Kent White - The Tin Man, TM Technologies

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Kent White -- The Tin Man

Kent White, founder and president of TM Technologies, was a physics major at the University of Nevada. His metalworking career began unwittingly with a repair and restoration to his 1954 Ford F100 pickup because the darned thing wouldn't start on frozen Reno mornings. Modifying it and doing repairs eventually required courses in welding, so he bought his own equipment, and modifed the F100 with a turbo-charged blueprinted small-block Dodge and Mopar drive-train. It never again had a problem starting, but with over 400-horse, stopping became a problem.

With physics (and the U.S. Army) behind him he went to work for Classic Machine and Restoration in 1970 as a welder, mechanic, and machinist apprentice. There he did a mechanical rebuild on a 1936 Cord front-drive, started building up a 1913 Stutz Bearcat, and set-up a 1934 Ford pickup chassis with a tube frame and full Jaguar independent suspension.

In 1972 he went to work for Harrah's Auto Collection where he learned comprehensive sheet metal repairs and fabrication, all facets of electro-plating, coach building, paint work, and complete Concours restorations. In 1976, he achieved Master Technician status at Harrah's, where he trained with industry greats from Brewster Body, Boeing, Rolls Royce, Interstate Aircraft, and Lear Aviation.

White has studied metallurgy, with an emphasis on the performance and responses of aluminum, steel, and other metals related to the forming, shaping and welding processes. He has participated directly in over $40 million worth of restorations, many of which are regarded as the rarest, most beautiful cars and aircraft in the world.

His accomplishments include winner of the 1976 Pebble Beach Best of Show, Meadowbrook Hall Best of Show, Honorary Judges Ferrari at the first International Ferrari Concours, the Hans Tanner trophy, and numerous "Firsts" nationally, including AACA Juniors and Seniors. His last restoration at Harrah's was a Graber-bodied Duesenberg, which Dean Bachelor, in his book on Harrah's Auto Collection, said was "arguably the finest restoration Harrah's ever produced." Dean was the editor of Road and Track Magazine, and the author of many bench-mark books on Porsche and Ferrari.

Kent was also the metalman on the team that won three consecutive AACA Grand National Awards, and on another team that won Reserve Grand Champion at Oshkosh 1998. In 2002 he was a metalman on the crew that built the Hughes H-1 Racer replica for Wright Machine Tool.

White was also the first outside contractor Delta Airlines ever brought in to their Technical Operations Center, where he trained skilled craftsmen and instructors to make door skins for Delta's 747's.

A recognized historian, craftsman and technician in the field of metalworking, White founded his own company, TM Technologies, in 1989 to help revive and preserve the traditions, tools and methods of restoration metalwork.

He is the author of a solid library of technical publications and instructional videos on welding, sheet metal shaping, aluminum repair, and body restoration.

In addition, White has researched and developed a complete line of the finest quality machinery, hand tools, supplies and safety products for welding and metalwork. He conducts seminars and hands-on training sessions both at TM Technologies and at various locations around the country, and also offers consulting services.

White holds a patent for his development of the TM2000 High-Accuracy Special Welding Lenses, designed to absorb sodium orange light, increase weld quality and productivity, and enable longer periods of work without eyestrain. The TM2000 Lens is currently used and recommended by Delco Remy, Kodak Labs, FMC, National Tool & Die Welding, Ron Fournier, author of Sheet Metal Handbook, and thousands of welders worldwide.

In addition, his Oxy-acetylene Aluminum Welding System was rated by professional aircraft welders as superior to what was used in the past, including WWII military aircraft.

Today, Kent continues to develop innovative products for metalworking, including a new line of forming equipment and welding supplies. His popular and successful workshop programs are well into their second decade, and each year Kent presents metalworking classes to thousands nationwide.

White has been a metalman for over 45 years, and is a member of the American Welding Society, and is affiliated with the Aluminum Association. He lives in the pine and oak covered foothills of the Sierra Nevada, outside historic Nevada City, California.


"Everything in the future will change, if you start making the right effort now."
- Swami Sri Yukteswar

"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself."
- Unknown.

"A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines."
- Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959)

"I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to."
- Elvis Presley (1935-1977)

"Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end."
- Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

"Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you."
- Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
- Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"Always do right. This will gratify some and astonish the rest."
- Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"Why don't you write books people can read?"
- Nora Joyce to her husband James (1882-1941)

"Being on the tightrope is living; everything else is waiting."
- Karl Wallenda

"Never mistake motion for action."
- Ernest Hemingway (1889-1961)

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
- Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

"640K ought to be enough for anybody."
- Bill Gates (1955-), in 1981

"Everything that can be invented has been invented." (And he went on to recommend that the US Patent Office be thenceforth closed.)
- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899

"Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans."
- John Lennon

"Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach's 'St. Matthew Passion' on a ukelele."
- Bagdikian


His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to eke out a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself,

Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death. The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.

"I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life."

"No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel.

"Is that your son?" the nobleman asked.

"Yes," the farmer replied proudly.

"I'll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll grow to a man you can be proud of."

And that he did. In time, Farmer Fleming's son graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Years afterward, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin. The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill.

Someone once said what goes around comes around.
Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you've never been hurt.
Dance like nobody's watching.

Pickup in the Rain
One night, at 11:30 PM, an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her–generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxi cab. She seemed to be in a big hurry! She wrote down his address, thanked him and drove away.

Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read:

"Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes but my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others. Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole"

Always remember those who serve
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?" "Fifty cents," replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it. "How much is a dish of plain ice cream?" he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she said brusquely. The little boy again counted the coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away.

The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed. When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies–her tip.

Giving Blood
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.

The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save Liz." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?"

Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood.

Attitude, after all, is everything.