Friday, May 20, 2016

Business spotlight - White Knuckle Kustoms - By Michelle Libby

With the recognizable graffiti bus out front cut to be a toy hauler, White Knuckle Kustoms has begun working on custom pieces that go well beyond vanilla into trendy tricked out motorcycles as well as kitchens and railings at their new shop on Route 302 in Windham. Owned by Adam Zajac, the company moved to a new location in January of this year to open his custom fabrication shop after six years at a previous spot, just a few miles away.

“We’re here in Windham, a local business that keeps it local. I love the Town of Windham,” said Zajac, who also lives in Windham and is raising his family here. 

White Knuckle Kustoms does custom work on motorcycles as well as a variety of other services. They offer machining services, welding for alloys, some leatherwork and custom metal engraving by their own in house artist. 
“I love welding,” said Zajac. “I used to do high purity pharmaceutical grade TIG welding. I always wanted to do something more edgy and creative. I always loved motorcycles and I always had to modify something.” 

The eight employee shop runs like a well-oiled machine. Each person has their own niche, said Zajac. There’s a mechanic, machinist, CNC equipment operator that allows Zajac to manipulate up to a ¼ inch sheet of metal, a welder and of course an engraver. They weld on aluminum, titanium, copper and more. “We like to call ourselves molten manipulators,” he added. 

“We are built on quality. We try to keep up with the demands of our customers,” he said. Demand has been so strong that Zajac’s dream storefront in the old Pinelyne building has taken a backseat and he is hoping to have it open by June. When they do open, they will feature home furnishings like lamps, tables, bedframes, custom railings and a clothing line with belt buckles and geared toward welding. In addition, there will be T-shirts, jackets and hats with the White Knuckle Kustoms logo. He said that “motorheads” will like the style. There will be some leather work, also.

There will be parts and accessories for motorcycles in the store. “We’re a one off custom shop,” said Zajac. They make items for customers that are one of a kind and may never be made again.

They have designers and engineers that can help customers decide what they would like done from a complete kitchen design to custom fit handlebars. They won’t mass produce the item and it will fit the customer exactly, he said. When it comes to handlebars, the right placement is important when riding long distances. They are very competitive with pricing too, charging only  $60 per hour for labor. 

“I don’t know anyone who does the broad aspects of what we do,” Zajac said.  

The customers they service are individuals and large companies. They do all of Shipyard Brewing Company’s metal fabrication and do sanitary welding for other businesses. They work with high end architects and interior designers. Many people also come in for small projects, like fixing a weld on their boat trailer or patching the pontoon on a boat. In addition, they do work for high end motorsports like a 600 Hp rally car or a drift car with roll cages and custom work. They do a lot of race oriented work like custom bumpers and special exhaust systems for snowmobiles and that was where Zajac saw the business going when he first opened, but now they are ready for many more types of projects.
“Quality control is huge. We are quality over quantity,” he said. He likes to say he has a “stainless reputation.”

One of the coolest projects Zajac can recall is putting in a customer kitchen with an air pneumatic system for the table attached to the counter. A remote control puts the table up and down. They also put LED lights hidden around the metal counters and cabinets. 

“It’s such a broad spectrum of everything we do. We can do your wife’s kitchen and then we’ll do your husband’s hot rod,” he said. “I love working with metal and I love extreme sports.” 

Last week, HGTV stopped by and filmed for an episode of one of its home decorating shows. “Home design wasn’t something I planned to get into,” Zajac said. 

A lot of their work is word of mouth referrals. They do many road calls and do service installations. Not sure if they can do a job? Call them. Appointments can be made for design projects by calling the shop.  Once the store opens they will be there between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Weekends will be by appointment. For more on what they offer, call 892-7506 at the shop, 207-891-7680 for Zajac or email They are also on Facebook and have a website in development.

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