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Craftsmanship...who really cares?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by theHIGHLANDER, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. I read a sign that had the Quote of the day and it said," Experience is a another word for mistakes".
  2. brandonwillis
    Joined: Aug 28, 2008
    Posts: 291

    from Tucson AZ

    i agree with that. But Everyone out there wants shit done fast and for free. I think thats why we see a lot of mud on cars. Because people think its faster to just beat the high spot down and mud over it. I myself even thought that was the case on a truck ive been building for a guy on the side. On the very cheap... i mean VERY cheap for the work (in hopes that he will sell me his 1 owner 29 model a tudor in his back yard, or maybe is 59 cad coupe deville) but i figured id just rough all the metal work in slop some mud on it and get it done. I sware if i would have known that sanding bondo and slopping mud all over this peice of shit was going to take so long, i would have never even screwed with it. Since ive started his little side project Ive FINISHED, 2 others in roughly the same shape, with only the use of a skim coat here and there over some worked dents.

    In all reality, It takes half the time for me to just fix the damn dent with a hammer and dolly than it does for me to go fast and fill a big hole with mud.

    but speaking of hack work, Lots of show quality cars of the 50s and 60s have TONS and tons of lead on them. so its not really a new thing, and you cant really blame it on well that was the past they didnt have this or that. Gas welding works great, and hammers havent changed. a good example might be the white truck with canted lights on the cover of rod and custom a month or 2 back. The picture of the work was a little scary...
  3. rayjon
    Joined: Aug 15, 2006
    Posts: 127

    from Reno Nv..

    OJ I need to buy you a beer... you hit the nail on the head....

    none of us are perfect but we try, and if we can accept when we make a mistake and will fix it the end result if much better.... I like my cars nice but understand that takes alot of work and I will have to redo some of that work due to my mistakes.. like the sanding scratchs in the paint on my crew cab.......


    I agree on the quality thing, most of the time it is the customer not being educated in what is being done to know what is right and wrong, they just write the check.. and want it done cheep, cheep gets you a bondo skim coat.. or alot of spray bondo primer....

    Remember this real car guys know where the good body men are, and they aren't cheep. We also know they will have a car for several months to do it right and when done right it will be that way for a long time.

    Ever think the reason the car came to you, was so it will be done right...
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  4. Brahm
    Joined: Oct 4, 2001
    Posts: 487


    The body filler aka massive bondo method seems to be what is taught in my experiences, I took 2 separate auto body classes in high school.. both were "kitty hair, bondo maybe a patch panel here or then, and sand until you're arm is going to fall off and then sand some more.. I'm sure that's how it is in most public schools. I wish my I would have learned how to use a hammer and dolly better, hopefully I will on this upcoming project. Also the putty/bondo method is much more approachable for most people.. no..wait how do I get to this fender that has inner metal, behind it bracing and an interior I don't want to rip out? My goal is to try to improve the quality of my body work on my '29 over my '69, and then take what I learn and redo the '69.. (which makes me shutter just thinking about it..)
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 9,474


    No question about it. Sadly it's been paid for once and that puts the good guy behind the 8 ball before he opens a can of paint stripper. As far as finish work is concerned, I never did understand the hurry. In prototype everything's in a hurry and 99% of it is temporary (please don't bring up early survivors). This is different.

    Someone said early kustoms, lots of lead. Yes indeed. That was that particular craft and if they weren't good at it they'd be gone by now, rotted from the inside out because the acid wasn't washed away in the tinning. We've seen pics here that show some discovered sad sacks that are just that, old and rotten. There's several that stood the test of time though and the difference is craftsmanship.

    I told one of my crew that working on the cars we do will change his outlook on everything else he does. It has. Maybe we're in a fortunate position to see things built and designed with old world quality right from the start. I guess I can't see disrespecting such cars or the craft with shit work. Can't see the attitude applied to my lowly Belair either. Can't see it applied to a (excuse the term) ratrod, or an OT musclecar. I guess if it was easy...
  6. RacerRick
    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,756


    I have built cars that were hacked together, but at the time I thought they were perfect. As my skills improve, I look at some of the things I did years ago and cringe.

    I welded a new quarter patch panel on my 55' Wagon yesterday, and it was the first one I have ever done that came out near perfect and can probably metal finish. For me this is a big deal - and it took a long time of getting better, getting the right tools, and some education to be able to do this.

    The funny part is - it took me less time to do this nice job that it would have taken me to lap weld it over the old panel and mud it.
  7. After thinking about this instead of sleeping like I should've...

    Is it the common mindset as discussed herein that results in the lack of proper training running amok in trade schools; or is it, rather, the lack of individuals who actually KNOW how to do proper work being available for teaching?

    I know my instructor was adamant about not using too much plastic filler, yet there were some vehicles that were rushed through due to school administrators not being able to comprehend that it takes time to find the correct parts, and without a proper fabrication shop we were pretty much at their mercy, or lack thereof. I suppose the school is doing what they think is right, setting the students up for what the majority considers to be real world scenarios, but it irks me that there's no proper fabrication techniques being taught at most trade schools/colleges. People aren't going to get THAT education in 99% of the body shops where they are taken on for internship/apprenticeship...
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 9,474


    Bingo...1st beer's on me:cool:
  9. lostforawhile
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,160


    Most of the shows like pimp my junker, are crap, how often do they even work on anything under the hood? just goofy gadgets in there, remember the shifter with 10000 worth of diamonds? how long is that going to last before it's ripped off? I think the Overhaulin stuff was a step up simply due to the talent of the people working on the build, I mean if you put the groups of people together who built those cars, I can see it happening, that kind of talent is far and few between, I think the way they did it was to break it into groups. each group had a specific talent and they perfomed it well. I think what is lost today is attention to details, I don't post much of my car on here due to it being off topic, but a lot of the small details that take forever, like specials brackets, machined fittings,things like that, no one will ever see,but I still want them as perfect as possible.
  10. I think it goes right down to our schools.
    When I was in high school we had auto shop, mechanical drafting,
    metal shop, wood shop and shop math.
    Along with skills they taught you PRIDE in what you did. They don't
    encourage kids to work with their hands (especially the ones that are
    not cut out to be brain surgeons) instead they put you in front of a
    computer, then send you out the door... "No kid left behind" what a
    great concept that is...................We're dumbing down this country.
  11. JDHolmes
    Joined: Nov 25, 2006
    Posts: 918

    from Spring TX

    Without quoting your whole rant, I'll just say that one of the perfectionists is right here. It's taking me longer to finish stuff and my wife is nagging, but I refuse to put out something that I know is faulty. It's dishonest and not right.

    However, my "perfectionist" tendancies have created a lot of work for me that would have passed by other people without much thought. The latest example is a 72 Cutlass that had a minor crack in the paint at the A-pillar on the roof. In checking it out, I found mucho mud and half the hood rim eaten up with rust. I've had to replace all the metal and after many months have the top ready for paint. But, I've decided to give it a full paint job and found more mud in the hood along with 100 hail dents. Stripped another hood to find 8" circles of bondo along the hood center line...more repair. I should have left the crack alone and drove the tires off the thing or sold it.
  12. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,038


    I'm just waitin' on the new Chinese GM imports. Bet they'll be perfecto. No UAW in Whang Dong Province to be picky picky over workmanship. Here in the good old USofA we're all in the toilet and swirling around like turds. Buddy of mine does Type A body work said he was invited to a customer's house for a party and given the tour, this and that being special and costly, and a pool. Of course, he wanted to pay my friend peanuts for his work. Go figure. We're all like that. We want the moon and instead we get a Moon Pie. And Rat Rods are in class by themselves. I hate most of them, because they're dangerous and make people think all modified vehicles are crap. And, the attitude that grunge is cool is a different aesthetic that deals with cars as a kind of punk rebellion against a stringent work ethic and the notion that perfection may be impossible but is worth the effort. I think of the makers as creatures of despair, obsessed with making a statement and blind to the possibilities. We need to reach out to them, and stomp their fingers until the stop wiggling.
  13. frizi
    Joined: Aug 15, 2008
    Posts: 181


    I appreciate your ideas on quality, I am a perfectionest myself. The thing that pisses me off is, being that I am 30 years old, I get grouped into the class of the other jerkoffs that do the things that annoy the shit out of the older generations, which makes my elders turn there back on me because I am too young to appreciate what they know. I have always had an interest in learning to work with sheet metal, I am a toolmaker/cnc programmer by trade, I love to work with metal. Most of the people I have met are geniune assholes and won't take the time to teach you anything, which is why a lot of the cars out there are hack jobs. It would be nice if the people that "know" what they are doing would teach some of us that are interested how to do things "right".
  14. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,425

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    The first time i saw that "skim coat" shit on a TV show I was like ..huh..WTF..
    they went out and bought new fenders, new trunk lid, new hood, than smeared frosting all over it, just to go back 30 min. later and sand it all off than prime it..
    bone headded in my book..
    Im thinking the Manufacturer of that product has sold alot of shops a bill of goods, that becomes wasted money on the bill payers part and a keep buisy job for the fuckin floor sweeper.

    if the panel is straight..than whats the point?
    if the panel isnt straight..make it straight (but not with that shit)

    I will be the first to say, Im not an auto body guy..but i know better than to put frosting on my sheet metal..and maybe because im a bit lazy at times , may be another reason why i wouldnt do this. Because i dont want the labor and mess of having to sand 99.9% of it all back off..
  15. lostforawhile
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,160


    yea they make a spreader to scrape off the extra not add more.
  16. Brahm
    Joined: Oct 4, 2001
    Posts: 487


    Wish we had that at my high school.. I took general auto shop, the first year it was brought back to my school, my teacher was the wrestling coach. I had a car so he sent me and a couple friends of mine to have at it with no instruction, while the rest of the class just read course materiel, and painted the shop floor. I mostly remember changing water pumps, almost crushing my skull when I pulled the diff by undoing the leaf springs while the diff was on jackstands... (put a huge gauge in the concrete about an 1"-2" from the top of my skulls, and wandering around the parking lot while my buddy stole car stereos.

    Autobody, I took a couple semesters of at a different school. The teacher was running a side business out of the class (ie taking in customer cars and having the kids finish them.. I think at one point he had me put chicken wire and cover it in kitty hair to fix huge rust hole on a blazer... He did have a 69 Chevelle that he had me work on.. I spent all semester stripping and making that thing the best I could so I could paint it, which he decided to do himself in the end so he can sell it..

    These are public schools in Socal.. ha. Granted I don't expect much more but had I gone to a trade school and learned this crap I'd be pissed.

    So with that, what I've really learned over the years has been hands on experiences, with friends..building race cars, cleaning up our cars, last minute fixes to your car to get to school, work, or back home from the track..heck I delivered pizzas in my car. Sure we have pride in your cars it runs doesn't it, and maybe if we are lucky we were faster then the other guy guy now and then. I wish we had somebody in our group that had any metal working or true auto body skills that we all could have learned from, but those people are few and far between in the circles a good majority of us come from. I wouldn't be surprised if a good many of you guys are just like me, were just punk kids who used to want to street race and go fast, fell in love with our cars, couldn't afford to pay somebody else to do the work so picked up a wrench, and for whatever reason and an affinity towards pre-60's cars and landed up on HAMB.

    I don't think it's a reason to fault, or knock our work ya somebody might buy our cars and down the road start a thread about how this and that isn't spec, but fuck it.. Isn't the only thing that matters that we enjoy what we are doing, and our cars...whatever state it may be in?

    As far as the skim coat stuff. .Ya I don't know what that's about I put new repo fenders on my car and they are straight as an arrow.. I scuffed the black stuff, covered them with a primer and shot them.

    In regards to the computer comment...schools need to UP that not drop it.. don't get me wrong. There will always be a niche for top notch metal work, and automechs for restoration, but if you're growing up now and don't know how to use a computer.. You're really limited your opportunities in life. You can't be a general mechanic coming out of school now and not know how to tune EFI.. There are so many brick and mortar shops shooting themselves in the foot by lack of understanding how to use computers, or expand there business via online channels. Being resistant to technology, and computers in this day age is like still riding horses and buggies for transportation 1930's.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  17. Sadly, that's true.

    Who's gonna step up and teach the young'ns the right way to do stuff? A shop owner might go through ten or fifteen people before someone who actually WANTS to learn stands out. That's a lot of money/time wasted on the ones who don't, ethically it might make sense, financially it could be a disaster. Darn it...there's that money thing again...

    Yeah, okay, I fibbed...I'm making another reply :p
  18. captain scarlet
    Joined: Jun 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,429

    captain scarlet
    from Detroit

    Firstly this post is not about knocking home builders and perfectionsists.
    It was a comment on the sometimes poor quality from the so called professional shops.

    If I had paid a professional shop $30-60 to do all the body work, metal repair and paint, on my car then within a year it all start to crack because the bondo is too thick I would be very unhappy.

    It takes no longer to do it right than wrong. If it takes 3 days to repair a panel, 1 day for metal, 1 day for bondo and prep, 1 day to paint. It is no different to 1 1/2 days for metal 1/2 day for bondo and prep 1 day for paint. It is easier to sand the bondo the shape than to finish the metal to the correct shape. Time doesn't really have anything to do with it, it comes down to the right training.

    I agree with some of the comments made previously in the post. The truest one is a lot people "learnt" body work in the accident repair business. This does not teach the correct way to approach car restoration.

    I build all my own cars since I am a trusting bastard and I am never happy with someone elses short cuts. All the things I have to fix have been paid for or done by a professional shop.

    Ranting over:eek:
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 9,474


    There's an idea that has always been the case, passing the torch (no pun intended). But it does seem lately that the disease of all-knowing-self-absorbed attitudes carries over to the hacks. You know the type, cant be told anything, doing it all his life, taught by the best, really knows nothing. I learn all the time. I teach what I know all the time. Most all of it. I keep very little to myself, but like Cap't Scarlett said much of it is from the collision mindset. In that racket most keep their knowledge no matter how bad it is due to the competition between techs for work.

    About money...

    To make big money you do 1st rate work. You let your customers sell what you do. You never lose focus of the quality and longevity of the work. And once again, it's all of it. Not just excess bondo but shady chassis work, booger welds, poor fabrication, shitty electrics. I rcall a self-absorbed type that welded a rollbar into a Monte Carlo. 1st thing wrong was it wasn't attached to the frame, it was plated to the floor. 2nd thing wrong, the mill scale wasn't ground off the plates used. 3rd, bar placement was not within the rules as was the lack of frame contact. Now sadly the hack-fuck didn't stop there. The new master cylinder was zip screwed to the firewall. After several dozen rounds the master detached from the firewall and off the end it went at 122MPH. Then rolled bumper to bumper and the rollbar broke. Luckily the injuries were minor but proper work would've taken 1 more hour.
  20. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton

    It's not the school system's job to raise kids. It's the school system's job to teach the 3Rs.

    Blame parents, they control the real lessons about values and life. Those lessons have been replaced by athletics and other team style activities that do not allow individual discovery. We mask it all with an excuse that we're trying to keep them too busy to get in trouble, when in truth troubled moments provide the most valuable lessons.

    Who discovers the real meaning of quality in a team situation????? Quality is an intensely personal path.
  21. MotoVintage
    Joined: Jan 6, 2009
    Posts: 124


    I am seeing it more and more in my line of work also. "Profit Monster" uses cheap unskilled labor and passes it off with smooth tounge bull shit so he can keep his high maintence wife in Mercedes and Spa treatments, "The new American way" I say bullshit, it always comes back to bite them and in the end they loose the customer, I fix the product correctly and feel guilty having to charge the customer for fixing a previous shops fuckup. there is no shortage of smooth tounged sales types who can smooth over a screwup and make the customer feel like it was their fault, sad but we know who we are and we know who they are, educate your customers as a part of your customer service and they will keep coming back too you.
  22. bdynpnt
    Joined: Feb 9, 2009
    Posts: 354


    speaking of Crap has anyone seen that new show on the History channel called "Motorheads" i saw this one where they did a 54 Ford pickup and charged 13,000 dollars all they did was paint the exterior paint the interior of the cab and put a carburator on it that i dont think it needed in the first place , i think it wouldnt start because it was out of gas ,cause it wouldnt start with the new one either lol . and to top it off they left the firewall brown and painted the trick cream and black , and of course they did the whole thing in 8 days , its crap like this that give the good shops a bad name , i get it all the time "how come you cant do it in a week they do on tv all the time?" doing a job from metal up in a week isn't going to last , even o9n overhaulin i wonder how much sandscatch swelling shows up a month after the car is done , primers need to cure before sanding and paint . i would love to see one after a month .or 2 Coddingtons show was the first one i saw them smear bodo on the whole car , they had a brand new steel 32 roadster body and completely cover it in bondo i couldnt believe that , but it seamed every build they did was done that way , i guess its one way to make up for lack of metal men
  23. skullhat
    Joined: May 30, 2009
    Posts: 892


    i saw that show last week

    thought it was funny, that the painter fucked up the primer job 3 times before they tossed him out.

    they didnt seem to know a whole lot about paintn a truck as far as im concerned

    on the other hand, the overall price was pretty cheap considering all the work coverd, shoddy as it was

    i notice all those type shows all follow the same is a sentimantal piece, has a short deadline, sudden issue with an employee, last minute major castasrophy, then a miraclulous recovery and happy bullshit

  24. bdynpnt
    Joined: Feb 9, 2009
    Posts: 354


    I agree Skull they are all totally scripted and totally Bullshit
  25. LB+1
    Joined: Sep 28, 2006
    Posts: 581

    from 71291


    Man you are so right on this one!

    When I was 13, (well that has been 50 years ago) and it was after school and on Saturdays. I got $5.00 for water sanding a whole car and it best not have a finger sand place in it.
    If the late Sam did the kind of work that is out there now, even old George could't PR it. :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
  26. sloorider
    Joined: Oct 9, 2006
    Posts: 277


    Bull shit...UA...craftmanship is number one.
    Non union under cut markets by cutting corners, then one ends up with a crap product which is what this rant is about....
  27. SlowandLow63
    Joined: Sep 18, 2004
    Posts: 5,958

    from Central NJ

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D
  28. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Who died and made you god of what's the right way to do bodywork? See that little roadster in the avatar. Full of bondo. The door you are looking at was full of holes. Skimmed it with bondo. Twenty + years later and no cracks. If you want to spend your life hammer welding, shrinking, stretching and leading go to it. I'll rather be driving my stuff.
  29. Grab your copy of the Feb 2008 R&C(I think) and flip to the article of Brad Masterson frenching headlights on a shoebox Ford. After he welds the donor headlight ring to the fender, take a look at the fucking trench he'll be filling in with lead. That has got to be at least 1/4 to a 1/2 an inch deep after he's done sculpting it in. Now, he was Bill Hines helper and he worked for both Hines and Barris as far as I know. If he learned to fill a trench 1/2" deep from them, what does that say about professional shops and their practices, let alone the people who literally created the tradition we all love?

    Mind you, I love Bill Hines cars and both he and Barris have created some of the most classic cars on the planet and they did all this with a 1/2 inch of lead or more in some spots. So what's the beef here?

    When Spence Murray commissioned the construction of the Dream Truck from all the masters of the time he virtually demanded that no filler be used in it's construction but if you look at the restoration photos after the flip, you see areas of lead. Too much to expect from the masters of customizing?

    If Masterson and Barris and Hines can pour a 1/2" of lead on a headlight bucket or a frenched antenna(see Hines on Monster Garage), then a skim coat of plastic on a panel is absolute perfection from a home builder.
  30. brandonwillis
    Joined: Aug 28, 2008
    Posts: 291

    from Tucson AZ

    Thats cool that someone was to lazy to build your car the wright way, weather it be you or someone else.

    I think its obvious that trying not to use filler is the right way to do body work. If body was the way to do body work. they would just cast bondo into fenders and doors wouldnt they? Theres a reason they are made out of metal, and its not so that they can be covered top to bottom with chicken wire, fiberglass and plastic....

    ...i hope your joking about think thats the "right" way to do it........

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