All posts by Steve

Blogtopsites, It’s Back

Today I received an email from the webmasters at BlogTopSites, Ahmed and Jacob, as I suspected, due to the popularity of this site it had outgrown the server capabilities and started to create unreliability for its members. The whole system has now been upgraded to allow for the continual growth and optimized to allow additional servers to be added when needed.

As far as I’m concerned it’s great to have the site back on line, the incentive is back to climb up the ranks. Don’t forget to check you’re emails for login reset then you’ll be back in business.

Ahhh! the beauty of being popular!

Blogtopsites, Where Is It?

I have noticed in the last week or so that the website, blogtopsites has been down. My question is, is it because of a change in server or has it been removed altogether. The site is unique in the fact that you can track the amount of traffic that comes to your blog over a one week period giving you a numerical number for the position in that said category. In other words, Metamorphosis was tracking at number 60 to 65 over the week period out of an estimated 400 blogs in the category of Automotive Blogs. Most people wanting to find out about a certain subject will visit this site, making it important to strive for a top 50 placement at least in a hope of finding regular traffic. The top 50 being the first page of this website.

I find it interesting as this gives me an incentive to try and produce more postings with quality information. This in turn will help my readership to grow, resulting in a higher placement in the blog top sites.

I have noticed on the site Problogger which normally tracks at number one for internet blogs, that the link is down proving there must be a problem. If anyone does have an idea as to what’s going on, post a comment to resolve my curiosity.

Hydrogen, Is This The Demise Of The Oil Industry?

With the summer rush over and everyone settling into the fall/winter routine, the oil prices have started to drop. The record gas prices set in the summer have started to fall but the consumer has been driven to seek better fuel efficient vehicles to break the dependency of continual refueling and of course to save money. The disposable income that one once had is being eaten by the gas companies as they gloat over their record breaking profits. During the peak of the price increase large SUVs such as the Ford Expedition and the Chevy Suburban were eating gas at a rate of 25 cents a mile, assuming you were getting 12 miles to the gallon, causing a major backlog of SUVs on dealers lots, prompting a reduction in manufacturing output. All of the three domestic manufacturers have lost ground to their Asian counterparts with Toyota being the better equipped to deal with the oil crisis selling record numbers of their Toyota Prius.

The rush is on, every vehicle now being developed by major automotive manufacturers are striving for increased gas milage and the government backed initiative for the hydrogen fuel cell has been touted as the savior for mass transportation.

What does this all mean you may ask? Continue reading Hydrogen, Is This The Demise Of The Oil Industry?

Y2Klay Revisited

This recent week has seen me working with Y2Klay first hand and to give you a further insight into the use of this clay I can confirm that the first initial report is very close. The clay does adhere to itself very well, with the use of a good keying surface and just for good measures a heat gun to bring the surrounding surface up to speed. The clay does tend to harden very quickly so if you are going to drag in a surface make sure that the amount added is in small quantities to give yourself a chance to put in the surface.

One of the main issues with this clay is after a few days in the oven it will get a crust that will never blend in with the rest of the billet. As in the normal procedure when packing a model, the billet is kneaded like dough to bring it to an even consistency before applying to the buck. What I am finding is the crust breaks up and gives little hard pieces in an otherwise creamy clay.

This is something that needs to be remembered, only have enough clay in the oven that is going to be used by the next day to avoid this crusting of the surface. This is especially important if adding to an already finished surface, otherwise the hard pieces will give a mottled effect to that surface.

The beauty of the current formula is, the oven can be refilled as clay is removed as it takes approximately three hours at 140°F to reach working temperature. Continue reading Y2Klay Revisited

Best of “How-To”

Another successful “Group Writing Project” comes to an end at Problogger and it’s time to list what I think has been the most beneficial to my growth as a blogger. That doesn’t mean that the ones that didn’t make my list were not worthy but the ones that did meet my criterion for the “Best” are the ones that I have listed.

This list of 343 submissions surpasses the last mass writing project and to be honest it has taken a lot of time to read everyones post and more, which leads me in having to backtrack and read quite a few of the posts again, just to refreshen my mind after information overload.

My thoughts on this project leads me to list first the posts that are outside the normal scope of what Problogger is about, those posts that have nothing to do with internet marketing and making money online. They are the ones that I enjoyed the most in this group writing project. They were the ones who spoke about their hobbies, their families or day to day experiences. Continue reading Best of “How-To”

Learning the Basics About Sharpening

Image courtesy of Problogger for the latest group writing project.

Yesterday I received an email from a fellow sculptor regarding what was the best solution for sharpening wire tools. Julie wanted to know what oilstone to use and was there any particular make or brand that was best.

I thought this would make an ideal start for the now famous “Problogger Group Writing Project” that everyone anticipates each month.

You may well ask, “What is a wire tool?” These particular tools are used in the sculpting industry for working fine details mostly relating to the industrial arts such as automotive clay modeling. They are most widely used when modeling interior detail parts and apertures.

This type of tool is constructed from spring tempered wire or music wire which will hold a keen edge without blunting quickly, making it ideal for the abrasive nature of the industrial modeling clays. Wire tools are available through a handful of specialized tool suppliers and when you receive them they are normally ready to go, straight out of the packet.

So, we have a quick synopsis of what the wire tool is all about and you can appreciate that once one of these hardened tools become dull then it has to be sharpened in some way. Continue reading Learning the Basics About Sharpening

Chavant’s Y2Klay

In a previous article I spoke about the impending move from sulphur based clay to sulphur free clay due to the adverse effect to circuit boards that are now manufactured for todays computers. The seriousness of this effect is such that our company has now transitioned to Y2Klay by Chavant to assure warrantees of computer equipment will remain uneffected.

Now this transition period was put on the fast track, there’s no point in prolonging the inevitable so I am now at a point where I can give you an overview of the product in question.

Y2Klay has been a product that Chavant has been perfecting over the last ten years and the main attributes are:

  • Sulphur free, therefore reduces its corrosive ability.
  • Less odor, no more smelly clothes through working with the clay.
  • Light weight, a potential reduction in weight by 40% leading to less cost in shipping.
  • Good working temperature (135°F or 57°C)
  • Excellent milling properties

Continue reading Chavant’s Y2Klay

Cast Your Vote and Have A Say

In a previous post on “What splines are best” I was hoping to get a response from the modeling fraternity to see what the material of choice was but with dismal results. Not one opinion, I can only assume that the majority of modelers no longer care or use the spline as a means of ensuring a quality surface, maybe the digital world has taken over and it’s just the case of scraping out the mill marks and calling it a day. Even so I’m sure that many modelers do use splines for controlling the surface and with that I will share my findings with using carbon fiber.

Since that posting our studio has made numerous carbon fiber splines with great success, gone are the twists in the spline that you associate with wood, now we have the option of using the straight carbon fibers. This success did not come overnight though, it took several attempts to get the right amount of resin to carbon fiber, the thickness was also a factor. With carbon fiber it tends to be more rigid than the regular wooden spline so a thickness of 6.0mm in wood is more flexible than a carbon fiber at 6.0mm. To get the same sort of feeling we found that the thickness would have to be reduced by 1.0-1.5mm for the same length and width on the carbon fiber spline. Continue reading Cast Your Vote and Have A Say

Sculpting Tools for Professionals

List project image, courtesy of

Darren Rowse of Problogger sets the group writing project for this week as being, lists. It just so happens that it fits in nicely with the information that I would like to portray on this weblog. In essence, to compliment my claysculptors website by offering information to clay modelers/sculptors who need a central resources site for reviews on available modeling tools or how modeling tools perform in real world applications, couple this with material reviews, how do I topics and industry news, it should make for some informative reading.

With that in mind where would I start for this group writing project. The first thing that comes to mind is you cannot start any model or sculpture without a basic set of modeling tools. Anyone first starting out is always eager to scrape on the clay and try to create a smooth acceptable surface, so let’s start with a list of Industrial Clay Tool suppliers. Continue reading Sculpting Tools for Professionals

Camaro Gets the Green Light

On the wave of J.D.Powers and Associates 2006 Vehicle Dependability Study on August 9th, General Motors announced one day later that it will put into production the dramatic vehicle that they had on show at this years North American International Auto Show, the Chevrolet Camaro. The long awaited return of Chevy’s muscle car has prompted many an enthusiast to bombard the corporate Blog demanding its return. Continue reading Camaro Gets the Green Light