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  1. #41
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    Jan 2020
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    Re: Ed's Shop Build Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by TTQ B4U View Post
    Love the updates and the Jeep. I hope the i sold on BaT last year is still serving that owner well.

    Sent from my SM-G988U using Tapatalk
    Thanks! I may start a build thread for what I'm doing to it. Been doing a lot of sandblasting / powder coating or paint things for it.

    Forgot I had this pic lol

    The velocity vac has grown to be my favourite tool lately. It's shaved off a substantial amount of time for me when doing interiors. For some reason though the bearing assembly failed in it. It had been dying for a few weeks and it was bad enough that I'd have to open it up and oil it to keep it going. The thing would literally seize up after sitting for a night. Just odd because this is my newest Tornador tool and the others have been fine.

    Also follow the instructions and don't over tighten the nut that holds the plastic body to the tornador gun.

    And I realized I never showed the lobby!

    It's pretty bland right now because I haven't put much money into it yet. I was going to start pimping it out earlier in the year but then Covid hit. I've been using it as an excuse to ignore it for the time being since no one really sticks around.

    I have a display case because I wanted to sell products for a bit before realizing I didn't want to have to deal with the overhead. Right now it's holding a turbo out of a Saab 93 and a Honda D16 valve cover that were both powder coated by me. I'm going to be switching to a desk soon. I'll be keeping the turbo as a paperweight for my desk.

    Behind the counter I have a booster box and some rechargable batteries on standby for my pen light.

    As of this week I'm going to begin planning out the electrical for the upstairs apartment. Kinda exciting

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  3. #42
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    Jan 2020
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    Re: Ed's Shop Build Thread

    Think I'm burnt out. Been noticing a lack of interest / motivation since the beginning of June but I've been doing my best to ignore it. One of the biggest warning signs I pick up on is when I get happy due to no-shows.

    I had to do a pretty rough car this week. 13ish Subaru Forester. Normally I call medium sized 2 row SUVs like these money makers because I find them easy and generate a pretty killer $/hr with them. This one was a little too rough to be called that.

    Multiple crayon marks, tons of crayons buried in all crevices, and an abundance of stains. Surprisingly no salt or dog hair. The back seat had a large stain due to a bucket of slime being spilt on it.

    Ended up having to use the extractor to melt out the slime by blasting in steaming hot water. No chemicals would touch it. Scrubbing it was useless since the slime was still elastic and would just act like rubber.

    And I don't normally do paint correction but a firefighter brought me his personal truck after having someone's dog jump up against his passenger front door trying to get to his smaller dogs inside the truck. The scratches were deep and easily caught by your fingernail. I knew there was no hope of removing them but I figured I could at least lighten them up. (I'm also bad at paint photos because I never take them. Sorry lol)

    Ended up using Megs 105 with a yellow LC pad then Megs 205 on a white LC pad. The scratches are still there but you have to look real close for them. Take note of that sexy jeep.

    In my spare time I've been planning out the electrical layout for the upstairs apartment. Turns out it's pretty hard to plan electrical unless you have a good idea of what the layout is gonna look like for each room. So now I've been off planning out what the kitchen will look like so I can figure out where the stove / fridge outlets need to be. Thankfully we're not doing a dishwasher.

    This is only about 2/3s of the cabinets planned. The sloped ceiling makes it pretty hard to design around. I need to get more measurements tomorrow before I can finish designing the layout along the short wall below the slant because I can't remember where the sink is. The wall that the stove is leaning up against doesn't exist yet but I'll be shooting up to Home Depot to buy some 2x4s the coming weekend to build it. The wall will be dividing the livingroom from the kitchen hence why I opted to leave as much of it as possible as a half wall. I want to leave the space open-ish.

    Lastly, here's me waiting for all the people that said they'd call me right back after I gave a price over the phone.

  4. #43
    Senior Member 57Rambler's Avatar
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    May 2019
    Columbus, OH
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    Re: Ed's Shop Build Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Abbondanzio View Post
    Lastly, here's me waiting for all the people that said they'd call me right back after I gave a price over the phone.

    Looks like you could use this ...

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  6. #44
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    Jan 2020
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    Re: Ed's Shop Build Thread

    Maybe I should share my origin story of how the shop / business came to be. It won't be a fairytale of grit and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps that paid off. It's more about making a ton of mistakes and still coming out okay somehow lol.

    Consider it like a prequel that'll finally fill some of the voids that should have been explained at the beginning.

    It all begins back in May of 2019. Only a year out of college, and working my first office job I was desperate to get out. No disrespect to anybody that works in offices but I really enjoy hands on work. My entire run at college I worked part time in the recon department of dealerships (I've left most bad habits behind) so the office was a total change in pace. I was basically ready to go for any hands on job and had been eyeballing mechanic job openings and was looking at applying for a RV mechanic position. I finally told my parents how bad I disliked my job and my Dad joked that I should start a detailing business.

    I should preface this by mentioning my parents own a touchless self serve car wash. My Dad was offering to let me work behind it doing my own thing detailing as a side hustle until I figured out a plan. They had an electrical line ran to a light post in the back that I could use for power. They also let me use a self bay to wash cars in (mainly for water, I used my own buckets not the foam brush I promise). I would be the most stationary mobile detailer operating out of my Jeep Cherokee.

    It took some convincing for me to do it but I ended up taking the plunge and they offered to let me stay with them rent free to keep expenses low.

    One free basic website (perks of being a developer), a $40 sign, and some business cards later the business was operational. Well it was 2 weeks later when I finally got my first job

    Equipment wise I already had a gg6, Ridgid shop vac, microfibers and more due to being an enthusiast. I spent about $900 in smaller supplies + chemicals to prepare.

    The first job went well and only took me 11 hours lol. I was doing wayyyyy to much but the customer was happy with the job and they scheduled two more details with me the following week. I took the entirety of the funds from the first 3 details and went and bought a 5 gallon Husky compressor, a 50ft airline, and a blow gun. I couldn't go much bigger in tank size due to it needing to fit in my Jeep.

    Behind the compressor is a Bissel big green carpet shampooer my Mom let me borrow. The folding chair / table were my camping gear.

    The main reason I bought a compressor was because I wanted to run a Tornador as I was tired of hand scrubbing carpets so much. At my last dealership job they were gonna throw out an old Tornador and they let me take it home instead. It had the chemical tank on it but I removed the tank since it the feed tube failed.

    Surprisingly the business picked up and I was doing 2 - 4 jobs a week. Probably helped that I had the lowest prices of the area charging $180 - $200 flat for a full detail, or $100 - $120 for interior, or exterior work.

    I don't have many pictures of the initial set up as I only ever took pics of the cars. Note the fancy canopy. It was my parents and they let me borrow it. It served me well until a strong wind storm obliterated it. The camper was my parents, and I stored some of my heavier stuff in it since my Cherokee has a saggy butt and wasn't happy about all the weight.

    I was really proud of this picture.

    My Jeep.

    Surprisingly busy lol. Hard to beat my prices at the time. This pic shows the new canopy that I had to buy after the first one was destroyed.

    Business was good enough that my parents had been mentioning I should build a shop so I could keep detailing over the winter. I didn't have the funds on hand but I was able to get a business loan. At the time I was averaging $14 - $18 hour per job BEFORE expenses...

    They let me use part of their land next to the car wash and the diner. This was the day the machinery showed up.

    A month or so later here's the frost wall being poured.

    Foundation done.

    Got a banner to let the public know what was coming. If you recognize the banner it's because the other side has the business name + phone number and it's currently in use as my make shift sign on the shop. I had a hunch I wouldn't be able to afford a real sign for awhile so I prepared ahead of time.

    First day all four walls went up

    We had a retaining wall put up by the edge of the diner's parking lot. Before the shop was here people would use the dirt portion as additional parking for the diner.

    Got the chance to sneak up on the 2nd floor when the floor was put in.

    The shop is crazy tall due to the 10/12 pitch roof. The very tip is about 28' high.

    My workstation at the time. The trees were changing colors because at this point it was fall and the temperatures were dropping. The awning doesn't have the cloth portion installed because I learned to take it off to prevent wind storms from destroying it. I was also lazy and didn't want to bother with set up / tear down so I ran the awning like this for several months.

    The inside of the shop all strapped for panels. This was about mid November.

    Detailing outside lost it's joy around this time. There's about a 2 month gap in pictures at this point because I stopped taking them. Remember how my prices were so low? When your not making much per hour, you can't really afford to save up for time off. So you keep working. But that's a little difficult when you don't have a shop, and you live in Maine and it's the beginning of winter.

    There were days when my workspace was literally a sheet of ice and I worked on top of it. Some days a flurry of snow would hit here and there. My chemicals would freeze if I left them in my Jeep overnight so I had to bring them inside everynight. The Bissel extractor broke because it froze up with water in it.

    My compressor would act up when temps went below 25* as the pressure regulator in it was failing. You ever try using a blow gun in the cold? The metal tip literally freezes up due to the moisture in the air. I had to remove the metal tube just to get some air out of it. Tornadors don't like the cold either as they stop spinning so nicely below freezing.

    I remember trying to clean a door panel and every time I'd spray it with APC and try to wipe it clean the APC would freeze up and my microfiber would do nothing more than smudge up with ice shavings leaving the panel still streaked up in more ice.

    It was absolutely miserable being in the cold for 8 - 9 hours a day. My Jeep doesn't have heat due to a clogged heater core so I couldn't warm up in it. There was a heater in the camper that I could turn on but at one point the power cord to the camper melted due to water shorting it so there was nowhere to warm up for awhile. I bought a bulk pack of hand warmers and would stuff my nitrile gloves with a few of them in a desperate attempt to keep my hands from going numb.

    But the shop wasn't done.

    On the really bad days when temps were below 20* I was able to take over a car wash bay and work in it. I could shut one or both of the doors and it would heat up to about 35* which felt hot. One of the few pictures I have of the set up was captured when I was trying to take a picture of a windshield chip at 10:30pm. I was working late one night because I was desperate for money and wouldn't turn away jobs.

    This literally continued up until the middle of December when I finally had enough and shut down for 2 weeks (it was all I could afford). I honestly think that was the worst experience I've had in a long time.

    Thankfully the shop was finally approaching completion. It had heat and electricity. I bought a bunch of cheap Amazon led lights to set up. I estimated by the time they failed I'd have enough money to do a proper set up. I spent much longer than I'd like to admit planning the light layout.

    I was able to start working in one bay while the builders worked on the other side.

    We painted the back wall gray, and the bathroom / lobby a light blue.

    A few days before Christmas the shop was finally done.

    Like most construction the shop went over budget by about 20%. That drained up my savings I had saved from my office job, and just about any profit I had made detailing. On the plus side my loan isn't as high as it would have been had I added a buffer to it to cover the overage.

    Upon completion of the shop I had $300 to my name. It was a few days after Christmas and business was DEAD. Thankfully some work started to trickle in and I was able to scrape through to February thanks to a large surplus of chemicals I had stocked up on.

    Oh and at this point I was still charging the low prices. In February I smartened up and reached out to another detailer buddy asking for advice because I finally realized how bad things were looking. Honestly the business wouldn't have survived at those prices.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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  8. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Norco, Ca.
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    Re: Ed's Shop Build Thread

    Cool story.

    Wish you all the best.

  9. #46
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    Jan 2020
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    Re: Ed's Shop Build Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by MAXBKS View Post
    Cool story.

    Wish you all the best.
    Things are much better now Just wanted to share the story since I haven't really told anyone.

    I had to redesign the kitchen layout as my measurements were wrong due to there being a lot less space than I initially thought. Here's the new sketch. It covers everything minus the cabinets along the knee wall.

    To get prepared I built the divider wall for the kitchen. I made a 2' 6" long full height wall to create a little corner in the kitchen and extended it out with a half wall. I then proceeded to dismantle said half wall.

    It was too short, and too wobbly. Turns out you can't just rig up a half wall without some planning ahead as they require additional bracing. Oops lol

    Here's the wall 2.0 which includes a brace that extends up the ceiling.

    This weekend my Dad and I will be wiring up the electrical. Did some shopping and picked up all of the lights for upstairs (mostly recessed) along with some smoke detectors and a bathroom exhaust fan. The past week I've been positioning boxes for all of the light switches and outlets.

    Also I did a puke clean up job for a 07ish Toyota Rav4. The vehicle was rough and the puke was on all 4 seats, the headliner, and drivers rear door panel. Ended up having to unbolt two seats to clean beneath them properly. I kinda enjoyed it.

    And on a tangent I finally sandblasted my axle for the Jeep. Figured I've been putting it off long enough now. The blaster is a harbor freight special that I pimped out with some upgrades.

    Yes those are my saw horses from upstairs

    The axle after blasting. I rigged up a stand using scrap wood from the original™ half wall.

    Painted with SPI epoxy primer. This was my first time using a paint gun and overall it went well but I missed so many spots that I had to touch up with a brush. I'm happy with the results and I'm glad it's rust free. Now I just need to remove the pinion and I'm finally past the halfway point on the axle refresh project.

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  11. #47
    Senior Member PaulMys's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    L.I. NY
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    Re: Ed's Shop Build Thread

    Love the documented journey, Ed.
    It is no coincidence that man's best friend cannot talk.

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