Three pieces painted for the WWII B17 Texas Raiders

I was contacted several weeks ago about donating some art work to a benefit auction for the CAF Gulf Coast Wing, WWII Boeing B-17G bomber, ” Texas Raiders”. So, I spent a few weeks painting these three pieces for their auction. The Indian chief is painted on a DC-3 engine cowling. The B-17 at sunset is painted on a surplus modern propeller blade, and the Texas Raiders nose art piece is painted on a fragment of a modern airplane skin. I hope the pieces did well for them raising money to pay for expensive maintenance on the plane. indian engine cowling indian engine cowling2 texas raiders Texas raiders 2017 1 texas raiders propeller painting

1955 Chevrolet truck cab bench donated to Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston Texas

I recently donated one air force bench1 air force bench2 air force bench3 air force bench4 of my benches to the Lone Star Flight air force bench5Museum in Galveston, Texas. The folks at the museum have treated me well, and I decided to custom build a bench from a 1955 Chevy truck that would fit in with their theme for visitors to their museum to have a seat on. I did a bit of research and decided to paint the bench as a U. S. Air Force truck based at Ellington Air Force Base, since the museum will soon be relocating to Ellington Airport. I started with a bunch of cull 1955-1959 Chevrolet truck parts that I had laying around. I welded the mess together until it resembled a truck again. I then sandblasted the bench to bare metal and began the lengthy process of repainting and making the paint look like old weathered US Air Force blue. It was a bit of a challenge, but I’m very pleased with the final product.

I converted a vintage kids pedal car into a Flying Tigers P-40 Warhawk

I made this P-40 Warhawk out of a vintage kids pedal plane that was in bad shape. I extended the nose about 8 inches, made a new propeller and nose cone, new headrest, and repainted the entire plane. It was a mountain of work. I painted it to resemble Tex Hill’s P-40 from when he was in the Flying Tigers in China during WWII.

1219 1218

This is what I started with

This is what I started with

1224 1223 1165

after I extended the nose about 8 inches.

after I extended the nose about 8 inches.

1175

new headrest made

new headrest made

this is the day I had it sandblasted to bare steel

this is the day I had it sandblasted to bare steel

basic paint job was drying

basic paint job was drying

1215

copy of the artwork from Tex Hill's P-40 Warhawk

copy of the artwork from Tex Hill’s P-40 Warhawk

finished paint scheme

finished paint scheme

1956 Beech 18 crashed airplane for display

the fuselage is roughly 30ft long

the fuselage is roughly 30ft long

I’ve decided to sell outright this 1956 Beech 18 airplane that crashed in 2009. I was going to turn the cockpit into a bar, and decided to sell it instead. The plane was bought new by the Hollywood actor Bob Cummings in 1956. It was a regular in scenes in Cummings’  late 1950′s TV show. In the early 1960′s the plane was sold to Hughes Corporation(Howard Hughes) and eventually it was used by the Brazoria County, TX, as the mosquito control aerial spray plane. It crashed on a prison farm in 2009 and the pilot escaped with minor injuries.  One thing interesting to note is that Bob Cummings(1910-1990) was the Godson of Orville Wright, who taught him how to fly in 1927!

The plane is pretty beat up now and missing the engines, landing gear, tail surfaces, cargo door and a few other things. But it would make a great piece of yard art, or cut off the wings and build a bar, flight simulator, camper trailer, tree house or whatever. I have it priced at $2800 (713)817-8997 I have the log books.1116

1120 1121 1124 1125 1126 1128

This is what the plane looked like before it crashed.

This is what the plane looked like before it crashed.

 

10ft long Super Grouper made from Russian Aircraft Drop tank

I just finished building this one of a kind art piece. I made the Super Grouper fish using a Soviet airplane fuel drop tank and some scrap metal from a 1947 Chevrolet truck.

The Soviet fuel tank washed up on the beach in Bolivar, TX, during Hurricane Ike in 2008. When I bought it from the guy that found it, the tank was badly crushed and looked like a giant raisin. When I got it home and took it apart, I discovered it had been filled solid with spray urethane foam, that had held in salt water causing massive corrosion to the tanks skin. As I stripped the paint off of the tank, I discovered lots of Russian writing under the paint. It was evident that this Soviet tank had sank to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico and upon hitting crush depth, it imploded making, badly wrinkling the tank and causing it to take on its raisin-like appearance. The question is, how in the world does a Soviet drop tank end up being pulled to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico? Since Cuba is the closest country that regularly traded with the Russians, it would make since that the tank originated from Cuba. Cubans are known for putting their lives at risk by trying to cross the Gulf on makeshift rafts. I suspect this drop tank was part of an ill-fated Gulf crossing by a Cuban refugee, and at some point the raft sank pulling this drop tank down to crush depth in the Gulf of Mexico, where it rested for several years. Hurricanes are known to dislodge and wash up objects that had been at the bottom of the Gulf and I think that is what happened to this drop tank.

After pondering a few years as to what to do with this beat up, rotted, and badly wrinkled drop tank, I came up with the idea for this giant Grouper fish. I spent hours beating the wrinkles out of the tank. I cut section out of the rear half of the tank in order to compress it into a shape more like that of a Grouper. I then spent a few days hammering and cutting on the tank until I started to see a Grouper take shape. The eyes were made from antique telegraph pole glass insulators that were dated 1912.  I made the fins out of old rusty sheet metal from a 1947 Chevrolet truck. Each fin was hammered to give it more dimension and to add realism, before being riveted to the drop tank.  I then applied a tinted clear coat over the entire fish to enhance the weathered look. I also added to LED light bulbs inside the fish. In the dark, the fish looks almost like stars at night.

This is an amazing one of a kind sculpture that I see no way to ever replicate.I don’t believe there will ever be another Grouper fish made from a Russian drop tank that sank to the bottom of the Gulf and washed up on a beach during a hurricane! grouper14

This is the Soviet drop tank I started with. This is  AFTER I knocked out most of the enormous wrinkles in the tank.

This is the Soviet drop tank I started with. This is AFTER I knocked out most of the enormous wrinkles in the tank.

grouper2 grouper3

All of the construction was done at this point. The next day I clear coated the fish.

All of the construction was done at this point. The next day I clear coated the fish.

This is the finished Grouper fish sculpture.

This is the finished Grouper fish sculpture.

grouper6 grouper7 grouper8 grouper9 grouper11 grouper12

Light beams through hundreds of holes in the Grouper's body caused by salt water corrosion from when it was on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

Light beams through hundreds of holes in the Grouper’s body caused by salt water corrosion from when it was on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

I have it priced at $5,600. (713)817-8997

Texas A&M bench made from old Dodge truck

I built this bench out of a 1988 Dodge Dakota truck a while back. I didn’t like the way it turned out, so I repainted it in a Texas A&M theme. I like it a lot better now. $2100 (713) 817-8997

I plan on bringing it and a few other pieces of automotive furniture I built to the First Monday Trade Days in Canton , TX. I plan on setting up a booth there from November 2nd – November 6th 2016. I haven’t set up in Canton is roughly 20 years, and decided to give it a go.a&m bench3 a&m bench1 a&m bench2

1952 Dodge truck bed bench and shelving

51 dodge bed6 51 dodge bed1 51 dodge bed2 51 dodge bed3 51 dodge bed4 51 dodge bed5This is the first one of this type of bench that I have made. Since most of the automotive benches I’ve made are designed to be up against a wall, I thought it would be nice to make one that can be in the middle of a room, or against a wall. So, this is the result. Keep in mind, that I just finished this one and that I’m still searching for two period correct Dodge hubcaps for the wheels. All of the wood is oak in this bench. The bottom shelf is about 26 inches deep! It is far more impressive in person than these poor photos make it appear. This bench also cost considerably more to build and took much more time to build than my usual benches. But I’m glad I made it just the same. $3500 Call Jason Barnett (713)817-8997 Alvin, TX 77511.

1951 Dodge truck front end wall hanger $800

I recently finished this 1951 Dodge 1/2 ton truck wall hanger. It weighs around 75lbs total. I welded a piece of 1″ square tubing on the back side so that it can hang off of whatever hook you install in on your wall. The original grill was missing, so I welded in some teeth from a 1953 Buick grill, to give the truck a bit of a hot rod look. The headlights are new Edison style LED light bulbs that provide a warm glow at night. There is an on/off switch to operate the lights. $800 Call (713)817-8997 Alvin, TX 77511. 51 dodge wallhanger5 51 dodge wallhanger1 51 dodge wallhanger2 51 dodge wallhanger3 51 dodge wallhanger4

1988 Dodge Dakota truck cab bench $2100

I just finished this bench made from a 1988 Dodge Dakota. As hard as it might be to believe, this truck is 28 years old and considered an antique! So, I decided to turn it into one of my benches. It sits very comfortably and takes up a bit less room than one of my 1950′s benches. I have it priced at $2100 CALL (713)817-8997 dakota bench1dakota bench3  dakota bench2 dakota1

1942 Seagrave fire truck for sale $2000 in Alvin, TX

For sale. I tried to sell this WWII era 1942 Seagrave fire truck that was taking up room at the hangar for some time now. It was almost 40 ft long when it still had all of the ladders and fire related stuff on it. People just didn’t seem interested in it as a fire truck, so after months of trying to sell it, I disposed of ALL of the fire truck related stuff, and reduced the length of the truck from 40ft down to 27ft. I figure now someone can make a neat hotrod out of it. The truck is NOT rusty. The original V12 engine blew up in the 1970′s, so the fire department that was using it, replaced the engine with a 1976 model Ford 391 V* engine. The engine has very few miles on it. Big ladder fire trucks like this one didn’t get out much, so the entire truck doesn’t have a lot of mileage on it. It was still in service as a fire truck until 1992! NO title. CALL (713)817-8997 stored in Alvin, TX 77511seagrave parted22 seagrave parted7 seagrave parted8 seagrave parted9 seagrave parted10 seagrave parted11 seagrave parted12 seagrave parted13 seagrave parted14 seagrave parted15 seagrave parted16 seagrave parted17 seagrave parted18 seagrave parted19 seagrave parted20 seagrave parted21

this is what the truck looked like before it was parted out.

this is what the truck looked like before it was parted out.