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Time to Race

Car #1
Car #2
Time to race

Welded metal art – 2019-1 and 2 projects #17 and 18 (2019 starts the era of labeling and numbering projects). One of the products from dismantling the used up 4-cycle engine crankshafts (yeah, the true version of dismantling involved more beating and banging) was a pile of crankshaft bearings. As can be seen in the pictures, there were 2 different sizes of bearings. And bearings provide a very distinct resemblance to wheels for the purpose of an artful design. However, unless the intent was to ride the wheel around like the cavemen in the B.C. comic, the more pertinent question after ‘inventing’ the wheel was what to make the body from. Well that answer came in the form of some structural U-shaped channel metal and some reshaping with the help of a grinder. An initial evaluation was necessary to properly locate the top slots in the metal to support cutting the front and rear wings. The wings were formed by making a cut in the metal on each side (front and rear) and flattening the metal in vice. The curved bend on the inner (and now outer) edges of the channel metal gave a nice look to the outside edge to the newly formed wings. A “V” was cutout of the middle-sides of the car, the metal bent/sloped, and the two seams welded back together to form the slant on the front end of the car(s). To improve the aerodynamic profile of the cars, the excess MIG weld feed and splatter was ground down and the cars polished to a fine, smooth sheen. The wheels were fashioned from the bearings, with washers welded to the backside (the backside defined as the side with the washers). Cap screws were welded to the washers to form the wheel shafts. Brakes were considered for the cars but I’ve been told that real race car drivers don’t need brakes, and who wants to slow down when you’re racing (they were excluded from these models). Holes were drilled on the body to accept the wheel shafts and the wheels were MIG welded to the inside of the body.

That is how race cars are made! Pretty simple? I’m not sure they would perform well in the wind tunnel, and the whole brake thing became an issue with the potential drivers, so they currently reside on my mantle until that ‘real’ race car driver emerges willing to test them at Indy. I made 2 because you can’t have a race with only one car. And at this point in time the MIG-only era is rapidly coming to close in the shop … I know, the anticipation is palpable. But for now, weld on!