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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-17-2013 01:08 PM
69 widetrack
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr4speed View Post
Sorry to mislead you Ray, I was just venting a little about the quality I see coming from other shops. I have been very fortunate to have had some very good customers and their word of mouth to lead to more work coming in. For the most part have not had much trouble getting the customers. I remember bringing a car I did a full frame off to Hershey Pa. back in 2010 (with a display promoting the restorations) and came back with absolutely no leads at all. Was very dissapointing back then but it has picked up quite a bit since. But it is difficult and frustrating to get a potential customer to grasp a full resto type paint job and the time, materials and potential unseen problems that do arise.
OK, My bad...LOL...I had just written a PM and felt for some reason I should check to see if you had responded or not.

I know your work is second to none...and yes, I feel mislead...LOL (just kidding). I just know from experience what your talking about, the shop considered to be high end, charging the big dollar for mediocre work at best...and what gets me POed more than anything, the customer is happy with it.

I feel your on the right track as far as getting customers to grasp the full situation. It's an education that these customers need. What I've tried to do and it has worked, is to let my past customers have a hand in the education. If it comes from them it's true, if it comes from you, the customer may feel your just trying to get more for your work. I did a car for the customer I'm working with now many years ago and the best thing I did was let him help where he thought he could in the restoration. When he started I remember him saying "how hard can it be", he soon realized he didn't have the aptitude for what he wanted to end up with, he quickly became a believer and has been one of my best advertisers since.

As far as you bringing a car you did a full frame off and getting no leads...I can understand your frustration there as well. I did a Corvette many years ago and took it to a local car show. The gaps where all even, the car was straight and the paint was one of the best jobs I feel I ever did (have you ever had that one paint job where after your done you look at it and say polishing this car isn't going to improve it at all? I think in all the years I've been doing this I've had 2 and this was one of them). It won absolutely nothing...and to top it off, what did win was one of those cars your talking about. Frustrating to say the least...I found out that one of the judges was a Dentist that didn't know paint from Shineola so I didn't feel as bad.

Honestly, I'm glad to hear that your just venting, I think it frustrates everybody whose in our shoes and venting does feel good every once in a while.

Ray
02-17-2013 12:34 PM
mr4speed Sorry to mislead you Ray, I was just venting a little about the quality I see coming from other shops. I have been very fortunate to have had some very good customers and their word of mouth to lead to more work coming in. For the most part have not had much trouble getting the customers. I remember bringing a car I did a full frame off to Hershey Pa. back in 2010 (with a display promoting the restorations) and came back with absolutely no leads at all. Was very dissapointing back then but it has picked up quite a bit since. But it is difficult and frustrating to get a potential customer to grasp a full resto type paint job and the time, materials and potential unseen problems that do arise.
02-17-2013 12:08 PM
69 widetrack
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr4speed View Post
Well to be honest Ray what bothers me the most is I do see and hear what other shops are getting for paint jobs and we both know that all your labor is in the blocking and buffing. These "others" are clearly not spending much time on either. So where is all this labor being spent? Just can not see it, most of what I see around the new england area at shows quite a few will fall into this catagory. When you see nothing but ripples and cellulite they just are not getting what they are paying for. The vast majority of customers will baulk at the cost of a real nice paintjob, but will think nothing of dropping $40 to $50K doing their kittchens over. A couple contractors are in and out in a couple weeks if not sooner, you are not doing a full show quality paintjob in a couple of weeks. They just don't seem to agnolige what is involved to pull it off. A very big lack of education in this line of work, clearly.
I completely appreciate and understand what your saying and more importantly, what your going through. I've gone through it, dealing with the guys (as in my previous post that claim they have built cars and all they are is subcontractors). You, for the most part, have the wrong customer, I won't do work for them anymore. The build I'm on now will take me 18 months to 2 years to finish, (perhaps even longer depending, there have been issues I've already run into with suppliers and was expected)...I have a great customer, a true car guy that understands what it takes to build what he wants but doesn't have the ability to build it himself, he will help get me more of the customers I want. I feel I get paid well for what I do but, it did take many years of filtering out the customer that wants everything at a deal so you go broke and the customer that pays for quality. They are out there, a touch hard to find, and when you've got one, as long as your work holds up and you deliver, the others follow.

What I like a lot about what I do now, is the fact that I can work at my own pace, my deadlines are not carved in stone, (I am still told that I push myself to hard at times and then told that that's why they take their projects to me). You already have a following, one of your customer's posted and glowed about you...that's a fantastic start, leverage it if you can...be with that customer at car shows and meet the people that are prepared to pay...it called networking. I did it for years, I've lived in many cities in Canada and the build I'm on now is from over 1,700 mile away from a customer that I did work for many years ago...again, networking, your work is of top caliber, use what you've done and the people you've done it for.

Hope this helps and from a guy whose been there...I do completely understand. I'll give you 2 words that I've used in this post that I feel you should focus on leverage and networking.

Ray
02-17-2013 11:46 AM
mr4speed Well to be honest Ray what bothers me the most is I do see and hear what other shops are getting for paint jobs and we both know that all your labor is in the blocking and buffing. These "others" are clearly not spending much time on either. So where is all this labor being spent? Just can not see it, most of what I see around the new england area at shows quite a few will fall into this catagory. When you see nothing but ripples and cellulite they just are not getting what they are paying for. The vast majority of customers will baulk at the cost of a real nice paintjob, but will think nothing of dropping $40 to $50K doing their kittchens over. A couple contractors are in and out in a couple weeks if not sooner, you are not doing a full show quality paintjob in a couple of weeks. They just don't seem to agnolige what is involved to pull it off. A very big lack of education in this line of work, clearly.
02-17-2013 11:27 AM
69 widetrack So true...that's one of the reasons I I prefer to do as much from the frame up myself as I can...(there are other reasons as well but this is one). So many people I know will spend between $20K and $30K on and engine, $9K on a transmission and it goes on and on....but when it comes to spending $15K to $20K on the body....well, I get "that's way to much, I've built 20 cars and never spent that much (this is the guy that hasn't built any but pays to subcontract a build), how do you sleep at night". I find that if I give a quote for an entire project, the money for the body and paint doesn't seem that bad. It's worked well on 2 large builds in the past and the one that I'm doing now (the latest one is an old customer that I've done work for in the past and he's the guy that gave me the idea).

Ray
02-17-2013 11:14 AM
mr4speed I wonder how many technicians go from air file to primer versus air file, to long board or block to primer when that panel needs to be perfectly straight?

Ray[/QUOTE]

Apparently quite a few from the level of workmanship that I have seen coming out of far too many resto shops. I personally think the biggest problem is they can't do it, period. Most of what I see out there, and I look hard is most shops that do this work treat them like it is collision work and resto work is not the same. A friend of mine had a talk once with the owner at a well known shop, and asked about the finish body and paint work as to why they don't take the time and make the paint work as good as all the rest of the detail work that they do which is at the highest levels I have seen. The answer he got was the customer does not want too spend the time and money it takes to bring it to the levels he was reffering to. But at $20 to 30K for body and paint they should look far better. Maybe I am nuts but if your going too take all the pain staking time and research involved to detail a car to the perfection these guys will take it too why not take the paint work to the same level as everything else. After all the first thing you see and notice first is the bodywork and paint, that draws you in like a magnet.
02-17-2013 11:10 AM
69 widetrack So true Brian...I've had customers ask me how long do I wait before I cut and polish a car...I tell them that I usually wait a couple of days for the clear to cure (depending on the amount of clear, was it baked, temperature etc.)....Then I get asked about leaving it for longer in case of sinking or or sand scratches...I tell them that they needn't worry, I finished my body work in 320 grit. I know with 180 your not going to have a problem with sinking....it's just that insurance policy I take out for myself and on a fender it may take an extra 15 minutes of blocking. That's time well spent when your doing custom or restoration work...that extra time, maybe not so much when your doing insurance work. It's all relevant, I want to give my customers the best I possibly can...If your finishing in 180 for Insurance Company's, in most cases your probably giving them more than their paying for.

Ray
02-17-2013 10:55 AM
MARTINSR
Quote:
Originally Posted by 69 widetrack View Post
Brian...I think we lost a little bit of the art when we went from lacquer primer to high build...lacquer primer didn't fill that well and your body work needed to be straight...when high build came out, and I'm old enough to remember, most body men hated it...you had to clean the primer gun after using it, it had to sit overnight before sanding, the early 2K primer sanded harder than lacquer primer, lacquer primer dried quick, sanded like powder and could sit in the paint pot for however long you wanted it to. How could a flat rate body man make a decent living...and then it was explained that they didn't need to finish there bodywork as nice because the primer would fill 80 grit and even 40 grit scratches. Of coarse we know what eventually happens, sinking, sand scratches paint dying off etc. but, like you mentioned, how many body men or painters see their work 1 or 2 years after it leaves the shop.

Ray
On that subject of leaving paint in the gun. I remember the first production shop I worked at we had a gray primer gun, a red primer gun a gray sealer gun (PPG 1970?) and a red sealer gun. They hung there on the bench every day and you simply grabbed it, gave it a little whirl and sprayed it. It was a little different then wasn't it!

I still want to get it as close as possible and finish it off in 180. I will joke with the paint shop "you are going to just paint over this right, no need to waste primer".

Brian
02-17-2013 10:40 AM
69 widetrack Brian...I think we lost a little bit of the art when we went from lacquer primer to high build...lacquer primer didn't fill that well and your body work needed to be straight...when high build came out, and I'm old enough to remember, most body men hated it...you had to clean the primer gun after using it, it had to sit overnight before sanding, the early 2K primer sanded harder than lacquer primer, lacquer primer dried quick, sanded like powder and could sit in the paint pot for however long you wanted it to. How could a flat rate body man make a decent living...and then it was explained that they didn't need to finish there bodywork as nice because the primer would fill 80 grit and even 40 grit scratches. Of coarse we know what eventually happens, sinking, sand scratches paint dying off etc. but, like you mentioned, how many body men or painters see their work 1 or 2 years after it leaves the shop.

Ray
02-17-2013 09:49 AM
MARTINSR
Quote:
Originally Posted by 69 widetrack View Post
Sometimes, as we all go through life and do everything we can to hone our craft, the hardest thing to do is to stay true to our convictions and not to deviate from what we know is tried, tested and true. In all the years that I've been at my craft I haven't found a tool that works better than an eye for detail, caring about the finished product and having the concern to ensure all things are done properly. Can this be done with an air file versus a hand held long board, perhaps but, I know what works for me and that's what I need to stay with. I agree with you with respect to "if it was fast and easy to accomplish you would see far more straight cars out there." In my opinion, if there is a tool out there that makes this type of work faster, easier, and still makes the panel straight, I haven't seen it yet, perhaps when someone invents a CNC air file. Until then I will work with what I know works.

I wonder how many technicians go from air file to primer versus air file, to long board or block to primer when that panel needs to be perfectly straight?

Ray
If there is a guy going from Air file to primer, he is piling on one heck of a ton of primer to make it straight! LOL

And there are people who use that primer to fix wavy body work, and of course that is one of the reasons it's there, to "catch" something missed, not to PLAN on catching the flaws. That is the mistake some make, they PLAN on the primer doing the finish surfacing. I like to ask the primer to do as little as possible.

Brian
02-17-2013 09:45 AM
69 widetrack
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr4speed View Post
Ray, do understand completely what you are saying. I have used the mudhog in the past for certain jobs, on something that I am trying to get through quick. But as far as doing the type of work, where you can put your eye right to the edge of any panel and move back and forth and side to side and see no distortion what so ever, that is where the hand sanding really pays off. And the bottom line is if it was fast and easy to accomplish you would see far more straight cars out there. Do apoligize for the highjack....
Sometimes, as we all go through life and do everything we can to hone our craft, the hardest thing to do is to stay true to our convictions and not to deviate from what we know is tried, tested and true. In all the years that I've been at my craft I haven't found a tool that works better than an eye for detail, caring about the finished product and having the concern to ensure all things are done properly. Can this be done with an air file versus a hand held long board, perhaps but, I know what works for me and that's what I need to stay with. I agree with you with respect to "if it was fast and easy to accomplish you would see far more straight cars out there." In my opinion, if there is a tool out there that makes this type of work faster, easier, and still makes the panel straight, I haven't seen it yet, perhaps when someone invents a CNC air file. Until then I will work with what I know works.

I wonder how many technicians go from air file to primer versus air file, to long board or block to primer when that panel needs to be perfectly straight?

Ray
02-16-2013 03:16 PM
mr4speed Ray, do understand completely what you are saying. I have used the mudhog in the past for certain jobs, on something that I am trying to get through quick. But as far as doing the type of work, where you can put your eye right to the edge of any panel and move back and forth and side to side and see no distortion what so ever, that is where the hand sanding really pays off. And the bottom line is if it was fast and easy to accomplish you would see far more straight cars out there. Do apoligize for the highjack....
02-16-2013 12:56 PM
69 widetrack Yes Brian...that's probably the main reason I'm not that big a fan of air boards...the weight...when I've taught at several Community Colleges I always expressed the importance of letting the paper do the work and not to apply pressure on the block but, with an air board, the shear weight alone applies pressure. It just seemed contradictory to what I was trying to teach. Again, and please don't anyone get me wrong, they do have a purpose and work well when used properly, as I mentioned earlier, I feel I have more control with a hand held long board.

Ray
02-16-2013 10:15 AM
MARTINSR Ray, you brought up an interesting point that I haven't thought about in years. I remember using that air board on a large flat panel where I held it's weight off the hood and simply let the sand paper cut the filler without flexing the hood at all providing a pretty flat panel when done. LOLOL, I guess the rule is don't ever get rid of a tool as I did because you may just be able to use it again.


Brian
02-16-2013 09:40 AM
69 widetrack Henry I would not for one minute suggest that using air tools for sanding was hack work...it's not. For me, it's a matter of preference and the only difference is that you may use an air file to rough out your body work and I do it with my long board. Hack...not a chance nor would I suggest that it was. You do good work and I respect you for that.

One thing I will say though about air files versus long boards on large flat panels like a hood is the fact that you have less control of the weight of the air board versus a long hand held board. I have found in the past (and one of the main reasons I don't like using them any more) is because of the heavier weight and the speed at which it knocks down filler, it's much easier to over sand. A long board is slower but, I feel you have more control.

I hope you don't take offence to my opinion as none was intended. As I mentioned in "#13 permalink" about the elderly man that straightened out a Dodge Dart rear quarter panel with an 8 inch Hutchins Mud Hog"...I never got as good as that man with his air tool and really I don't feel that it's an art that I care to master. I'm only concerned about how straight my panels are using the tools that I feel I have somewhat mastered.

With all due respect.

Ray
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