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Folks Of Interest Where Have All The Independents Gone?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,667

    Kan Kustom

    This is it in a nutshell. Anyone who has been in manufacturing knows everything has been beyond rediculously regulated out.
    Ned Ludd, williebill and dana barlow like this.
  2. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,944


    Great tour of the current products, look forward to seeing more. Bob
    ct1932ford, kadillackid and bct like this.
    Joined: Oct 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,044


    All good stuff. I'd like to see a car built with all the parts available by the little guys involved with The HAMB.
    Ned Ludd, MMM1693 and Max Gearhead like this.
  4. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,246

    from KCMO

    The only way it’s shrunk is if the older guys are dying off faster then the younger guys are getting into it. I see more guys into traditional hot rods and customs now than I have in the last twenty years.

    Given a day I could give you a list of literally hundreds of guys under 35 that are passionate about it.

    Though really the young guys are probably working with less budget and so may be less likely to buy cool one off products being produced so the idea isn’t totally off base.

    More to the point of this actual post I think it’s a blend of things.

    I think you have a lot of guys making stuff, but in lower numbers and no real plan for it to be anything more than word of mouth that they make them. While I’m sure there is a bit of cycle effect to this stuff being made just like any trend , I do see a lot of young guys getting into casting at home, black smithing and the like.

    I think it’s out there but it’s hard to see threw being over exposed to literally everything via social media.
  5. Asphalt Demon
    Joined: Jan 19, 2014
    Posts: 307

    Asphalt Demon
    from Australia

    What about Elmer shocks? They’re fantastic, I think he still does batches.
    travisfromkansas likes this.
  6. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,622


    Scott at Haneline made me a turned panel for my SW Hollywood panel, very nice piece.
  7. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,246

    from KCMO

    oh, and yeah the haneline stuff is great. He made a custom insert for my dads Lincoln this summer and it’s a great piece.
    travisfromkansas likes this.
  8. cretin
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,921


    I'm working on developing some parts right now. Hope to have some stuff to offer in the near future.
  9. classiccarjack
    Joined: Jun 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,458


    Ever design one for the Mopar flathead six?

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    2FordGuy likes this.
  10. chiro
    Joined: Jun 23, 2008
    Posts: 916


    The guys at Pure hot rods (call Brian (309) 582-3155) make some sweet parts and are awesome to deal with. I used their Banjo rear shock mounts. Very nice piece.

    "Rarebike" here on the HAMB makes a '32 style K-member designed to fit a Model A frame. I used it and it's awesome. Certainly less money and easier than finding and trimming a real '32 K-member.

    House of Fab...what more can you say about those products? Really well thought out and executed.

    Now for a little rant. I'm a retired chiropractor as of last year. While in practice, I designed and hand built a specific type of chiropractic adjusting table that was truly innovative and a really pretty piece. Had a "friend" of mine come up to me at a seminar when I was first building them and selling them to my friends. He marveled at the design and asked me if I patented it. I said, "No. Who's going to steal it from" And then he did. However, I built and sold over 500 of my units because I mounted a pretty good smear campaign for Dr. Douchbag that stole my idea. He didn't even build them himself. He farmed it out. What a dick.

    I also designed and built a very difficult piece that's hard to explain. It's a training device for chiropractors and it is used in one of the best chiropractic colleges in the world. It's a base for a computerized chiropractic adjustment simulator. It's massive and heavy and it needs to be so it doesn't move at all when a student makes a thrust on it. Required CNC water jet cut 3/4" aluminum plate, much tooling and machine work and custom upholstery, etc. Very expensive piece to make and the price point at the end was big. Also had another Doc design an inferior product that does NOT do the same thing and gives erroneous readings on the computer because it is cheap, small and table top unit and moves when thrusted upon. This introduces variables into the readout that don't truly reflect the actual forces of the thrust. Moral of the story is that people want cheap products, not well made, well designed products. Those of us who want to buy and build such well designed and well built products are few and far between.

    ...end of Rant. Thank you for reading:)
    31hotrodguy, Stogy, HemiDeuce and 5 others like this.
  11. Stogy, patmanta, AHotRod and 2 others like this.
  12. silent rick
    Joined: Nov 7, 2002
    Posts: 4,252

    silent rick

  13. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 6,247


    IMO, A lot of now senior citizens that had the skills, equipment, passion for building parts have passed on, age/time catches up to all. In the 80's I designed, built liquid cooled cylinder heads for Midget racing VW style engines (pic's in my race car album) they worked well, won races, but with engine rule changes, I decided to not go into production which was my original thought (Huge time, money involved) All the years I was in business I produced various race car components, fuel injection systems, chassis components, etc., never really made any real money, just a passion, my Tool & Die / Pattern work paid the bills AND here's my big take away on racing cylinder heads, no matter what they cost, buy them ! Like many projects, it was very rewarding, self satisfaction, etc, that and $2.50 buys a coffee at my breakfast spot. Another thing happened in the 90's, my product liability insurance co. (a requirement when dealing with commercial industrial accounts) found out about my race car parts involvement (how ? your guess is as good as mine) and wanted no part of that liability exposure, that ended any business in that arena except for my personal use. I was lucky and had a friend that owned a foundry, loved racing and would run small production runs of castings for me, I used to have a excellent network of business friends for services I needed, now ALL gone, not one left as we all aged out or gave up, the global manufacturing shift changed everything for many people.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
  14. Ryan, good way to get these products out of the shadows.:cool: This was a good idea you had, too bad we had to hear where you were when it came to you.:eek: Can't get that image out of my head. o_O TMI
  15. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,005


    No. I have done Chevy 261 and Buick Straight 8
  16. 100% Matt
    Joined: Aug 7, 2006
    Posts: 2,598

    100% Matt

    I've been designing and having parts produced for the past few years. I finally got serious about it this past year and launched Old Yankee Speed Co. I produce/sell Model A springs, 26/27 T Springs and our "Hot Rod" spring which is a 26/27 T-Spring made 2.25" wide with reversed eyes. I also sell a variety of dual master cylinder adapters for Early Fords as well as disc brake kits. I have 3 other product currently in production. About 2 months ago I teamed up with the fellas from Millwork's Hot Rods & Supply to get all my products exclusively on their website. Lots more pix on our Instagram @old_yankee_speed_co
    Our "Hot Rod" spring in Jon B's Roadster

    Flip H's Vicky with our "Hot Rod" Spring in a "spring behind" application in a 32 frame

    OYS415 allows you to adapt a dual M/C in 42-48 Ford passenger cars
    Our OYS410/410A adapts a dual M/C to either 39/41 pedals or F1 pedal assemblies
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
    ct1932ford, waxhead, Stogy and 6 others like this.
  17. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,575


    How did I miss this? I'm a little late for the party, but I have been delving into the "Dark Side" of the hobby (electrical stuff), and am currently making two items. The first of these are my "Trash Can" condensers. These combine a current severe-duty film capacitor enclosed in a "traditional" looking case. The are designed to be super reliable and they mount on the outside of the distributor. These are designed to be used with dual point systems where the space where condenser usually lives is taken up by the second set of points. They can be used on a single point distributor as well, so you can get "the look" as well as a much superior condenser for any vehicle with points ignition. (I have had a couple of guys order them to make their electronic systems look a little more authentic as well.) I have been making these for two years, and sales are finally taking off. Most of my recent sales have been to guys restoring traditional dual coil systems who are concerned about how the whole package looks and won't abide by a couple of "wimpy" looking stock condensers hanging off their restored units. Here are a few photos :
    cap1.jpg IMG_1236.JPG IMG_1326.JPG Condensers.jpg

    The second thing I am making is a "black box" that allows currently available 12 volt negative ground "motor-type" tachometers to be used on 6 volt positive ground systems. 6 volt positive ground tachometers are hard to find, expensive, and tend to have an "agricultural" look. My unit allows any currently available tachometer (from a $10 "swap meet special" to a $600 Autometer with memory and playback) to be used in and older vehicle. I have an inexpensice easily available Sun-Pro unit on my '51 Ford and really like the feeling of knowing exactly what my engine is doing. The marketing of these units has taken a back seat to the condensers for the time being, but I will be getting back to them soon. We also make a version of the unit that replaces lost or non-operational control boxes for older "meter-type" tachometers. If you have a nice old Sun or SW head, but no control box, we can help out there as well. Here is a short video of the unit mounted on my engine test stand with my '51 Mercury engine running a 6 volt positive ground system.

    Sun-Pro tach.JPG
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
  18. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,685

    from Woburn, MA

    @Ryan , I have a suggestion, it would be more of an undertaking, but I think the HAMB has the gravitas and the reach to make it work.

    Perhaps adding something like a curated early-etsy style store to the HAMB would go an enormous amount further than the classifieds, crafters personal stores, or this post could ever go.
  19. I agree with Pat's suggestion. In lieu of advertising fee (if it works for the finances of Atomic) the requirement might be that the small vendor be an Alliance Member (as some of them are already).
    Blue One and patmanta like this.
  20. silent rick
    Joined: Nov 7, 2002
    Posts: 4,252

    silent rick

    i don't have a photo but kevin's spun wheel discs are pretty cool even if they were limited productions
  21. silent rick
    Joined: Nov 7, 2002
    Posts: 4,252

    silent rick

    the stuff CTaulbert makes

  22. pscalz
    Joined: Oct 3, 2015
    Posts: 37


    Great seat! I got one from you for my 32 5 window build that Rex Rods did for me

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Metaltwister likes this.
  23. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,218

    Ned Ludd

    First, my hat is off to all the small manufacturers who are actually producing real stuff. Godspeed to all of you.

    This is a serious question in economic theory. The name which springs most readily to mind is that of Ronald Coase. It's extremely interesting stuff. Why indeed does the large conglomerate enjoy an advantage over the independent manufacturer? The first answers we're likely to think of are likely to be incorrect.

    For instance, economies of scale aren't "just there". Countervailing diseconomies of scale are readily demonstrable but somehow structural factors conspire to insulate the large operation from their effect. The question is, absent these structural factors, where would the point be where diseconomies of scale outweigh economies of scale? If you asked me I'd guess somewhere around a mom-and-pop scale.

    So what are these structural factors? I won't spell it out because I can't do that without getting political. All I can say is, look up Taylorist Scientific Management, the slant Henry gave the basic idea to make Fordism, and the influence the whole lot has had on worldwide economic and industrial policy since c.1930. It is no accident that Henry Ford should have been so particularly interested in the industry of the Third Reich and the Soviet Union.

    (You might ask, don't economies of scale give us an abundance of cheap stuff? Consider that we pay the balance, and possibly then some, in taxes. No free lunches there.)
  24. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,158

    from Minnesota

    Yes Rich, and inspired me to do this one on a flathead 6 and provided the Tecalemit Jackson throttles as a basis.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
    ct1932ford and the oil soup like this.
  25. Metaltwister
    Joined: Jul 10, 2007
    Posts: 891


    Always great getting good reviews from happy customers. We try our hardest to build the best quality seat at the best price avaliable... I truly beleive we do both. Thanks so much for the kind words, it really does mean a lot to us!
    pscalz likes this.
  26. silent rick
    Joined: Nov 7, 2002
    Posts: 4,252

    silent rick

    more of CTaulbert's work

  27. Metaltwister
    Joined: Jul 10, 2007
    Posts: 891



    If it was just a matter of building a nice product and reaping the rewards it would be awesome. But to be honest we are being regulated right out of business. Everything from paint booth certification, compressor receiver certification, water run off fees, health permit if you have a cylinder of welding gas over 200 cf. and on and on and on. Fire inspection fee’s, desposal fee’s for hazardous waste for things like used sand blast grit! Anyway you get the idea. Unless your a big company and just crank out product you cant keep up with the fines, fees, and inspections. Im seriously looking to move out of state to a more business friendly and appreciative location. If I were to re locate we could hire a few guys that would be able to support their familys for what Im paying in fees. I work on average of 15 hours a day just to keep up with the work load. Cant afford any more help due to the above mentioned cost as well as insurance and that whole gig.

    Thats just the begining, advertising costs if we did advertising, legal fees for keeping the competition honest,(long story) a good Accountant etc. I gotta stop here im getting depressed. LOL

    The up tick is knowing your helping make hot rod dreams come true for some great guys. Knowing you can build something from scratch that people are in need of, and willing to hand over their hard earned money for. And its very satisfying when ya get that unexpected “attaboy” on line! With exception of the Hamb o Dex and our web site we do “zero” advertising. Its all referral and were busy... I think that alone says a lot for where we are and where we could go if we were able to free up the revenue for complying with regulations and re apply it to advertising and other proactive avenues.

    I usually shy away from these types of threads as in my oppinion business should be run in private and not on the web, no one wants to hear about business problems or issues. But in this instance even with all these issues I still feel blessed to be doing what I do. I love what we do and proud of our product and business ethic. I have an awesome repeat customers base, I get to be creative while building things from scratch with my hands, all the while being lucky enough to have an outlet like the HAMB where my kinda people hang out. Its all worth it in the end! But dont ever let anyone tell you its easy in this environment... better be self motivated!
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
    Tman, Happydaze, Ned Ludd and 2 others like this.
  28. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,706

    from Colorado

    Great product
  29. sawzall
    Joined: Jul 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,728


    I make these window regulator repair gears (for 1946 - 1948 ford convertible as well as shoebox ford).


    additionally Ive been plugging along with reproduction woodwork.. currently doing body wood for 1935 36 roadsters, headers for 1940 and 1946 - 1948 ford convertible.. and woodie wagon reproduction wood.. as well as one off stuff for chevys..

    and I have been reproducing cast iron parts for early woodie wagons for some time..
    like model a seat feet, and corner castings..
    basically I reproduce the things I need...
  30. Slick Willy
    Joined: Aug 3, 2008
    Posts: 3,012

    Slick Willy

    I'll put in my 2 dollars and 10 cents from the other side .. the needs a little more patience than amazon clicking like a mad man to build a car.
    stuff takes time when made with passion, a passion that usually doesn't pay the bill's and where a 7a-7p job is needed to get by.
    I've made a point to help the "little guy" and avoid the mass markets while building my car. has it taken longer than some to get parts? yes. is it worth the time...I think you will see.
    I feel this forum has lost sight of this until now and this thread has actually made me want to post something more than "nobody cares about your dog".
    there are some awesome things being built out there in parents' basements and local corner shoe stores that will beat stuff seen on the discovery channel but will never get a head nod. stay tuned.

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