The Hand-Built Hot Rod
Gleaming chrome. Beautiful custom paint. Tufted leather upholstery. If that’s your idea of a hot rod, stand back and make way for the true, original, hand-built hot rod.
It’s called a rat rod and it harkens back to the early days of hot rodding in the 40s, 50s and 60s when enthusiast had more skill than money and built their creations by themselves…by hand.
Back in those days, hot rodders would find a Model T or a Model A, strip off everything they could-fenders, running boards, roof, bumpers- and drop a more powerful engine. It was often a Ford Flathead V8.They’d do all the work themselves. It was about having fun, not about who spent the most money. It was about getting your hands greasy. It was about building something unique.
The rat rod movement today is dedicated to bringing back that hand-built heritage.
In a rat rod, the parts are mismatched, cribbed from a variety of vehicles. The body proudly displays its rust and battle scars. Maltese crosses and skulls sit atop gearshifts in homage to biker and rockabilly cultures. The seats are often bare metal. There’s no carpeting and certainly no luxury-car amenities like air conditioning. An old style beam axle is out front, with leaf springs all around instead of modern coils.
To the uninitiated, a rat rod looks unfinished. That’s because it is. It’s a work in progress, an expression of the owners’ ever-changing vision. It is continuously altered, revised and rebuilt. For a rat rodder, nothing tops having a wrench in your hand.
Think about that the next time you’re on the job, and you’ll realize again why hand safety is so important. You should remind yourself every day to:
*Use gloves when the job calls for it, and choose the proper ones.
*Watch out for pinch points.
*Protect your hands from chemicals and burns.
*Beware of sharp objects like banding, saw blades and edges.
It can be easy to overlook hand safety when you’re on the job and trying to get a project finished. Especially if there is a deadline to meet. But if you allow yourself even a moment of inattention, you’re vulnerable to a potential injury. Why take the chance? It’s just not worth risking damage to your hands. They’re essential tools. Just ask any rat rodder with a hand-built creation and a workbench full of wrenches.
YOUR HANDS THE TOOLS YOU NEED FOR EVERY JOB!
*COPYRIGHT 2012 Harkins Safety (B279)