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Thread: Who were your greatest building influences?

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    Who were your greatest building influences?

    To varying degrees, we've all had mentors along the way. Parents, master craftsmen, friends, etc. Some served as example and inspiration, while others passed on specific skill sets.

    Who were your greatest building influences?

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    Ha. My "formative" years saw me devouring subscriptions from Car Craft, Hot Rod, and Road & Track. When I started working on cars myself, I graduated to Cars & Car Conversions and Grassroots Motorsports. For my first major teardown, I had a mechanical engineer buddy who showed me the ropes. Track time crewing and marshalling in rallies and karting events honed my knowledge, as well as teaching me how to patch things up.

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    Greatest influence was my Dad, he had me stick welding at the age of 8; auto mechanics, fabrication, carpentry, building, etc.. Next best advances have come from someone I've been working with, in the countless jobs and trades I've been fortunate enough to play in. Books & manuals have been good.

    How about you, Ken (you didn't say)?

    Jon, c'mon, fess up?

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    I've always been mechanically curious. The sort of kid who took everything apart - and then got it back together! From the age of five or six, anytime a new tool or piece of furniture came into the house requiring assembly (lawnmowers, BBQ grills, bookshelves, etc.), I was the one who built it. My father was not, shall we say, so inclined. Not sure where I got the interest & ability from, but it's always been there.

    I've always been interested in aviation and, from the time I first realized that people built airplanes at home, I wanted to do it, too. When I finally got underway on my first homebuilt airplane project, a whole new world opened up to me filled with creative engineers and craftsmen who shared my obsessions, some of whom became good friends and mentors. One in particular taught me a lot about engines and machining and I'll always be grateful for his friendship. RIP Ed Loveday.

    I've since built part of another airplane, restored a vintage motorcycle, variously restored and built up a variety of firearms, and am presently working on a kit car project. Each of those adventures came with their own little sub-cultures full of interesting and knowledgeable people.

    Not to mention vintage cameras, watches, fountain pens, etc. Anything and everything mechanical…

    I've been very fortunate…

    Ken

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    Prolly my old man. I've always see him tinkering with stuff when I was a snot nosed, overly curious kid. When he's out for work, I would rush to the garage take some of his tools and take apart my toys to see its workings.

    Al


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