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The First in the Deck Series

Our most recent DIY experience through the process.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Gotta love a new beginning, right?

Peppermint Shortage

Just a funny afternoon.

Coffeyville, KS

I loved this experience so much that I had to write about it. Then, through e-mails it spread to Coffeyville itself.

Photo Restoration

I had a lot of fun with this "old school" photo. It turned out too cool to not blog about it.

Kitchen Remodel (part one)

This is the first of a nine-part series documenting the remodel of our 50-year-old kitchen in our 100-year-old home!

'59 Ford Inspired DIY Forge

I bought a piece of 3/16" thick stock steel last week to make a couple of custom brackets to mount my '59 bed to my '84 frame.  These are the last of the brackets that I need for the body.  Woo hoo!  Mounting the body has proven to be a challenge and I'm glad that at least this part of the project is coming to a close.  It's been a fun learning experience, but I'm ready for the part that actually begins to make the truck functional again.

I already have the front two custom bed mounts and the rear two custom bed mounts in place and bolted.  The bed isn't going anywhere.  That's for sure.  However, I wanted to give the bed two more mounts in the center to ensure that there can be no allowance for warping it in the event I wind up carrying a heavy load which, inevitably no doubt, I will.

I measured and marked the pieces of metal where I wanted a 90-degree bend.  I began to shape it using a hammer and a large, thick piece of angle iron as an anvil.  I started to get the bend, but it wasn't going to be anywhere near a 90-degree angle.  It was going to curve instead with a fairly large radius regardless of how much I would try to convince it otherwise with the hammer.  I needed heat.

I watched a couple YouTube videos of people creating makeshift forges of their own with some pretty commonly found household items.  I looked around a bit and realized that I could make one.  If for no other reason at all, I'm glad I did this exercise just to know that it is now an option for me to create other items in the future.

The video is a small non-polished documentary of me trying it out.  I had never done this before and I openly admit in the video that I don't know what I'm doing.  However, it was a success.  I needed a compound bend with both brackets.  One is a mirror of the other one.  It's hard to tell from this photo, but I got the exact compound bend I was aiming for.  The only way I was going to get this 3/16" steel to bend this sharply was with heat or a very large metal brake.  Since I have no such metal brake (nor can afford one) but can make heat, I only truly had the one option.

With the '59 body mounted and ready to go, my next step is likely getting the steering column installed and secured to the dash.  Keep an eye out for the next update.


I don't normally write about marketed items that I find silly.  Though, if I did, I would have a seemingly infinite amount of topics to write about.  If you really consider most items you find in your local market for very long, you will likely conclude very quickly that the majority of what you see, you don't need.  But, there are also those items that clearly go beyond the 'unneeded' category and well into the realm of 'ridiculously unnecessary'.

I feel that the entire YETI line of products easily falls into this category.  I've been seeing this stuff everywhere.  First, there was a guy in my office who was showing off his new cup that he got from Sam's.  It's a YETI knock-off, but works just as well, he says.  Something about the acoustics of the office space I work in results in my ability to hear virtually every conversation that takes place on our floor.  So, I ended up being marketed by my co-worker's tales of keeping ice all day long in his cup despite multiple refills of water.  Over and over again, I overheard the boasts as he told everyone individually.

Then, on a visit to Race Brothers, a local farm & home store, to pick up some bolts and washers, I saw a large display of YETI products, most of which were wearable gear sporting the brand name, not the actual product.  I was confused.  Having a desire of keeping your drink cold, I get.  But buying a $50 hoodie that proudly displays the brand name of your $40 cup that keeps your drink cold is a bit asinine.

A couple days later, while waiting in traffic at a stoplight, I noticed that the Jeep in front of me had a YETI sticker in the back windshield.  This wasn't a graphic like you would see on a sales representative's vehicle, this was just some boob that was proud of his discretionary spending choice.

A family member of ours recently commented on the trend of water bottles.  It was a good observation.  She humorously pointed out that many people these days take a water bottle with them wherever they go.  "What are we?  A bunch of babies that can't be without our bottles?", she mused.  "We never carried bottles of water with us when we left home and none of us ever died of dehydration."

So, with the YETI, not only must we never be caught without our most beloved beverage, but we'll be able to keep it cold all day long for the low low price of a ridiculous amount of money.  Craigslist is even teeming with new and used YETI products.  When I saw this soft carry cooler for $350, I didn't doubt that this was probably a "deal" in comparison to the cost of a new one.  I found that they sell the new ones for $400.  These hold 32 12-ounce cans and keep them cool for $400.  I've never paid as much as $400 for a refrigerator let alone a cooler.

I also ran across this ad on Craigslist.  This person evidently left their $400 YETI cooler in the back of their truck while they slept at a local Days Inn.  Someone capitalized on the easy pickens along with their 6' aluminum ramps.  While I feel bad for them and hope that they do miraculously see their stolen goods returned, I sort of think that they should simply purchase some replacement steel ramps at Harbor Freight with a coupon for $50 and a nice cooler of similar size for $40, and save the remaining $410 they are offering for a reward. 

I don't mean to call anyone stupid for purchasing anything YETI.  I'm sure if someone looked at my life and all my purchases they could find plenty of things that I spent money on and didn't need, too.  I'm no better than the next consumer in the grand scheme of things, I'm sure.  I guess it's these moments in life that I realize the extent of the frivolous nature of American consumerism that I am floored by how meaningless some of our materialist fads can be.  And, perhaps, in my own way, I'm just trying to get others to practice some introspection of their own.

'59 Progress

The actual application of the front cab mounts have worked out exactly as planned.  I'm really happy with them.  They're really stiff and give the cab just the right amount of support.  I was a little worried that the offset would allow the cab to have too much vertical flex, but I was pleasantly surprised to find the cab to be just as solidly mounted to the new frame as it was on the old one.

I made the upper bushings out of an old tire.  This is an old trick used by all the older motorheads.  The resulting "bushing" is a little stiffer than the original rubber ones.  You can stack them like shims in the quantity that you need to get just the right height.  All you need is an old tire you don't mind destroying, a drill, and a 2" hole saw.  Also, just a tip, I stopped just short of cutting the tire all the way through with the hole saw all the way around.  If you cut it all the way then the resulting bushing goes up into the hole saw and has to be laboriously pried out.  Stopping just short allowed me to pull the drill out and then easily cut the last remaining threads with a utility knife.  I love a time saver.

The rear cab mounts are as solid as a rock.  I used two spare bumper brackets I had lying around.  I painstakingly managed to long bend both brackets to a 90 degree angle.  The cab is now level and fully secure to the frame.  Afterwards, I started leveling out the bed that my friend, Rodney, and I wrestled into place last Wednesday.  There's a line that runs the entire length of the 57-60 model Ford trucks that helps to get everything in proper alignment.  It also betrays you if you didn't line things up properly, so I'm taking my time getting it just right.

This part is getting pretty exciting because it's beginning to take shape and actually look like a truck again.  I can't hardly believe it but it's been since May of 2014 that I initially dismantled the body from its original frame.  Two and half years ago!  Some people don't own the same vehicle for that long let alone just the body parts to one.  So, needless to say, I'm getting more and more motivated with every new step that gets accomplished.

Check back soon for the next update.

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