Category Archives: Progress Report

Progress Report | CB350

This is the state of my bike at the moment.  I’m in the middle of tearing down/rebuilding my bike with a little help (Ok…a lot of help) from a couple friends who are much more adept at auto work than me.  We’ve got it stripped down to the frame and got it cleaned up quite a bit by hacking off unneeded tabs and filling unneeded holes.  The plan is to clean and rebuild the engine (where necessary) and build the bike back up as sort of a cafe/brat style bike, while taking inspiration from older british bikes.  There’s not a lot on this bike that will be left untouched or unmodified.  It should have a really clean and classic look when we’re done with it.  Can’t wait to get it up and running, but then again, I’m really enjoying the process.  This is how I’ll be spending most of my free time while I’m back in OC.  Fun stuff.  I’ve been snapping some pics on my phone as we’ve been working and so here’s the tear down process at various stages:

The bike when I brought it home.  It had crash bars and a sissy bar (not seen in picture) and some weird electronic ignition unit mounted off the triple clamp.  Not that appealing looking.  It wasn’t running.

The bike cleaned up a bit and running.  Pretty much bone stock at this point.

The bike before we started it tearing it down.  Only a couple small cosmetic modifications — Drag bars and bar end mirrors.

Pressure washed, seat, battery/battery pan, toolbox, and rear fender assembly removed.  Ready to start hacking the frame.

Frame hacked and cleaned up in various places, various holes welded and filled.  Exhausts removed.

Pressure washing the exhausts.  These will be sent out to be rechromed along with some other parts.

Gauges and mirrors removed.  Tank mocked up for knee dents.

Headlight, tank and some other stuff removed.

Engine removed.

The engine.

Everything else removed.  Down to only frame.

Paint stripped with Aircraft Remover (stuff is gnarly).  From here, the frame will be sanded to complete removal of paint, body filler will be applied to clean up various places.  That oughta get it fully prepped for paint.  To be continued…

Progress Report | Alden for Context Roy Boots

My Roy boots right around the three month mark and right before getting a treatment of neatsfoot oil per recommendation by Horween themselves.  They’ve  broken in beautifully and I love them even more than the day I got ’em.

Experiment | Raw Denim vs. 7 Week Tour

I had the bright idea of purchasing a cheap pair of raw jeans (Unbranded) and wearing them exclusively when I play shows.  I thought it’d be really interesting to see what kind of wear/fades wearing them in an isolated and specific environment would do.  Problem is…I didn’t think about the fact that they’d basically be getting a (salt) soak every single night.  Shows generally mean a lot of people packed in one room — people generate heat — lights on stage are always very hot — this last tour we did was a headline tour where we were playing 1:15 plus everynight, which all adds up to lots of sweat.  The jeans ended up losing a considerable amount of indigo before being able to establish good fades (the pictures give a little too much credit).  There’s definitely some fade happening though, the most notable fades (not surprisingly) happened on my upper right side, where my guitar rests.  Check the difference in the waistband between the right and left side.  The copper rivets and buttons seem to be doing some nice/quick aging though, probably expedited from the constant salty moisture looming.  I realize it’s only been a little over a month and a half, but considering how hard I wore these, I thought there’d be some more substantial fading.  Plus, they stink.  Really bad.  I’m retiring the experiment and am going to attempt to put these into everyday rotation, hoping that it’s not too late to wear these in right.

I really wasn’t expecting much out of these jeans, but they are actually pretty legit.  I was surprised at the amount of solid details — Chain stitching on hem and around the waistband, blue-line selvage, hidden selvage in coin pocket, hidden rivets in back pockets, and on top of that, a pretty solid cut.  I’m pretty sure I got the straight leg cut, which doesn’t really seem straight.  It’s definitely tapered, but is a good fit.  Also, another note if you’re planning on purchasing these, they run a bit small.  I usually size down one or two for raw denim, but I bought these true to size.  It’s almost like they sized them with the break-in in mind.  My only gripes are that the denim itself had a softer hand off the rack, unlike my previous raw denim buys which were stiff as a board.  The initial stiff, almost crunchiness of raw denim helps in creasing, good fades, and creating character which I was afraid I wouldn’t get the full effect of.  Nothing that a bit of spray starch didn’t help.  The oversized leather tab on the back is pretty unsightly (especially with sweat stains all over it), but is not really seen since I don’t really tuck my shirts in much.  I may just pull it off.

I picked mine up from American Rag, but you can also find them at Urban.  Overall, a really solid buy at $78.  Just don’t sweat profusely in them every night for 7 weeks.

Progress Report | APC New Standards, First Wash

My New Standards had seen six months of fairly consistent wearing and I decided it was time for a wash…well, not technically a wash I suppose, a cold soak.  It wasn’t the smell that dictated the decision (they seriously didn’t smell that bad at all), nor even the magical six month mark.  I more or less just got sick of the stiffness — they still could practically stand up on their own.  I of course would not have even started to consider this had I not felt all the wear marks were well-established and I wasn’t 100% satisfied with where they were at.

This was the first time these guys hit any water whatsoever, and so I thought I’d document the before and after effects of cold soaking raw denim.


I did a quick rinse with them on in the shower with luke warm water to let some running water over them.  Then, I turned them inside out, laid them flat out in my tub, and filled the tub up enough to make sure everything was submerged.  I let them soak for a couple hours, rolled them up in some towels (that I didn’t care if they got indigo on them) to soak up some water, then hung them up outside in the sun to dry.


They tightened up a tad, but not a lot at all.  Most noticeable were the taming of the knee bulges, which I was happy about.  The color didn’t change much, maybe some very slight overall lightening of the color, as one would expect.  The most notable difference to me though, was the softening of the fabric.  After a couple hours of wear, the fabric softened up pretty nicely and that incredible stiffness they had before was gone.  The hand is much more pleasant now, but don’t get me wrong, they still feel nice and rugged.  It also lost it’s slight patina that it had developed (noticeable upon close inspection, it almost seemed waxed), but I feel like that might come back after some more months of non-washed wearing.  The after pictures below were taken after about an hour of wearing post-wash.  It’s been about a week now, and the color/fading has really taken on a new life and is starting look really really nice.  The best way I can describe it is that the color seems to have been getting sweeter ever since the soak.  I feel like I washed them right at the perfect time.  I’ll post some pics sometime.


The above picture is probably the most accurate representation of the color the were before.

Notice the saggy knees.  A quick note about the knees — Having two kids means that I’m constantly on my knees so they were pretty quick to fade.  One thing I’m a bit bummed on is that when these were newer, they’d ride up quite a bit when I bent my knees, making the knee wear really low, pretty much at the top of my shins when I’m standing straight.  Ever since I washed them, they ride less and I’m practically starting a new knee spot above the older one.  It’d be a good idea to make sure when you’re breaking in your new jeans, that you train them not to ride up a lot when you bend your knees.

Wallet obviously in the left pocket.  Right pocket worn from keys/mini flashlight/key hook that I hang off my back loop.

Some great honeycombing.  Wouldn’t have been so defined had it not been for the initial stiffness.

Dirty ass cuffs/selvage.  This cleaned up pretty nice after the soak.  I did rub the selvage against itself to clean it a bit.

Close up of the twill pattern in the denim and how the indigo warp threads fade.

You could tell how stiff and crunchy they still were.

This is a closeup of a canvas belt I got a couple months ago.  You can see how much indigo was still bleeding even after several months.


Notice how the knees tightened up compared to before.

Nice honeycombs minus the ultra-crunched look of before.