Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rackufacture: The Saga Continues

I thought for a while that the massive rackufacture blitz that happened between October-something and November-something was maybe just a comet entering the atmosphere and exploding into flame. I did get a little temporarily fried, and then there was a business trip and then the holidays. But now that the smoke has cleared, I'm all refreshed and as excited as ever, except with maybe just a pinch of sanity thrown in.

There hasn't been any complete projects happening, but there's been a lot of "setting the table" things going on. First off was the critical task of getting the shop to the point where I can work there in the cold weather. I now have a solution. It's not the best, but it's workable and something I can build on. I've been able to hang out in Glen's (Elephant) shop a little lately and he's doing this crazy mix of all these different kinds of heaters and that whole approach is kind of growing on me, so I think I'll add some electric and propane heat to the kerosene I'm already using. Anyway, the heat thing is taken care of. Plus, it'll be spring pretty soon.

Then, there's the whole matter of the right torch for the job. I issued this plea, but I somehow knew in my heart of hearts that I was on my own on this one. Thing is, the guy was super-reliable when I was a kid, but lately I can't count on him for anything. Maybe he's burnt out or something. Anyway, I took the guesswork out of the equation and made damn sure I was gonna have a Merry Christmas. Got here on the 23rd, just in time to stage this most memorable holiday photo:

First thing, of course, was to build a new torch stand. The last one was a little fanciful, but this one was as simple as I could conceive it. I'd rather be building racks.

Here's the mondo behemoth old torch alongside the lovely dainty new one. Unfortunately, I still can't braze for shit.

I've never let a lack of talent stop me from forging ahead and I don't think this is the time to start. I've been excited to bend up my first rack deck from a single piece of tubing. That's where you lay it all out and mark the bends and then, hopefully, it comes together at the ends and it's halfway square. Here it is, marked out and ready to bend:

Glen turned me onto this $35 digital Craftsman level which I didn't need but had to have. It'll come in handy for measuring all kinds of angles and dangles and there was no reason to use it for bending up this deck but OTOH, why the hell not. Digital is where it's at.

So you already know that I am extremely lame and have no balls. This is why I didn't cut the tube to the exact length, but instead, just marked the tube where I would have cut it, if I actually had the balls.

Holy hell! Dead nuts! I think I might be able to get into this rack thing:

Here's where I've cut the ends and am just about to join them together. You can see the finished product sitting in a bucket further down the page.

So also, I'm just barely smart enough to realize that if you build a rack from start to finish and make every damn, stupid little piece as you go, you will quickly grow old and die before you get much done. But if you can make some of the common stuff 4 or 6 at a time so that they're ready when you need 'em, your life will be that much more pleasant. Plus, it's the kind of thing you can do when you have an hour or two to kill here or there.

I've also been wanting to try out an oval deck. I've decided in no uncertain terms that oval is sexy. Gonna be gettin' pretty heavy into oval, I think.

Hot 'n sexy:

Sexy and Straight-Lace, hot-tubbing:

So anyway, I can kind of feel the rack tension. Not quite exactly sure what's gonna be happening or when, but I have a sense that the Rackufacture shop is gonna be putting out some cool shit in 2010.


Alan Jacob said...

Now that you've got an oval-shaped thing, I'm sure you're ready to throw in for a carbon fiber set up. And then you'll be making some sweet racks, like this one. (And yes, it does sell for over $170 and carries no more than 11 pounds. Ridiculous.)

Anonymous said...

Me likey

Eric said...

Very nice Pat! By the way how's those pink pin stripes coming??

Pat S said...

Alan, thanks for alerting me to the competition. $179 for a measly 11# payload. That works out to $16.27 per pound. LMAO. I could do $15 and change, easy. What a loser. (Although not sure why the loser is sitting by a pool and I'm here in Spo freezing my ass off.)

Thanks, Anon. Me too.

Eric, be careful what you wish for. Although I've heard that pink is the new yellow.