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MARTINSR 10-16-2012 08:21 PM

Painting wood grain 1979
I was working at a full on restoration shop in 1979. The guy use to do wood graining on parts send from literally around the world. I painted the base color, he did the wood graining at night time so no one could learn the tricks! Then I came in and cleared them.


Old Fool 10-17-2012 06:16 PM

Sad thing is he probably never passed on his knowledge by "protecting" his tricks. :(

oldBodyman 10-17-2012 08:26 PM

Someone is now making the tools and patterns again, now all you need to do is practice, it is an art. Watch the videos.

MARTINSR 10-17-2012 10:23 PM

He id did it with concrete die as I remember, using all kinds of tools, brushes and stuff. You know the funny part his friend taught him how to do it and he ended up taking a bunch of his friends work. His buddy was very well known for his work his name was Craig Clemmens and was a master at it.


tech69 10-18-2012 12:09 AM

sounds like your jedi yoda was dabbling in the dark side. :D

MARTINSR 10-18-2012 07:03 AM

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. :D 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.


Old Fool 10-18-2012 07:22 AM

I am glad he shared a lot of his knowledge. You were a lucky guy to be mentored by him.

MARTINSR 10-18-2012 07:40 AM

SOOOOO lucky! I have two, him and in collision work it was a guy at another shop. These two men saw that I had a crazy passion for this stuff and they took their time to show me everything they could. I will be forever grateful to them.


tech69 10-18-2012 08:12 AM

sounds like the old jedi was selfish and insecure but at the same time you have to exhibit a degree of secrecy due to all the back stabbers in the trade.

tech69 10-18-2012 09:36 AM


Originally Posted by MARTINSR (Post 1600395)
SOOOOO lucky! I have two, him and in collision work it was a guy at another shop. These two men saw that I had a crazy passion for this stuff and they took their time to show me everything they could. I will be forever grateful to them.


so let's see what that equated to and dig up some old pictures of some hot rods. It's always nice to see old hotrod pics cause at times you'll see certain things in prestine condition and you'll think, "Just imagine how hard it is now to find that part in that condition."

MARTINSR 10-18-2012 09:49 AM

Like when I was delivering newspapers before that, I didn't take many photos of the houses or the papers. :rolleyes:

I have a few photos, where they are I am not quite sure but photos weren't taken like today, and I have always been kinda a nut on photos. It's like a guy from today imagining what it was like when you had a 16" black and white tv in the front room and one phone in the hall at the bathroom, and people wrote words on a piece of paper and put them in the mail to a friend instead of pulling a phone from their pocket and sending them a text.

It's like when I boxed for 10 years, I have TWO photos of me in the ring,I was too busy working for a goal than to have pictures taken. But I sure wish I had taken more, the shop was like a museum, it was very cool.


MARTINSR 10-18-2012 09:55 AM

It's so funny, right as I finished the last post my boss came up to me and handed me a new digital camera, man how things are different.

Oh, and Henry, there were no hotrods, this was a restoration shop. There were only two hot rods we ever had in the shop, a fiberglass Model A coupe (must have been the first one!) was a 35 Chevy, I don't even remember what we did to it. I didn't touch the Model A as it got painted elsewhere. The Chevy I remember having all the wood replaced with metal and it was MASTERFUL! The owner did it, and it was a piece of friggin art! It was as shame to cover it with upholstery.

Nope, it was all restorations, early Ford V8 restorations mostly.


MARTINSR 10-18-2012 08:44 PM

I had forgotten, there were three hot rods. This was one in the main area at the GREAT Grand National Roadster show. And like digital cameras and cel phones, it was a MUCH different show than it is today in Pomona. When it was in Oakland there were no rat rods or even "traditional" Rods there there. This was a Car show, we are talking , you had to send in an application packet with photos and your car got accepted if it met their standards. When you walked around this show, you saw VERY nice cars. You couldn't put your car in the show if it had been there before unless it had "major changes" from the last time it was shown. I am not kidding you, it was a CAR SHOW for show cars!

Anyway, this T was the first car I cut and buffed with "Ultra fine" which was the first paper ever sold finer than 600. OMG it was like friggin magic! This was a brand new body that needed a bunch of work, the "Ford" script on the tail gate was all full of holes and partial letters missing. My boss told me the customer would love to have it but for me to grind it off because it can't be fixed. He said that to the wrong guy, I repaired it and the customer was thrilled.

Anyway, this car was in the main arena 1980 show and I was THRILLED to say the least having been to that show for years with my dad. It was like getting to play on your favorite MLB team and walking into the stadium you use to watch them in. :D

Anyway, there it was in the main area just 50 feet or so from the car that won America's Most Beautiful Roadster. When I went in there with my Girl Friend we couldn't even see it there were so many people. We literally walked right by it without seeing it. We went up into the seats around the main area and I found it then we went back down so I could get a close up look with her. :)

I have this StreetRodder magazine up on the wall of my garage.


It's in the lower left hand corner.

And the AMBR winner......The Great John Buttera's 29 Roadster.

MARTINSR 10-19-2012 12:18 PM

LOL, I was thinking about just how much this taking photos has changed. LOL, friggin hilarious how much it has! Now, in 1979 I don't remember exactly what camera I was using, it may have gone to a built in flash by that time. But I am thinking it still used a disposable "flash cube" with four flashes.

I know I had an camera like this with the modern drop in 12 or 24 exposure film cartridge. It was one time use, you took your 12 or 24 photos and then brought that down to the store dropping it off for developing. This took a week or two as I remember. You then went and picked up your 3.5x3.5 inch photos. Wanted enlargements? Give them the negative and wait a few more weeks then pick them up at the store.

My goodness even I had forgotten what a friggin hassle it was. You had to REALLY want to take a photo, one of my "Basics" where I take a bunch of photos would have cost me $10 or something, and that was 1979 dollars! I was getting paid about $8 an hour!


MARTINSR 10-19-2012 01:43 PM

And no Zoom, no self timer, no video, no seeing the photo until you pick it up at the store! :D You could take a roll of photos and find out the exposure was all screwed up or you were moving or something and they were all blurred!


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