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Or … not to race

Welded metal art – 2019-3 Project #19. To race, or not to race … that is the question. And in this case, the intent was there but the product did not meet the vision, at least from my perspective. After a somewhat successful assembly of 2 race cars, and with the inspiration from experiences with a former racing partner who has ventured from karts to sprint cars, I was motivated to attempt my version of of a sprint car. The body formation was developed with the U-channel structural metal, cut and formed in the same manner, but with a shorter body version of the formerly discussed race cars (still no brakes). Consistent with the setup for a sprint car, the wheels were offset to the right – I will refrain from divulging the actual measure of the offset as I don’t want to give away any speed secrets for the machine. The rear wheels were bearings attached in the same manner as the race cars. To obtain the proper stagger for the front, I used washers welded together and welded to a cap screw that were then welded to the body. The roll-cage was formed from 1-3/4 inch chromoly tubing (aka – the infamous rod stock from my metal bin) and welded to the body at the wheel axles. The gas tank was meticulously formed on the anvil end of my vice from a piece of flat scrap metal. Forming the tank was the longest and hardest piece to finish for this project.

The more I worked on this project, and the more I cut it apart and MIG welded it back together, the more it continued to disappoint in terms of difference between the vision and the product. I welded and ground on the front wheels/washers and they continued to look like washers and not wheels with tread lines. The tank did not wind up flowing with the car but rather, looked like an odd protrusion from the rear end of the car. In the end, I continued to learn and improve on my welding skills but the project wound up being set aside and eventually scavenged for useful parts. On the bright side, it was the focal point for the picture that now serves as my icon and gavatar for this site – so for that, I must thank the orphaned sprint car piece!

So the lesson for today is to keep learning, experiencing, and pushing forward, even if it just doesn’t seem to be working out. There is always something to be gained from every experience. Capture the moment(s) in photos – that definitely worked out in this case (I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my hammer too as it held my phone in place during the photo session). Enjoy, remember to take pictures, and weld on!