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When do you know you are beyond a perfectionist

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Frenchy Dehoux, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. VonMoldy
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,561

    from UTARRGH!

    I remember seeing your Volkswagens in magazines all the time. They were so perfect. I remember reading an article about one and how you clocked the hardware. I thought you were insane.

    There are things I am picky about but I guess I don't care about the little things. Panel gaps and whether the wheels and tires fit the car etc. I get worried about.
  2. I appreciate everyone input on this subject I feel a lot better reading all of your concerns and the way you are doing things. Recently I have told myself last year I went to the Barrett Jackson auction in Scottsdale Az and I looked at a lot of 1/2 million dollars to 1 million dollar car and found so many issues as far as paint and detail and told my self after seen this I need to be proud to what I have accomplished on my own this helped me a lot.

    Thanks again
    Frenchy ( Doc Detail )
  3. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 6,465

    from Ks

    Frenchy, you should be proud of your work, I have not seen it but I bet it's top notch. I always marvel at that kind of workmanship. My brother is very picky about his work on engines. Then I get to blow em up. :p It sounds like you really enjoy your hobby and that's what's important. I don't have the patience I use to have, don't know why. I do body and paint on classics for a living, doesn't leave me much time for my own stuff. I at times have to draw the line on a customers car as far as what they want and what I think it should be. I have customers that seem to all have one thing in common. When the project is started, they say, it's going to be a driver. Just needs to look nice. Then towards the end they start to see how nice it's going to look and they say stuff like, "Will it be done in time for the local car show?" :confused: So now the car has gone from a driver to a show car I ask? :D I say...I wish I would have known it was going to be a show car a little sooner. :D I would have charged accordingly and probably would have blocked that hood about 20 more times! Then they say, uh, well, it's going to be a driver but at times I may show it. :D So I do them all the same and charge accordingly. I enjoy taking them from a rusted hulk to someones pride and joy. And yes, secretly I wish I could be a perfectionist on these cars and get paid to do it!! But alas...I'm just a dent bangin, wire weldin, rootin tootin bodyman. Best regards...Lippy:D
  4. Thanks Lippy I appreciate your feedback, this forum is what it is all about everyone here is looking to help others. I am now in the process of finishing a motor that I have built and took me a year to locate and have parts made including have the main bearings re poured as none of them are available in the world including the company who made the car . I had all of the nuts and bolts CAD plated to be original. I will have to deliver the motor / transmission to the Tupelo Museum in Mississippi in a few months and install it for the customer. I am also building another V12 engine for one of my customer in Tucson for his 38 Zephyr. I also had build a motor for a 1936 Lincoln Zephyr sedan which is now in the Dearborn Michigan Ford Museum. Again Detail is where it is.

    Thanks again
    Frenchy ( Doc Detail )
  5. ken1939
    Joined: Jul 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,558


    My experience is you plan your best, fab your best, paint your best, then there WILL be a gremlin or two to spoil it all. My 32 is like that. I sweated a lot of details, and its a 10 footer as far as I am concerned. Talked to my late friends daughters and wife today, they were looking at the car, another lady came by and thought it was the most beautiful car she ever saw. To the untrained eye, yep. (at least she didnt say its a kit car, or my dad had one just like it, a 37 chevy) Took it around the block and did a turn around on a dead end street, everyone stopped to look. Well a loud black deuce normally will do that!

    I would rattle off the flaws if I was around any of you folks to be honest. I call that perfectionist-honestis (like wile e coyote) I will be the first to admit if I didnt nail it. Am I unhappy with the 32? Well only in the fact I could have done better. Or like now, I am struggling with why the cowl vent wont close, or a gas gauge that wont work right, or a overheating problem that comes and goes and doors that fit before I painted the car.
    Its ok.

    I feel I have a good knowledge base to build cars. Know whats right and whats wrong. I can finally say after the 32 build, I have attained a level of execution of the skills needed. Welding, fabrication, bodywork, electrical, paint and upholstery. Does it make me a master? Nope. It makes me compitent. I just have high expecations of my own ability.

    I dont go to events to evaluate everyone elses car, I try to enjoy them, especially when I talk to those who built the car, or had it for 25 years and did most of the work. I understand everyone cant do it all, thats okay. The fellowship, the history is the important part.

    However, I do have the gene that makes me look closer on some. If you build it and drive it, you get a 99% pass on anything really, well past safety issues. Who am I to say your blood sweat and years on a project were unfounded. Unless you use welding cable for connecting your steering column to the box.

    I am more tough on pro cars than home builds. For obvious reasons. I dont have a $600,000 camper with trailer to take the car around. I pack a small bag, a small parcel of tools and off I go. Sounds like most of you right? I dont have a "team" come clean my car, or go pester the mag people about the car until they want to scream.

    Case in point, I remember seeing a 39 Chevy Coupe at the York Pa NSRA Nats a few years back. It was two tone, orange bottom and silver top. Was a Troy Trepanier (spelling) paint job. I have a 39 Coupe to. Chrysler blue metalic poly. Not to dark for a big car, but just right.

    Anyway we saw the car that night in the parking lot. Under the lights of the hotel parking lot, we passed the car, and in looking at the deck lid I said to my buddy, hey, they have a plastic decklid on this car!

    He asked how I knew. You could see all the seams plain as day thru the paint. I was amazed.

    So where does that leave me?
  6. ken1939
    Joined: Jul 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,558


    Denial is a river in Egypt, smoothing is a detail, just like paint. Fasteners, should well fasten. Use allen heads and they all line up. :)
  7. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    from colorado

    No ego trip here. I'm my only competition, content with the job if it works, content with the weld if it holds. Enjoy the car.
  8. ken1939
    Joined: Jul 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,558


    The farts done come out wrong, its normally at the wrong time :rolleyes:
  9. 3in1
    Joined: Jun 3, 2009
    Posts: 203

    from nevada tx

    I tend to agree with just about every view posted on some level here .
    I for one never witnessed perfection in my life ,some excelent work
    but not perfect .Its a life experience to chase that perfect car and will always disappoint so we have an option and thats do your best and live with it or keep a box of razor blades close at hand .c:eek:
  10. Jeem
    Joined: Sep 12, 2002
    Posts: 5,885

    Alliance Vendor

    Frenchy, if I can find some time, I'd love to take you up on your offer and see your place!

    My problem with building stuff, is that I go overboard and am completely fanatical with some component, while another aspect interests me very little and as such, is completed "good enough".

    The fabulous Pat Ganahl said hot rods are over detailed in some regards and under detailed in others, that works for me! hahahaa
  11. D-fens
    Joined: Aug 30, 2007
    Posts: 368

    from Huntsville

    I've never owned a perfect car and doubt I ever will. But it's not from lack of trying, and each one is a little better than the one before.

    Lil John said something like "Don't try to make it a fucking four-wheeled Mona Lisa. Learn from it and move on".
  12. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 52,811


    I've never seen a perfect car. I've seen some that take a while to find the flaws....but they're there....and that's fine with me.
  13. publicenemy1925
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,187

    from OKC, OK

    I may be OCD more than a perfectionist. Does having all he screws in your house going the same direction out of the ordinary? It takes awhile but a light switch here, a cabinet door there and one day, they are all turned the same way. Please help.....
  14. I Drag
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 884

    I Drag

    Drag racing cures the perfectionist tendency. Sometimes you just have to get your stuff duct-taped back together to make the call for the next round.
  15. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,504

    Little Wing
    from Northeast

    lol,,when its starts as something simple and 6 months later it is nothing like what it was suppose to be when you started
  16. junk fiend
    Joined: Sep 16, 2008
    Posts: 430

    junk fiend

    i used to be anal ass hell, like just putting a new sticker on the fridge if it was just slightly off i had to tear it off and keep trying to where it was perfect. i think i got it from my dad who takes hours to do the simplist task because everything has to be perfect. i acually got out of the habit and dont really care that much anymore it depends on what im doing though, its not like im building engines everyday.
  17. Andy William anytime you want to stop by let me know.

  18. Mason
    Joined: Jul 21, 2007
    Posts: 21


    I have the same problem, it's called annoying the hell out of everyone; you'll know when you've perfected that when you can't find anyone that will come over to help you wrench on your vehicles!
  19. 972toolmaker
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 216

    from Garland Tx

    Learned to make everything right and to print as a machinist. But people cant afford to pay for you to make every thing jewlery. I had to learn to make it really good and let it go. Works on cars also. Lack of skill is ok but not lack of effort. enjoy the car. I am not building the cars for someone else to enjoy I want to use it up and wear it out before I die.
  20. model-a-fan
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 842

    from Kentucky

    Only wrong when they're lumpy or wet:eek:
  21. duste01
    Joined: Nov 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,213


    One last comment here too. When I find myself not "enjoying" I am getting interference from some other source. I may be being pressured to hurry, or my own expectations of time may be off. Someone may have a different idea of whats going on. Dad always told me though that its better to step back and take your time as to get frustrated and have to not be happy, or have to redo. Your in good company though.
  22. D-fens
    Joined: Aug 30, 2007
    Posts: 368

    from Huntsville

    Fixed that for you.
  23. When I used to build houses I'd never build for a machinist or a lawyer
  24. Jeem
    Joined: Sep 12, 2002
    Posts: 5,885

    Alliance Vendor


    Jimmy Smith
  25. Fordguy78
    Joined: Apr 2, 2009
    Posts: 558


    Being a perfectionist is cool, but it's the reason some projects never get finished. Someone runs out of money trying to get everything perfect and then the cars just sit. I too poor to be a perfectionist. My car is up and running.
  26. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Just remember the three P's Perfection, Procrastination. Paralysis.
    If you find your not getting anything done because your too picky then it's a problem.
  27. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    from colorado

    Perfect fastners are properly torqued, not with the slots lined up.
  28. Rudebaker
    Joined: Sep 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,598

    from Illinois

    I have a lot of respect for the "perfectionist" and love looking at your cars but myself? I'm a slob and I revel in it. As long as the car is running good, mechanically sound, half ass clean and I'm behind the wheel with an open road in front of me I'm happy as a dog rollin' in road kill.
  29. Cshabang
    Joined: Mar 30, 2004
    Posts: 2,459


    Im not as "fanatical" as you, but I agree I try to do my best with everything, and most times I'm not happy...and when i am, i usually find something eventually....But honestly, once I'm using it, it doesnt affect me as much....because by then, Im not so focused on one detail, but the whole...and I agree, for me, fabbing becomes zen like...just like quietly sitting in a car, or going over details of someone elses build...
  30. agtw31
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 362


    if youre not a perfectionist with your car,it's because you're having too much fun driving it.

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