by Satch Reed
After receiving Practical Fabrication and Assembly Techniques for review from Motorbooks, I briefly read through it and did what any respectable publisher would do: I searched the author on the Internet, found his contact info, and sent him an email asking if he'd be interested in writing for SecondChanceGarage.com. Unfortunately, he's currently pretty heavily booked up, but left room for the possibility in the future.
His writing style is just what we value at Second Chance Garage: easy to read, step-by-step how-to information written for the novice as well as the expert.
As any car restorer or hot rodder knows, the devil is in the details. This book walks you through, in a step-by-step fashion, the fabrication of a doubler plate (a simple backing plate used to reinforce steel metal), fabrication of a charger jack plate, as well as a fuel tank bulkhead project.
His approach is straightforward and well-thought out, and the end results are terrific.
Throughout the book some beyond-basic discussions of basic things, such as the proper way to drill a hole, fasteners, and basic wiring procedures, can go a long way to help you to get the end results you want.
I thought the section on using high-end aircraft-designed off-the-shelf products, such as rod ends and spherical bearings, and the use of safety wire, was practical and informative.
A chapter dedicated to using A-N Hose and Fittings and stainless-steel braided hose materials, is complete and accurate and shows the ins-and-outs of using these systems.
The Practical Electrical chapter explains your choice of wiring, terminals and the processes that can be used to keep your current going in the right directions.
Then there are details concerning various clamps, and methods of routing your brake line, wiring and other plumbing through your vehicle that helps make it safe, and looks smart, too.
My one criticism of the book is that many of the projects are about fabrication of flat plates, rather than more complex brackets. Oftentimes, the only way you can get components to fit where you want it or need it, is to build brackets that may have bends, curves or various supporting arms. Instructions on how to build these types of brackets could really be useful. Maybe that'll be in the first article Wayne writes for us!
This is a terrific book and I can easily recommend it.
Wayne Scraba has a diverse background in both writing and motorsports. He has worked as a magazine editor, a technical editor, and a freelance magazine contributor and has authored five automotive books. His work has appeared in more than 60 high-performance automotive, motorcycle, and aviation magazines worldwide. His background includes operation of his own speed shop, fabrication of race cars, and assembly of street rods, hotrod motorcycle builds, and muscle car restoration.