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Thursday, 27 May 2010 22:33

Building a Custom Trophy for ‘The School of the Year’

Written by Rich Evans
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This month we’re going to cover a little different category than repair steps and procedures or building hot rods or repairing vehicles We’re going to talk about getting creative and using your mind to build with car parts.  I wrote a column in Autobody News (Sept. 09) about building a trophy for a Long Beach car show which was a big charity event last year. Ed Sunkin, an editor from Tomorrow’s Technician (a Babcox company), contacted me saying “I read that article on that trophy you built. We’ve got this school of the year award coming up and we wanted to know if you want to build a trophy?”

I said “You know what, I’m into it. I dig stepping away from everyday routine and trying out something different. I actually had fun when I built the trophy for the Long Beach Car show.”

I started wrapping my head around it and with help from Chicago Pneumatics and Tomorrow Technician, also WIX had joined us for this, our third year into this event and contest. This year there were more than 300 applications nominating more than 163 schools, the four finalists were Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, CO; Caddo Career and Technical Center, Shreveport, LA; Spokane Community College, Spokane, WA; and Carroll County Career & Technology Center, Westminster, MD.

We wanted to build something cool as a trophy so instead of something made out of plastic, we used car parts; parts that are junk and ready to throw away. I just looked around the shop, found a couple pistons laying around, found a brake shoe, found some cut coils, scavenged up some sparkplugs, and then had a traditional Rich Evans logo, or Huntington Beach Bodyworks shield, cut out of metal that hypertherm had cut out at a previous SEMA show. I found an old generator that was stripped out, has the pulley on it and the pulley is made out of cast so I had to think ‘how am I going to weld that?’ Then I scrounged up a few drill bits and headed over to a local metal material shop and bought a metal ball and some design metal stamp feather-looking leaves that would look good in a trophy. Then hunted in my garage to see what kind of toy cars that I had laying around, had a ‘51 Merck. I also had a Chicago Pneumatics 7740 impact wrench and I called John from Ray Ward and asked him to get a hold of a WIX filter. I wanted to incorporate that into the trophy as well as the traditional logo for Tomorrow’s Technician School of the Year/Chicago Pneumatics and so I got a copy of the artwork and a piece of stainless steel. I blew up the photo of the artwork and got it symmetrically proportioned for the size of the trophy I was going to build and cut a half-inch piece of stainless steel to weld it to the trophy. Obviously I would need to weld it to the trophy before I could paint on the face of it so that’s the last step of the project. So accumulating all these parts, I’ve got to figure out what my base is going to be, and when I did the other build for the Long Beach car show I used the pistons. I didn’t want to make the same trophy, but I liked the platform and I incorporated the two pistons for the back part of the trophy so it would be the base, and also incorporated the pulley with the generator/alternator hardware—so that it would spin. I had a few obstacles to figure out. I knew I wanted the trophy to spin at the top, right above the leaf spring but I had nothing to weld onto the pulleys so what I did is I drilled some holes in the pulley, found some bolts that I could weld to and found the positions where I needed to weld to stabilize everything. I took the logos, welded them to the bolts so it was the facing of the of the trophy and then I was able to take two half-inch drill bits and weld them to the other two bolts that I drilled through the pulley and use that to stabilize the base to the pistons. Then I used a brake shoe to wrap around the back to stabilize the two pistons, so it kind of anchored them together. Then I welded the coil spring to the additional pulley that I had on top, and brought a half of a circle which I covered the top of the coil spring with. I took four spark plugs; I thought it was cool to incorporate those on the inside of the coil spring, welded those in, and from that top I took a piece of fence decorative metal and use that to gain a little bit more height. I placed the ball on top of that, welded it, secured it, saw another place for the other spark plug which would be a single one that would go between that decorated piece of metal.

Then I made a stand for the ‘51 Merc and placed that using two mounting points. I took a piece of stainless steel, mounted it to the car and then took a piece of stainless steel round tubing tacked it, then took the plate back off the car, re-welded it. The model car is plastic on the bottom so if you weld it, it’s going to heat it up and cause your mounting bolts to melt. Then you won’t have a secure base to mount to. So after going back and forth with tha,t I took these feathers, which only come one way so I twisted them to complement the car and centered them in front of the car after mounting the car on the top of the trophy. One’s a little lower than the other, but they’re both centered, if you look at it side-by-side. They kind of complemented the car and made it look more trophy-ish.

Then I searched and found a lug nut from a semi-truck where the washer turns, so I thought I wanna see the WIX filter be able to be manually turned and so I welded the base of the head of the lug nut to half of the metal ball and welded the washer portion to the filter first so that it would have a pivot so you could move it.  I took the Chicago Pneumatics 7740 and welded that to the ball so it displayed. What this trophy represents is Chicago Pneumatics, and WIX. I welded my stainless steel plate to the front of the trophy. I painted the face of that logo black. I used my plotter to cut out the art and basically I just had to use white and I used a little bit of red for the CP logo.

I shot two coats of clear over that and added my name and logo for Rich Evans Designs. Then I did a little bit of work with the CP engraver and engraved “Building for Life” on the front of the trophy and signed it. At this point I had a three-and-a-half-foot trophy.

Looking back on it, it doesn’t take a lot of time but it’s the creativity you put behind it. It tells a story without words.

I’d like to see some of you guys get out there and gather up some scraps, some old car parts and create your own trophy and submit them to me. Email photos to R.Evans@huntingtonbchBodyworks.com.

The first two people that send me photos of a trophy they attempted will receive a traditional billet Huntington Beach Bodyworks logo, which you can place as a grill or pretty much anywhere. I’m sure you’ve seen it on the front of my vehicles, It’s worth over 100 dollars.

I will present this to you as a contest of creativity of you putting your efforts in and taking the time to build something cool. I just want you guys try it and just to set aside all work and just have fun with it. I’m interested in seeing you guys get creative and also having fun doing it. I had a blast, you know I’ve put maybe three hours into this trophy, counting an extra hour for the art, but you don’t have to go to that extent. Just gather up some old parts, tools, whatever and create something. I want to see you guys get creative.

I’d like to write about it in one of my upcoming columns. It’s a good way to get a little recognition for yourself and a good way to have fun at doing something besides just fixing cars or building hot rods and just kind of think outside the box.

I’m looking forward to seeing couple guys step up. Hopefully I get more than a few, and I’ll be more than glad to display any trophies that that have been built by any individual out there on my website and also in one of my future columns.

The best part is that this was shipped out to the school of the year winner, Caddo Career and Technology Center in Shreveport, Louisiana. Caddo Career and Technology Center took home $10,000 worth of Chicago Pneumatic Tools as the winner of the 2010 School of the Year competition.

Caddo is a high school and this is the first time a high school has won the award. When I went out there I was very, very impressed with the setup that they had and their instructors. I told these guys that they’re definitely one step ahead of the next high school I’m aware of and that’s due to having a well-organized facility. Gary Weese and Mike Falkner are the instructors and they founded the program at the Caddo center. They built the foundation of their award-winning program on real-life experience which is which is phenomenal and that is what everybody needs.

So hats off to you guys. They’re not a college. They’re a high school and I’m very impressed with everything they’ve going over there. The kids there are definitely very fortunate to be one step ahead of going to college and getting all this real-life experience.

I had to build a crate to ship it off to the school. I flew back there on the 27th of April for a one-day visit and enjoyed myself.

Any schools or colleges that are not familiar with the school of the year go to Chicagopneumatics.com and then look for the school year or get yourself  Tomorrow’s Technician magazine and that will give you all the details about it. I’d like to see more students sign up for that. It’s a very good program. You get to get out and see all the different schools and colleges and what they’re doing and be involved with the colleges as well.

Next week we will be back to steps and procedures of repairing or hot-rod. I think we’ll get back on the Thunderbird. I should finalize that project so you guys can see the final repair, completed project.

I’d like to thank my sponsors, Chicago Pneumatics, MicroFlex, all the guys who give me the tools I need to do and create safely. 3M is a big part of my daily routine. Everybody picks up a 3M product almost every day so I’m thanking the companies out there for putting better products in our hands and saving us time. Time is money. Take Care.

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