Page 1 of 2

Chapter 7 - A New Direction

PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:05 pm
by NFT5
So, a bit of news. The shop is gone. Sold. :clap:

Took a while but I'm out and already driving the missus mad. :goodjob:

Plan is to build a new shop at home and work here, doing a bit more restoration and custom work that the straight production, minor damage repair that I did in the shop.

The evolution of the new building design is a fascinating story and I'll elaborate in future posts - kind of figure that this thread will follow the progress of design, building and commission. You will probably need :pcorn: :pcorn: :pcorn:

For now, doing a couple of jobs in the carport. Well, I figure that if the mobile guys can do it then so can I. Just means a bit more denibbing really.

So, the process started with purchase of a new compressor. Had to be quiet so as not to upset the neighbours and, obviously, had to have the capacity to handle the needs of most spray guns.

This is what I bought:

3.2 hp or 2400W means single phase (don't have 3 phase at home) and standard 10amp power point. 62dBa is really quiet. 475 lpm is more than enough for any of my guns and seems to handle air tools without trouble.

The 50 litre tank is big enough, but not ideal. I have another 40 litre tank from an old compressor that I'll use to supplement the storage. Will be plenty, then.

Oilless? Really? Apparently so. I'd seen some claims that they wear out quickly so dropped in to talk to a mob that sell and repair compressors. They confirmed that wear is a bit faster than on the traditional oil sump style but only in very high demand situations like a full panel shop with 3-4 guys using air all day. For a home shop he said that I would wear out faster than the compressor. :shocked:

Downsides? Used a couple of times already and these little pumps, although quiet, seem to extract more water out of the air than I've ever seen. Air cooling and drying will be essential.

I'd been looking at this style of compressor for a while and the leader of the pack seems to be Chicago Air. Newer player here is Rolair but both American companies and while quality is impressive, so is the price. Think double what is shown in the link above. Toolex is a good solid brand and they've packaged a price point unit which kills the competition on specifications and price, but leaves you a bit shortchanged on things like fittings and water trap that I had to buy separately. Oh well, another $60 still leaves it in the good value category.

SWMBO is telling me that lunch break is over and to get outside and do some work. :rotfl:

A further instalment later.............

Re: Chapter 7 - A New Direction

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:38 am
by chopolds
Good luck on the new venture! I built a shop in my backyard when Exxon laid me off in 1997. It's a whole new experience, but I wouldn't trade it for anything! (PS, while never a "pro", I have always been a super serious hobbyist.. like working 40-60 hours a week in my shops, besides the full time gig!)
You're going to love it!

Re: Chapter 7 - A New Direction

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:19 am
by DarrelK
Well, if you wanted to get out of the production shop I can understand that.... congrats on the sale. I'm glad it was a sale and not just a walk-away deal. I've known soooo many businesses here over the years where the owners just walked away with quite literally with the shirts on their backs. guys get the most fascinating compressors over there. I've got a few portable compressors and yep, the aluminum ones were tougher than I thought they would be and yep, those rascals are rainmakers! We don't use them for anything critical so it's not a big deal.....
Interested to hear more about how you set up now..... I am assuming you've still got access to good jobber/supplier?

Re: Chapter 7 - A New Direction

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2020 7:46 pm
by NFT5
chopolds wrote:You're going to love it!

Already loving it. :happy:

DarrelK wrote:Interested to hear more about how you set up now..... I am assuming you've still got access to good jobber/supplier?

In a way. Same distributor but they've lost the Axalta distributorship which is a bummer since I've grown to love my Cromax system. Incidentally, I got to keep the paint system since the buyer didn't want it. Not sure what I'll do with the paint system since, if things go the way I plan, I won't be mixing colours every day, making the full system something of a waste, not to mention that it demands constant maintenance. The distributor does have Protec which is a reasonable Australian made product......don't know yet. Downside is that Axalta have appointed one of their Sydney distributors to cover the Canberra area and they only offer a weekly delivery service. OK for stock orders but if you need something in a hurry......

Right now I have a couple of jobs that I need to get done and don't have a booth. That should make it interesting. After that the priority is to get the new shop design set, approved and built. Just the preamble to that saga I'll cover later. It's a lesson in how local government, falling over their own feet through incompetence, manage to make a simple process difficult.

Re: Chapter 7 - A New Direction

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:04 pm
by '68 Coronet R/T
Welcome to the working in the garage club!
Your experience and expertise will help immensely in your transition.

Getting things set up at home is a challenge as usually space is limited and getting the proper equipment expensive.

It is definitely a unique "working from home" adventure!

Re: Chapter 7 - A New Direction

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 12:30 pm
by Doright
Not sure what to think of your situation yet? BUT If your Happy then I am Happy for you!
I wish you the Best working from Home! It can be a challenge trying to create a name for yourself to attract business.
My local gov. changed the laws about having a Home business, that prevents me from having anything but a Mobile lic.

Jim seams to Excell at drumming up paying restoration project owners?
He has a secret OR hes one heck of a salesmen coupled with his restoration skills! deadly combo!

I do my own completes and then sell or flip, so Its done my way ON MY OWN TIME AND SCHEDULE I don't have to answer to any customers or deal with city Gov for having a Home business.
State law limits me to buying or selling 25 cars a year I am well under that, so I don't need a business lic the trick is finding the right cars at the right price to fix and flip.
State law prevents Junk cars being stored in the yard unless they are Classics!
No one has complained or said anything about my yard ornaments yet? But they did on my Neighbor! but his cars were not Classics either. I am sure the enforcers took a strong look at my yard around my shop But said nothing!

As long as I turn away all who ask me to work on their stuff except my son and his one friend who is considered family and my Bud Skip I am good in my opinion.

Not having a Business lic is a benefit in many ways and a BIG disadvantage as well.
BUT I still follow the codes local business are forced to follow such as disposal of Hazmat.
Just in case I get a visit from some one or some one reports me for something.
Keep your Ducks in a row!

One your Shop build
Build it twice as Big as you think you need!
I have a 40 x 60 and can hardly walk through it now!

A lot of guys around here are using two or three Old 40 foot shipping containers and building shops out of those after putting in cement floors and a steel roof over it Cheap way to go and lots of built in storage.

Re: Chapter 7 - A New Direction

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 2:23 pm
by '68 Coronet R/T
Ha, I have never advertised.
Word of mouth in this area goes along way.
First guy took his car to a show, next thing I got another job. One guy told his sister in California about the 1965 Buick and 1967 Jeep CJ5 I did for him and they had a 1990 Miata delivered to my home.
I didn't know anything about it so I asked the delivery driver what he was doing dropping that car in my driveway. He gave the name of the guy who had his cars done here. So I called him and he said they wanted a complete restoration and would wait as long as necessary!

Chris will have better success than that.

The guy I did the '62 Chevy truck for, took it to a car show and won a trophy. He called me and asked if I wanted referrals, I said, No!

Re: Chapter 7 - A New Direction

PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 9:28 am
by NFT5
Sort of just continuing the random posts as things develop, or not.

Now normally I don't do heavy panel beating that requires chassis or heavy body pulls. But this customer just can't help himself. Fancies himself as the next gift to the world of drifting but in truth can't drive to save himself. His last effort I gave back to him just after Christmas and he was back again this week with a Mercedes that he bounced both ends into the Armco.

Anyway, sucker for punishment that I am, I agreed to fix it.

Once I got the external panels off he'd bent the inner reinforcing bar and caved in the headlight pocket which is, joy of joys, triple skinned. Both needed a bit more pulling power than I was set up for, so had to get creative and design and build something.

Result was this:
2021-05-07 09.59.21.jpg

2021-05-07 09.58.59.jpg

2021-05-07 18.39.00.jpg

Started pulling the reo tonight and overjoyed at how well this thing works. The idea is to transfer the force from the pulling chain through the mast to the front of the unit and the 'legs'. It needs just a single securing Dynabolt in the floor to hold the back in place. That's a 10 tonne pump and ram on that chain and I was giving it some.

For now it just sits on the floor but have plans to fit some spring mounted castor wheels to make it a bit easier to move around. Main base is 90x90x4, about 1300 long with the mast 2 sections of 50x25x3. Bolts are 12mm high tensile. Yes, the welds are all ground. The world isn't quite ready for my welds. :rockon:

Steel cost $64 and the mast sections are galvanised because that's all they had in that size. Cut to length with a 30deg angle. A bit over a day to put it together and give it a lick of 2K over epoxy.

If there was ever to be a Mark II then I think I'd have to come up with some way to fold the legs for storage.

Tomorrow I'll pull the headlight pocket, which will be interesting. More photos to come.

Re: Chapter 7 - A New Direction

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2021 7:50 am
by RamblerRacer
I don’t often scroll down this far on the site, but cool you are moving on and able to still work at your own pace and demand. Nice job on the pulling rig.


Re: Chapter 7 - A New Direction

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:21 pm
by NFT5
Time for a new addition to this thread.

The compressor I bought (above) is an absolute ripper but has one weakness. The valve that reduces pressure for a softer start is controlled by a solenoid and because these pumps make lots of water it gets gunked up very quickly. They've tried to fix and have replaced the whole compressor once and when I went back in with a repeat of the problem they told me that they'd experienced quite a number of instances of the problem and were out of stock of replacement parts and due to "supply chain shortages" didn't know when they'd be available.

So, time for a rethink.

I've been playing with a copper pipe heat exchanger/drier for a while and clearly something like this is necessary to get the water out of the air, before it goes through the valve. Resurrected it and finished it off.


Pity that Bunnings didn't have 4 of the same ball valves, but the odd one only serves to aggravate my OCD and works fine. Gave it a pressure test and...


Mmmm, well that joint wasn't real good. :knockout:

Fixed that one up and a couple of other pinholes and it passed the soapy water test.

Then, the valve problem. The valves are solenoid operated by the control unit, so I'd need a new one plus valves. On top of that the 50l tank, while not a huge problem, wasn't quite big enough. So, I saw this:


At $799, less 10% GST that I get back it was way cheaper for a 120l tank compared to $1200 for a new 100l vertical tank. Didn't need the motor and pump and I could see a swap working. Also the valve is air operated and replacements readily available.