Skip to content

Raymond Owens (@rays_rods_and_bikes)


Welcome to this week's #benchmarkspotlight (formerly the #weldershowcase) - we had the opportunity to sit down with Raymond from @rays_rods_and_bikes 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. 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:  Raymond Owens
Business Name:  Ray's 'Rods and Bikes
Location: Woodland, WA
Socials: IG: @rays_rods_and_bikes
Specialties:  custom fabricaation, hotrods, and bikes.
Tell us about yourself - what inspired you to get into your trade? And how long?
My first inspiration for getting into fabrication and building custom cars and bikes came when I was 5 years old, when my dad took me and my sister to see the Harley Davidson Roadster show. Seeing all the choppers, cool old Harley's, custom cars and trucks... Even got a picture in the red car from the "go grease lightning" scene from the movie "grease". That was also my first introduction to monster trucks, as they had Bigfoot 5000 there. I wanted to be a part of everything I saw.

Growing up I was always tinkering, figuring out how things work and fixing or modifying anything and everything I could get my hands on, but I didn't really get the opportunity to persue my dreams until high school and college with automotive and metal shop class leading to welding school and starting my own side business building hotrods and bikes.
  What keeps you motivated throughout the day?
Spending time with my family and looking forward to teaching my little one everything I've learned over the years, with hopes to spark a driving passion in him as well.
What is your favorite shop tool and why?
My Clarke en130 Mig welder, my angle grinder, and my BA flapdiscs. With those three things and some materials, if I don't have it, I can build it, whether it be parts, tools, or even parts FOR tools.
  What's your favorite piece that you've worked on?
So far my favorite piece I've worked on is a '50 crew cab chevy I build with a buddy. We started with an original '50 3800 5 window truck, cut the back of the cab off, and made a rear half from 2 other cabs, which we then grafted into the original to make a suicide rear, 4-door 7-windo truck, finished with a wood top utility bed in black with a harley orange patina and a rack for hauling bikes. Never got to see the finished product after we sent it out for interior work, but it was a fun project to work on.
If you could have any job as it relates to question 1 what would it be and what would you do with that?
I already have my dream job, even if only part-time for the time being, and that is running my own business building the things I love, cars, bikes, trucks, even some small side projects like radio flyer hotrods and wheelbarrow go karts. I build custom rides of all kinds, shapes and sizes.
What BA product is your favorite and why?
So far my favorite is the BA flap discs. They are hands down, the BEST flap discs I've used yet, with the best cutting, best life, and still the best price range of any brand I've tried. Though I am definitely looking forward to trying some BA carbide burrs soon.
What BA product surprised you in terms of quality - what about it set it apart from the competition?
Again, the flap discs. Won my first set as a #flapdiscfriday giveaway and have been hooked ever since. They're less than half the price of the cheapest competing brands, with a better lifespan of some of the most expensive off-the-shelf brands I've used.
What tips and tricks do you have for us that might be different or eye opening for others to try with BA product?
Not really for usage, but storage and organization is awesome, especially when you have a good stock in assorted sizes/grits. I made a simple organizer for my flap discs with some cheap 1/2" square bar scrap and a piece of scrap angle iron. Can mount it anywhere in the shop and it stores all my discs, from 1/16" cutting discs, and hard grinding discs, up to my 36/40 grit flaps. Kinda wish I'd left the studs a little longer, as you can never have too many discs, but it works excellent!
If there was one person you could collaborate with - who would it be and why?
Bill Carlton, from Ekstensive Metal Works in Texas. Like myself, he's into trucks, and it's always fun to see how he thinks his way out of weird issues and scenarios. His creativity matches my own and it would be awesome to see what kind of crazy build we could come up with.
Do you have any advice for the next generation that you wish you had when you first started?
Never be afraid to try something new, and if you find something you enjoy, make it work. Don't ever give up.
What are your future plans for your shop?
Right now, I am building a prototype suspension kit for my Silverado that I plan to put into production. Once finished it's an easy project to repeat for an in-demand truck generation, which could give me the boost I need to expand into a bigger garage with better tools and start building bigger and better projects.
Thanks for sitting with us and sharing your story with the community - is there anything you'd like to add?  
Yes, it is never too late (or too early) to inspire. Find what you love, and find a way to DO what you love. let the world see your passion. You will never know just how many dreams you may inspire, so by any means possible, go out and do it!


A Note From Leo
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Raymond! Keep following that dream!
Previous article Dustin Troutman (@troutmanforge)
Next article Colton Arias (@barbell_blacksmith)

Compare products

{"one"=>"Select 2 or 3 items to compare", "other"=>"{{ count }} of 3 items selected"}

Select first item to compare

Select second item to compare

Select third item to compare