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WANTED: Competent Bodyman/Painter in Western WA State..............

No offense taken Datec. Really a good correction to that sentence. I know a couple restoration shops with 10+ guys and a Hershey buddy has a body shop with 30 guys. Those are the smart guys making real money while a manager runs most of the day to day. Us small shops making wage are limited to the amount of time in a day we can physically work or lose interest.

I have a lot of cars roll through here for mechanical repairs and I can relate with Phantom works on that end of it. Some of his stuff is over embelished because it's a TV show and they need drama but I see a lot of unsafe antique cars fresh out of restoration and purchased at auction. Just last week I rebuilt the front suspension on a 57' Cadillac Barittz that was assembled incorrectly. The lower control arms was missing an end cap and the remaining ones were never assembled right. Couldv'e dropped the whole lower a-arm out of the car.
i'm old enough to remember when autobody paid the same flat rate as mechanical. slowly over the years the autobody side slid by 50% . beat up by insurance companies and parts so bad i just left the collision field all together. for many years i was just a gunslinger . my last job was in 78 .
i am looking forward to retirement . just tired of all the pressure and hassles . most of my customers have become good friends . those few who were difficult i just refused to work for . i would rather clean my shop than work for nothing .
those few who were difficult i just refused to work for . i would rather clean my shop than work for nothing .

LOL your avatar pic must have been one of those times, looks like your pushing a broom.

That is true though, I have enough experience and don't need the practice.

Although I would like to have the skill set to make my own quarters and fenders from a flat sheet of steel that would be cool as hell but that would be one heck of an investment.


Trying to be the best me, I can be
I never figured you for a Hippie, Shine. :p

DATEC, getting started in metalshaping is cheaper than you think. I've learned a lot from this man. http://www.handbuilt.net.au/

Both through his DVD set and attending one of his classes when he is here in the US. I even have his Wheeling Machine (English Wheel to us Americans). The DVD set is well worth the money. The first few are a little basic but in 7,8, and 9 he makes a full quarter panel (in one piece) for a Australian HK Monaro (kinda similar to a Chevelle) out of nothing more than hand tools, a leather sand bag and the wheel. Watching the process really helps you understand the principles of shaping which translate to any part not just the car he was working on.
Get the DVD set you will not be disappointed.:cool: It may seem like a lot of money for the DVD's but I promise you it is worth it.

One more DVD by another Master is David Gardiner's. It is almost 3 hours long and he covers a wide range of topics, all focused on using hand tools, not $50,000 power hammers. Really good stuff and you can learn a lot from it.

Also check out Kent White at https://www.tinmantech.com/ Huge selection of educational videos. And he allows you to rent the videos in addition to buying them. Kent is a Master as well.
believe it or not that was after a hair cut and beard trim for my wedding.
confused a lot of folks. all that hair , cowboy boots and shit kicker belt . o_O
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Thanks Chris I will check them out. That is one thing that no one anywhere near me does that, making whole panels would be a cool skill set for sure.

After a hair cut?... good Lord Shine, you had to be quite the rebel my man. I can't imagine all the stuff we work with getting in that much hair, had to be a nightmare to wash out..
, cowboy boots and shit kicker belt . o_O
ive got a pair of shitkickers i bought in 95. theyve been on my feet while welding in a race car, putting a trans in an f150, setting fence posts, loading a hayloft, roofing, a crapton of other work.... and seen about 20,000 miles on my motorcycle. the shifter wore a hole through the toe, so i cut the bottom off a spare pair of chaps and epoxied it over the toe. theyre super comfortable.
my neice was gettin a little tired of seeing me wear em for special occasions and bought me a new pair 2 years ago for christmas.
ive been thinkin of finding a shoe fixer dude that can take the soles off the new ones and put them on the old ones.
she isnt too happy with my buck knife hangin on my 30 year old belt either.
I worked for big companies for 35 years and never made $75 an hour. When I made just enough an hour to crawl out of the poverty gutter they crowned me exempt from the ravages of overtime pay. I did get $7 dinner pay when I worked more than 12 hours a day! I thought about going into business for myself but it turns out the owner is also "exempt" from overtime. But you are not "exempt" from paying for the space, equipment, tools, computer hardware and software, hazardous waste disposal, water, sewer and power. If your spouse or significant slave is an accountant you may avoid that expense but then you're going to need health insurance for two and don't forget property insurance and a million-or-more-dollar liability rider.

Lets say your customers pay you $150,000 a year. I'm figuring $75 an hour for the 2,000 hours (40 hours for 50 weeks) devoted to prep and paint If, by some miracle you can keep those expenses I mentioned below $7,000 a month and don't make any mistakes or do work for a lawyer, looks like you net $66,000. As a sole proprietor you'll pay about $12,000 in income tax, leaving you with $54,000. Almost forgot, you have to pay both employee Social Security ($8,200) and Medicare ($1,900) so you have $43,900.

Now we go back to health insurance and if you want mediocre coverage for two (forget about kids) it's going to be around $25,000. You now have $18,900 to squander on food, clothing and a place to live (with its own heat, light, water and sewer bills). As a high roller you are certainly going to give yourself two weeks' paid vacation so your weekly goldmine of a business is paying you $363.46 a week. You really should plan for retirement so set aside 10% of that $66,000 each year. That would be $132 a week (don't ruin your vacation by taking it out of those two weeks' pay). You then have a weekly take home of $231.46. That's $5.78 an hour. The Department of Labor will probably sue you for paying yourself less than minimum wage.

You greedy bastard! If you so much as spill a drop of the paint I provide, don't expect me to pay to replace it. In addition, I won't pay you anything if the extra paint you provide doesn't match the color (at your expense) on the panels that don't have full coverage.

I don't understand, why would anyone turn down such an attractive offer to suck up the cost of going to the bathroom -- you can't afford to eat so what's the problem?

I'm really sorry if my rant makes anyone quit the business. I'm pretty sure I am going to need help buffing out the Latex paint.
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I just read this thread and WOW is all I can say. I've been in business 25+ years and I let some people take advantage of my inexperience when I first started out. My advise is stick to your quality and your price. Let them go somewhere else and get what they pay for. Maaco has the president's special for 299.00 Why pay more?