont know and admit it learn alot faster and those that really know share more freely with them. most of all there aint nothing that cant be fixed with a torch and a welder when you add learning curve and skills , if ya say you cant or it wont , you cant or it wont , think if sombody handed you enough money ............ you'd find a way to make something happen right ? open mind and trying is all it takes
  8. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,036

    from California

    I don't do anything, so it was easy to learn.
  9. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    You have my vote for President...
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  10. <TABLE class=tborder id=post8166013 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD class=alt1 id=td_post_8166013 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #e5e5e5 1px solid"><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">Originally Posted by 49ratfink [​IMG]
    I don't do anything, so it was easy to learn.
    You have my vote for President...
    <!-- / message --></TD></TR><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #e5e5e5 1px solid; BORDER-TOP: #e5e5e5 0px solid; BORDER-LEFT: #e5e5e5 1px solid; BORDER-BOTTOM: #e5e5e5 1px solid">[​IMG] [​IMG] </TD><TD class=alt1 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #e5e5e5 1px solid; BORDER-TOP: #e5e5e5 0px solid; BORDER-LEFT: #e5e5e5 0px solid; BORDER-BOTTOM: #e5e5e5 1px solid" align=right><!-- controls --></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>me thinks he may be over qualifyed........he can admit it :)
  11. Cerberus
    Joined: May 24, 2010
    Posts: 1,381


    Good question. I wanted to design my own chassis. So, I went to Junior College, enrolled in their welding program, and 9 months later I passed the welding certification test for any thickness metal flat, horizontal or verticle. I wanted to learn how to air brush paint. I enrolled in a class at the local art college and learned the art of air brushing. In my twenties, I hung out with a bunch of gearheads who taught me alot. They had the patience to take me under their wing and show me how to get things done. My roommate back then (good painter), took me around to his buddies shops, they shared their knowledge with me because they knew I was eager to learn. I helped out whenever they'd let me. It has been a continuous learning curve since.
  12. TexasSpeed
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 4,618


    Some I learned in high school body shop, some I learned from my dad, and some I taught myself on.. Practice makes perfect. Don't expect yourself to succeed at every first try and constantly evaluate yourself to find the weak areas you need improving on.

    Even the most experienced worker never stops learning.
  13. just do it safely and the judges here will let you know ... goood or bad .. learning is asking and doing breathing its ez and then it gets harder the more ya do ..
  14. I feel that there is a natural progression that should be followed: bicycles, lawn mowers, motor bikes and motorcycles and then cars. Throw in boats if you live by the water.

    I did the shop classes thing in middle and high school, took a 2-year automotive course in college and last but not least, get a job fixing cars.

  15. liljonny
    Joined: Aug 31, 2011
    Posts: 204

    from menifee,ca

    I learned from family and friends. And the hamb. I'm an electrician and very mechanically inclined but asking questions helped me from mucho headaches and arguements from the wife! :)
  16. the absolute best way to learn is by doing!
    if you can see it in your head you will find a way to make it happen.
    i am self-taught, i've always been too broke to pay anybody to do anyhting for me!
  17. firingorder1
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,147


    The need to do it and the lack of funds to pay someone to do it. I may not do it in the manner of a highly trained professional but it gets done.
  18. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 6,981

    from Michigan

    I rember reading magazines as a kid, and wondering what the heck are "wishbones"? And why pray tell, would somebody wanna split 'em? (Other than to make a wish)

    From there, it kind of went in stages for me. I was a little confused at first and basically knew nothing. Then, I started to learn just enough to sound stupid. Then after quite some time, I realized, "Hey...I'm kind of gettin' the hang of this stuff!" Then I learned even more, and thought, "Yup...I'm goooood." Then I tried to actually do some stuff, and TOTALLY screwed it up...and that's when I truly learned. Then, after many years of reading, learning, failures and triumphs, I began to think of myself as belonging to that elite group that has actually forgotten more than some others even know. Then I joined the Hamb, and realized I was back to not knowing a damn thing

    Seriously, do plenty of research before you attempt something, (books, internet, Hamb, and experienced friends) and then give it a try. The doing part is where you'll make the most mistakes, but you'll learn a lot. Always remember that you don't HAVE to chop that may not HAVE to change the whole drivetrain...etc. Try to keep things simple at first. Think about the worst-case scenario before you completely tear something apart...and the possibility of irreversibly messin' something up. Most of all, try to be careful, so you don't have to learn how not to lose a finger or eye or somethin'. Good luck with it all.
  19. Master of None
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 2,279

    Master of None

    I did both, I went to school, read a ton, and hang with a group of really cool old boys. Much of the basics I learned at school,welding, painting and body work. But the hey how do you do this? I learned by hanging out with guys that have been there done that. Best thing I can say to do is listen. Ask a question, then listen. Don't try to tell them what you know, or think you know. Most of the coolest conversations I've had with car guys were totally one sided, I didn't have to say a word.
  20. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,470

    from Ks

    I guess you just have to DO to learn. Lippy
  21. Boyd Who
    Joined: Nov 9, 2001
    Posts: 2,196

    Boyd Who

    ^^^^^ This!! ^^^^^
  22. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,300


    I started taking stuff apart when I was little, and I figured out that it wasn't too hard to put it back together, too. I also read a lot. If you can find someone who will show you how to do stuff, that would be great too. I didn't have that luxury....
  23. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    You really don't learn to be a mechanic. You're born into it. I started very young taking things apart to see how they worked. There's a picture of me helping my dad work on his 50 Chevrolet pickup when I was 3. I hung around the local service station in the summer until I was old enough to work there. I took shop classes in school and worked in a service station at night while I went to college. We played with dirt track cars. I worked at a couple of car dealers before I got the job I've had for the past 32 years.
  24. wallyringo
    Joined: May 19, 2010
    Posts: 709


    from watching my pops and brother, high school auto shop classes and just wrenching on cars, asking questions and helping friends with there cars. just jump in and start buying good tools.
  25. The answer is:

  26. I started working in a bodyshop in my junior year of High school, but the owner was such a dick that I quit after my senior year and went on to other things till I was 30. When I lost my job, my wife had me enroll in a voc-tech school while she worked and paid the bills (got me a winner for a wife). Voc-tech shop teacher let me chop the top on my 49 Chev Business coupe and graft on a modern suspension. I never worked in a custom shop, but did plenty of side work in my shop for years. Now just do my own stuff.
  27. b-bob
    Joined: Nov 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,097


    Everything that has already been said and there have been a lot of good how-to's in magazines like the articles Jim Jacobs was doing back in the late sixties or early seventies in Rod and Custom. And many more since then.
  28. N8B
    Joined: Sep 28, 2009
    Posts: 476


    I learned almost everything I know by staying at a Holiday Inn last week.
  29. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,236


    :)Hi all.Over the years,I`ve worked on all sorts of mechanical stuff.Bicycles,mowers,`cycles,boats,aircraft,farm eqp ad nauseaum.HOWEVER,what I DON`T know would fill several sets of encyclopidias.My Grandfather always said the only dumb question was the one that you did`nt ask.As has been said,read everything you can get your hands on.Ask when you`re not sure.Ask for help when necessary,and you should be ok.Oh yeah.My Father started teaching me how to work on things when I was 10 years old.I`m 66 now.Miss Dad a bunch.He passed in 1994 at 98 years of age.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
  30. carmuts
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 874


    The School of Hard Knocks, because nobody else thought I was teachable. Rod

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