Monday, June 18, 2012

This has been a Great Experience for Jeff and the whole family!

Our friend Bill from South Glen Falls, NY was kind enough to send us the story of his 12 year old grandson building his own MINI-BEEP ORT! Below is Bills version of the story. Also, please see the link at the bottom of the page to the article that his grandson was in. Copyright 2012 The Glen Falls Chronicle, author: David Cederstrom.

"When I arrived home from Florida last June (2011), my twelve year old” grandson Jeffrey met me at the door with an instruction book and a big grin."
"When I asked him what he had, he replied “I have the plans to make an 80% scale working jeep”  When I asked him where those came from, he told me that he had found this website “Struck” on line and thought that the mini beep was “cool”  He then worked on his parents and they gave him the instruction book for his twelfth birthday. They told him that when his grand father returned from Florida that he would be probably be happy to help with the project and then the saga began."
"After reading the book carefully cover to cover the adventure started.  I explained to Jeff how to interpret the drawings and how to accurately read the various rulers and measuring devices.  I then went over the details and explained how to interpret the angles and arcs and had him draw out each diagram.  Then, before cutting anything, I had him check his work once or twice more.  He was then shown how to use a saber saw and, after just a little practice, began to cut out the pieces. Where critical shapes were involved, I suggested that he stay just to the outside edge of the pencil marks so that he could touch up the final shape with a sander."

"Jeff is a kid that has had an intense interest in tools for some time.  He started a collection of basic battery operated power tools such as drills, sanders, etc since the time he was nine. After about two weeks, he had all of the parts cut out and started sanding and filling the pieces.  It seemed like the sanding and filling was going to take an eternity, but he progressed at it very diligently."
"In the meantime, the rest of the family and some of the neighbors started to take an interest just to see what he was doing. His grand mother made he and I shop aprons and embroidered them with “Jeff’s” Beep works, and later made he and his father “T” shirts that said “Jeff’s Beep works.  Jeff’s said Jeff  “CEO” and his father’s said Bill  “CFO”."

"After the sanding and filling exercise, Jeff drilled all of the pilot holes where the various pieces would go together.  Then he went over these holes again with a countersink. At that point, we set up a couple of saw horses and cut a couple of two by four stringers to fasten the floor to.  In this was, the assembly could be made at table height and there would be a relatively easy way to move it to the bed of a pick up truck when the body was assembled. Per the instructions, each piece was clamped, glued and screwed with stainless steel screws." 

"It was hot that summer, and we left the garage door open while we were working.  Many people that walked by stopped to see what on earth he was building.  In fact, when the body was nearing completion, one day a school bus stopped out in front and several of the school maintenance men got out to see what we were doing.  It seems that they had heard rumors of this project and stopped to see for themselves."
"After the body assembly was finished, all of the screw holes and all of the seams were filled with epoxy filler.  Then more sanding took place.  Jeff is getting pretty adept with numerous types of sanders. Next, one coat of epoxy resin was put on and, again sanded smooth."

"By now, Summer was pretty well over and grandpa was looking forward to going back to Florida, so the body was moved to Jeff’s house in Gansevoort.  He and his father applied several more coats of epoxy resin and sanded, sanded, and sanded. The body was then painted with an automobile paint in a green color similar to the original jeep colors."
"The hardware kit was  purchased from Struck and his father painted it to match the body. (Epoxy resin and painting were not Jeff’s specialty.) After the painting was finished Jeff assembled the pieces over the winter of 2011-2012.  By January, it was starting to look like a real jeep."

"In February of 2012, the headlights were installed and an electric start engine was purchased.  The engine was installed and the key turn start switch and throttle were relocated in the cab.  By the end of February, Jeff was taking people for a ride in his do-it-yourself vehicle. A current estimate is that Jeff accomplished about 80% of the work that went into this over a period of about eight month’s."

"At this point in time, many of the finishing details have been completed, a trailer hitch has been installed and the float box is under construction. He has had so much fun constructing and customizing this “Beep” that I am not sure that it will ever be completely finished.  He is working on details to install brake lights and directional signals."

"All in all, this has been a great experience for Jeff and his whole family. It has taught him a great deal about mechanical drawing, carpentry, finishing, mechanical assembly, electrical wiring, etc, etc. In addition, he has become adept in using numerous types of tools."

"It has been a wonderful bonding experience for Jeff and his father as well as his grandfather. We have all commented that gee, it is too bad that more young boys do not have an opportunity for this type of experience."  
                                                                      --Bill, South Glen Falls, NY

Here is a link to the newspaper article that was written about Bill's grandson.  Copyright 2012, The Glen Falls Chronicle - Author: David Cederstrom.

1 comment:

  1. Bill, I love the idea of this little Beep, I'm so glad you had this experience with your grandson: Priceless. Is it good enough to go through some high water, more so than a regular car?