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Restoring a Wagon with Jimmy DiResta at the National Hardware Show

Our list of 2021 events was wrapped up October 23rd at the National Hardware Show in sunny Las Vegas! This was no traditional Make48 event, instead the Make48 team spent 3 days restoring an old 49er wagon with Jimmy DiResta and Chet Boisen as a showcase of maker skills.

After the team collaborated and decided what upgrades were needed, they got to work using tools and supplies that traveled to Las Vegas in the Make48 trailer, turning the old wagon into a “Whiskey Runner.”

The creative mind of Jimmy DiResta planned out the project and began working on the whiskey barrel trunk that would eventually be attached to the back of the wagon. He commissioned Brian from ShopBot Tools to work on many parts needed for the restoration. Jimmy began the project by cutting the barrel in half and sealing it with TotalBoat Thixo adhesive and Wood Sealer. To finish off the barrel trunk, he added hinges and a handle, and designed a mold to hold the glasses and bottle.

Jimmy had Brian Owen and the ShopBot Buddy running non-stop with all sorts of projects. After completing some test runs, the machine tackled adding a logo to both of the back panels of the wagon that had been stripped using the Restorer tool. Once the panels were given a nice coat of TotalBoat varnish, Brian got to work on the barrel-riding saddle system, as well as creating a shelf to store glasses and a bottle of the good stuff within the whiskey barrel.

Chet tackled upgrading the trunk. He used a hand brake to fold the metal into shape, made the appropriate welds with the Lincoln welder and grinded the corners to be smooth. He also worked on improving the suspension and the steering mechanism on the wagon.

We got a nice surprise when CJ from Blåkläder showed up with boxes of high-quality apparel for the team to wear and work in. I think the sweatshirts are going to be very well used this fall and winter back in Kansas City!

There was plenty of BBQ sampling to be had in the National Hardware Show Backyard space where we were set up, keeping the team fueled to keep creating. Being from Kansas City, we take our BBQ very seriously, so trust us when we say we had some straight-up amazing BBQ.

During our time at the National Hardware Show, Tom and Jimmy were both invited to join educational panels. Tom was on the panel Creating Connections and Content to Drive Sustainable Revenue Growth, mediated by Kate Youngstrom, VP Brand & Content Marketing, RX Global. He was accompanied by Janet Fenner, President, Defined Marketing, Lou Desmond, Public Relations Director - MAGLITE Instruments, and Derik Gatzke, VP Sales, Retail NA - Generac Power Systems. Jimmy was on the panel Content Creators POV - How to Work Best Together. This was mediated by Kathryn Emery, Home Improvement & Lifestyle Expert, Timisha Porcher, Content Creator, Tool Box Diva, Jimmy Diresta, Content Creator, Dan Maxey, Tools in Action. Jimmy also went on the Backyard Stage to review five of his favorite tool finds that were at the show.

We met many nice folks from around the country showcasing the latest and greatest in tools and hardware.

It was fantastic watching the upgrades unfold at the show and seeing the finished product! Next time you are around Kansas City, drive extra slow and keep an eye out for Tom and Amy in the Whiskey Runner. Who knows, they might even have it fully stocked and ready to share (not while driving of course).


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