Toby Zastrow’s 2014 Nomination

 We, Timothy & Mary Zastrow, nominate our son Toby for the tool chest giveaway because he is passionate about machine work and hopes to make a career of it.

 We have had the pleasure raising Toby for 17 years so far.  It has been a joy.  Toby’s grandfather, Tim’s dad, taught Tim and his two brothers how to use their hands and heads to solve problems and create new things.  He instructed them how to safely use the tools he had in his home shop (Tim was wood turning by age 8 or 9).  He then gave them free rein to try and create whatever they could imagine.  A lot of what they made was not too pretty, and often did not work as intended.  Sometimes they would use materials that Tim’s father had intended for other things, but the only time he got upset with them (or at least showed it) was when they failed to put his tools back where they found them.  We have tried to repeat this with our children, especially with Toby.

 We home school, and when we built a new house in 2005 we made sure it had plenty of shop space (though it now appears that there is no such thing as plenty of shop space), little knowing how it would be used in a few years.  This has given Toby the time and space to work on his ideas, make mistakes, and gain skill.

 We thank you for considering this nomination.


 Timothy & Mary Zastrow

  1. We have included a few photos – Toby, age 12, with some of his Lego Technics; Toby, age 10, and his father at Great Wass Island, ME; Tim’s father and mother; Toby, age 13, our riding with his dad in Lewes, DE; Toby’s mom this past summer showing her carrot harvest

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I Jermaine Ragin nominate Toby Zastrow for the tool chest giveaway.  I believe Toby is the perfect nominee for the giveaway and he’s why (not to mention he’s only 17 and a great kid).

 Back in July I commissioned Toby to machine some custom parts for me.  I wanted to build a suspended Honda ATC70. The Honda ATC70 is a small 3 wheeler from the 70s and 80s.  The problem with the ATC70’s design was that they didn’t have suspension.  To solve that problem my plan was to use the frame from a dirt bike and a swing arm from an ATV with a similar design.  So I purchased a frame from craigslist and the swing arm from eBay.  The swing wasn’t complete, so at first I only planned to have Toby machine two eccentric bearing housing to fit the swing arm.  This was a very ambitious build on my part, to say the least.  I didn’t know the first thing about how dirt bike and ATVs were built.  Things changed because of the growing challenges of a build like mines.

 The first problem I ran into was with the axle.  To keep my build as close to the original design of the Honda ATC70 as possible, I chose to use its axle and wheels.  The problem; the OD of the axle was too wide to fit in the bearings I chose, so Toby turned down the axle to fit the bearings.  The second problem I ran into was with the Honda CRF50 front forks.  The forks wouldn’t accommodate the larger front wheel of a Honda ATC70.  So that called for a triple tree and fork conversion. Toby ended up fitting the lower and upper triple trees off a Yamaha BW80 onto a Honda CRF50 steering stem.  That was no easy feat.  Toby had to grind off the old welds of the Yamaha BW80 and the Honda CRF50 lower triple tree, press out their steering stems.  Then he had to machine a bushing so that the CRF50 steering stem would fit in the Yamaha BW80 lower triple tree.

 So much work has gone into my build, but so much more has yet to be done and that is why I am nominating Toby for the tool chest giveaway.  Not just so he can work on my project, but so that he can continue to become a great machinist.

 It’s my understanding that to be considered an experienced machinist; one must have 4 to 5 years of structured training such as an apprenticeship with additional work experience of another 2 to 3 years.  Considering the work that Toby has created for me, I’d say he’s well on his way to be a damn good machinist and is the perfect nominee for the tool chest giveaway.

 Please find attached to this email some photos of the work that Toby’s has done for me.


ATC70 BW80 1 BW80 2 BW80 3 BW80 4 Carriers Frame 1 Frame 2 Frame 3 Frame 4 Swing arm 1

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