TiBurnt x Craft Square

Well I finally got around to replacing the bolts on my Craft Square mirrors. I knew right when I got them, I didn’t like the bolts they came with – plain black and could probably use a little more jazz. I procrastinated for over a year – mainly because I didn’t know what size they were and no one around could tell me either.

Finally, I decided to reach out to Al over at TiBurnt and I slipped into his DM’s and sent him pics of the bolts with measurements. After a bit of back and forth and verifying, he was able to confirm the sizes and within 2.5 weeks, I had the bolts in my hands (yesterday). TiBurnt has the best burnt-look titanium hardware in the business hands down. You just cannot find them like this anywhere else – the places that sell them in huge batches have this fake, shitty looking burn that looks more like neochrome than an actual burn and it just looks tacky IMO. I’d rather have plain Ti than the Neochrome looking ones any day… But I digress.

The bolts by TiBurnt are incredibly high quality – high shine, perfect burn pattern and it’s just so pretty to look at. Anyway, snapped some quick pics of them all replaced. Now I’m looking at other bolts to replace with Ti… I’ll get to all of them in due time…

The stock black ones. Started to show signs of rust and oxidation. Yuck.

The top stainless steel one. Meh.

Another shot of the drivers side. You can see the rust/oxidation a little better here. I gag every time I look at them.

And voila! Beauty. I actually regret not getting the countersunk washers too but this helps keep some contrast between the carbon.

My favourites are these ones. It’s too bad you can only really see the top of the head on them. The bolts themselves are beautiful – I know. It’s weird to say that about bolts but they are. On black, the colour really pops.

And one more close up of the bolt on top of the mirror.

Thanks again to TiBurnt for all the help!

Raw Denim – Unbranded 21oz Goodness

Disclaimer: this is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea – especially if you don’t care about jeans or more specifically – you hate unwashed jeans – but it is most certainly my big cup of tea and I just wanted to share! So if this isn’t your thing, scroll on…

I’ve been into raw denim for almost 10 years now but I was never a really diehard fan that knew everything about every brand and Japanese mill that ever existed – I didn’t really care for that back then. I was really all in for the hype – if you call it that – it’s as much an adventure as it is hype and if you had the patience to wear the jeans day in, and day out to get them to the grail state of fades, then it was worth it. I must have gone through at least 10 pairs over the last 10 years – none of them ever really getting to where I wanted it to be. I either got tired of the fit or they didn’t fit anymore at all – I would last a few months and move on. that’s the unfortunate part of raw denim – until you find a pair you’re willing to stick it out with for as long as possible – that end state is far in the distance.

Well up until last year, I had some time on my hands and I started to look more into raw denim. It turns out, raw denim is literally a sub-culture of the denim world and there are people that are much more than raw denim enthusiasts – they live and breathe by them and anything you could ever want or know about it, they could tell you. I started learning more about the different mills that produce jeans, the different levels of jeans, which cotton produces the best fades, which dye method produce the best indigo, selvedge and the beauty of the inner seam that no one ever seems to care about, the weight of the denim (DENIM HAS WEIGHT?!). Every little piece of the raw denim industry has a story and if you care about the story, the jeans have that much more significance.

Anyway, the point of the post is just to share my lack of knowledge over the last 10 years and how I wish I knew what I know now. Also to share my latest pick up that I’m pretty stoked about… My previous jeans have always landed in the 10-12oz range – so fairly lightweight and not much to them. They faded well for the most part but they were just generic Nudies or Naked & Famous jeans and some other off brands that never really made it anywhere. I got a pair of N&F Indigo Power Stretch when Aria was born – I said that it would be cool to have a pair that was the same age as Aria and have it essentially be the same age as her. Perhaps a little corny – but cool to me. They have been the best pair that I’ve had in a long time but again, nothing really special about them – no selvedge, they were stretch which kind of goes against the grain of wearing raw denim, and just a basic 12oz cotton. Still a great pair nonetheless.

After a few weeks of learning and reading, I suddenly had an urge to jump straight into super heavyweight denim but I wanted to make sure I got the right pair. (ie., fit, denim, brand, etc). I had looked at a bunch of brands – Momotaro, Japan Blue, Iron Heart, Unbranded, N&F, and the list goes on. One of my biggest issues was always the fit – if it didn’t fit right, then the jeans were a waste. Since my current N&F fit so well, I took the measurements of them and went off to find a pair that matched it as closely as possible. The problem is that all the brands I wanted were not sold even remotely close to me to try on. Comparison after comparison – none of the brands I wanted fit the bill for my measurements and an inch here and there was a big difference in how the jeans would fit. Finally I had come across Unbranded – an entry level brand that is essentially a sister company of N&F. The fits were almost identical in measurements (naturally) and luckily for me, they’re based out of Montreal – so I saved myself some $$$. I picked up their UB121’s which is a skinny fit 21oz denim – a perfect segway for me into the world of super heavyweights… And so lets go onto pictures finally…

I wanted to start with my N&F jeans to show the progress. I’m quite happy with where they’re at right now at almost 9 months. I’ve only done one soak with them so far and the indigo is start to show nice whisker fading and it’s turning into an electric blue.

The crotch/lap whiskers coming in nicely.

Knee fades starting to lose a lot of indigo as well.

When I got these, I didn’t end up hemming them so that they could stack. At first I regretted it but as the stacking fades start to show, I’m starting to love them.

The butt fades with the wallet showing through as well.

Back of the knee fades – much lighter than the rest of the fades mainly cause I’m sitting most of the time if I wear them so there isn’t much action going on back there.

We move onto the UB121’s. You can see the drastic difference in them and I wish those of you that have never felt or seen a super heavyweight denim before could get the sense in pictures. Unfortunately you can’t, so you’ll have to take my word for it that these are stiff and rigid and heavy mother f*ckers.

The back – plain and simple like the N&F jeans.

The difference between my previous pairs and this one is that these have selvedge stitching on the inside. A nicer quality and feature that I wish I knew about sooner. Looks nice when cuffed.

Tag…

I’ve begun marking the date on the inside pockets so I know exactly when I started wearing them. Helps to keep track of how old they are – it’s more helpful 6, 9, or 12 months from now when you want to know…

And as the brand states – everything is unbranded. Nothing is labeled to keep prices down which I think is totally cool. I don’t really care for the branding anymore so this fit the bill. Although, I wouldn’t complain if there was some pocket stitching design…

The buttons are pretty sturdy as well. Right now it takes me a good 15 seconds to button and unbotton that top one because of how thick and hard the denim is. Hurts the fingers…

And because even the leather patch is unbranded, I decided to add my own personal touch to it. I added the date on the back as well just to add some small details and then I also had some branding leaf stamps that I added to the top corner just cause as well. I didn’t want to overdo it otherwise in a year from now, it might look corny… But that’s all folks! We’ll see how these come along in the next 6 months!

Japan Goodies!!

Late post – but better late than never right? It’s a filler so nothing too exciting, but cool to me nonetheless.

The homies came back from Japan last weekend and brought some goodies. I took a pic of some of the things they got me – while small, they are actually things I love – so that’s why I like to share.

A group shot of the goodies. One of my favourite mags that I like to read but don’t understand is Hyper Rev 86&BRZ. It’s massive for what it is but it has tons of unique builds and parts that you don’t see online or in other magazines. It’s pretty lowkey and local stuff to Japan that doesn’t really make its way here. Of course, there are big builds and more notable ones in there as well, but the small ones are the ones that catch my attention. I haven’t even cracked this one open yet…

Another is a special edition Takara Tomy 86GRMN edition. I was debating whether I should open this or not but decided against it. I’ll just enjoy the picture on the box and pretend…

Another is a TRD keychain. Small but meaningful to me. For a year now, I’ve been looking for a cool keychain. A YEAR.

At the end of the day, a keychain is a keychain but I’m super picky about what I wanted it to look like. Long, short, carbon fiber, no carbon fiber, leather, not leather. This list goes on. I ended up never getting one cause I couldn’t find the perfect one. Well, Punit and JC happened to bring back the perfect one without even asking if this is the one I wanted. Now I have a keychain! lol

The other cool part they got me is a TRD fuel cap cover. Yeah, it’s a cover, not even a replacement but it’s cool as fuck. The sad part of it all is that no one but me will ever see this. Not even at a car show will this be something someone can admire because nobody has their fuel door open at a car show. All of the things JC and Punit have gotten me for the FRS over the years have been cool as hell but are all parts nobody can see 😥

At least when I fill up gas, I’ll feel cool as hell. LOL

For Aria, they picked up a few shirts – this very appropriate Hello Kitty shirt. Another anime egg shirt and pants from Uniqlo. The kid has better clothes than me and Diana…

And a before shot of the fuel cap…

And after. COOL AS F*** RIGHT?!

Quickie Photoshoot with Ken Au

Ken recently came from Winnipeg for a few days to cover off Driven and he asked if I wanted to come out for a quick photoshoot last Sunday morning. I’m always down for a shoot that I don’t have to do – especially if it’s my car LOL.

Anyway – thought I’d post them up. Give Ken a visit at his site as well: www.ken-au.com

I like this shot. The lighting and the angle just helps accentuate the curves of the stock body and the Arise kit nicely. Widebodies are nice but the stock body is just too good for me.

Rig Shot Practice

Went out with Ricky on Saturday night to do some test/warm-up rig shots. He’s been itching to go out and shoot and I’ve been needing new shots so why not! We usually do my car first early on in the season so now it seems like it’s an annual thing lol. It’s cool cause there’s no pressure and we work together to come up with new angles and new ideas. Each time we go out, the shots seem to get better and better and we get faster at setting up.

Ricky took some good shots that night – and so I thought I’d post some up of the set up and a few of the shots that came out. I’ve learned that lighting can either be your best friend or your enemy during rig shots. If it’s too bright, you’ll have a hell of a time getting a good shot without either blowing the sky out or just not getting any movement at all without a polarizer. If it’s too dark, it’s a different ball game in terms of how to use any existing/external light sources to help light the subject.

Getting set up…

Ricky’s GTI – I call it a Unicorn cause this thing never gets driven and I never see it lol. I think it’s got half of the total mileage that my FRS has and I barely drive mine… He’s also had his since like 2009 lol.

Not aired down but still looks good.

Since I was short on time, we had to use a less-than-ideal spot but it still worked.

A shot of the suction clamps

The boom attached.

And Ricky setting up the arm and camera.

Setting up for the first angle and shot.

The outcome. The one thing I love about rigshots is that I’m pushing the car and we’re literally moving at like 1km/h but it makes you look like you’re moving 100x faster. Ricky got some great shots that night – almost all of them turned out awesome.

Switched sides to try and get some movement on the grass.

Tried one from the rear and the wheel turned. This one was one of my favourites. I just wish there was some stuff on the ground to make it more textured.

And one last one that we’re still working on perfecting. A dual rig shot – tougher than it sounds. The rig has to be attached to one car and pushed like always – that’s easy. The hard part is pushing the other one at the same speed to keep everything sharp and not blurred. This particular one in theory was good but we should’ve angled the rig a bit more to get wheel spin on at least one of the cars to give the feeling of more movement. Ricky’s car was also blurred so I actually took a still shot of his car that was clear and photoshopped it into a moving one of my car. I added an artificial radial blur to his wheels and it turned out alright. I got some hot spots from the cloning tool that I should’ve fixed but I got impatient lol…

At least we know for next time!