House of Hacks

Sunday, May 13, 2018

1965 Buick Skylark project car build - Preparation


In this episode of House of Hacks, Harley starts to pull a project car build out of mothballs. He has plans to do a rebuild and restoration on these classic muscle cars.

Playlist to other vehicle related episodes:

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, go subscribe and click the bell to get notifications.

There's a playlist containing videos talking about the House of Hacks' values.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to 1965 Buick Skylark project car build - Preparation

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at
Intro/Exit: Hot Swing
Incidental: Backed Vibes and George Street Shuffle


Hi. Harley here.

I'm out in the garage today for what's probably going to be a prequel for a much longer, probably multi-year, series.

If you look over here, I've got, underneath all these boxes, there's a car buried and back in the corner behind that car, there's another car buried.

Both of these are project cars that have been sitting on the shelf for way too many years and it's time to start working on them.

I want to primarily start working on the one that's back here in the corner but in order to get to that one, I need to get the one in front to be moveable.

So, the purpose of today's episode is to get this unburied and get it runnable. It hasn't been driven in a number of years since the battery went flat and wouldn't start it.

So I need to get a new battery. I need to change the oil in it.

I should probably check the gas in it; put some fresh gas.

Put air in the tires. That sort of thing.

I just need to get it so I can move it around the yard.

I may end up selling it at sometime in the near future.

But right now, the goal is to just get it moveable so I can get access to the one in the back.

So, let's get started.


[Time lapse]

OK. I got the first level of stuff off there and see, there really was a car under there.

You couldn't really tell before, but I've got a convertible and a coupe.

I don't know if anybody else organizes this way but the way I do it is I tend to move things into piles and then shuffle the piles around and progressively reduce the number of piles I have and get each pile organized individually.

So, over here, I have something to go to the basement.

I've got a pile of trash that goes in the trash can.

I've got a whole pile of cardboard that for some reason had been getting saved and needs to go in the recycle bin.

I've got a pile back here that goes to the garden shed and a pile that goes to the garden storage.

I've got a pile here that goes... I don't know what to do with that yet. That stuff from the old truck that we used to store in there that we don't have room for in the new truck, which is a project in and of itself, try to figure out better storage in the new truck.

And over here we've got stuff that should go in the back of the Jeep for emergency preparedness stuff.

And over here is project things that need to go down to the basement. And I've got a vacuum pump in there, so that needs to go to the basement too.

So now the next step is to start organizing these individual piles.

[Time lapse]

OK. So I got a good chunk of things done.

Those are my wife's projects back here in the background. I need to talk to her about what we want to do with that stuff.

But I got all the cardboard off and got piles sorted.

Some of it was just a matter of moving piles to other places for future... to deal with in the future. Still need to figure out what to do with some of that stuff.

I do have quite a few things now to deal with down here that are stacked underneath the vehicles and around the back. So I need to figure out what to do with that stuff but that's going to be for some other time.

My wife's home from the activity she was working on and we're both hungry so we're going to go get some food and I'll probably tackle this either later this evening or tomorrow or next weekend.

A couple days ago it was 85 degrees and sunny. Now we've got drizzly and 55. Typical Utah spring.

Anyway, last week I didn't get as much done as I was hoping to which you know is pretty typical when you're working on projects.

But I did get all the boxes off the top of the car here, so we can see there really are two cars here and today I want to try to get all the stuff that's around underneath these things so that I can get to them and work on them and have space to actually get the project going here.

[Time lapse]

This is some of the stuff I had stacked around the car. It's track lighting that I was able to get out of a building that was being changed. It was a strip mall and one business was moving out and left this behind, the new business coming in didn't need it and so I was able to go in and scavenge this material.

I'm going to be using it for project lighting for videography in the basement so I really need to get this put together and in use.

[Time lapse]

And I've got the obligatory cute cat picture as Smoke is out here trying to help me.

[Time lapse]

So this is kind of an interesting little device that was given to me.

It weighs well over a hundred pounds I'm sure once it's all put together.

But it's got a motor in here, and a drive mechanism here that's chain driven with gears and a power supply.

It runs off 110 and it's got these tracks that go on each side of it.

It's designed to carry refrigerated vending machines up and down stairs. So those vending machines weigh 12 to 14 hundred pounds and so it's really, really heavy duty.

It also has these kind of outriggers on it that slip into these ports on both sides for additional maneuverability.

I have no idea what I'm going to do with this. If you have any ideas, leave them in the comments below. I'd love to hear them.

One interesting thing is it does not steer. It's designed to just go up and down stairs, as I mentioned, and so it only goes straight. There's no steering mechanism on it. So, in order to use it for some other application, it might require some engineering.

I'm not sure if it's worth trying to salvage anything off of this or what I'm going to do with it.

So, like I said, leave a comment below if you have any ideas.

[Time lapse]

These cardboard tubes are another thing I could use some help with. If you have any ideas what they could be used for, I'd love to hear them down below.

I though about maybe a telescope project with a little bit of it, but that's only going to use probably not even a whole one of these and I'm not sure what else I'd use them for.

They're too good to be thrown away though. You know how that goes.

They're smaller than the concrete forms that are used for fence posts and things like that. I think they're cores from something like carpet or paper rolls or something like that; that's about the size that they are.

Another idea I have for those tubes is to make some storage for all the long scrap metal I have in the corner of the workshop.

[Time lapse]

I got everything cleaned up from around this thing.

I'm ready now to try to start getting it running. That'll be the next video.

If you're interested in this series or other car related videos, there's a playlist up above.

And until next time, go make something.

Perfection's not required.

Fun is!