In retrospect, Jim Garitson (United Performance Metals, Slitter Operator) recognizes that his love of metalworking started when he was young, and was solely out of necessity. Growing up modestly in the small Midwestern town of Trenton, OH, Jim comments, “I didn’t always have the money to buy new things, so I had to learn to fix up what I had.” What began as repairing bicycle fenders and replacing wheel spokes developed over the years into full-out overhauls of cars and trucks, and most recently included the complete customization of a Harley Davidson stock bike. Garitson’s experience in metal processing at United Performance Metals, as well as his machining and engine building experience at previous employers, gave him the confidence to tackle these more challenging projects. After completing work on a Chevrolet K1500 pickup in 2007, Jim sold the truck and purchased a Harley Wide Glide (pictured). Jim has spent the last two years customizing nearly every part of the motorcycle. “Nothing on the bike is original,” he notes, from the CAM, carburetor, ignition, and exhaust system to the body, including rims and even the handlebars. Several new parts of the Harley are of particular interest to Garitson because of his day job. His new Vance & Hines exhaust system, as well as the clutch cables, brake line, throttle cable, and fuel lines, are made out of stainless steel which Jim is quite familiar with. “I’ve been a Slitter Operator at UPM for 11 years,” comments Garitson. “It makes me feel good to know that the stainless that I work with everyday is used to make some of the parts for my cars and bikes.”
Gartison's Harley Davidson Wide Glide prior to customization.
Posted July 30, 2012
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