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Topics - sofadoc

Pages: 1 ... 12 13 [14]
General Discussion / Should I get what I pay for, or pay for what I get?
« on: November 10, 2010, 06:37:41 PM »
This topic gets batted around a lot here, but here goes again.
I've had a helper for about 5 years now. He lives close by. He also works for a nearby paint store, and a carpet store. Between the 3 of us, we usually give him a full days work. He's 40 years old, lives with his mother, and his needs are simple. He just wants a little beer and cigarette money. For me, he helps with PU & Delivery, strips furniture, and does general clean up. I pay him twice as much as the other stores, so I expect at least a reasonable effort from him. The other store owners have chastized me for over-paying him. I am beginning to see their point.
I just don't think that stripping sofas is "brain surgery", but apparently, it must be. He misses 100's of jagged staples that I have to finish pulling.
And he is constantly nicking finished wood.
Should I be an A-hole with him? Or should I pay less and expect less?
I'm not interested in replacing him, anybody else will just move on in a week or 2. I've hired a few teenagers before. They just whine about how hard it is. And I don't have enough full-time work for a responsible adult.

General Discussion / What does "Meet it, or beat it" mean?
« on: November 02, 2010, 05:47:46 PM »
Had a credit card processing company call me promising to "meet or beat" my current processor's price, or give me $500. So, I faxed 'em a copy of my last 2 merchant service statements. They called back and said "We're sorry, but we cannot provide service for you at this time"
I said "Well, thanks for tryin'. Now I'd like my $500, please".
Apparently, there was some fine print that I didn't see when they called me on the phone to begin with. ???
For starters, they said my current machine would be obsolete as of Jan 1 (I've been hearing that for 4 years now, hasn't happened yet). So I would need a new one ($300). Then, I would need periodic updates to that new machine $29.95 mo.)
And while they DID offer a better rate, there was a higher monthly service charge.
Reminds me of those car dealers that promise to "meet or beat, or pay you $1000"
I wonder how many of THOSE checks they've cut!

General Discussion / Eerie feeling
« on: October 28, 2010, 05:54:34 PM »
 I got one today, when I responded to a Craigslist ad for an upholstery shop that was closing.
The upholsterer had died recently, and now his son was selling everything off. It was the first time he had been in the shop since his father passed.
There was a panel half-sewn in his machine. Stripped-down furniture waiting to be covered with un-opened rolls of fabric. The air hose stretched over to the cutting table, where two pieces of foam had been glued together. Measurements were jotted down on a notepad that was weighted down by his scissors.
A new work bench was half-finished in an attempt to "get organized".
I can't help but wonder when MY kids will be doing the same thing that young man was doing today.

General Discussion / Give it time guys!
« on: October 02, 2010, 11:19:53 AM »
A young man walked into my shop yesterday asking "How do I slow my machine down?" "It just runs away with me".
We get this same question several times a month on this discussion board.
We always have the same answers. Smaller pulley, slower motor, treadle adjustment. Darren had a nice piece about sitting posture.
But, in all likelyhood, they just haven't given themselves enough time to develop a "feel" for the pedal.
Remember the first time you tried to drive a standard transmission? It lunged forward every time you took your foot off the clutch? Kinda the same thing, except you figured the car out a lot quicker than you will the sewing machine.
Hang in there Noobs. You get it!!

General Discussion / You can lead a horse to water......
« on: September 14, 2010, 10:44:49 PM »
In the course of a year, I meet a lot of upholsterers, and upholstery supply salesmen who used to be upholsterers. When "talking shop", I usually mention this discussion board. I tell them how to find it, and register/login.
The next time I see them, I'll ask if they visited the site, and what they think of it.
So far, no one that I've talked to has shown any interest. It's strange, because most of them seem eager to talk about everything from sewing machines to Quickbooks, so it seems like this would be a good fit.
Have any of you been able to turn anyone on to this discussion board?

General Discussion / A New Record
« on: September 09, 2010, 05:29:07 PM »
I stripped an old seat down today that goes in a wicker chair. I've run across many pieces over the years that have been covered over (without removing the old fabric). I started pulling the layers off. 1....2...3...4....5...6..........................11 layers!!!
The last guy who covered it actually had to use roofing nails in order to get through all the layers.
Here's some other personal records for items found in a single piece of furniture:
Most loose change: $28.32
Most batons: 5 (a drill team family)
Most remote controls: 6
Most fingernail clippers: 9
Most cell phones: 4
Most DVD's: 5
Most I-Pods: 2

General Discussion / Do you guys work on Labor Day?
« on: September 05, 2010, 10:59:30 PM »
I always have. It's nice and quiet on Labor Day. I can get a lot done without having to answer the phone every few minutes. Some customers call and SAY that they will come in on Labor Day (they NEVER do). Same for July 4th, Memorial day, and New Years day. Great days to get things done!! I'd rather pick my own holidays. I don't like being herded with the rest of the cattle.
The BEST part about days like Labor Day.....even the telemarketers take the day off!!!
I don't want anyone to think that I don't respect our national holidays. But I don't see how buying sheets on sale at J.C. Penney, or taking a case of beer to the lake is showing respect.
Tomorrow is Labor Day, and that's just what I intend to do!!
But, for the rest of you, have a great Labor day (however you celebrate it).

General Discussion / OK, I Gotta know!
« on: August 14, 2010, 10:53:27 AM »
I had a new customer yesterday, who had just moved here to Texas from New Jersey. One of her first observations about Texans, was just how "laid back" we all are. I laughed, and told her that I'd heard that before from transplanted northerners.
Then she said that the hardest adjustment that she'd had to make since moving here, is putting away the "F" word. Where she came from, it was an integral part of everyday speech. She is a church-going soccer mom, who's involved in PTA, and other civic activities. She just couldn't believe that the word isn't a normal part of conversation among the other housewives, and working moms around here.
Don't get me wrong, there are PLENTY of Texans who know how to use the word, and use it well. But I've never heard it from a mom at a PTA meeting.
Does this woman accurately represent the culture in some of the northern regions?

General Discussion / Remember Spring Mist?
« on: August 10, 2010, 09:00:30 PM »
It was a GREAT product in the 80's. You could spray it on loose, wrinkled fabric, and watch the wrinkles vanish right before your eyes. It would actually shrink fabrics a little.
Then shipping regulations changed, and Spring Mist was re-classified as a hazardous chemical. This made the product too expensive to ship. It was pulled off the market, and re-introduced as Spring Crest. It  no longer contained any hazardous chemicals. But it also no longer worked as well as before. Now, the product merely "relaxes" fabrics. There is also a product called Crease Away, that isn't any better. They are similar to Downy Wrinkle Release, available at Wal-Mart.
Over the years, I've tried to play "mad scientist", and figure out the missing ingrediant, but to no avail.
Anyone remember this stuff, or know of a modern day substitute?
I've tried adding Alum to Spring Crest. It sure made Tom's mouth shrink in the "Tom & Jerry" cartoons. :D

General Discussion / How's everyone liking their servo-motor?
« on: August 02, 2010, 04:54:53 PM »
I have been VERY happy with mine. But last week I was delivering a job in Dallas, when I took a wrong turn, and stumbled up on an industrial sewing machine service center. My sewing needs are all set right now, but I just had to mosey in and take a gander at what they had. As I looked at their walking foot machines, the following conversation took place:
Salesman: All of our machines come with a new stand, and an UPGRADED motor.
Me: You mean a servo-motor?
Salesman: NO!! I mean a 1/2 hp clutch motor upgraded to a 3/4 hp. We don't mess with servo-motors, they're too unreliable.
Me: Really? I've been very happy with my servo-motor.
Salesman: How long have you had it?
Me; Almost a year.
Salesman (throwing his head back laughing): Well, you just wait, you'll be lucky if it lasts more than a year.
He went on to say that a "true" servo-motor is about $900. He added that these $150-$175 servo-motors are what he calls "rheostat" motors, and aren't any good.
I've read a lot of threads on this forum about servo-motors, and can't remember ANYONE saying anything negative.
So, how'bout it America? Anybody had one crap out on you? Or did I just happen to run up on a salesman that had some clutch motors to unload?

General Discussion / Gimp trim
« on: June 30, 2010, 08:53:34 PM »
I took in a large antique job in which the customer selected a light blue velvet. I showed him a Conso gimp chart to pick a matching gimp from. I didn't know that many of the colors on my chart had been dropped. Now, I'm stuck with the fabric unless I can find the gimp somewhere else (he won't take double cording). I've been looking at E-Bay, and other online sites with no luck so far. The gimp was called M55 on the outdated Conso chart. Anybody know of a good source with a wide selection of colors?
The color is a powder blue.

General Discussion / New stripping tool
« on: June 15, 2010, 06:31:52 PM »
Got this tool in the other day:   

It has one set of jaws for removing hog rings, one for lifting staples. You can hit the handle with a soft mallet to pry staples up. You can also grab material and twist it off. I wish it had longer, thicker handles. It feels a bit small in your hand. It's a pretty good all-purpose tool to have around, and with shipping, is about $33.
If you're looking for another tool to add to your collection, you might want to try this one. But, after trying it for a few days, I'm pretty sure that it will never be my favorite stripping tool.

General Discussion / Anybody using one of these?
« on: February 05, 2010, 06:17:20 PM »
I've got a supplier trying to sell me this tool:     http://www.stripbit.com/
Anybody got one? If so, is it as great as they claim? It looks like the video "glosses over" the time it takes to get ready to use it. Also, you still have to go back and remove, or drive down protruding staples.
Looks like it would be handy on dining room seats, except the ones made of particle board (looks like it would pull chunks of wood off along with the fabric).
Is it worth 90 bucks?

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