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Old 04-14-2009, 02:16 PM
Chris Kemp Chris Kemp is offline
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This a good one!

I was about seventeen years old and I was working for an older guy that had a little body and paint shop. He did as much insurance work as he could get but he also did a lot of used car work. He had a special that he did for the whole sale car guys that he called a dip job. What it consisted of was me washing the car with comet and then sanding and repairing any small dents that it had and not sanding the rest of the car. I would tape the car up and he would paint it with the cheapest car paint he could buy. At that time it was ZacLac synthetic (this was 1973). Because he was real good with a paint gun when the car was finished it really looked good and all of the used cars guys loved the dip jobs. In the winter time he would not use thinner he would set the gallon can on a hot plate and that would reduce the viscosity. Now in the summer time it was a different story. Believe it or not on these dip jobs he would use gasoline for thinner. It really made the cars shine good. Well the compressor was small, the booth (if you want to call it that) had poor ventilation and the shop was real small too and because of all of this I had to stop work when ever he painted. He kept the compressor in the paint booth off to one side and it had been acting up when it kicked on. During the time that he would paint I would usually walk to the corner store and get me some crackers and a cold drink. I'd then come back and sit across the street under a big oak tree and wait for him to finish. On that particular day he came out between coats and sat there with me for a few minutes. While we were setting there shooting the breeze we heard the compressor try to kick on and it made its usual humming sound for a second and then the whole booth blew up and went up in flames. Nobody was hurt but it caught the whole shop on fire and put him out of business.

A lot of the make shift booths that I see up here on this web site look similar to the one that he had. Proper ventilation and using the right material has been a must for me ever since. Make sure to keep the vapor away from any source of ignition.

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