Episode 1 Bitchin Boot Camp with Dave Kindig Power Rankings on the MotorTrend App – Hot Rod
Bitchin’ Boot Camp is a building competition where 12 highly skilled fabricators are competing for the chance to join the Kindig-it Designs crew. Subscribe to the MotorTrend app for $2 per month to start watching today!
Welcome to Week 1 of Bitchin’ Boot Camp! More than 2,000 people applied for a chance to join the show where 12 lucky fabricators are going to compete for a job. Not just any job, though—this is their chance to join one of the most bitchin’ crews in the hot rod world today: Kindig-it Designs in Salt Lake City, Utah. The challenges aren’t going to be easy, the attitudes could be even worse, but this is the chance of a lifetime.
Dave Kindig, owner and designer, and Kevin “Kevdogg” Schiele, shop foreman, have set up a 4,000sq-ft shop and filled it with brand-spankin’-new, professional-grade tools for the contestants to use. The contestants enter the shop, and before they can get comfortable, Dave and Kevdogg walk in and tell everyone to draw a number out of a hat. When the numbers are opened, it is revealed that two numbers are actually “Kevdogg stamps,” and right away the contests are thrown into their first challenge. Briana Huhn and Mike Buttafuoco are the first two contestants to go heads up.
First Challenge: Make a Cylinder
Dave and Kevin want Briana and Mike to make a cylinder, 12 inches long and 4 inches in diameter, using 20-gauge sheetmetal. The cylinder must have a 1/2-inch flange at both ends, and they have three hours to complete the task. Briana and Mike can use any tool they find in the shop, and if they can’t find it, they can make it. Dave and Kevdogg say this is the same type of challenge they would give to any potential applicant to test their fabrication and organizational skills.
Right away, it’s apparent that Mike is calm and collected as he gets to work setting up his bench. Briana appears to be stumped by the challenge and held up with some of the tools. As she is trying to use the sheetmetal break, she has difficulty pushing down the foot lever simply because she is not heavy enough and has to jump up and down on the lever to get the machine to cut her work piece. Both contestants have the same idea: bend the flat piece of metal around a pipe to achieve the desired shape and weld it together. Mike stays calm and focused while Briana scraps one attempt and throws it across the shop in anger. Both use a metal shrinking die to bend straight pieces of half-inch angle iron into the round flanges they need to cap their cylinders and weld them on.
When the three hours are up, Dave and Kevin dismiss Briana and Mike to “The Breakroom,” where the other 10 contestants have been waiting and watching their progress. After assessing the two cylinders, the judges come to a decision and call all the contestants back to the shop to announce the results. Both Briana and Mike failed to achieve a perfectly round cylinder, but Briana edges out Mike in this challenge with her more complete welds and cleaner overall appearance. Mike is dismissed, and with that, one contestant has already left Boot Camp.
Second Challenge: Make a Speed Bulge
The remaining 11 contestants are all competing in this challenge—making a traditional hot rod speed bulge. This a dished piece of sheetmetal made to provide clearance for a large engine (like a Hemi) under the narrow cowl of a prewar car. To make the challenge even harder, contestants are only allowed to use hand tools. The English wheels, forming dies, and planishing hammers are completely off limits. The speed bulge must have a 1/2-inch depth and a 1/2-inch flange around the edge, and the contestants only have two hours to complete the task. This should be an easy one for any experienced metal shaper.
Some contestants stand out right away as they start swinging their new, plastic hammers into the leather bags. The judges instantly notice how quickly Patrick Laughlin is shaping his speed bulge and are impressed by his skill. Patrick admits that he used to make motorcycle gas tanks using the same techniques employed in this challenge. Josh Sartain stands out with his slow and methodical work, as well as Desiree “Dez” Ferrell and Jaime Hjelm.
The judges aren’t only taking notice of the competitors who are doing well, though. When McKinlee Thacker brings out a torch to anneal her sheetmetal (using heat to soften the work piece), they comment to themselves that she is actually making the job much harder on herself. Numerous contestants are seen cutting the outline of their speed bulges before they have finished shaping them, and Dave and Kevdogg say they are jumping the gun and limiting themselves by removing material they might need later. Two contestants—Gabby Downing and Justin Culver—stand out for a huge safety breech, and the judges leave the office to call an immediate pause to the challenge. Gabby and Justin were attempting to change the cut-off wheel in an air-powered rotary tool with the air hose still attached and holding the cut-off wheel in their hands while doing so. If one of them accidentally triggered the tool, that could have meant a trip to the emergency room. Luckily, no one was hurt.
When time is called, Dave and Kevdogg hand each contestant a red or black poker chip and tell them to leave the shop while they assess their work. The contestants aren’t told the meaning of each chip and debate this while they watch the judges go over their completed pieces. When contestants are called back, they are asked to hold up their chips and separate into the two colors. Dez Ferrell was initially given a red chip and Gabby a black one, but before Dave and Kevin tell them what the colors of the chips mean, they are asked to switch. That’s when the contestants holding the black chips find out they are safe. Patrick is further congratulated by the judges for having turned in the best-looking piece.
Frank Hjelm, Gabby Downing, McKinlee Thacker, and Russell Alford were all given red chips, and the judges explain the shortcomings of their speed bulges. Gabby was singled out for her lack of safety in the shop. Frank’s piece was asymmetrical, and his flange was too narrow. McKinlee’s piece was intentionally shaped like a curved teardrop, not meeting the judges’ criteria. But Russell completed the least developed speed bulge, lacking the compound curvature needed to lie flat on the work bench and missing any sort of noticeable flange. Dave and Kevin dismiss Russell, who chalks up his loss to the judges misinterpreting his work and not admitting that he didn’t meet the criteria of the challenge. The 12 are now 10, and the winner of this challenge, Patrick, is promised an advantage in the next one. Tune in Saturday, March 23 to find out what the next challenge will be and what Patrick’s advantage is, only on the MotorTrend App!
Week 1 Bitchin’ Boot Camp Power Rankings
- Patrick Laughlin
- Jaime Hjelm
- Dez Ferrell
- Josh Sartain
- Frank Fannelli
- Briana Huhn
- Justin Culver
- Gabby Downing
- Frank Hjelm
- McKinlee Thacker
- Russell Alford
- Mike Buttafuoco
Source: Read Full Article