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Steven Hunter (@ironcryptkustoms)

Welcome to this week's #benchmarkspotlight (formerly the #weldershowcase) - we had the opportunity to sit down with Steven from @ironcryptkustoms and talk a little shop.
If you would like to be featured in our weekly spotlight (100% FREE) and have a chance at winning one of our Grinder Hoods please send us an email to to get you scheduled in an upcoming week. And for those of you that take the time to share your story with us, we'd be happy to provide a free BA banner. These spotlights 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:  Steven Hunter
Business Name:  Iron Crypt Kustoms
Location: SoCal
Socials: IG: @ironcryptkustoms  
Specialties:  certified welder/fabricator, kustom cars/ rat rods
Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
I was first interested in welding fabrication because I wanted to build off road trucks, because of that I started to learn to weld, then years later took a job building specialty construction trucks which wasn’t exactly what I started welding for but I learned a lot in doing so, and while working there I started a garage fabrication rat rod shop, now I’m currently working as a industrial welder/ repairman and currently still building cars out of my garage for myself and friends only at the moment. I’ve been a welder/fabricator for 15-17 years now, maybe longer and have worked on all sorts of jobs while doing so.
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
The only thing that keeps me motivated during the day is making my wife and two kids proud. At the end of the day that’s the only thing that really matters to me.
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
That’s a hard one, because I wanna say welder, but I think my most used tool is either a dead blow hammer or a grinder, I can think of so many parts I've cut and beveled or finished with a grinder, that’s gotta be the winner. Without all the fancy cutters I’ve made a ton of cool parts!
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
One of my favorite pieces is the ground up 1948 ford f1 kustom rat rod I built with a friend. We started out with just a truck cab and hand built everything else, there was so much we learned. In the process, I helped a friend find his new passion for welding and fabrication and was able to teach him how to weld, I learned a ton as well. Not every moment was a good one but we pushed through and came up with a cool one off rat rod in the end.
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
Working in a full kustom shop would be cool, but honestly teaching the next generation of kids is something I’ve been wanting to do for the past few years now. Starting with my kids, but I’d absolutely love to help future hot rodders learn the trade of building cool stuff! A full kids kustoms shop summer program or something along the lines of that.
What BA product is your favorite and why?
I really like the cut, grind, finish packs, it was one of my first benchmark products, it covers all the basics I need and the products are great.
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
4-1/2" X .040 X 7/8" T1 PREMIUM THIN CUT-OFF WHEEL These are by far the best cut off wheels I have ever used! First time I used them I fell in love with them, I bought a 25 pack, not only is the cut superior to all the others I’ve used, but they last a really long time! Like a really long time. AND I’ve NEVER had one blow up on me like other top brands have. I’d put these up against any other cutting wheel and bet money on them any day of the week!
What tips and tricks do you have for us that might be different or eye opening for others to try with BA product?
Maybe not a smart tip…. But I always run my grinders with no guards so I can use those cutting wheels til the very end lol
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
Another tough one! I’d probably have to say Josh Joyce of village customs, he builds some of the raddest rides I’ve seen! Everything that comes out of his shop is right up my alley, I’ve talked to him a few times through instagram. He's a very cool guy, and his team and his friends look like they're having a ton of fun!
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
Don’t be afraid to start, you might fail at first or have a hard time but that’s all part of the process, you can’t be great if you never start! Enjoy the process!
What are your future plans for your shop?
Well I’m just working out of my garage right now and only on my cars or friends cars so my future plan is to eventually build a shop, and branch out into customer cars or into classes to help teach kids the trade.


A Note From Leo
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Steven! I really dig the idea of having a kids kustom shop summer program.. I wish I had one near me when I was younger!  We hope you get one started in the near future.
Next article Hunter Norman (@xnormanxii)

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