Even after spotlighting so many projects over the years, I'm still so often impressed by what builders do in their shops. Case in point is this two stroke cylinder casting project for a vintage racing bike. The builder needed to modify a cylinder from its original design and he could either put in the enormous time necessary to make changes to an old used one or he could create one from scratch with the modifications already in place. He chose to design and cast just what he needed.
Is it knowledge and skill or something more?
You've probably already noticed how more and more builders are casting parts these days, it's becoming the new old skill to have, but seeing someone thoroughly document his project from the earliest stages, showing each step of the process in great detail, makes you appreciate the amount of specialized knowledge and skill you need to bring to the table if you're going to do anything like what he is doing. Projects like this, without doing so directly, also say a lot about the builder himself. It isn't just knowledge and skill that makes something like this happen, it's also character, it's revealed in the attention to detail, the motivation and perseverance, the willingness to listen to advice from others sharing their knowledge and the simple, but crucial determination to just keep going. Impressive.
The few photos here are just a tiny sample of the work involved and if you want to understand how this came about and what he's attempting, check out the forum thread where he explains it as he goes. It's definitely worth the time.
Knowing how and doing are not the same, not even close
If there's one other thing you should take away from this, it's how doing is everything. Knowing what you need to know and having the skills necessary to do the work, are just the beginning. A lot of us have the knowledge and skills to do great projects, but how often do they get done? Sometimes, after a post on a project like this, you'll see a comment saying what the builder has done is nothing special, after all, break the project down into each little step and almost anyone could do it, which is true, but almost anyone doesn't do it and that's the whole point. The difference is that simple and that profound all at once. How many people know how to fix those little things that need fixing, but months later, they're still broken? Then step up to much more complex projects like this one, again, not terribly difficult at any one step, but in total, it all adds up to a very impressive undertaking. Many could, but few do. Doing it makes all the difference. Something to think about.
Thanks for the tip, Bob!