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The Secret Guild

July 28th, 2009

I have come to the conclusion that paint and body guys are part of an elite secret society that spend all their time hiding from people looking to get some work done.  At least, that is the way it seems.

I’m taking my lunch break today to vent about it.  I’ve called at least four body shops.  NONE of them will do a full paint job.  They only do insurance work.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, none of them – and this still baffels me – know of anyone who DOES do full body jobs.  How is that possible?  Surely people come to them saying “I’d like to repaint my car”.  But all of them act like it is the craziest question they’ve ever been asked.

My friends keep saying “Why not do it yourself?”  That’s a valid question.  I’ve worked with bondo extensively over the last 15 years – some of that even on cars.  And I could get it dead straight and rust free myself – of that I have no doubt.  And it would be fun!  I would looooove to do it.  But I have several factors that are keeping me from pursuing it.

1) I do not own a welder.  And on top of that, I don’t know how to weld.  Nor could I learn to my satisfaction in a timely mannor.

2) I do not own a spray guy.  And if I bought one, I’d use it this once and then never touch it again.

3) I have no where to do it.  If I had a 3 car garage or a shed or something – I might THINK about it.

4) I certainly don’t have the time.

5) I think it might finally push my wife to the brink of insanity if I decided to even attempt it.

But the most important part is this: It would never actually get done. I know myself well enough to admit that.  Oh sure, I’d spend hours researching which gun to get, and where to find a cheap welder, and how block correctly.  And all that would be fun.  But then what would happen is this: I would get half way into it and then get interested in something else.  And there it would stay.  And I WANT THIS TRUCK.

So my only real option is to find someone to do it for me – I just wish that wasn’t so hard!

EDIT 2014 Update:
Oh hoo did I learn this lesson the hard way. I’ve summed this up in the other updates, but basically hiring other people to do your paint and body work has like a 98% chance of going totally sideways.  You WILL be furious by the end of it. And now that I’ve actually gotten my hands dirty, it really isn’t all that bad. Welding (on this thick ’70s metal) is pretty straightforward. Do a lot of reading. Also, remember this: “If the patch isn’t PERFECT before you pull that trigger on the welder, you aren’t ready to pull the trigger yet.”

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