Monday, October 29, 2012

building a monster in a moments notice

During the Red Bull trophie build, I recieved a call from Chris the owner of Farley's Coffee. Over the last 10 years or so Farley's has been one of the big players in the bay area for coffee shops, having locations in San Francisco, Oakland and Emeryville and staying super involved with the community makes these places really neat.

The question Chris had for me was if I could build a giant 30 foot mini park to be placed on the side of the street taking up 3 parking stalls, and providing all the things that a normal park has to offer packed in to a tight little steel chassis.

Like normal.... There was a catch..... It needed to be done in a very short time... and by short I mean under 2 weeks with the Mayor of Oakland waiting its arrival for a press release on "National Parklet day"

You ask what is a " Parklet "?

It is a small PUBLIC urban park, often created by replacing several parallel parking spots with a patio, planters, trees, benches, café tables with chairs, fountain(s), artwork, sculptures and/or bicycle parking.

The prints showed up and Gabe and I placed the order for steel and fired up the welder.

100 % USA made steel
2" x 6" tube and 3" x 4" Angle for the flooring
The MLS large scale fabrication annex ready for building
 
After I had most of the cuts all dialed in, Gabe started to tack it up as I did the squaring.
When doing these big frames, my secret is using clamps all over on it and using the clamps as points to attach Ratchet Straps to them and pulling them to square them up. Really easy way to get what you want when making it square.
 
No one said being a welder was a clean job
Putting the steel angles in for the wood flooring to sit on.
 
Hours later on day one....
We had most of the chassis hammered out.
 
With cut pieces of 1.5 square steel tube, I held while Gabe tacked in the verticals for the railing.
Having this covered area next to my shop is so rad, even in rain we can work outside, its so rad.
 
I made a bunch of fixtures to hold the railing together with the correct spacing.
Sometimes spending the 20 minutes making the fixture pays off big in the end, saving time, money and mistakes when your moving this fast.
 
Next was doing the bike rack.
With myself being such an avid rider, I had to make the rack hold 6 bikes not the 4 like people thought it should hold, I put the 2 extras inside the parklet.
Using my daily riden 1938 Schwinn Superior for testing the fit
Next for the wood for the floor.
Jesse setting it all up with lovely green treated lumber.
next is the big flower planters out of 3/16 sheet steel on the far end and near the middle.
 
 The next step was Jesse and I went out and did some shopping for slabs of redwood lumber
These would become the benches and table.
Once you find the piece you want...
They spray it with a bit of water to show you what it will look like once you do a coat of finish on it.
Really neat shopping for big slabs of wood.
This Redwood tree was from around the Bay Area.
 
 
By taking that single piece and cutting it down the center we made a matching back rest to the bench.
Matt to the right and Jesse on the left helping test the fresh cut wood.
 
With no time left, and a day before the mayor was due to arrive to talk about the city of Oakland and how it kicks ass, it was time to get the parklet out of the door. I put down a sweet paint job on it with some Epoxy black paint and it was ready to go out, with or without Jesse's finished wood benches. They would need to be installed at the site due to the time frame with getting the parking permets for the street for the install.
With a madman behind the wheel.....
Nothing else needs to be said .....
 
Trust me...
Hes becoming a better forklift driver everyday....
This just wasn't his day.....
 
Just for a photo and prove a point....
That two people can build a monster in just DAYS....
With a saw and a welder, the world is your playground....
 
As we do it in Oakland....
Work by night.....
With the flatbed down and the winch hooked up... we pulled it up on the rig.


showing up to Chris the owner laughing at us for doing this at midnight....
MLS style 24/7/365
 
Now for the hard part....
The unloading...
 
If anyone is going to drop it... I would rather it be me

Lucky we wore our brightest colored clothing for the drop off

On the ground and looking good

A beer was needed after that...

That next morning Jesse put some more finish on the Redwood.
It would need to be installed that day to ready for the Mayor the next morning

 
As planned the Mayor of Oakland showed up to a parklet with no grass because it didn't show up on time like normal. But it really didn't matter, there was a mini super tinny mirco sample on the table for people to get the idea about the grass which really didn't work that day but it really didn't matter, people were stoked.

With any parklet is the need for a giant banner.
If you want to see it....
Grand Street and Broadway in downtown Oakland.
Farley's East coffee shop.

Proof that the grass did get put down....
 
 
 Go Enjoy it....
 
You need more info and need one built and shipped out ASAP?
JT
 
 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Quality Check from a Pro.....

Before I could send off the trophies to the Rampage, I called over Greg Minnaar, the current World Champ Mountain biker to make sure the trophies were up to the expectations of risking your life at the Rampage for.

I figured he doesn't hold 3rd place very often, being the World Champ and all so I figured it was the perfect time to give him 3rd Place and let him get a feel for it.

He approves.....




Filming the trophie build

The last months have been complete madness.... I have pushed it harder the last months then I have ever pushed it in my life and for all good reasons...

One of the top of the list of crazy projects was to design and build trophies for RedBull's Rampage mountain bike event held every year in Utah.

If you know about the rampage, then you know its the event to win.

I was asked to tackle the design of the trophies with one goal in mind - make them super rad !

At first I came up with about 15 concept sketches and narrowed it down to some of the best ones, while I worked one night on the machines, my best friend Margaret Holland ( she has painted stuff in my shop before ) decieded to put some of my chicken stratch concepts in to a more presentable sketch ready to win over the kids at RedBull.

The final design just getting started....
Within an hour we were mostly complete on the design with some good concepts.
One of the first ideas was to make the spur into a belt buckle but that idea was thrown out for safety and other BS that it might bring on having a super sharp gear belt buckel.

With the help of my buddy Matt Carney on the Solidworks CAD program - we were able to design a cowboy boot made from layers of 1/4 inch plywood to make it look like the mountains in Utah.
My next plan, once I figured out the size and all the details of the boot was to come up with a rider jumping off the " Rock like wooden boot".
 
While I was designing and building the boot trophies, my buddy Jefferson Hower at RadioRobot in Oakland, was hammering out this crazy 3x5 foot sign for the finish line.
 
With the trophies and sign loaded up I headed out to Utah to drop off everything.
 
Theres no way I could drive thru California with out stopping by the air/spaceport in Mojave, CA to check on some of the rad stuff hidding in the field.'
 
Quick stop at AREA 51 to get yelled at ....
 
The finish line sign went up..... Everyone was stoked !!
Ready for Fridays events
 
 
 
We will just have to wait until this weekend ( Oct 7th ) to watch the Madness live on Redbull's site but until then watch the building of the trophies. Matt Ducot once again hammering out a rad video in record time for everyone to enjoy. 
 

Redbull Rampage Trophies from Matt Ducot on Vimeo.