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Technical Mechanics, do side work to help pay for your project??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jakespeed63, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. Bphotrod
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 271

    from da U.P.

    No, I'm a mechanic at a surface mine. If I want extra cash I'll work an extra shift.
  2. Binged, that model T is so cool. I can't look at one of those without thinking of Fred McMurray black-and-white movie flubber that model T is so cool. I can't look at one of those without thinking of Fred McMurray black-and-white movie
    Binger likes this.
  3. das858
    Joined: Jul 28, 2010
    Posts: 702


    I did side jobs from 1975 till about 2010, but not anymore, best decision ive made in a long time! Now I'm concentrating on my own projects, and having alot more fun.
    reagen likes this.
  4. Thanks for all the input fellas. Makes me feel better knowing that we're all in this together. I think I did well enough on this pick up truck to be able to get my driveshaft shortened and balanced for the Oldsmobile. And still have a big chunk of change left over.
    I don't think I'll ever run out of work. Trying take my time and do a good job. And like so many other people it's a lost art. Quality and craftsmanship never go out of style. And people will pay for that.
  5. HotrodHR
    Joined: Jul 12, 2010
    Posts: 205


    I'm a hobbyist that can lay down some pretty slick paint. I used to shoot a job here and there, but cut back because everyone wants a $299.00 Earl Scheib special.

    When someone asks now about painting a car now I just tell them I only paint special interest vehicles (special to me - no, I'm not painting your minivan or Honda Civic). When asked what I charge, I tell them that they probably can't afford it. That either pisses them off and they go away, or they show me the money! Most folks don't have a clue as to what it costs to do a quality job. Materials alone usually gives them sticker shock...

    As far as car guys are concerned I'll help out with their projects, cut them a deal or even barter some. My wife says I'm too nice a guy and usually get the short end of the deal though. I can't even tell you how many "man I owe you for this, if you ever need any help" labor hours that I could call in... of course that's if they're not tied up...
    reagen likes this.
  6. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,279


    When I was young, sure did. Worked all day at a Chevrolet dealer as a painter doing insurance work, had a small shop where I did side jobs doing custom paint (mostly vans, 70's you know). Day job supported the family, side jobs went into my cars or tools. Now days I can't believe how much energy I had. That all stopped went I quit the day job to do custom work on my own full time, all jobs became the same, working day and night getting the biz going.
    Kinda funny... a few years ago a guy wanted me to give him a quote on doing the bodywork on a 48 Ford coupe. I came up with a price based on my shop rate, $50 bucks an hour at the time. The guy actually offered me $25 bucks an hour if I would do it on the side! I told him if that's what he wants he needs a guy that works for someone, not a shop owner. Why would i work nights for $25 an hour when I get $50 an hour during the day?. Not like my overhead stops at 5. What an idiot, I don't think he ever understood that.
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  7. For xtra money I normally rob a 7-11 or two when I'm in California or a Cum an Go whenever I'm in Iowa.
    Down around Texarkana small town banks are still pretty easy.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
  8. Fixin' cars on the side got old when the phone was ringing at 10 at night with people looking to get work done. Or wanted to drop off a car... was now okay?

    Started making machined parts on the side in 1988 and never looked back. Did a whole lot of work out of my garage, but a lot of places I did work for are now out of business or changed hands. I still do some, but in recent years will do work in peoples shops, making parts, doing CAD work, breaking complex jobs down and setting up CNC mills.
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  9. image.jpeg Once again, thanks for everybody chiming in. No shortage of great stories out there, from you guys.
    Truth be told I had my own shop back in the late 80s and 90s in Cleveland. And right now I would rather work at my day job and get full benefits and do a little bit of work, at night, in my garage.
    As we all get older and more and more of the old-timers that have these hot rods,physically can't work on them anymore and they want to find somebody they can trust, like me, to do the maintenance on them.
    One gentleman has a 34 two-door sedan that's been sitting for about five years. I'm just dying to breathe some life back into this thing. It's a super cool Hot Rod, with a ton of history.
    66gmc and Raiman1959 like this.
  10. porkshop
    Joined: Jan 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,710

    from Clovis Ca

    I used to do it all. Now I have kids that time with them is more important.. I buy cars needing work, repair at my own pace and sell for profit. Everybody wants theirs fixed ASAP, and I understand and respect that, but if I want to go do something else I don't have to deal with the guilt of not getting something done in a timely manner....
  11. when i had a job i did all kinds of paint work and hustling parts to fund side work. now that i have my own shop, i don't even want to change the oil on my daily driver. i have a t bucket project in the garage, a 50 chevy coupe at the hobby shop, 2 more roadsters and a c-cab plus a whole rack of parts and pieces and none if it is getting worked on. its just sitting there taking up space and not making any money either which is always the point of having a stockpile of parts. as stated above i bought a couple of projects for the keep some-sell some strategy, but just like not wanting to work on my own stuff, i don't want to spend time selling the stuff piece by piece. if anyone out there has the energy that i don't have and is interested in an entire shop of early hot rod stuff and desirable chopper accessories, click here
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  12. Kona Cruisers
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,074

    Kona Cruisers

    Sure... Do that brake job. Something goes wrong with out garage keepers insurance you'll lose your house. ...
    You say, "I'm an Ase master tech, what could I miss!?!?"
    You so sure that white box (China) brake hose... Or master, or square seal in the caliper yadayada.. Fails. Who is getting sued. Who can lose their house, their tools, all their assets? Just keep it in mind. You're responsible for anything that goes wrong. Even if it isn't your fault. You made the repair. You installed the parts. You should have know that a lower quality part shouldn't be used.
    DdoubleD likes this.
  13. dad-bud
    Joined: Aug 22, 2009
    Posts: 3,884


    Like most, when younger, I did lots of weekend and evening work to supplement the meagre salary. Didn't rip anyone off but didn't do too many freebies either.
    Today, I'm slightly comfortably retired at 58 with a small factory unit (my shed) to work on my collection of toys as well as a reliable everyday driver, nice home, etc.
    To me, if you have skills and knowledge that can benefit your family, you use them.
    There are way too many people sitting on their duffs complaining that the government is not doing enough for them. That's exactly how most of them will end up for the rest of their lives - wondering why others have nice things and they don't.
    Most of the foregoing posts are about people who 'get it'.
    My $0.02
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
    66gmc likes this.
  14. Mr.48chevy I agree I did all that stuff in my 30s .Now 62 I find it hard enough just to work on my own projects. lol. Bruce.
  15. I once diD. When I turned 62 I quit driving truck. and I told my wife to run the household on my social security Ponzi check. I wanted a $100 per month allowance. And folks came out of the wood work with stuff they wanted me to work on in my spare time. (Spare Time is at a cheaper rate than other time) No No No. I dont have any spare time. Im busy playing with my hoard, Grandsons and hobby farming. My hoard of over 200 vehicles is my 401k. I sell something when I need a spot of money. Sold a AMC gremlin just this week. I do not want to sell anyone any part of my life ever again.
    DdoubleD likes this.
  16. 1oldtimer
    Joined: Aug 21, 2003
    Posts: 7,674


    Like everyone I used too when I was younger, but a little different. I worked at smaller shops and they would let me work on my own stuff after hours (or after I was done with the regular customers). I had a small clientele of only old cars for repairs, but it's hard to make a living on those only because the customers would sell them within a few years or sooner when they became bored or the next big thing came along. I still have a couple of old customers, family and friends that I work on but they know it's at my pace and my cars come first. I'm luck enough now to work for a water agency (anything that's portable or moves I work on) which has retirement so everything I collect (cars, parts and tools) will keep me busy well into retirement. Hopefully the shoulders and back will stay together and the drive won't leave so I CAN work well into retirement (which are other reasons I stopped all the side work).
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,423


    When I was wrenching for a living I did quite a lot of moonlighting in the garage. Built a lot of transmissions in the garage. Stopped it several years ago when I built a c-4 and they had peoblems with the governor getting stuck. Spent a lot of time and it wasn't my fault it was their stall convertor that took a crap. Just stopped after that
  18. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,676

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    I shoot xrays by day, but if a job comes up that I can wrench weld or paint for some cash on the side you bet your butt I'm doing it. Most people at my job don't get it at all, why work on old cars, or why work on cars at all. Its OK, Ill take their money all the same
  19. Please get that O-Mobile on the road soon. You owe me a ride!

    I wish I knew half the stuff you guys did!
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  20. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 6,599

    anthony myrick

    side work is the best way to trade for cool parts
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  21. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,991


    I'm with you, turned a lot of cars and had fun driving something different every few months.
    Built engines on the side, mostly mild street engines, but I'd build them and offer for sale, buyer didn't spec the engine. Never had trouble selling them.
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  22. "Please get that O-Mobile on the road soon. You owe me a ride!"

    Ok, Grandpaw ;)
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  23. 283john
    Joined: Nov 17, 2008
    Posts: 800


    I do a lot of brake jobs for people at work. They buy and bring the parts I tell them to get and a 30 pack of beer for front brakes. Two 30 packs for all four. I find the beer-over-cash thing keeps it friendlier. More like "I did you a favor, you got me a present" than a paying client arrangement.
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  24. DdoubleD
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 224

    from Michigan

    I did that for awhile.....the problem is the money spent faster than I could make it. Then I started to wonder about the liability for some extra "side cash". Screw it!! I was saving people more $$ than I was making. Like it was said above, easier to work O/T at work than eat up time at home.

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