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Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 3's&8'sHigh, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. 3's&8'sHigh
    Joined: Jan 14, 2010
    Posts: 18


    I just want to say thank you to everyone who replied. I didn't really know what I was going to get for replies to be honest...was hoping for the best.

    Hopefully someone in the area will see this and take me up on the offer.

    'Til then, I'll just keep plugging along, learning what I can, from whoever I can.

  2. low-n-slo54
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 1,920


    I shut up and listened to the older guys. I mean from shade tree mechanics to Gene Winfield. It's all in who you know and the situations you put yourself in. I for one, joined a local car club and became good friends with a shop owner who does phenominal work, chatted with Winfield at a car show and I'll be damned, the next show he was at, we picked up where we left off and he explained in detail his fade/blended paint work the Winfield way.

    You just have to get out there. I know it's easier said than done.
  3. Good for you, keep trying, listening and have a good work ethic. Someone will take you in and if you have "it", they will realize it. Sounds old fashioned but it works.
  4. jonly
    Joined: Mar 15, 2010
    Posts: 215


    I am learning the same way my grandfather did - by not being able to pay a mechanic, but still needing transportation. as soon as I started having success in keeping a car on the road, every one of my friends had a car that was out of warranty that needed some work.

    pretty much the same way I got into the IT field now that I think of it. pretty good attitude you got and kudos for putting yourself out there.
  5. mayerst
    Joined: Mar 3, 2008
    Posts: 23


  6. garth slater
    Joined: Apr 17, 2008
    Posts: 270

    garth slater
    from Melbourne

    Have you gone and asked ALL the local shop owners in person? I asked ten or so before I found some one that would let me do work experience I asked another five before I got one day a week payed work. I am now an apprentice auto upholsterer in a shop that focuses on classic car resto and loving it... but it took me a year of knocking on doors to get there.

    One post on the HAMB might work but just keep asking everyone! every forum, every shop, every friend. the worst they could do is say no, or tell you that your goal is stupid. if that happens its straight on to the next one!

    If some one gives you a break make sure they know you appreciate by having a good attitude and always turn up on time. Just my two cents but that is what it took for me.
  7. cheif
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 114


    Liked what everyone has said so-far but a little reading and a few night classes at the local j.c. never hurt anyone. Not everything your read or are taught is absolutly correct, but Just remember take it all in with a grain of salt and ask a lot of questions. Talk to builders at carshows about they're projects. learn to loooook at a car instead of just looking at a car. If you analyze, interpret, and compare you can learn a lot. Just my 2 cent from someone that has been there, one of the biggest issues is you also become a insurance liability if you get hurt. unfortunatly my friend it all comes down to $$$$$$$.Good luck.
  8. CharlieLed
    Joined: Feb 21, 2003
    Posts: 2,461


    Old story...young guy walks into the bank owners office and sees how well the banker has done for himself so the guy asks the banker how'd he do it. Banker says, just two words "right decisions". Kid thinks about that for awhile and asks the banker, so how do you get to make right decisions....banker replies "experience". Kid thinks again and asks, so how do you get experience...banker says "wrong decisions"!

    I always liked that story because there is no better teacher than your own personal experience. You can read books, watch videos, sit in class, or watch others but when it all comes down to it what really matters is how you feel when you do it right or wrong.
  9. You want to learn? I've learned more here on the HAMB than a year's worth of current magazines in less than a month. You want to do something on your car pick a question and ask here, or check out some builds. Great source! THANKS GUYS!
  10. espo35
    Joined: Jul 16, 2010
    Posts: 310

    from california


    Have you learned anything out here that was actually correct?

    (Besides MY posts, of course!).
  11. ironandsteele
    Joined: Apr 25, 2006
    Posts: 5,504


    yep! the best way to learn is to ask questions and be respectful.
  12. rusty76
    Joined: Jun 8, 2009
    Posts: 882

    from Midway NC

    My theory is that you have to get your hands in there and just do it. You can talk to all the shops you want to but honestly they'll probably won't have anything to do with you. Nothing personal more of a thank you to the insurance companies. If you play your cards right you'll find people in your area with the same interrests as yourself. Go to car shows, meet and greet. The HAMB is loaded with meet and greets. I'm sure you can find one locally. If not do the show thing. You got an old car drive it and show it. There's always an old timer waiting to tell you how he would do it. It's not rocket science.
  13. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478


    i had a couple lucky breaks when i was young, my dad owned and still owns a logging truck, so when i was big enough i went with him to the garages when he had things repaired, most guys like a little kids who is facinated by all the tools and welders, they would try and teach me to weld by the time i was 10, when i was 12 my dad bought me a little buzz box, then when i was 13 my dad found me a job pumping gas, a small service station that did oil changes, sold tires, tuneups, i can remember asking which way the wheel nuts went owner would ask me if i thought i could do a job and then would help me, i learned alot there, at 14 i bought a 69 chevy bisqane, installed a 4bbl, bucket seats, fixed the rust, spot painted it, put baby moons on it, my dad would do the test driving and i would tell him to hold it wide open so i could hear that q-jet cutting in..a guy came along and offered my a good price for the car and i sold it when i was 15, 7 years later i was the mechanic there, those kinds of shops now are few and far between, to dam bad.
  14. brandoni
    Joined: May 19, 2009
    Posts: 70


    Haha couldn't have said it any better myself. Story of my life
  15. smalltownspeed
    Joined: Apr 20, 2004
    Posts: 873


    I started learning by reading every how to book I could find(some good, some not so good), and messing with my own stuff(some trial, and a good bit of error). But I have been lucky enough to know a few guys(one in specific) that have taught me a TON of knowledge, far more than any book could have. Im very thankful for that.

    Ever tried taking off a hood by yourself? Loading a rearend by your self? There are a ton of jobs that having someone(even if they are not an expert) to give you a hand can be a huge huge help. And just being around it will help you soak up tons of info. Just show them that you are trustworthy enough to be trusted around their stuff, and willing to lend a hand, and most guys would be willing to teach you a few things along the way.

    Oh, and Amazon is a great place to almost steal used how to books.
  16. BulldawgMusclecars
    Joined: Jul 15, 2010
    Posts: 508


    I agree, great source, but you can read something all day every day, and until you've actually done it, you have no idea. The guys here make a lot of the stuff seem easy, and granted, its not rocket science...but it takes patience, good planning, and the thing many are lacking...common sense.

    To the OP...if you were in GA, I'd say "start tomorrow".
  17. roughneck424
    Joined: Jan 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,084


    Reminds of this line..
    Success comes from Experience
    Experience comes from Failure
  18. Mindover
    Joined: Jan 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,625

    from England

    Like several other people said if you were here I would give you the chance to learn, the UK is a long way from you though. You should go and knock on some doors, you may get a warm welcome so long as you show the willingness and enthusiasm you showed in your original post.

    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,769


    Many years ago I was working in the garage and a young guy stopped by asking if he could help and learn. I agreed ,talked to his mom and told him to stop by on Sat. He shows up ready to go ,I told him about shop safety, told him to sweep the floor and empty the trash can. He informed me he wanted to install a cam or rebuild a carb, not do janitorial work.
    He had a short first day( and last day), the point is do what is needed and for gods sake keep your mouth shut and your ears and eyes open,you can learn a lot that way.
  20. mattlepperd
    Joined: Oct 29, 2010
    Posts: 100


    Man...there is sure some negativity here on some subjects. I have two guys who come to my shop and work on my cars a few nights a week.I pay them in beer and pizza. If he lived near my shop he would be more than welcome to come learn a ton about fab work. this is how alot of us learned.
  21. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 6,031

    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    That's a GREAT way to learn!

    When I was a young punk, back in the 70's, I learned the backyard way of doing mechanics and body/paint work from the local "just slightly older" guys. Hung around, helped out, and learned what limited stuff THEY knew.
    After a couple years, I realized theyr knowledge was helpful, certainly, but also limited to being able to keep theri cars running, not advancing to going faster, better than stock type paint, lack of wleding machines/abilities, etc.
    I asked around to see who had the BEST body and paint shop in my area. I went there and found it was a one, or occasionally 2-3 man shop, so it was easy to ask for a job, for free, and to be able to learn the trade from the boss.
    After a month or 2, he realized I knew enough to start paying me, and he taught me well. I went on working for him part time, while in college, and even after. I tried doing ti full time after graduating, but he wasn't a good enough business man to keep a good full time employee happy, though I kept working for him part time after that.
    It was a great experience and a great way to learn. I would recommend it to most people.
    I've tried to keep up the tradition, but it's pretty hard to find guys willing to work hard, and dirty, in comparison to sitting at a keyboard and making more money.
    This hobby really IS a labor of love.
    If you lived in Jersey, I'd be glad to bring you in.
  22. Streetwerkz
    Joined: Oct 1, 2008
    Posts: 718


    When I started out I werked in a shop as the lowest man on the pole.
    I was only allowed to do the werk no one else wanted to do (100% commission job on labor, and I was stepped on alot as a result), and sat back quietly and patiently learning as much as possible. At some point I became semi skilled, and here I am today. We have had several shop apprentices over the years who exchanged their time and labor for our knowledge, and access to our tools to learn with.

    A few things I would suggest is first find a local vocational school and learn welding, auto body, sheet metal fab (might be an hvac course) and any other course's that pertain to your interest. This will get you a good start on basic fabrication knowledge AND it doesn't waist the time you spend at the participating shop having them teach you the basics, which can be frustrating for a busy shop. More importantly you can spend your time on more advanced topics if your bringing the basics with you, which is what would benefit you most.
    Stay open to the concept of cleaning and running errands, etc in exchange for the knowledge. If your current job knowledge could help the shop with out conflict of interest, offer some service trade. be willing to werk all the angles to ensure it's a "win, win" for both sides.

    Good luck to you in this, you have the right attitude, plenty of people who cant do it, or are intimidated by someone who wants to learn will tell you any reason to discourage you from it..... don't let them, nothing earned without werk thru perseverance and dedication is not worth owning.
  23. Red71
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 192

    from Illi-noise

    a lot of good info on this post. there is probably more than
    just this guy wanting to do this.

    One place that has not been mentioned is try your local
    junk / salvage yard. I bet they would like to have you helping.
    even tho it maybe be newer cars, getting that feel of the bolt
    just before it breaks you will remember maybe when doing a head bolt
    and stopping before you have a shit load of trouble..

    plus the connections with most every shop in town because all those
    shops at sometime or another will be at the yard getting something.
    Body shop/ repair shop / dealership/ ......

    best of luck to ya.
  24. glockkf
    Joined: Jul 10, 2007
    Posts: 52

    from st louis

    I got the chance to sork in a shop part time. Learned a ton of stuff watching. I also was awesome at taking the trash out and running for beer.
  25. glockkf
    Joined: Jul 10, 2007
    Posts: 52

    from st louis

    Sorry "sork" means work. Damn spelling
  26. willys1330
    Joined: Jun 21, 2007
    Posts: 112


    Join your Local AACA Club. You will find many members that are Highly Skilled many are Retired and more than willing to help if your interested. Many local clubs have members with fully equiped garages and work on old cars almost every day.
  27. KingCdogg
    Joined: Sep 29, 2010
    Posts: 13


    I tried the get your own car route when I wanted to learn. It took me so far but then realized I needed a little more knowledge if I wanted it to be done right. I knew how to paint, mainly panel painting, had never painted a whole car, but heard of help needed at a local body shop and I took it. I learned a few things and was definitely stepped on every day of the week. I hated that job but I left having learned some things I didn't previously know. I left when hearing about a newly opened hot rod restoration shop needing help. Knowing how to paint is what got me in the door, but I had only done minimal body filler work, didn't know how to weld, and was just in a whole new world working around these expensive vehicles. I've been there a few years now and my mentor sorta speak John (Tubulargoose here on the hamb) and I are the fabricators, body men, and painters of the shop. We do it all from start to finish. You gotta go into it realizing you may not go straight to painting or doing the fun stuff. Chances are you will be taking out trash and sweeping shop, but observation is a big part of learning new things. I can say it is a lot easier to learn if you have good coworkers who are willing to teach you, but not everyone gets it that easy. It is definitely a labor of love. Its not bad money, but you aren't getting wealthy off working at a hot rod shop either. I love working on the old stuff and putting classics back on the road, and thats what keeps me coming back every day, regardless of how physically demanding the job is. Remember you will never know everything, there is always something new to be learned or current skill to improve on. Good luck in your search.
  28. racinman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2008
    Posts: 952

    Member Emeritus

    Jimmy, Im proud of you wanting to learn and have the desire to help for your training, where in NH are you ? I have a friend in NH and he has several hot rods and a salvage yard.
    PM me and we will see if he can help...
    Rick racinman
  29. Hey Espo, if you hate this forum so much and you obviously don't need to learn

    anything more, why not go bug someone on some other forum? I can tell you

    something that you can take straight to the bank, we don't need shitty attitudes

    like your on this site, just encouragement for a guy trying to better himself.

  30. Good luck, brother. I was lucky to have been born into this mechanical Granddad and Uncles used my labor for holding shit while they welded....trips to the junkyard for parts for the next bizarre contraption....fetching angle iron and steel stock taught me materials selection and what size will handle what made me what I am and I didn't know it. If you were close, I'd call you and let you know when I was getting started on something. I let the neighbor kids watch me weld and fabricate to let them know men who build things with thier hands can get the girls, not just movie stars and sports assholes. Yep, we're all teachers.....we can pass this on to others, and not just the ones who want to know it, and not just how to thread spark plugs, we can show that hard planning and hard work has tangible rewards --discipline and labor (untangibles) can yield kisk-ass cars (tangibles). Is there a greater side-effect?

    Enough philosophy! Let's go build somthing.

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