The "2Loose" shop on Maui, Last Updated 1/10/09:

Here's my main shop space, back half of a 20x40 garage. Two car projects parked "semi-permanently" in the front 20x20: a really nice '55 Chevy hardtop, getting a "mini-tub job", a narrowed ford 9", and a built up LT1/6speed; and my '57 Olds 4dr hardtop, which needs a new motor and tranny! The rear 10x20 space is where I do most of my work, welding, engine disassembly, dirty work. On the right is another 10x20 room that is a combo paint booth, clean room, storage room and bathroom, no photo at the moment. I do my "keep it clean" engine assembly over in that room. Motor pulling, axles, body work all gets done outside. Climate here is pretty nice year round. Yeah, rain, wind, the occasional hurricane, but mostly it is pretty nice to be able to work on my rigs outside.

In the back corner is a tv, and there is a yellow mayan hammock (very comfy) hanging up from the ceiling that I can drop down and climb in for a well deserved nap or during a particularly important football game or NHRA race....

Ice chest with favorite beer always sits within easy reach of the hammock....

I've had the brown Kennedy tool chest since the 50's. Still have the first socket set and set of wrenches I ever purchased from "Monkey Wards" in about '57....

Also the first (and last) oxy acetylene torch I have ever owned, a "Harris Calorific", again from "Monkey Wards" in about '57....

It lived in the trunk of my '54 Chevy ragtop all through my college years, with a strapped down pair of the small oxy/acetylene tanks. I made money working through college on a variety of mechanical projects, including doing muffler/exhaust projects in the college parking lots for other students!

I love that torch, you can see in the photo that it has a small thumb wheel on the torch main body near the cutting lever handle that when the acetylene ajusting screw for this function is properly adjusted, allows you to roll off the oxy and reduce the acetylene to a small pilot flame, for a lot of "on again-off again" torch work, that is a really nice feature to be able to requently close it down, set it on the stand, pick it up and fire it back up without having to reach for the striker every time....

Been able to add some nice Miller welding equipment, sure makes life a lot easier to have good tools....

I'm finding my hand is not as "steady" as I would like for the really fine tig work, but that tig machine on the right is a really fine piece of equipment....

That's my "new" plasma cutter in the box on top of the mig. Sure makes nice cuts!

I've had this old Airco stick welder since the 70's. Wheels are off of a wrecked pickup, frame and axles welded up from something salvaged somewhere. The 5 kw generating capacity has gotten us through some memorable storms here where the power was off for days at a time. Hurricane stuff. I keep it around just for that these days....

And I can still lay a nice line with a stick if I have to.....

Not long after I got that stick welder, I got this 125 amp Lincoln mig welder. Runs off of 110, does a nice job on sheet metal, and up to 1/8" material. Works great down at the track with flux core .035, running it off of a genset, for "emergency" repairs, but I prefer to use it at home with gas and run .023 wire, I think it does the best job in that configuration, and there really is no comparison with gas compared to flux core, the gas is way better......

This pix was taken over at my buddy's shop, we also own (5 of us) the 4 wheel scale setup in this pix, and the Fender equip is mine, as I need to blow off a little steam once in awhile....

Also have a 10x20 metal shed that I first put up in '69 when I started building my house and shop. That project took me seven years (two for the shop first, then we lived in the shop as I built the house over a five year period), as I did all the work myself, which kept the mortgage small and soon paid off. Now use this shed for mostly spare motors and other car parts storage. Occasionally do an engine assembly here once the clean work is completed up in the "clean room". Have a "cherry picker" mounted on a boat trailer axle and small tires, with a trailer hitch, so I can pick up motors and trannies and move them around easily behind my old CJ5 I've had since '70.

This is the reworked '93 LT1 for my '55 Chevy hardtop. Now bored and stroked out to 396 ci, heads ported & reworked by a professional, I reworked the plenum to match the heads and a larger TB, upgraded the injectors, and have an FAST XFI system to install to run the system. I'll be running a T56 six speed behind this.

Pretty much I just work with salvaged stuff, abandoned and junk yard stuff when and where I can find it, abandoned stuff nobody else wants. Like the two '70 Buick Riveira's I found slowly being sucked into the ground in this guy's back yard. The cars were junk but the Buick 455 motors turned over easily by hand and had fresh oil in them. Hauled them to the crusher after pulling out the motors and th400's, then I broke them down, cleaned the parts up, oiled and wrapped and stashed them away in this shed for future use.

It's a very enjoyable hobby, a lifestyle really, and I love it. I could have spent a bunch more for a bigger shop, but right now I am debt free, and I love it like that. At my age I figure I might have another 10 years, maybe 15 to enjoy this, so will be at it as much as my health, my wife, my kids, and my grandkids will let me....

Much Aloha to you all....

"2Loose" Willy

Maui, Hawaii

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