The Former West Coast Choppers Building


I was recently traveling through Long Beach, CA and came across the former West Coast Choppers building where renowned fabricator Jesse James ran his business. The building is now home to a thrift store, but still has the original gate and door from West Coast Choppers, quite impressive fabrication.former west coast choppers building long beach ca
west coast choppers jesse james gate long beach california

Local Rat Rod


Happened to see this rat rod drive past the other direction on me and after running errands, we had to pick up my daughter and saw it again parked at the school we were picking her up from.rat rod

TroyBilt Mower Deck Repair – Spindle Mount


This one was a chain reaction of events.  It started when I mowed over a rock that is mostly in the ground, only sticking out what would seem an inch or two above the ground.  I’ve gone over this rock before without any problems, but one of the first mowing days of the season when the grass was still fairly tall, I managed to hit it wrong which forced the spindle to pull threw metal mounting whole of the mowing deck.

While looking for a replacement spindle, I found these reinforcement steel plate rings. I previously reinforced one of the other spindle mounts with plate steel we cut out with a plasma cutter.

More to come on this project…

troybilt mower deck spindle
Here was the initial damage, 2 bolts pulled through the mower deck sheet metal (left and right). Notice the cast broke off in the upper mount area as well.

reinforcement plate for mounting mower deck spindles IMG_6677

Ripsaw EV2 Luxury Super Tank – This Thing Belongs in the Bat Cave!


I remember coming across a video of the original Ripsaw tracked vehicle built by a pair of brothers several years ago.  They’ve built several other vehicles since then, and one of the latest out of the Howe and Howe Tech shop is their Ripsaw EV2 Luxury Super Tank.  It looks like it already comes in black and is ready to park in the bat cave!

Where this was filmed looks similar to Christmas Valley Sand Dunes in Oregon, but I’m guessing it might have been on the East Coast.

18ft Custom Fabricated Sliding Gate

custom steel gate temporary install

This one is currently under construction, materials used:

  • 2×2 boxed steel with 1/8″ wall thickness
  • Galvanized welded wire grid

Do You Use NissanConnectEV (Formerly CARWINGS)? Important Service Changes From Nissan…

nissanconnect ev discontinued 2g service of the former carwings

Letter From Nissan

A friend of mine who is leasing a 2014 Nissan LEAF received this letter in the mail notifying him of changes to the NissanConnectEV program. As an owner of used LEAF, I did not receive any notification, so I thought I’d post a copy of his letter to share with others who may not have received one.

What is NissanConnectEV?

Formerly called CARWINGS, NissanConnectEV is an app that you can download for Android or iOS, you must also activate through Nissan.  It allows you to check the progress of your charge, turn your climate control on remotely, monitor your driving habits, and more. Additional information can be found on Nissan’s Connect site.

Don’t Already Have ConnectEV, But Think You Might Want It?

If you don’t already use the free NissanConnectEV, but would like to, you must sign up to activate the service before June 30th, 2016 to be able to use the 2G network service through December 31st, 2016.

Looking for a set of ratcheting wrenches? 50% off sale at Sears!

craftsman ratcheting wrenches speed wrench

Sears has both their Craftsman and Gearwrench and ratcheting wrenches for 50% off. A 20-piece Craftsman ratcheting wrench set normally sells for $119.99 is no $59.99, and a 20-piece Gearwrench set which retails for $99.99 is marked down to $49.99.

An Insanely Fast Vintage Mustang Converted to Electric


A 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback, high performance EV conversion muscle car. Racing at the Texas Mile and more information on this EV beast. They claim this car is capable of 1500hp!


Considering a Used Nissan LEAF Electric Car? Check out this comparison of years and models…

nissan leaf emblem

A friend of mine sent this link to me, it’s a very comprehensive comparison of features and things to look for if you’re considering getting a used Nissan LEAF.  Several Nissan LEAF’s are showing up in the used car market, especially ones that were under a 3-year lease.  This article can might persuade you to look at a certain year or model over a different one.  Certainly worth the read for anyone considering jumping into the used Nissan LEAF market.

Custom DIY Steel Gates – The 52″ Four-Foot Gate

custom metal gate tack welded
All vertical slots tack welded into place

Custom DIY Steel Gates – The 52-incher

Updated 1/15/16 (Locking Latch Installed)

After receiving a quote from the fence installers and not feeling warm and fuzzy with the price or options, we opted to go the DIY steel gate route.  These custom DIY steel gates will be used for our backyard, and won’t be considered “driveway entry” gates.  You can read about our Fence for Life Concrete fence review if you haven’t already seen it.  One option offered to us were plastic gates along with some pre-built metal gates, but both seemed a bit overpriced.  I was also concerned with possible UV damage on the plastic gate over time.  A slope for one of our gate locations also had me concerned about the pre-built route.

The Project:  I’m actually going to be building two separate, custom DIY steel gates. One is for a 16 foot wide opening and the other is a smaller, 4 foot opening.  For the 4 foot wide opening, the gate itself will be 52″ wide.  I’m going with a fairly basic design, keeping the custom DIY steel gates simple, with a focus on function over form.  While there’s plenty of pre-made decorative wrought iron gate pieces that we could weld in, the goal on this project was to keep both the design, construction, and cost as minimal as possible.