Henry, this dude is an ODD dude, but BRILLIANT!
I talked about it a while ago on a thread how I went to a little swap meet nearby and ran into him and we chatted for a long time. He had some VERY odd ways about him, but I learned so much it was crazy. He taught me metal finishing, straightening grilles and mouldings for chrome plating or stainless for polishing. He made me the painter of this shop doing full on restorations, we are talking a big shop FULL of jobs, we specialized in "Model 40" Fords, that being the 33-34 years. I went to work as a helper at 19-20 years old and I was there about 3 or 4 months and he fired the painter and made me the head (and only) painter! I was doing full on competitive show paint jobs just like that! He put me on the fast track into every square inch "flawless" lacquer jobs. I know "flawless" is a very over used term as there is no such thing, he taught me that as well as EVERY car can be made better, even AMBR at the Grand Nationals. But honestly, he gave me the honor of doing some amazing cars from a Porsche Speedster that won a bunch of awards to piles of Early V8 Fords (32- 48) shown around the country (one 34 Phaeton was shipped back to Hawaii after completion). I have called him up out of the blue a few times over the years to thank him for what he taught me, odd dude, (eating granola cereal with Tab for milk! eeeez) but damn that guy was brilliant. We had a rotisserie that had a gear mechanism on it where you turned a crank to rotate the frame (every frame with all it's components was painted black Imron). He made tools like a jig to machine the 33 Ford instrument panel after plating.
He made a mechanical cable operated mechanism to turn off and on the booth while you were inside so you didn't have open the door with it running.
He made racks for things like wheels so the wheel could be painted inside and out rotating it to get every speck covered oh my God did I learn how to paint every speck of a part like suspension components and hinges and stuff like that. Am I an anal SOB when it comes to a bare spot on a hinge out of the paint dept now! GRRRRR
This dude is a thinker and always made money as he was a tight wad too. But I am always glad to see him and shake his hand thanking him as I was the other day at the swap meet, he IS one of my greatest Mentors.