Happy birthday to me

Probably one of the worst years of my life. The saddest birthday I can remember as I go to work, with no plans or other anything else.  There will be no celebrating or other fun. Can't go to Gettysburg bike week this year. I had to shut down Irondrake studios as I prepare to move out. 
Just want this month to be over.

Now what?

So stressed anymore. I have no client projects, and no personal projects...and I'm bored.  I'm never bored, until now.  I pride myself on my ability to deconstruct an idea and create something. I just have no ideas. Anybody got an idea?

Good news Everyone!

I found the SD card with the video footage to complete the motorcycle LED tutorial.
When I get back from vacation I will get that out asap. Till then, I will be dreamily intoxicated with rum drinks and margaritas.

Overdue...again

I haven't had too many projects this year. Work has been staggering with new job.  I got a few belts done, and started branching out some leather and etching work.  Try to get more done there.
Also want to get a YouTube show or 2 together. One of just my stuff and probably one for the biker lifestyle.
Maybe a return to "Beer, Sex & Ironheads", but I'll probably have to change the name since I still dont have another ironhead...go figure
Looking to get a bigger bike this coming year, may go with either a Honda Stateline, or VTX1800
We shall see...

Electro-lytic-tronic Dance Dance Southern Champion

This write up is for a Championship belt I produced just recently for a company in Mississippi: The Southern Heavyweight Championship

They specifically requested working one of the other plate designs into this, so I knew off the bat, the main plate would have to support a 6 inch plate round center plate. this with oval side plates with liberty bell features on an electric blue strap



So. thats what I started with. did my own hand at trying vector graphics and shot the file over to my partner who corrected my errors ( she sighs a lot. I think I give her headaches) and got me a very nice vinyl mask




For the base of this I chose 16guage steel since they didn't want it chromed, and this would be easy to clean and keep shiny
So after this it was applied and set into the bath for Electrolytic Etching.

Electrolytic Etching; is when you use a resist, such as the vinyl design here(could be paint as well) and apply that to a piece of metal. Then connect to the positive end of a Battery charger (12Volt, 10Amp) to that piece and then submerged into a solution of salt water (non iodized salt and water). The negative end is is attached to a scrap piece of metal.  This promotes the exposed metal from your design to "rust" off and etch the design into the plate. Very cheaply, and enviromentally friendly.  There is a very unfriendly way, but thats for another post

Check out the video. You can see the chemical reaction




The reaction causes the water to get scummy, but it doesn't interfere with the process.

Then you end up with plates like this:










Pretty swank.  Cut them out with a jigsaw, then I got Createx Irridescent Electric Blue for the leather strap.  Put some measurements and tooling on the leather, and finished it off with silver snaps, and purple suede backing





















Hope you had as much fun reading this as I did making this.  Onto the next project

A new chapter: Duelo Del Siglo

Thanks to a friend, whom I had the pleasure of working with, I have been asked to commission awards for the Inaguaral Duelo Del Siglo Boxing event in Pittsburgh. This will feature a Pittsburgh Boxing team Versus a Cuban Boxing team for an international event.

Having primarily worked in Pro Wrestling, I wasn't worried when it comes to awards
The main award is going to be a Trophy Cup, not unlike the Stanley Cup, in that it will be awarded to the winners in each yearly event.


This is the cup

Lots of engraving to do along with the base, and the other parts of this commission. Less than a week to complete

My partner does great work.  I was very thankful for all the help I got as I ended up breaking my hand.  We recieved all the design elements and she mapped them out into her program and vinyl cutter.  we debated the different ways we would do this piece, luckily we had the lid to experiment on





One solid afternoon got us a great result.  We then proceeded to map out and apply the rest to the trophy cup



The designs came out very well and my wife helped build and assemble the base out of a very dense hardwood called Lacewood.  It was then available for the event weight in at Rileys Pour House in Carnegie (try the rueben, it's extraordinary)






The second half of this was getting 2 championship belts made.  Originally they had an idea for plaques, but belts were more fitting and something I can really do. One to be presented to Congressman Mike Doyle, the other belt for the People of Cuba presented to the ambassador for Cuba

This started the same way with vinyl masks cut and applied to metal sheets.  Originally they asked about getting modified versions of my TV title -



Instead we were able to come up with a better technique for a custom job: Electrolytic etching.



We decided to take the star out of the center and add it back in after the etching





This was all the easy part. Doing the leather and mounting with one hand was all me, and it was very tedious








Belts were done and ready for the event just in time.  I recieved many thanks for the work, design, and timeliness. Every bit of that goes to my team and Championship Geek who helped make this possible and raise the profile of IronDrake Studios and the work we want to provide













Fire good!

I have always been interested in metal-work and smithing.  I seen this video on Youtube to make a metal-melting foundry and was inspired to make my own.



I just went ahead and made mine much bigger then the one shown.

I started with a 40 qt stockpot, and after adding all the refractory sand, it weights in at about 140lbs




Because I made it so big, I couldn't find a regular size bucket to make the heat shield lid.  I had to make a form out of cardboard, and use part of my crucible, a thick steel oxygen cylinder, for the hole.  Adding in big U clamps for handles





Then I welded bolts onto the crucible so it would be easier to pick up.  After I fire this up a few times the metal sleeve should fall out.





So now I'm all ready.  I have a shop-vac I will be using for my air source.  I have a supply of alumin and brass I've been saving up.
I have a steel muffin pan for making my ingots as well as this special cast iron pan which is gonna make some sweet casts as wel
l