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Messages - west coast

General Discussion / Re: Valentines Day on Friday!!!
February 17, 2014, 02:10:05 am
Ha Ha i went and hand picked a large bouquet got them all wrapped and tucked away in the shop. Friday morning I handed them to my long suffering bride at the breakfast table at 6:30 in the morning as I was heading for the shop. Completely blew her away she forgot haaa I now have the upper hand for a bit
I have used Spirit on lots of jobs and I have used real crap vinyl(supplied by owner) and there is a max length of time for the good stuff at around 4-5 years. Some seats wear faster being the more popular ones as you know and some are wrecked by staff. I dont care what they say they use the cleaners dry out the plasticizers in the vinyl and it just dries out and gets brittle. If the seat is more popular than the next one it dries out faster because it gets cleaned more. I just started repairs on a restaurant last week that I did new 4 1/2 years ago and the manager was very happy she got 4 years out of them and this is a very hi end eatery so they are very .... Fussy is not the correct word but high end customer for sure. I am also doing a pub down the road and I do a walk through every six weeks or so looking for trouble and fix when I find a problem , I date the bottom of the seat every time so I can track the length of time between repairs, they average around 3 years but lots of the damage is punctures by high heals .. Ya I don't ask I don' t need to know. I don't think 4 years is to soon at all for a seat in a restaurant for even the best vinyl.
The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Time for a raise
February 14, 2014, 05:55:48 am
Just remember keep it small keep it all.
When I'm bidding on a restaurant I have a lineal foot cost same with valances, feet times my set cost. For the yachts I know a average seat is about two hours give or take to cut sew and fill so two hours shop rate per piece x shop rate. I don't care if it takes an hour and a half for one or two pieces it will even out it seems so no worries. Foam is cost plus markup thats easy to do just don't waste hours figuring this out its not billable so its waisted time. Once you figure out your per foot costs and foam costs its a breeze but write it down so you don't forget.
General Discussion / Re: Tool Troubles
February 14, 2014, 05:43:46 am
I to have switched all my drills to Ridgid and the only reason was the service agreement on the batteries. I have replaced one already and it was defective so that would have been a waranty issue anyway (under a year old)but over the years I can't see how you can go wrong when the battery supply will be free. I had lots of makita,dewalt drills that I really liked but had to chuck them when the bats went. I even bought a Ridgid drill flashlight combo for the fifth wheel but use the batteries in the off season in the shop that keeps them revolving and not dying by not using.
General Discussion / Re: Repairs
January 04, 2014, 03:23:24 am
Thats a not fun job awaiting. I would have sent him on his way with the chair theres no money to be made there.
Doyle you are absolutely correct. The real kind of background issue here is a lot of the designers in my area are more interested in a quick buck by selling draperies and rods. They do not seem to put an effort into the upholstery sale although they all have plenty of samples and knowledge. I just keep weeding them out and really try to help the ones that are willing to work with me and what I'm trying to do.
You gotta wonder why people put squares on curvy furniture eh. If it's a nightmare I always match down and forward, find the centre and match it that way forget side to side matching you will never get it right. Cut the piping on the bias so it looks like a candy cane otherwise we will be visiting you in the asylum with you bobbing your head muttering squares squares must match squares.
My pricing is based on the pictures they provide via email. I give them my charge for labour and then price for retrying springs, new foam touch ups etc. I try to get the fabric pic included in the original email request for quote so I can see if its rr or up the roll.
I am one of only a few work rooms and the designers are mostly loyal to me, there's one or two that kind of float between us but that's ok we all need to eat.
There is a definite swing in clientele between the d's some have real fussy customers others not so much but rightly or wrongly I think my work is good enough for them all.
In the end though you are only as good as your last job and if they get po'd at you for whatever reason your fault or not they hold the trump card and could go to the other guy and if all your work is done through the d's that could be a problem. I have one particular lady who never sends a pic just sends the work. She never asks if I'm busy or my schedule the stuff just arrives however she pays very quickly and always pays way more than I would have quoted so I never complain about lack of communication and she complains about anything so she is as happy as I am win win.
My shop is almost exclusively a work room now. I do work for a number of designers and decorators and really I am fairly happy with the arrangement. I do loose out on fabric sales but absolutely charge for every little extra that is often overlooked or assumed was included. This just kind of happened at the same time I had my accident and now I just don`t have to deal with customers which suits me just fine. I have no patience anymore and a lousy customer will ruin me for a day or two now I don`t have to worry about that anymore. I have a no way you could screw this up agreement with my designers and they have no grey areas to hide in if theres a problem. One thing I started doing because of one customer is keeping the old cover in shop until paid so if theres any question as to how the previous job was done I have the old cover to lay on the new cover problem solved, haven't need it much but saves alot of grief and time when you do need it. To me less time dealing with customers not making money equals more time in the shop turning a profit.
General Discussion / Re: Vacuum shrinking foam
December 24, 2013, 08:45:13 pm
I don`t use that method very often but when I do I use dry cleaner bags because they don`t make any noise so you can leave it where it is and not tear it out. Drycleaner bags and good shop vac presto shrunken foam
Merry Christmas and a healthy prosperous New Year to all.
I think its a combination of things. The staples are crap not near what they used to be but also the darn things are way to long. Everytime I have to repair or reupholster a piece from Norwalk especially Norwalk the blinking staples are 5/8 the long when 3/8 the would have been just fine. Staple puller and hammer is all that you can do and watch out out for the meat hook because you will always miss hammering down one and it will get you and quite often the colour white will be the fabric colour.
General Discussion / Re: Do You Think ??
July 15, 2013, 05:27:47 am
Have a great trip Chris, we are off this Friday for three weeks. This is the first time in my 40 years of working that I am taking three weeks at once and when we get back its only 6 weeks till moose camp what a charmed life!
General Discussion / Re: Chair pic
July 15, 2013, 05:24:44 am
Alot of the skirts I sew, I sew with a piece of the cardboard back tack strip sewn in the bottom seam so it hangs straight and even.