How To Build An Old Skool Bobber

Building your own Bobber or Chopper? Kevin “Teach” Baas from Baas Metal Craft from Lakeville, MN is a high school tech ed. teacher by trade whose passion is working on metal and building or rebuilding Knuckleheads (his preference), Panheads and Shovelheads. Not to look at them to admire the results, but to ride them as much as possible.

His old-school bike philosophy? Always start with an original Harley-Davidson frame, engine and transmission them mix them with whatever parts you find in swap meets, that you fix or fabricate. In the second edition of his book  “How To Build An Old Skool Bobber”, Kevin starts be a quick history refreshing course, then lays out in 144 pages the basics of bike building, starting first with the ideal components: which engine, which frame, and the differences in the various years.

Next, he clearly explains what to watch out for when buying old parts, and how to fix the parts you do buy. Additional chapters describe brake systems, both early and late, tires and wheels, and frame geometry. Four complete start-to-finish bike assemblies with color pictures round out this hands-on book. $18.50. Order online by jumping to How To Build An Old Skool Bobber.

12 Responses to “How To Build An Old Skool Bobber”

  1. 1 Brother T Apr 29th, 2011 at 10:53 am

    The cover picture doesn’t look like a particularly comfortable riding position.

  2. 2 Kirk Perry Apr 29th, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Nice manual.
    An affordable read to grasp an overall view of the time and steady, but rarely constant, effort it takes to put something you had a direct part in building on the road. The feeling of finally motoring around something you created is worth the effort. Supremely so, imo. Once rolling and parked in your garage, it’s a confidence you “carry” with you, without noticing it. But you did – and it’s a “patch” without question.
    ALL of the knuckle & pan books are different, and every one of them add reference-knowledge for the group of people world-wide that appreciate them.
    Commitment. Preparing a book makes most people a mental-job before it’s published.

  3. 3 dannyb278 Apr 29th, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    cant speak for the book, as i havent read it, but Teach is a great guy doing great things for the kids in his minnesota school, and has had them handson building bikes for quite a few years now, with proceeds going to keep his program running. A stand up dude.

  4. 4 Kevin "TEACH" Baas Apr 30th, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Well Brother T I’ve riden that bike over 8000 miles ever summer and it is comfy as anything..I love passing guys trailering softails and baggers on my way to sturgis otr other runs on the old knuck and shaking my head at them…bikes should be ridden not trailered! My love for the old iron started from 4 years old so I am in this for the right reasons.

  5. 5 Brother Tiberius Apr 30th, 2011 at 5:30 am



    Brother T.

  6. 6 Zipper Apr 30th, 2011 at 6:29 am

    A real chopper, very cool. ..Z

  7. 7 Cochise Apr 30th, 2011 at 6:30 am

    Big Love!!!

  8. 8 Wiz Apr 30th, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Teach, “Those who Can’t, Teach!” Well, you CAN and TEACH too! Way to go Buddy, Buddy!! On yer way to Sturgis stop by Sioux Falls, I got a ’37 Flathead 80, ’40 Flathead 74, ‘an a ’47 Knuck! We’ll go blow sum doors [or fenders in this case] off sum yuppie “bikers”! And I got parts fer all that old iron, like the Linkerts ‘an such. It’s all about giving your scooter a “Soul”, you created it, you gave it Life! As I often exclaim at the top of my lungs with the first fire-up on a project bike [from the old Frankenstien movies] “IT’S ALIVE, IT LIVES!” Yuk-Yuk!! Wiz

  9. 9 jg hardtail choppers Apr 30th, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Ordering a copy today . Shop programs for kids get my support any day. Your doing a great job. My hat is off to you. jg

  10. 10 Charlie Lecach May 1st, 2011 at 2:28 am

    I haven’t read that book, but if I judge it by the cover I’d suggest that all bike builders should buy one if they have plans for building a bobber for a customer once in their career. At least we might stop seeing so called “Hollister ’47 bobbers” filled with ugly chinese aftermarket parts, with disc brakes, with billet parts here and there or even fuel injected Twin Cam engines. Nothing against modern bikes (heeey, why is my nose growing so loong right now ? ) but a bobber should be built with a Flathead, a Knuckle or a Pan motor and period parts or accessories.
    OK, now let’s order this fine book !!

  11. 11 Wiz May 2nd, 2011 at 3:46 am

    Teach, I’ll be seein’ ya today [bringin’ a custom bike to Minniapolis], hide the women ‘an children! It ain’t gonna be pretty! YUK-YUK!! Wiz

  12. 12 Wiz May 6th, 2011 at 4:02 am

    Teach, Good to meet ya, you do positive work ‘an ya know yer poop! We’ll be in touch. By the way, my daughter didn’t even make it once around the parking lot before she dumped that custom bike I built for her. Anybody want to buy a really sweet Sportster? Wiz

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Cyril Huze