Hello cyber world, it’s me Gord, haven’t checked in for awhile so I thought I would poke me head in and say hey! Has much changed out there? Is the information still free flowing?

I am not much of one for excuses so I find it is best to just come clean. I haven’t updated the blog since April 1st. Garage projects, family, work, and life, continue to trickle along. I made a conscious decision to let the updates slide for a bit in order to allow me to focus on higher priority items. I have received many comments that I have not responded to. When I started the blog I set a goal of responding to every comment that ever was sent my way. I have let this slip therefore…I am publishing an official apology to the following people; Dustin, Tony, Darcy, james a, Larry, howder1951, forhire, mikesplace2, jason k, jason, and Luis. You have all sent me comments that I have failed to promptly respond to. After this post is published I will continue to get caught up and work through the responses. I beg forgiveness.

As far as actually projects that have taken place I still managed to keep the pictures snapping. I have very few of the actual build process but I have shots of the finished projects. So in staying with the picture theme I will let the photos, and captions, do the talking. The following is some of what I have worked on during the past 5 months. Here we go…


I stumbled upon an ad for this barn find 1965 CB160. the guy wanted $100 for it. I was all finished my own CB160 build but figured a parts bike may come in handy down the road.


As I stripped it down it turned out that the bike was actually not a 160 but instead it was a 125. Oh well, still had some usable parts.


This is what I was left with as far as usable used parts. What is ironic is that the fuel tank knee pads of my Cafe CB160 both had slight tears and were the only sub-par part I never replaced during the build. The barn find bike pads were in very good shape and so they ended up being the only parts that found their way onto the Cafe racer. I figured I got my $100 worth just in the tank pads.


This ended up being my garbage pile.


I ended up having to perform some shop clean up. I had this old welding gas gauge that had been kicking around for years. As I cleaned up I tossed it in the garbage. 5 minutes later I saw it staring at me with a tear in it’s eye. I couldn’t turn my back so I retrieved it from the trash and gave it some special attention.


First order of business was to strip it down and separate its anatomy.


Next all the brass and chrome spent some time getting massaged on the buffing wheel.


A couple scraps of steel were plasma cut to size.


Used the milling machine to drop an end mill in and achieve a 2″ slot.


1/4″ NPT fitting was welded in along with a vertical support.


Some sandblasting and flat black powder coating cleaned things up.


The plastic gauge face was polished up using the lathe and some plastic polishing compound.


Next marrying of the two components took place.


And finally I was left with a business card holder that gave a welding gauge a second chance on life. I ended up giving the card holder to a parts person friend of mine.


Sometimes I blog about my outdoor projects, no it’s not metal work but it still provides a certain level of satisfaction. The city property right next to my property is where the community mailboxes sit. I take care of it as it were my own and make sure the snow stays clear the surrounding area is taken care of. Most people access the box from the road and not the sidewalk. The cheap sidewalk blocks drive me nuts and I figured it was about time to volunteer some community service.


It took an entire weekend but with help from my neighbor we were able to lay down a 7 foot paving stone pad that allowed access from both the street side and the the sidewalk. The neighbors were appreciative and the paving stones look much better. By now the grass is filled in and things are back to normal.


The next set of pictures involve a long drawn out project that has been on my list to complete for years. Unfortunately it isn’t actually finished yet but it is getting close. It all starts with an idea, some aluminum, and some stainless steel.


I’ve had this idea to build a fully machined, double walled, vacuum filled “thermos”. I researched insulating properties and determines that a vacuum filled unit is more efficient then an argon gas filled one. Here the machining of the caps begins.


Next was onto the top and bottom flanges.


Holes were drilled in order to clamp the assembly together using stainless steel fasteners and 5/16″ 6061 aluminum rods.


Sections were milled out to reduce weight and create a cool design.


More holes milled to accept the connecting rods.


The two stainless tubes were faced on the lathe.


The assembly was clamped into the mill in order to take measurements for the connecting rods.


And here is a poor picture of the unfinished thermos. The unit was assembled in order to be leak tested. I wanted to ensure liquid would not leak into the vacuum chamber. Turned out it was sealed perfectly.


Everything was then disassembled and polished.


Time to pull out the anodizing equipment. Here is the power supply I use for the process.


All the aluminum parts got thoroughly cleaned.


And into the acid bath for a 2 hour soaking.


After anodizing everything received a dip into orange dye.


And here is were the entire project went sideways. Something happened with the dye job. Things got blotchy and the dye was very uneven. I am still currently working on a repair/solution.


Here is the final shot I am posting. These are the flanges, and lid, with all the o-ring seals that keep the liquid, and vacuum, contained.


Moving onto shop organization. My metal inventory was getting a bit out of hand so a weekend was spent cleaning up the metal racking. Soooo nice now, what a relief.


While anodizing my thermos there is time to kill as processes process. As I stared around the shop looking to pass the time I thought I would play on the lathe. I turned out this 6061 aluminum bottle opener.


Since I still had more time to kill I found an old ammunition shell so I machined, and press fit, a bottle opener head into it.


I was just starting to get good at this. I built another one but before I machined it I pressed in a .500″ solid brass rod into the center. The brass rings not only look cool but it also gives the opener some good weight.


Why stop now? Lets go with an automotive theme shall we?


It took 3 pictures to show this one off. I built this for a friend of mine.


I am not a smoker however I figured those who partake would probably appreciate an emergency cigarette with a nice cold one.


The smoke fits comfortably and protected inside the opener.


Let’s do the next one out of steel shall we? Perhaps drilling some holes then pounding in some .250″ copper might be in order.


A bit more milling and then a session on the buffing wheel turned out this version. I’m telling you the ideas are endless!!!


Time to switch things up. This one is steel and works great.


All you really need are 2 points and some leverage.


Time to give the bottle openers a rest. This idea came from the opener with the hidden cigarette. I call it my 5 shooter smoke holder.


I love the detail, super clean.


What holds the smokes in you ask? Keep scrolling.


There it is, a pocket size smoke holder made for a friend of mine.


Okay…no more openers or smoke holders. This next one is a little project I have wanted to try for awhile.


It is my version of a classic “yo-yo”. I am familiar with the pro units and their construction however I wanted to give the amateur something cool to play with.


This “yo-yo” worked out great. I think there are more in my future.

So this sums up a bit of what has been going on in the garage for the past 5 months. I still have a list of bigger projects that I need to continue with. My 1935 CCM bicycle weighs heavy on my mind as well as my aluminum furnace. I figure that as long as I am building in the garage I am where I belong. Till next time…hopefully sooner then 5 months.

  1. mikesplace2 says:

    Always a special treat to receive an e-mail about your projects. I am self-employed and have little time for anything but work. Several years ago I did take some time off and took a machining course at a local adult education center. I became an honest to goodness certified machinist, but do not work in the field. Your projects are great fun for me to hear about. I hope one day to buy another home and have a shop so I too may tinker, repair and create in my spare time. Until then you help to keep my dream alive and for that I say – thank you!


    Michael Allenby


    • gordsgarage says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Michael. Its great to hear that you were able to complete machinist courses. I took a machinist math course a few years ago as a prerequisite for more advanced courses. I never did continue but would certainly like to make the time to do some more night classes. I happen to think it is a good thing that you do not work in the field of machining as typically the love and passion disappear. I encourage you to get set up in order to do your own projects on your own time. I have a ways to go but I am looking forward to my retirement and all the projects I plan to complete.


  2. Chris Muncy says:

    Welcome back Gord 🙂

  3. TheStu says:

    Great post guy!! Old bicycle you say…

    • gordsgarage says:

      Thanks Stu! I have an old 1935 CCM bicycle equipped with the original wooden rims. I am half way through the restoration but certainly need to get my focus back onto it. Maybe in winter.


  4. Luis Rodrigues says:

    Well worth the wait!!! That thermos bottle looks like something coming out from a sci-fi movie. I can almost imagine it letting out some steam when you open it to check on the virus flask inside :).
    And the card holder is a real gem. I really like the “steampunk” look on those old industrial instruments. Old bicycle you say…???

    • gordsgarage says:

      Thanks Luis, I have a lot of time invested into that thermos, it’s too bad the anodizing went sideways but I have ideas on how to salvage it. I really like the card holder, the old polished brass looks good. I agree that it does have some “steampunk” to it. I have a 1935 CCM bike with the original wooden rims that I started to restore, I have pulled it back out from hiding and it currently sits in the middle of the shop waiting for some more attention, hopefully soon.


  5. Edgar Rumbo says:

    Muchas Felicidades siempre aprendo cosas nuevas e ingeniosas de tu blog, las personas creativas e ingeniosa como usted da gusto encontrarlas¡¡¡ Dios contigo amigo¡¡
    Recibe un cordial saludos desde México D.F.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Gracias Edgar. Estoy feliz de que usted miraba mis proyectos y me gusta lo que voy a construir en la tienda. Agradezco el tiempo que toma para hacer comentarios.


  6. dagamore says:

    welcome back, great update, how much would it cost to make another sparkplug bottle opener?

    • gordsgarage says:

      Thanks dagamore, the spark plug opener is one of my favorites. The cost to build those things is fairly insignificant, the more difficult part is finding the time to do it. I have had many local requests for those openers and so far I am too involved in other projects that I do not want to stop and go into mass production.


  7. Howard Nore says:

    Hi Gord, I liked the subject matter, great bottle opener/ciggy projects.
    Very close to my heart as I am one week from retirement and I am looking forward to my future shop time.
    Keep on swarfin and sparking my man

    • gordsgarage says:

      Thanks Howard, I like doing those little projects. They are the type of things that I do not have to sit down and design before I build plus I am able to accomplish the tasks in an evening. It’s nice therapy for after a day of real work.

      Lucky you for having some free time to play.


  8. dhpenner1 says:

    Where do i put my name down for a thermos? Amazing!

    • gordsgarage says:

      Thanks dhpenner1, I’ll put your name on the list. So far you are the first one so if can just hold one until I save up for a 5 axis CNC mill and get it installed I be sure to whip one off for you. For now can I offer you a picture to tied you over?


  9. Alfonso says:

    Hey Gord! Its been a while since I have been able to comment but I have checked periodically and like always I love your work … You have such a great eye for designing, making it functional, and to top it off bad A$$!! … Well good to see you have been staying busy … And don’t work if you don’t have time to write out a whole blog sometimes, the pictures alone are worth a 1,000 words .

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi Alfonso, good to hear from you. Yes I slacked off for awhile but hopefully I am back for a bit. I have 2 more posts on the go so hopefully they will get published in a timely manner. Thanks, like always, for the kind comments.


  10. Steve says:

    Always an inspiration stopping by here. You have a unique style, and I like it!

    • gordsgarage says:

      Thanks Steve, glad you found something of interest. I never considered myself having one particular style however after reviewing some of the projects I have done I suppose you are correct, they all have some similarities. Funny that someone else made the same comment to me couple weeks ago.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.


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