The Golden Super Cruise May edition

Each year we try to make it out to the Golden Super Cruise. It is just a huge gathering of people with their car that they have been slaving over for years. This year we got out to this first cruise with beautiful weather and of course with a full belly since it was also the 3rd annual Crawfish Broil at my friend Andrea’s house. Anyhow, there isn’t much to say about this one, so check out some photos from the day.




















Be sure to check out photos from Last years Super Cruises here too (click here for a link to 2010)

Carbon EVO Dash… Part 1

Well, I always find my way into various projects. It is funny, the more things you say yes too the more that you can learn. So with that in mind I set off to make a new dash for the Kern Racing Pikes Peak EVO.

For those of you not familiar with this car, I have built a few parts for the Kerns already. Last year I worked on their Aero Package and in the last few years the Kerns, piloting this car, have held the record for the Time Attack 4wd class at Pikes Peak. This team is unstoppable with the proper equipment and I am happy to be able to help them with their quest.

This year they are switching to Pikes Peak Open. This allows them a few more options in lightening the vehicle. Weight is a huge advantage in racing. Lotus has a saying “performance through light weigh” this saying just means that you don’t need as much power if you have less to move. So with the new possibilities every option needs to be considered. So Dave has been working on ideas. Remove brackets, replace windows with lexan, remove lights, remove dash…. wait. We can’t remove the dash, we need that to block reflections from the windshield. we need it to hold critical components like the speedometer and switches that we need. So instead it needs to be a composite dash of some sort. Now to give you an idea, the current dash weighs in at 38lbs. That is a lot of weight! Why does it weight that much you ask? Well, glovebox, vent plumbing, plastic bits, tabs, mounting brackets and more stuff that isn’t needed in a race car all add up pretty fast. With a carbon dash, we should be able to get that down to about 2 lbs! 36lbs of weight savings!

So to start I began with the original dash. This is to provide the form of the dash that we will end up with rather than try to duplicate it out of foam. The first steps were to mount this to a board, and begin creating the form of the underside of the dash. This dash will have a slightly different shape than the original in order to minimize material and make it very stiff and light.

Carbon Dash Project

I started shaping the foam and coating it with bondo in order to create a nice solid surface to create the mold from. Any factory dash is going to have texture to it and I needed to eliminate that texture. So coating it with bondo while starting to fill in the holes was pretty crucial. We are eliminating all of the vents on this dash except for the defrost vent. This one we will still need!

Carbon Dash Project

Carbon Dash Project

After the first layers of bondo a lot of sanding goes on, I kept smoothing this thing down so that the dash shape stays the same. I don’t want to lose the form of the dash while slathering it with all this bondo, so I figure work my way up slowly. Once I got to a point that I felt comfortable I started filling in gaps. Vents on the sides were the first stop.

Carbon Dash Project

The vent holes on the front needed to be filled next, so a piece of foam went in and bondo was applied over top. This is a bit complicated because we really want to make sure the shape holds true to the shape that the dash gives us already. The last thing I’d want is for someone to be able to identify where the vents were at one point.


Slowly I built up layers and sanded them back to get the shape correct. Over a few attempts I got this thing pretty close.


I am sure you can see that there are a lot of colors going on now. Primer grey, bondo (grey), glazing putty (white) and the actual dash (black). All these colors start taking away the visual cues of the lines that you are looking for when you are trying to make a part. So the best plan is always to coat it again every once and a while. get a good idea what it looks like in one color and start working hard at the areas that need improvement. I knew that I wasn’t ready to be done, but I really wanted to see where I needed to work the hardest so I did a quick coat of primer. Nice and heavy and this time I did black so it would give a good visual indicator.




I am sure you can see that there are some inconsistencies in this thing. It isn’t perfect by any means and it isn’t perfectly straight or anything. But this is getting very close. I have a bit more sanding to do, I have a bit more bondo to do and hopefully in the next day or two I will be able to finish up this part of the project so I can start waxing it and pulling a mold off this buck. Check back for the next part. If you have any questions, post them up! I’ll try to answer them.



Oh, notice as well, all the seams are filled, all the switch locations are filled and everything is pretty close to smooth. Details are next!

Check out Part 2 of this project here

AXYS Vehicle concept

I was fortunate enough to be selected to be part of the AXYS vehicle concept design and build team. This is a hand selected program at Metro State College of Denver. The premise of this project is to build an entire composite vehicle, design all the elements of the vehicle (except the body shape) and present the vehicle to the public by the spring of 2010.

Side Rendering

The presentation portion of this will be a soft presentation, the vehicle will not be fully functional at that time and the interior will not be completed, but most of the design should be finished and the vehicle should be presentable enough to show off what it is going to be in the end.

Overall this is quite the process there is an incredible amount of work to do including sanding, finishing and forming this whole thing by hand. The vehicle is going to be a two seat vehicle that leans in corners. Here is a quick rendering of the vehicle from its initial design.

Side Rendering

We are working on a website for the project right now as well. The URL is and I invite you to check it out. Once the site is up and running we should have updates regularly to keep you informed!

In the mean time, we will be laying up fiberglass and sanding down bondo more frequently than you can imagine!


Lakewood Cultural Center: Furniture show

About a month ago I received a call about a chair I made a year ago. The call was asking whether or not I would be interested in putting my chair in a furniture show. OF COURSE! I would love to was my response! So lets talk about the chair.


I started this project for an “Intro to Woodworking” class at Metro. Chase Deforest was the professor for the class and she was encouraging people to make small tables for a final project. I was set on a chair. Not only that, but I like mixing media so I wanted to incorporate some aluminum with the project. So I started working on some sketches. The chair developed quickly with a large heavy footprint and a light open seating area. I choose Hard Maple, Aluminum and 1/2 inch clear acrylic for my materials list.

The construction went fairly smooth. Large exposed joints came together to form the legs and the arm rails. Hours in the machine shop passed by as I machined the standoffs and the acrylic…well, I ordered that.

When I designed the standoffs I did so with the intention of learning how to make them. Every part I design at this point I do in order to learn how to make it. When I approached John, a good friend of mine, about the project he said “no problem!” So he showed me the Radius tool that he has and how to use it. I machined all the pieces pretty quickly.

Machine shop, radius tool
Machine shop, radius tool

Construction went smoothly and the chair came together quickly. The standoffs turned out perfect!

Completed standoff
Completed standoff

After assembling the chair the next challenge was to actually sit on it. What happens if it breaks! It is a bit disconcerting to sit on a clear acrylic seat for the first time, but I sat down and was pleasently surprised. It worked! In fact it worked very well.

Completed chair
Completed chair

The chair is currently in the Lakewood Cultural center. A reception was held earlier this month to allow artists to talk to visitors about the pieces.

Lakewood cultural center
Lakewood cultural center

Now I am working on a few new projects, hopefully I will be able to make time to get them done too!