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Messages - ncydmn

Pages: 1 [2] 3
General Discussion / Re: Just About Done
« on: November 26, 2010, 11:23:28 PM »
You must have meant CDO.  Thatís alphabetically correct!   ;D
My wife sayís I am OCAR  Obsessive Compulsive and Anal Retentive.  Iím sure thatís a compliment.

     Most of my customer love them.  I have only had a couple that said they didn't feel any difference. 

    Glad to help.  I knew the 53-54 hardtops have a round dome light in the back corner but didn't think the 55 was that way.  I though I mislead you on the chrome bars for a bit.  I went in to work and looked at the bars in a 57 Olds I have and they only have one screw in the bottom.  I was almost sure yours had two.  Thought maybe I was going to have to say I was wrong, (oh I hate that) but I was mistaken.   ;D

     Good luck with your liner.  By the way, I somehow deleted my first paragraph on my last post about how much I like the car and colors.  Looks like you are on the down hill side of the build now.  Keep pluggin'.  Roy.

   How much is this worth?  That is the question we here a lot.  What it is worth, what you want to charge, and what will charge is quite different.  There are a lot of variables, your area, labor rate, overhead, and product markup.  I am not eluding the question but each area is a little different.

   I bill 1.5 hours for a solo seat like this.  If the rear seat pad is done at the same time I bill 2.0 hours total.  My labor rate is $50.00 an hour.  That is labor only on a seat with no cover alterations.  The Gel-Pacís and foam can add  $125 to $185 depending on size and type used.

   As for marketing myself.  I have attended a local car show for nearly 20 years.  I run a display add in a specialty car ďfor saleĒ magazine mostly to draw potential customers to my web site.  My best marketing tool has been my customers and them displaying there cars at shows throughout the neighboring cities.  I live in a small town of 4200 so most of my work comes from out of town. 

   My parents started an upholstery shop in 1961.  I came along in í62 so you could say I have a few years invested in this field.  I am also a street rodder at heart.  I have specialized in the custom field for over 20 years.  I hope my work speaks for itself. 

     If there was any advice for marketing your-self in the custom field it would be to complete the job in a timely manner.  The people that spend the kind of money they do on cars like are being built today donít want a shop that takes six months to a year to get the job done.
That is one of the things I am known for.  It doesnít matter to me if itís a 05 Mustang convertible or a 47 Ford my labor rate is the same.  I book the job and that is what gets worked on.  The only thing about the 05 is I can beat flat rate and that makes for better profit margin.  It can be easy for high volume shops to, ďgo forĒ or need the cash flow first. 
I however, after years, have been blessed with the ability to be a bit more selective.  That, unfortunately, only comes with years of experience.  Oh to be able to work like I did in my late twenties but have the knowledge I do now!  Then we didnít have internet with people willing to share trade ďsecretsĒ with the competition.   The trade secret is run!!  Run far away!   You will never be a rich man in this occupation.  It is to labor intensive.   But you will never be bored thatís for sure.  I think most of us love what we do.  Thatís what I keep telling myself.  Roy.

Now on to the head liner.  One thing that concerns me is I donít see a center support bar.  This is about 3Ē wide and has the dome light support as well as six bend over tabs that hold the fourth rod in the headliner.  This support is very important because it also holds that bow solid.  The fourth bow does not attach at sides like the others.  This is where you would start your install as well.  It keeps the other bows from turning over as you stretch the liner to the front and rear. 

On your 55 model I believe the chrome strips go in last.  There are some models like this that have a ĹĒ cardboard strip sewn at the seam which installs in the chrome and there is no bow behind it.  I am pretty sure yours has the rods in liner and chrome installs over seam.  There are usually two screws on each side of the chrome strip.  I install one screw on each side and only snug lightly so I can tilt the bow forward or rear to allow a wrinkle free install.  On some rare occasions I have had to re-drill the mounting holes to accommodate different manufactures head liners.  Different seam allowance or sack length I suppose. 

I see you have foil insulation on your roof.  Something you may want to consider if you are using a perforated liner is the ability to see the foil through the holes.  If you are using a solid liner the will be no problem. 

I searched my web site but no pictures of center roof support so I have emailed you a picture of one.  Sorry I donít have a photo bucket account.  It would be just one more thing I would have to update and maintain.  Then I would never get much done.  Besides I am not the quickest at typing, oh wait, I believe thatís hunt and peck...  With pictures and typing your post would be off the first page before I got done!  Lol  Roy.

General Discussion / Re: Is there such thing as a foam 'chipper'
« on: October 19, 2010, 10:11:51 PM »
"About a hundred dollars." She thought my answer was "cute". She knew the movie to which I was making a reference.

"400 Oak Street, These are definitely not my underwear!"   lol  ;D

I liked it too.  I use the 100 dollar reference all the time.  Some people just don't get it.  Thanks for the laugh Gene. 

 I get to looking at all the scrapes and think of "Hoarders Buried Alive" and then the junk has to go!  Obsessive compulsive and anal retentive.  I just can't stand the mess.

General Discussion / Re: Funny Looking Boat
« on: October 19, 2010, 09:58:06 PM »
     Now that's the kind-a boat I can relate to!  Looks nice.  I don't know what June means about a non-standard item.  Looks pretty normal for my shop.   :D

General Discussion / Re: What have I missed??
« on: October 04, 2010, 10:11:14 PM »
     Hey Russ!  Gotta love those convertibles eh?  I do.  My brother has a shop on the other side of the state and calls me for help on the rag tops.  I did them all at our family shop years ago and now he wishes he would have paid more attention. 
August and September have always been good for tops.  Anyway, good to "hear" you again.  I am a bit of a lurker myself.  Most of you are looking at the back of your eyelids when I pop in, but that's what I get for living in a different time zone.

     I have used the Daytona carpet from ACC (Auto Custom Carpets) for quite a few years.  It is a foam backed carpet that was original equipment on tri-five Chevy Belairs.  It is somewhat forgotten about by most.  In February of this year I finished a 40 Ford coupe with there bronze color.  It has received more attention than any of the black or grey I used on others.  Must just be the bright color that draws the attention.  They also have the gros point and square weaves that are popular in the high end rods. 
     As for the headliners, I use the same material as the seats and doors.  I feel it keeps the interior cleaner with fewer colors and texture changes.   You can check it out at the link below.  It is hard to see the tight weave it has in the picture.  You can also see larger veiws on there web site or request a sample.  Roy.


Auto Custom Carpet link

General Discussion / Re: Jetski seats
« on: September 12, 2010, 08:01:40 PM »
     I use a small 3" air grinder to shape the repaired foam area.  A 5" grinder works on larger seats and large repair areas as well.  I use 36 grit but be careful, a new disk will cut very fast.  You may want to start out with 80 or 50 grit until you get the hang of it.  The grinder also works very well to sand out the small 1/4 groves in the foam from cracked vinyl.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Regarding 1957 Chevy restoration
« on: July 20, 2010, 10:53:02 PM »
    I agree a lot of the repo parts are very inferior to the OEM.  Most of the cars I do are custom so I eliminate the binding.  On the original reproductions I use the aftermarket.  I install a plastic bushing, like in the sixties Chevelles, in the bracket.  You don't have to crank down on the bracket so hard to get them to stay up.
     It is not just the tri-fives that have poor repo quality.  Many of the Camaro parts of the late sixties are horrible fitting. 

     Many of these cars don't see everyday use like when they were new.  Even though the aftermarket parts aren't as good they usually last quite a while.  The 57 hardtop I just finished is owned by a returning customer.  I did a custom interior in a 55 sedan delivery over 20 years ago.  The car still looks like new and was on the CARS Inc. calendar two years ago. 

     I agree with Russ on the Acme products.  My folks used there liners starting back in the sixties.  I recently had two Chevelles to install liners in, (66 models).  One customer had his own liner and I supplied the other from Acme.  The weight difference of the liner material was quite noticeable.  The Acme was much heavier.  It was one of the only times I really had both products side by side to compare.

     I make my windlace on all custom cars.  That way it matches the interior.  The after market vinyl is really stiff but if you use steam it will become very workable.  The sedans also have the light cardboard tack strip sewn to them above the doors and up the pillar area.  Only the corners and the post behind the door have tack strip to staple to.  How to attach the wind lace to the kick panel bracket really confuses a lot of new comers as well.

    One more thing on the hardtops windlace.  At the top of the quarter panel there is a black rubber cap that is finally being reproduced.  The problem is they donít put the metal mounting tab in the pre-made kits.  I cut mine open, graft the new rubber with metal attached, sew up as close to the metal as possible then supper glue the end shut around the metal tab.  They were originally stapled.  Wouldn't it be nice to have that stapler, along with the one they staple the tack strip above the front window with.  Right through the body metal, what a time saver over screwing or riveting on new.

General Discussion / Re: Need help with Car Bra
« on: July 12, 2010, 11:26:30 PM »
     Ha!  Hooked on fonics wurked 4 me!!!!    ;D

General Discussion / Re: Need help with Car Bra
« on: July 12, 2010, 11:21:26 PM »
     Try this link.  I have custom built several but found if someone makes it  you can't built it for less (unless your laber is really cheep, like almost free!)  Roy.


General Discussion / Re: Forsche 32 project
« on: July 08, 2010, 01:33:37 PM »
          SWEEEETTT!  Bet your customer loved it and I bet you are happy to work for a client who appreciates what it takes to create a one off unique job and the ability to focus on the finished product not the budget.  Great job and good luck at the shows.  Roy.

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: classic chevy reproduction interiors
« on: July 06, 2010, 11:47:57 PM »
     Next time you install one of these cardboard aftermarket interiors keep a heat gun and or steamer close.  They are you best friend when installing these older interiors.  The original vinyls were even thicker and less pliable than the aftermarket (if thats possible).  I use to tell my brother, when he was complaining about ill fitting covers, that 90% of installing the cover is making it fit.  He hated that comment but now, 20 years latter, understands what I was saying.

     If you are fortunate enough to live where the sun shines most of the time, try placing the covers in the sun for an hour or so.  This will get them soft and pliable.  Then keep them warm when installing.  It does take patience and manipulation to get a good fit and look, but so did the originals.  Remember the cloth backed vinyls of the 30's and 40's?  This stuff was like working with sheet metal.

     Another problem is the replacement of the pad.  With custom seats we build the pad then pattern the cover off the seat.  Here you are trying to make the pad fit a pre-made cover.  A lot of variables that affect a good install.

     I have used both suppliers mentioned and have had good luck.  They are the only two I use for Tri-Fives.
I may be mistaken but I believe there is some history behind the two companies.  I have a Ciadella book dated 1971 and when I call the phone number on it I get CARS Inc.  Coincidence?

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