Category Archives: Automotive

Kerry's black walnut truck bed

A New Bed for a Tired Truck

ABOVE: The completed truck bed in the remodeled 1953 Chevrolet 3100 pickup truck.

By Kerry Barnard

I purchased my 1953 Chevrolet 3100 pickup truck in 1975 from my best friend’s older brother. Years earlier, it had been the first vehicle I’d ever driven. For the next 29 years, it was stored outside and used sporadically. In 2004, I half-heartedly began restoring this truck and finally got serious about the project when I retired in 2018. Continue reading

The car camping screen, installed and ready to keep mosquitoes at bay.

DIY Window Screens for Car Camping

By Tom Pawlak — Retired GBI Technical Advisor

When I retired three years ago, I had plans to do a lot of camping. We have a small travel trailer that we love, yet there are times when camping alone that I prefer to keep things simple by leaving the trailer at home. Sleeping in the back of my small SUV works fine for me. There is even room to bring my canine pal along. Continue reading

carbon skinning a racecar dashboard

Carbon Skinning

By Jeff McAffer

It all started when I got a new 360-degree camera for my racecar. Mounted on the dash, it captures a really cool perspective that allows viewers to see forward, watch cars as I pass them, and to see what I’m doing (check it out at youtube.com/user/jeffmcaffer). Unfortunately, the dash produced considerable glare on the windshield. As you can see in the photo, it also had various holes and divots that were not useful in a racecar such as a coin tray, air conditioning vents, and extra switch panels. I wanted to fill those in. But how? Continue reading

A scrap of curved fiberglass panel was the perfect piece to extend the nose of the car body to match the new profile.

Building Composite Parts

Using a car body mold to modify a race car demonstrates this approach to building composite parts using different kinds of molds.

By Don Gutzmer – GBI Technical Advisor

Featured image (above): A scrap of curved fiberglass panel was the perfect piece to extend the nose of the car body to match the new profile.

Creating things has been a passion of mine over the years, and I continue to improve my skills and grow more proficient at building composite parts. I also enjoy the challenge of helping others create one-off composite parts. I’m happy to share some of the materials and techniques I’ve used over the years to build composites with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy and provide an example of a recent project. Continue reading

Packard woody wagon repaired with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy.

Readers’ Projects, Issue 49

Packard Wagon Restoration

Packard woody wagon panels

This is the Packard wagon I am redoing the wood on. Some of the original wood will be reused. I bleached all the wood before I varnished it so it will match. On the panels, I used 105 Resin and 207 Special Clear Hardener to epoxy the mahogany veneers to the steel door panels. I clamped them by vacuum bagging them. —Jeff Hobgood

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Daniel's grandson taking his new car and boat with trailer for a spin.

Chris Craft Baby Runabout

by Daniel Laeyendecker

I designed this project by scaling down a Chris Craft runabout from pictures I found online.

Hull and Drive Assembly

I started with five rib frames and a center beam temporarily mounted upside-down on a workbench. I glued and stapled the ¼” x ¾” bead-and-cove pine strips to the ribs. Once all the strips were installed, I removed the staples and sanded the hull smooth for the heat-activated 2″ mahogany strips I’d apply later.

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Modern Vardo

Building the Modern Vardo

By Greg Ryan

This vardo was an exciting project and design collaboration with my friend Jill. Recently retired, she and her husband were looking for adventure and a home away from home.

Jill and I studied vardos (Romani wagons), modern RV’s, train cars and tiny homes, borrowing elements from each. This vardo is only 8′ x 12′ yet has a queen size bed, bathroom, refrigerator, hot and cold running water, holding tanks, a furnace, AC/DC electricity, a fold-down porch, and plenty of storage. It is solar-powered and completely self-contained. The wagon is insulated as well. Continue reading

One Small Trailer & a Teardrop

Home-built camping trailers

By Mike Lance

These two trailer projects came about after my good friend Orrin and I had been messing around with WEST SYSTEM products for the past forty years. After building and racing a hydroplane in the Seventies, we built a 21′ cedar strip two-person kayak in 1980 and an 18’6″ cedar strip canoe in 1981. In 1981 we placed second in the 320-mile canoe race across New York state using our kayak. Both boats are shown in May/June 1985 edition of The Boatbuilder, Gougeon’s precursor to Epoxyworks.

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First Place winner at MITES

Pedal Car

By Jon Fox

Epoxyworks 41

Cover Photo: First place winner at MITES at both the regional and state level.

For the past two years, the Drafting/Pre-Engineering class I teach at Tuscola Technology Center in Caro, Michigan has been invited to participate in a contest sponsored by Summit Racing.  Students build a custom pedal car that is displayed and judged at the AutoRAMA show at Cobo Hall in Detroit. Summit Racing either supplies participating schools with one of their stock pedal cars which can be modified and customized, or students may build their entry from scratch. We constructed our entry from scratch both years. Our first car was inspired by the Delehaye roadster and built of aluminum in an Art Deco style. Continue reading

Blake jumps with his motocross bike

The Carbon Fiber Look

By Daryl Burnett

I was talking to my friend Blake Rivard about doing something different for his motocross bike. We settled on a carbon fiber airbox (air filter cover). On his bike, the airbox sits just below the handlebars where the gas tank usually is. I started with removing the plastic piece and cleaned it so no dirt would be present in the final product.  The original airbox would serve as a mold for the finished piece. Continue reading