Tuesday, June 24, 2014

350Z Custom Hand Brake Handle

I worked on the parts for this hand brake slowly off and on for 6 months or so and then had them sitting in my garage for another few months before I finally got them installed.  The hand brake in the Z has always bothered me as something that just doesn't fit the rest of the interior all that well so I wanted to change it.  My original goal was to make something that was fairly easy to install.  While not terribly difficult to install this certainly was not easy so in that sense I failed. On the other hand, I think mine looks a lot better so in that sense, I succeeded.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Beer Can Mounted GPS Speedometer

I recently bought a Speedhut GPS speedometer for the rat rod Willys that I'm building.  They are really cool speedos that you customize to a certain extent when you buy them.  I went with a small one to column mount for something a little different.  I decided to house it in a beer can.  It fits perfectly!  I was able to get a bunch of empty (never filled) cans from one of the local microbreweries for the project which made mounting it much easier since the empties came without tops on them.  I did have to fab a clamp and post for it since the can is so thin but it all went together pretty smoothly.

Rat Rod Brake and Clutch Pedals

I recently made these pedals for the rat rod I'm building at home.  I machined down a bunch of once fired 50 cal BMG brass and pressed them in.  They bolt on so I had to do some fab work on my pedal arms but they look really good!  I also used a Beretta shotgun but plate to make my gas pedal.  The pics aren't the greatest but you get the idea.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

350Z Shifter Trim Ring

I made another part for my Z.  It's a nice push fit and comes back off easily but stays in place well too.

If you would like one of these trim rings, leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can.  I have not made any extras of these so it will take me a little time to make one for you.  I can custom ano them as well.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

350Z Auto Shift Knob Assembly Instructions

Remove the OE shift knob.

Remove the extender.


Screw the Retainer onto the bottom of the knob and set it on the shifter shaft.  With it sitting as far down as it will go without pushing down on it, mark the bottom of the assembly on the shaft.

Take the knob off of the shaft.  Unscrew the retainer from the bottom of the knob and slip it back over shaft.  Slip the collar over the shaft with the tapered end down.  Then pull the retainer up until the bottom is even with the mark you made on the shaft.  With the collar sitting in the tapered seat in the retainer, tighten the set  screws.  Make sure that all 4 of the set screws are tight.  Don't tighten them to the point that they crush the shaft but make sure that they are tight.

Set the spring on top of the collar.

Put the knob on and screw the retainer onto it.

Check to make sure that the knob pushed down far enough to shift.  Also check to make sure that it retracts far enough to allow the key to be when you put it in park.

You can change the spring out with other springs from the hardware store if you want a softer or firmer push.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

350Z Auto Shift Knobs

Here are a few versions of an auto shift knob that I made for my 350Z.  I think they came out pretty well.  They're way better than the stock one, that's for sure.

If you are interested in purchasing one of my shift knobs, I have the bare aluminum version listed on eBay.  You can also leave a comment here with your email address and I will get back to you.  I will not publish your address of course.  I am open to doing moderate custom work as well.

Here it is in bare aluminum.

Here is it anodized black.

Black with the grooves machined in after ano.

This one is a custom order that I did that is sort of a Nismo
manual shift knob clone.

Here is custom gold ano.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Damascus Fillet Knife

This is a knife that I did a few years ago now. Since my daughter was born, I have only made two knives. This was the first and the second was another of the santoku knives. Anyway, I have finally gotten around to posting this one.

The blade is another twist damascus blade by Grand Leavitt. The handle is stabilized spalted box elder burl and matches the blade perfectly. The bolster is a piece of stabilized maple burl with a line of ebony between them.

It's a really nice blade, a little thicker than more traditional fillet blades and therefore not as flexible but it feels great in the hand non-the-less. I think that overall, this is one of my favorite knives that I have made because the burl and damascus work so well together.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Angular Spiral Speakers

These are my newest speakers. I have made a couple of other sets that I haven't posted here. I finally got tired of the huge towers that I had before and, at the same time had a bit of time to put these together. The box layout is designed by Masaaki Takenaka. I would post a link to his design but his website seems to be down-or at least the part of it that has this design on it. Anyway, these use Fostex fe166 full range drivers. I have had these drivers for quite awhile now and have been constantly impressed with how well they perform for their cost and size. The cabinets that I made are solid 4/4 maple with solid 4/4 walnut and maple front baffles. I sanded them down to 600 grit and finished them with 3 coats of wipe on ploy gloss. The finish work out very well and really makes the bits of figure in the maple pop.

I'm still getting used to the sound as these speakers are much more analytical than what I had before. I do like the detail that they give and the bass is quite impressive for coming from 6 inch drivers.

The Hubless Fly Reel

I finally managed to build this reel! I've been toying with the idea for over 3 years now and finally got the design together and cut the parts. When I was first thinking of this reel, there was only one hubless reel that I could find on the market. That company seems to be out of business now but there are a number of others that have started making hubless reels of various flavors since then.

The main ideas behind this reel are simplicity, lite weight and eye appeal. I first thought that I was going to make something with a fancy drag with and a clutch bearing and all the frills that go with that concept. After looking around and getting the general feeling that everyone making reels these days seems to be doing exactly that, I decided to head in the opposite direction all together. This reel has only a simple clicker to keep it from over spooling and a rim for palm dragging. It is 3.5 inches in diameter with a 2.25 inch bore all the way through the center and it weighs in at less than 4.5 oz. which is pretty good for a large arbor reel. I have been fascinated with idea of hubless reels and hubless wheels for a while now and love the minimalist look of the design.

I made every part in the reel except for the screws and the spring plungers used for the clicker. The bearings are all made from Delrin AF which is an acetyl co-polymer impregnated with PTFE fibers. The main parts are all aircraft grade aluminum and the counter weight is titanium (just because...).

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Damascus Dagger

Here is my first attempt at a dagger. I did a number of new things on this knife so it was challenging and a good learning experience for me. The blade is about 5" long and is high carbon damascus. It was hand made in Idaho by Grand Leavitt.

The guard is a sandwich of brass and aluminum held together with nickel silver pins. I file worked the aluminum center and polished the whole thing to a mirror finish. I like the softer look of the polished aluminum over the cold shine of stainless for this application.

The handle is ancient kauri wood. This wood is the oldest workable wood in the world and has been radio carbon dated to around 50,000 years old. It was found buried in peat bogs in New Zealand and is now mined for use in fine wood working. The extreme age of this wood makes it an interesting conversation piece. It has a depth and glow that doesn't show in the photos but that gives it a very unique look and feel. Apparently, the wood was mineralized to a certain degree without being petrified while it was buried in the peat and that adds to the glow. In any case, it is a very beautiful wood and it fun to work with. I split the handle to make a mitered tang fit and accented the joint with wenge and maple veneer stripes. I used a manzanita root spacer and butt cap and finished it off with mosaic pins.

I also made my first wooden sheath for this knife. It is bird's eye maple, again with a wenge and maple veneer stripe and manzanita cap. It is made to be a presentation sheath so there is no belt loop or clip. It has very smooth and clean lines and has a nice friction fit on the blade.

Over-all, I think that this is my best work to date. It was a fun project and I am looking forward to doing more presentation fixed blade knives.

Another Santoku

This is another santoku using the stainless damacus san mai blade from Jantz. These blades are really nice. My wife and I both really like the one that I made for her. This one is made with stabilized box elder burl from AKS that has a bit of rare red spalting in it. The burl pattern is a bit different than most of the other box elder burl that I have seen. I think that it really works well with the knife.

Small Damascus Fishing Knife

This is a small fixed blade fishing knife that I made for my dad. The blade, from Jantz, is damascus carbon steel and is about 2 1/2" long. The handle is exhibition grade curly maple with a manzanita root butt cap. I split the maple block down the center to make a mitered tang handle. Rather than trying to hide the seam where the wood was glued back together, I accented it with a layer of maple veneer sandwiched between layers of wenge. I used a single mosaic pin to finish things off. The knife is small but feels good in the hand. It's a fairly different style for me but I really like the way it came out.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cruiser Bike

I recently got an older Nirve Inferno cruiser bike. It's a really cool bike and was begging for some modification. So far, I have made new pedals for it and I made handle bar caps and an inside grip cap for it. The pedals are really nice for riding since I made them way over sized from what came with the bike. I think they add a bit more character to it too. The bar caps and grip cap replace some cheep chromed plastic ones. They are way better visually and feel so much more solid. I'm sure that there will be more custom parts for it whenever I get time.

I'll be adding pics of the bike and the grips pretty soon.

Yet Another DDR2

Here is my latest DDR2. I used mazanita root again for the scales. The bolsters are the ones that came with the kit but I counter sunk them for flathead screws and ground the screws flush with the surface then jeweled the whole thing. I also file-worked the screws and liners, jeweled the liners, and added a manzanita backspine.

There are also photos of this knife on the knifekits.com website! This knife appears in gallery 2.