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Old 04-10-2019, 09:14 AM   #1
hogfarm
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Not happy with the body guy

I have a body guy that is a friend of mine.He has been working on my 58.He has painted most of the parts,but they are not to my standards,paint is ok but body work needs some help,so I decided when I took the bed to him I would do all the body work myself,to avoid bondo.I got it straight and was looking good.I told him when he was ready to take it off the trailer to call me and then me and another friend would come help.Well the day we went to help,we get there and the bed is off the trailer and sitting on the stand I built,looked around and said what the heck,guy had used his fork lift and moved the bed.The right lower rear bed section was rolled over and smashed.Now I need to get bed back or go use his equipment to repair....sorry just venting
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:41 AM   #2
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Re: Not happy with the body guy

That sucks. Having seen some of your work, your standards are high - banging into stuff with a fork lift is never acceptable.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:06 AM   #3
MARTINSR
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Re: Not happy with the body guy

Ohhhhhh damn that sucks!

Sorry to hear about that, hope it fixes easily.

Just remember, when you are driving down the road with a smile on your face all that will be forgotten.

Brian
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:00 AM   #4
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Re: Not happy with the body guy

This unfortunate story is the kind of thing that compels me to think I'm good enough (or at least care enough) to do EVERYTHING by MYSELF.

(Which is obviously foolish and wastes a lot of time and money...not to mention the "single-use" tools I have acquired)
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:40 PM   #5
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Re: Not happy with the body guy

like b-mac says and why a lot of us do it ourselves
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:02 PM   #6
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Re: Not happy with the body guy

sorry to here that but never let a friend do your work for you your just going to loose a friend over it been there
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:36 PM   #7
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Re: Not happy with the body guy

Unfortunately, my body work does not meet my standards

I have a great guy who is very fussy and careful and he does a great job.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:41 AM   #8
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Re: Not happy with the body guy

MAAAN THAT SUCKS.
sorry to hear that. all that work down the drain. like Brian says, driving and smiling later when the thing looks awesome and everybody is turning to look. that episode will be forgotten or at least placed in a smaller box in your memory bank. you will be prouder on the inside because you know how it looked before the paint. we know your work ethic so we know it will look awesome when done. bear down and keep doing things how you do things.
forgive and forget. hard to do but, if you don't, it just eats you up inside. sad to say but the other guy has probably forgotten already. he likely had good intentions and with the fork lift thought he could go it alone.
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:02 AM   #9
hogfarm
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Re: Not happy with the body guy

It is true I will get over this,but since I retired 5 years ago I have no time to go do the repairs ,will work in in next week
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:42 PM   #10
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Re: Not happy with the body guy

That really sucks figuring that you had it just about as close to perfection as it could get before you took it down there.
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Old 04-13-2019, 06:11 PM   #11
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Re: Not happy with the body guy

Quote:
Originally Posted by b-mac View Post
This unfortunate story is the kind of thing that compels me to think I'm good enough (or at least care enough) to do EVERYTHING by MYSELF.

(Which is obviously foolish and wastes a lot of time and money...not to mention the "single-use" tools I have acquired)
right on b-mac, I had a situation with a body shop on another project some years back and was told "if you don't like the work do it yourself, that was the comment i received when I walked in the shop and saw their empty boxes sitting on the roof of my street rod, so I agreed and never looked back. I learned body work making many a mistake but you can do a lot yourself learn to be patient and yes, you'll buy tools you'll only use once.
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Old 04-13-2019, 07:29 PM   #12
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Re: Not happy with the body guy

I have been a full time autobody tech since June 1977. I have done every thing from repairing year old Mercedes to Model T show cars, painted too, done everything in this industry. If there is one thing that blows my mind is how people who never did it before can pull it off. It is so friggin cool when I see an awesome car or truck and find out the guy is an accountant or something and did it in his garage!

I have seen MANY of these cars and trucks, one comes to mine at a local show a restored 56 Corvette that was so stunning, it was like a 100 point show car, and the first car he ever touched!

And with the net, it is mind blowing what you can be walked through by some video or forum thread, it's so damn cool.

But it's not for everyone, not everyone can pull it off. Some still have to have someone to do it, and it's not easy with restoration work, many shops are NOT the ones to go to. Here is a little "Basics of Basics" I wrote on the subject.

Confessions of a body shop owner., by Brian Martin

'Anybody know of a good body shop in (enter your city name here)?', 'How do I get my body shop to work on my car?', 'My car is being held for ransom!', or just simply 'Body shop Blues'. I'm sure you have all seen topics similar to these posted. Gentlemen, my name is MARTINSR and I was one of those dirty rotten bastards that would keep your car ten times longer than I promised.

For the guy not doing his own body work or at least not all of it, he is at the mercy of the body shop. It is not a nice position to be in. In fact, it can go down as one of the low points in your life. I have seen horror stories that would make your hair stand on end. A long time customer of mine (he owned about 60 cars and usually had a few in shops around the area at all times) had a car that was held as evidence in a murder. Yep, it had blood splattered on it when one of the shops owners killed the other with a baseball bat!

The following is my generalization of restoration shops that I have owned, seen or worked at. There are exceptions to the rule. Please don't beat me up if I have rolled your shop into the mix when you are an exception. But, if you do see yourself, I suggest you get down to your neighborhood junior college and take a course or two in business. One of the great myths is that we each think our business is so unique, we can't learn from a 'regular' business class. Well after much instruction and exposure to the business side of things I can tell you, business is BUSINESS. Whether you are running a liquor store, a cat house, or a body shop, they are all exactly the same. Sales are SALES, period.

So, we can agree a body shop is a business, being a good body man does not make you a good businessman. Restoration shops are usually owned by good body men, not good businessmen. It is very hard to make money doing restoration work, it is very easy to make money doing regular collision work. The business man makes his money doing collision work and tells all the customers with restoration work to go to Joe's Body shop down the street, he does the restorations. Joe loves doing what he is doing, but seldom makes much money. He is an artist, a true master at his craft. Joe sees things as what they can 'become', not what they 'are'. When Joe sees a car he doesn't see the time it will take to make it the show winner he knows it will be, he only sees it as the show winner. I really don't believe he means to lie to you when he says it will be done in a month, he is looking through rose colored glasses, his vision is altered. Like a woman forgets the pain of giving birth, so does Joe when he gazes upon the beautiful car he has carried for nine months (or longer). And when the next rust bucket rolls in, he has forgotten about the hundreds of hours needed, he only sees a luscious rose garden.

Like I said, few make a living at restoration or hot rod work. The biggies that you have heard of like Roy Brizio or Boyd Coddington all make money with other ventures, not the rod shop. The first time I visited Brizios shop this was very apparent. The rod shop is about 5000 square feet sitting in the middle of a 50,000 square foot building. The rest of the building is Brizios manufacturing business. It is all non auto related by the way. The rod shop is a hobby, I don't doubt for a second he makes money, but it is a hobby none the less.

So when you go looking for a shop to do your car you have to remember this, you are most likely going to be dealing with an artist. If you think the business end of it is going to go smooth, think again. If you build yourself up and believe everything, you are in for a BIG let down. If you set yourself up for less than that you will be much better off. I suggest getting ready for MUCH, MUCH less and then you will be happy when it only takes five months instead of the ten you got ready for. If he said one month and that is what you are planning, by the time five months rolls around you are ready to kill someone.

These are HUGE generalizations but I have found a few signs that may help you in picking out a shop. If nothing else they will help you understand who you are dealing with.



1. If there is more than one car sitting in the shop covered with dust, this may be a bad sign. If you have been around body shops much you know that dust build up is like the rings in a tree, you can tell by the layers and colors how many YEARS it has been sitting. If there is a car that is being used for storage of misc. boxes and things, bad sign. My brother used to joke that I should bolt a vise on the fender of the car, at least I could get some use out of it! Coyly ask 'Cool car, is that yours?' if he says 'Naw, it's a customers', BAD SIGN. If there are ten stalls in the shop and six have dust covered cars in them, RUN. I shouldn't have to tell you this one, but if there are guys hanging around with beers in their hands, RUN.
2. How many stalls does he have? I have found that the real restoration/rod shops seem to have only room to have three or four cars at a time. If you only had room to work on three cars, you are going to be damn certain they get out so you can have room for the next. One of the most successful custom shops I have ever seen was a little four stall shop in Pittsburgh California. It is the famous (well at least on the west coast) DeRosa and Son Customs. Frank has been around since the fifties making show winning cars. He and his son Frank Jr. do the same today and do it FAST. They run a neat, little and clean shop. If you have seen the 2001 DuPont calendar they did the 'Cadster'. It was only in the shop for a few weeks. By the way, it doesn't have DuPont primers on it like the calendar says, Martin Senour primer was used.
3. Does he look at your car like they do at the McPaint shops, you know, all jobs all colors the same price? If he doesn't take a good long look at the car taking notes, he has no clue what he is doing. He is looking at the car with those rose colored glasses. Every single panel should be examined and noted for the amount of hours needed. If he just looks over the car without doing this he is surely going to be WAY off. If he is way off on how much he is charging you, what incentive does he have to work on it?
So let's say you have a shop you would like to bring it to, you really need to case the joint. Turn into a stalker and keep an eye on the shop. You know for months that you are going to need a body shop. Watch the shops for months. Drive by during business hours and see if they are actually open. Many of these guys (remember they are not good businessmen) take their open sign as sort of a guide line. If it says 8:00 to 5:00 it is more like 9:15 to 2:00 then 4:25 to 7:00, they can't get your car done like that. See if any cars leave. If you go by there and see the same cars sitting there and many little jobs going in and out, BAD SIGN. I have to tell you, those little money making collision jobs are dang hard to turn away. If I had a million hour job sitting there and it was the 28th of the month I am going to set it aside for the $800.00 job I can do in two days to pay the rent.

If they don't allow you to walk around and check the place out, be wary. Look at the paint dept, does he have a booth? Is there junk and open cans all over? Is there many different brands of paint? This is usually not a good sign, he buys anything he can get his hands on. This is many times the sign of a 'junior chemist', they guy that mixes products and doesn't follow tech sheets.

If you have decided that this is the shop you want to go to, help the poor guy. You 'suggest' to him how you want to go about the money part. This is the ONLY way you should do it believe me. Don't EVER give him a deposit and leave the car (at least not more than a tiny amount of the estimate, say 5%). This is darn near a guarantee that your car will be sitting for weeks or MONTHS while he uses that money to buy parts for a high profit collision job or simply pay a long standing bill. Which then leaves your car sitting there with no incentive to work on it.

Here is what you need to do. Tell him that you want to do only ONE of the things on your car, at a time. You want to get a price for all of them maybe so you know what it is headed, but do only one at a time. You will pay him for one step at a time. Not because you don't trust him, but because YOU are bad with money and that YOU don't want to leave him hanging after the car is done with no money to pick it up.

This way it is more like he is in control and made the decision. Then you negotiate the time it will take for each step. Let's say you have patch panels to do on the front fenders. You agree that he will have them done at the end of the week, and that they will cost $200.00. He has something to work for, he knows he will get the money and he actually does it. You go see him on Friday see the work done and give him the $200.00. Then you pick another thing to do. Just as if you were doing these things at home, break them down into bite sized pieces so he can swallow them. If you go in there and find that he hasn't done it or he has done poor work, you can then say 'I am sorry to yank your chain, I don't have any more money, I just lost my job' and take the car, no body owes a thing. If he does not want to do this, you really need to start rethinking your choice of a shop. Either this or variation of this should be fine with him. If it is not, something is wrong.

If he really wanted to make money he would be doing this. The first restoration job I ever did where I really felt I made money was done just this way. It was a little '58 Bug eye Sprite. I had decided that something had to be done or I would fall into the same trap as before with a car sitting forever. One of the first shops I ever worked at was a full on restoration shop. It broke the rule and was pretty big, with four full time employees. Every car had a time card assigned to it. When you worked on the car, you punched in. Then each month (these were HUGE frame off restorations on 30's and 40's vintage Fords) the owner would receive a bill with the times worked. If they couldn't pay, the car left, period. The guy made money and I finally got smart (after about 12 years in business) and followed his lead. I put a sign on this Bug Eye and would post the hours I spent on it. I told the guy to come by each week. Now, when the guy came in and saw only two hours were spent, he was not very happy. That was a heck of an incentive for me right there I will tell you that! It worked great, I actually got paid for every minute I worked, unlike most restoration projects. And he actually got the car back in close to what I said. It was still late, but not ten times as late as I had done before.

Another thing I highly recommend is to take plenty of photos of the car, really detailed photos. When you drop the car off leave him a copy of them. Letting him know you have a copy. Not threatening like 'I am doing this so I can prove you lied to me' more like 'I can't wait to see how different it is and you can have these before shots to show future customers'. Which is true, it is just not the only reason you are doing it. If he is doing a full on restoration for you, I HIGHLY recommend parts like chrome and interior be taken home after he removes them so they don't get stolen or damaged. You need to have a very close relationship with the shop, if these visits make the guy edgy, you really need to find another shop.

If you have the attitude that you are genuinely interested in how this work is done, not how he will do YOUR car, but just in general. You will find that he will be much more likely to 'show off' his talents than if you go in there like an untrusting customer.

Along with these photos you want a VERY detailed work order. Run like the wind if he has no work order. Still run if he has a work order that says 'fix dents and rust' as the repairs being done. RUN, I say. You need to have a fully detailed work order, not for legal reasons (wink, wink) but for your own records to show the wife where all the money went. The 'wife' is a great way to get things done. You need to come look to see what is done because the wife wants to see. Bring her in there, she has an excuse, she knows nothing right? So you bring her in to see what magic this guy is doing to your car so she can understand why it costs so much. Bring a friend when you drop the car off, be sure he hears everything that is said. Let him or her help you make the decision on leaving it there. Sometimes YOU too can be looking through rose colored glasses. If someone else says they have a bad feeling, LISTEN to them.

There are few things that can compare with returning to a shop to find the place is locked tight and the mail is piling up on the floor where the carrier has dropped it through the slot. I have seen it, it really happens. The good news is it is rare, just take your time and find a shop where you feel comfortable.





Brian Martin
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Chopped, Sectioned, 1953 Corvette 235 powered. Once was even 401 Buick mid engined with the carburetor right between the seats!
Bought with paper route money in 1973 when I was 15.

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Old 04-14-2019, 01:57 AM   #13
mr48chev
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Re: Not happy with the body guy

I'm the lucky dude who has been able to see Hogfarm's work first hand both on his truck (the 54) And an outstanding bike with side car he built for a gent. He is pure craftsman no matter what he touches.

His painter is as good as you will find but this time got in a hurry and didn't wait for help. We all know that impatience is the worst thing there is around any project and les leave it at that.
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My ongoing truck projects:
48 Chev 3100 that will run a 292 Six.
71 GMC 2500 that is getting a Cad 500 transplant.
77 C 30 dualie, 454, 4 speed with a 10 foot flatbed and hoist. It does the heavy work and hauls the projects around.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:31 AM   #14
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Re: Not happy with the body guy

Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
I have been a full time autobody tech since June 1977. I have done every thing from repairing year old Mercedes to Model T show cars, painted too, done everything in this industry. If there is one thing that blows my mind is how people who never did it before can pull it off. It is so friggin cool when I see an awesome car or truck and find out the guy is an accountant or something and did it in his garage!
Brian Martin[/B][/I]
I'm sorry Brian, I will read the whole thing later. With that said, since I know where you are moving to and I hope to be in the same area, I will have to look you up to help me with mine!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:14 AM   #15
MARTINSR
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Re: Not happy with the body guy

I am not kidding, if you will have the room for both of ours so I can do the paint work there you may have a deal! LOL No kidding, this is one of my problems in my head right now, how will I finish my truck because the my house in Boise doesn't have a detached garage and is in an HOA neighborhood. I planned on having the truck done when I bought the house but that was a pipe dream and it's looking like I will be lucky if it's a roller.

Brian
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Chopped, Sectioned, 1953 Corvette 235 powered. Once was even 401 Buick mid engined with the carburetor right between the seats!
Bought with paper route money in 1973 when I was 15.

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Old 04-15-2019, 12:13 AM   #16
TXapache
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Re: Not happy with the body guy

I know the feeling. I had my 58 worked on and painted several years back. I started noticing blisters coming up a month or so after paint. I sanded one down and found rust. I’m not sure what they used to strip and sand the truck down with but I suspect they left stripper residue in a few spots and it caused some kind of reaction under the paint. The new parts that came coated in that black coating all came out fine. I now have to work on the entire cab, doors, hood and fenders. The bed was new metal so it’s good. I decided to put it together with primer spots and enjoy driving it for awhile, I’ll work on each bad panel when I can until it’s all done and ready to paint again.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:59 AM   #17
hogfarm
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Re: Not happy with the body guy

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr48chev View Post
I'm the lucky dude who has been able to see Hogfarm's work first hand both on his truck (the 54) And an outstanding bike with side car he built for a gent. He is pure craftsman no matter what he touches.

His painter is as good as you will find but this time got in a hurry and didn't wait for help. We all know that impatience is the worst thing there is around any project and les leave it at that.
Mr 48chevy
I have used more than 1 painter,the guy that did the 54 was good at what he did,but was real slow,he only work an hour or 2 each day if that,he no longer does any painting.The guy that is doing the 58 tries and can do good work,he got in a hurry.I will get things worked out,but after the truck is painted I will need to go over it and touch up every corner,not what I wanted to do,but what the heck.The truck can be a driver in just a couple more weeks of my time if I had the bed,still need interior and some better wheels.In the mean time we had some water damage in my house over the past winter,insurance is fixing most,but my wife decided to remodel the entire down stairs,so been busy with that,she wanted steampunk decor,right up my alley.I still have the 54 and am going to get it out of storage soon so I will see you at a couple shows
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