Last month’s article discussed creating plugs. You should have a polished and finished prototype plug, ready to make molds.
This process is similar to the plug process, since we use the same materials, steps, and techniques. The mold is an exact mirror image of the plug and is what will be used to reproduce new prototype parts over and over again.
In last month’s article, I talked about our race against the clock to complete the customizing of the Ford Mustang GT in time for SEMA. Now that the dust has cleared, I’ll explain in more detail the mock-up procedure for our new parts, including how our plugs were made.
The Chicago Pneumatic Quiet Rotary Screw Air Compressor is what we use here at Huntington Beach Bodyworks to power everything from tools and airbrushes to inflating tires, painting and cleaning. Designed to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it pays for itself in short order.
When the automobile was first mass produced, it spawned several different industries, including our own auto body industry. No sooner did cars come off the assembly line, then individuals began souping them up and changing their appearance – bringing forth the custom auto body industry as well.
If you are repairing an older vehicle or restoring a classic car, it is not always possible to obtain an OEM part or the cost may be prohibitive. This is where aftermarket parts can really help a lot. As you know, OEM parts are those made by the original manufacturer of the parts your vehicle came with. Aftermarket parts include everything outside of that – made by an independent manufacturer who intended the part to work the same way as the original.
A recent project we had at the shop involved a group of six, sit-down Sea-Doo jet skis. The client wanted to enhance the brand new skis with graphics and artwork. The jet skis shared a common theme, each one with its own variation on the design. The layout included an art piece up front and a smaller one at the rear, with fire throughout.
| The finished rim. |
One of the easiest ways to customize any vehicle is with a new set of rims. In recent years it has become popular to purchase rims with centers that match your paint and a nice chrome finish on the lip of the rim.
If the style or brand of rim is not offered with a painted center or if the color of the center is not what you want, custom painting is the solution. Whether you choose to customize a particular set of rims on the market or decide to enhance rims you already own, both can be prepped and painted. A recent customer wanted black centers and airbrushed skulls on the center caps of his brand new set of rims, and the following steps describe how this was accomplished.
Applying custom graphics and artwork to helmets can sometimes be a little troublesome. Helmets can be just as time consuming, if not more, as painting a motorcycle tank. This is because with helmets there are many more parts and materials that need to be masked and protected.
A couple of weeks back I had the opportunity to host a workshop“The First Ever Auto Painting Workshop with Gene Winfield,” sponsored by The College for Appraisers, Alsa Paints, and DeVilbiss Automotive. It was a great time hosting and watching a master at work—Winfield, my good friend and mentor. I’ve learned a lot from Gene and been fortunate enough to receive his skills and experience on some of our Huntington Beach Bodyworks builds. What’s really amazing is that Gene just turned 81 years old and shows no sign of slowing down.
A common problem that often gums up the works of the collision repair process is the customer with a near-impossible deadline. Even if the needed repairs are second nature, the time deadline can interfere with performing established shop procedures and the technician's better judgment.
A few years ago my shop flamed a Corvette convertible. It was a black 'vette with yellow pearl flames. Recently a client, who saw the car in a show on the East Coast, wanted to buy the 'vette, but it had already been sold. He proceeded to purchase a 1998 Corvette convertible and have it shipped directly to my shop - Huntington Beach Bodyworks.