Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Playing in Photoshop

I got a new camera and was playing with it at the shop Saturday. It is SO much better, the pics are sharper, the colors better and it has some cool built in filters. I used an "aging" filter to take this pic of Nick sitting on Stewie's Shovel.

Basic untouched photo except for resizing to fit the blog.

Desaturated and adjusted the contrast. The clarity of the original makes this SO much better than what I was able to do with the old camera. Cropped a little as well.

Cropped for effect.

Adjusted the threshold to make it look like a drawing sort of. I like doing this, it is how I make the bike pictures I use for my t-shirt designs.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The First Tank Shane Ever Painted...

I've shown you some of Shane's paint work before, but this one is the VERY first one he tried. For a guy who had never tried to do any custom painting I think this job shows his extreme natural ability to master damn near any artistic medium. He meant for it to have a semi flat appearance so it is supposed to be "not glossy". What a great non-standard paintjob on a fun little non-standard bike.

Top - those scales would have driven me crazy trying to paint. I've tried to mask off a sporty tank before and all of those curves really make it hard to get everything even.

Side view, you can also see a little of the seat which was his first attempt at tooling leather. Sometimes I really hate Shane ;-)

Just an all around cool little bike.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Radio Controlled Helicopter Fly In

Saturday before I hung out with the GarCo crew I met some of my buddies from the Southern Cruisers and we took a nice 50 mile ride to get to an R/C helicopter fly in that was about 5 miles from my house. It was a beautiful morning and we ended up having a good time. Most of the helicopters are the spindly little stunt type but my favs were the realistic models of real helicopters. Of course since I was a Crewchief oh UH-1 Hueys for almost 10 years when I was in the Army that's to be expected.

We got a good parking spot right by the flight line.

Bad ass OH-58D replica turns in for the attack.

The detail on this model was incredible!

Video of it flying.

Nice Huey model. I didn't get to see it fly, but it sure looked good. He even had G.I. Joe type figures inside for realism.

You can see it's a replica of a B model, but I still liked it even if I crewed H models.

SUPER detailed Jet Ranger (civilian version of the OH-58) getting ready to fly. 

This aircraft was super detailed right down to the interior having seatbelts both front and rear as well as all the doors and cowling working like the real thing. He also uses an electric motor so that it has that cool whine like a turbine engine. I was super impressed with this one.

Once again I was blown away by the realism of this model. Check it out starting up and flying around. By the way, the rotor did not really slow down and start turning backwards it is a trick of the video. I told the owner that he should go out to the Talledega Nat. Forest and fly over the pot fields to mess with the growers out there, He said he would but he was afraid they'd shoot it down.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Great Saturday, Full Of Chopper Goodness!

Saturday was a REALLY good day. I started out by meeting up with some of the Southern Cruisers on Hwy 119 near the HD dealer and from there we rode about 50 miles to get to an R/C helicopter fly in that was about 5 miles from my house. Gotta love that! I'll post pics from there later on. I hung out there until around lunch time then headed on over to Heart of Dixie HD (where I used to work and basically where I had started the day from) to meet up with the Garage Company Customs crew for some lunch. We were surrounded by RUBs, but there were also a lot of different patch-holders hanging out. I chowed down on a "rib steak on a stick" and it ROCKED!!! We all ate, looked around a few minutes then headed back over to the shop where I got the work done on the Sporty that you saw in the earlier post. Also Friday I got my new camera, my old one is quite a few years old and getting tired. I had to smack it most of the time to make it work and I didn't realize how much the quality had slipped until I saw the new pics. A great thing about this new camera is the strap actually goes around my neck not my wrist so I was able to play around and get a few good riding shots. Check em out and don't forget the big Chopper Show and Dice Party at the end of April!!!

Larry eating and Ashley playing on her phone as usual ;-)

Nick, Boozer, Ross and the back of Spenser's head. I REALLY did enjoy the steak on a stick, should have gotten a picture of it to help me remember just how good it was.

The Haints rolling out of the yuppy masses!

Yep, the same damn stoplight that I ALWAYS take our picture at. I included this one because it's the only one that I was able to get Ross and his Rice Rocket in.

Larry and Ashley on Dixie Wrecked.

Nick on his Willie's Tropical Tattoo Chopper Show "Best of Show" winning slabside shovel, Spenser on his "Best Shovel" at the same show bike and Larry & Ashley on the magazine feature bike. I tell you these guys have MAJOR talent and I'm happy they let my old ass hang around. 

Nick & Spenser

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Made A Little Progress On the Photo-Chopper

Was a pretty productive day. The weather was great and I got to ride around this morning and do stuff. In the afternoon I managed to squeeze in some work on the Sporty. I got the brake disk and sprocket mounted and figured out the spacing on the rear wheel. The old chain that came with the bike was long enough for mock up and spacing. Spenser also welded on the kick stand for me so she can actually stand up on her own now. No more asking for help to put the block of wood under the frame. I'm starting to pick up some steam now so hopefully we'll see some REAL progress soon.

I LOVE seeing her stand on her own!

I think she's got a nice stance. Gonna be a sweet ride when I'm done.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Liberty Belle Was Back In Town!

Once again the Liberty Belle B-17 was back in town. This time they were at the Shelby County Airport instead of Bessemer so I had to drive a little to get there, but it was worth it. I LOVE these old warbirds! Last time I saw her I actually got to fly. It was incredible, luckily I didn't have to pay for it. This time around the B-17 is being accompanied by the Foundation's P-40 Warhawk like the ones used by the Flying Tigers. I didn't get to see it fly, I guess no one who was there when I was had an extra $950.00 to spare for a flight. If you get a chance to see these planes go see them and at least buy a souvenir, the money helps keep these pieces of history flying so that our kids don't forget what the great men who flew these did for us. For more info about this plane check out the Liberty Foundation

Taxiing in from a flight.

Taxiing out for a flight.

The Liberty Belle taxiing in after landing.

Liberty Belle starting her right side engines. They were in a hurry to squeeze in one more flight for the day so when they landed they only shut down the right side engines so that passengers could get out and new ones get on board. Here she is restarting the engines and moving out toward the runway.

Liberty Belle taking off. Here is this beautiful beast taking off. I LOVE the sound of a four engine bomber with radial engines. One day I'll get to fly with her again.

P-40 Warhawk and that famous shark mouth. I know we've seen the design a million times, but this is where it got famous.

Flying Tigers logo on the side of the plane.

The business office

I was surprised to get this picture. There were a LOT of people around and somehow the planets lined up and I snapped a pic when everyone was distracted.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Progress On The Triumph

Since the GarCo guys were out of town in Daytona this weekend I decided it was time to work on the Triumph again. Once I get it painted all I need to do is reassemble it and it'll be done (for now). I picked up a harbor freight blaster for $15 bucks (had to try it at that price) and got to work on the frame. The blaster did OK, it worked GREAT with little stuff like the front motor mount, but a whole frame is a little much for it, but I got done what I needed to do.

Here is the frame and the blaster set up outside the building where I work. It's nice to have a warehouse area with room to play at work.

Had to do some grinding and cutting int eh neck area to clean up where I had cut those damn plates out. Didn't make it perfect, but it looks better. The tank will hide this area any way and next year after the Sporty is finished I'll tear this one down again and fix it right as well as get her a real paint job.

Blasting away at it. I mostly wanted to get the grease and oil off and I accomplished that at least.

Making a big mess here. Even with goggles on I still had to flush my eyes when I was done and again this morning. That sand gets EVERYWHERE.

Got a nice coat of primer on here and a few coats of paint. I don't know if I like this color, but I'll wait a day or so and see if it grows on me.

This pics really shows what the paint looks like. I used Duplicolor Metal Specks paint. I like their stuff, but I'm not sure about this color yet. More pics later as I make some progress.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Slow Week This Week

Too many folks are in Daytona so it's a little slow around here. It seems like a good time to show off the great work Ross did shaving the legs on the new Sporty project. I posted the pics before where I had chopped off the big chunks. Later that week Ross threw these on his lathe and whittled them down to size and then added the sweet looking grooves near the bottom. I'm going to use a scotchbrite pad to scuff up the bottom areas where the lathe didn't get and then do the same to the shiny dust covers at the top. It should look sweet when I get done.

Aint those some slick legs?

Love the little details! The rings are nice and after I get the rest of it looking smooth with the scotchbrite pad it'll REALLY look good.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

75 XLCH From Back in the Day

This bike was built 20 years or so ago and then kept through the years to be given to the builders son recently. I haven't met the owner yet but I got the story and wanted to share this beautiful bike. It still runs after all these years and other than a shifting issue (bent shift fork?) it is ready to ride right now even after all these years. The bike is a 75 XLCH with a bolt on hard tail, springer fork and of course my favorite upswept fishtails. Hopefully this bike will stay in the family and see many more miles of fun on the road.

Classic style!

Diggin" those pipes!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Finished Project!

Well, it is FINALLY Done (for now). You saw the tank yesterday so here are pics of the complete bike. I've covered most of the cool parts of this bike before so I'll be brief with this one. Spenser used 4" over tubes on the Sporty front end, custom made GarCo bars, handmade stainless exhaust and sissy bar as well as a nice jockey shift set up. Bring you happy butt down South to the Dice party or make it to the BMR (Big Mtn Run) and you can see this beauty for yourself.

Nice old style chopper seat without the P-pad.

Good view of the jockey setup.

Love the lines on those pipes!


Givin' it hell!

Front tires last longer if they don't have to actually roll across the ground. I made this one my desktop background I like it so much.