Brad Parker (IG: @gnarlivin)

May 14, 2022

Welcome to this week's #weldershowcase - we had the opportunity to sit down with Brad from @gnarlivin and talk a little shop.
 
If you would like to be featured in our weekly showcase (100% FREE) please send us an email to leo.benchmarkabrasives@gmail.com to get you scheduled in an upcoming week. These showcases are intended to highlight your skill, your business, and your tips and tricks.  Most of all it's to have a little fun!
Enjoy and Grind On!

 

 

Name: Brad Parker

Business Name: Rust & Rocks Fabrication

Location: Long Beach CA.

Socials: @gnarlivin @rustandrocksfab

Website/YouTube: www.GnarLivin.com

Your Specialties: Failure

Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
I grew up across the street from Jesse James ( @popeofwelding ) and was in his garage daily as a kid. I was always drawn to the arc when he was welding, even though he’d always remind me “don’t look at the light” and I’d just stare directly at that thing in a trance. Hahaa  When I was about 10 he made me this gnarly chopper out of my old Schwinn 18” bike that he extended the forks about three feet, put a smaller scooter tire out front, bent the seat post back and added a wheelie bar out of a skateboard truck and wheels…It was rad! That bike even made it into Chopper mag back in the 90s with him doing a wheelie down the driveway. Hahaa That really stuck and showed me that you can really make anything you come up with. Especially where he welded my name on the back, I think that made metal just became another art medium in my head. After dropping out of high school at 17 he put me to work cleaning up at West Coast Choppers where I started learning to weld a bit and small bits of fabrication here and there. It was a blast and I absorbed as much as I could. About a year later I just wanted to surf and got a job at a surf shop. Hahaa Watching Jesse build what he has all started from a 2 car garage in Long Beach to what he is now has always pushed me to never stop learning and finding new ways to work for myself.
 
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
I honestly don’t know, I just have to make shit! I don’t like sitting still. Hahaa
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
By far my Hypertherm Powermax 45xp! I’ve wanted this machine for a long time and I finally got one and can’t stop using it. I love doing freehand plasma work and it’s been a lot of fun learning what I can do with this machine!
 
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
I don’t think I really have one, I have been very fortunate to work with some really cool people on some really fun projects. I did finally keep one of my pieces because it was the first big thing I cut with my Hypertherm, so it might be the 4’x4’ Jesus light box I made. Although this life size Virgin de Guadalupe I’m doing has been a lot of fun!!!
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
I’m living my dream job but if I could go back to work for Jesse James doing what he’s doing know I’d leave Long Beach in a heartbeat! Hahaha Jesse is one of the smartest and hardest working people I’ve ever known so I’d love to be able to learn as much as I could from him again.
 
 
What BA product is your favorite and why?
I’d say the 4 1/2” T27 flat face/angle flappers! Hahaha I go through those suckers like crazy and it is a great all around get er’ done disk!
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
I will say I feel much more comfortable using BA cut off wheels over any other brands.
 
 
What tips and tricks do you have for us that might be different or eye opening for others to try with BA product?
Keep it sketchy and respect the danger! Hahaha Rust in your eyeball hurts and is expensive to have removed! Hahaha
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
Rae Ripple!!! She seems like such a rad human! I like her raw build on the fly style.
 
 
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
Don’t be scared to fuck up!
What are your future plans for your shop?
Just trying to get a bigger facility to take on bigger projects.
 
 
Thanks for sitting with us and sharing your story with the community - is there anything you'd like to add?  
It’s not a race, enjoy what you do and things will work out. Now get back to work!

 

A Note From Leo
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Brad! Always a pleasure speaking with you and seeing what you're working on next.



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