Shop Towel Substitute?

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cvilleHR
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Shop Towel Substitute?

Post by cvilleHR » April 25th, 2014, 6:51 pm

I was wondering if anyone had any brilliant ideas as to what one could use as a substitute for the lint free paper towels that are typically used to apply the UV sealant. The towels absorb so much of the infinity coating, and a lot goes to waste. Given that the coating isn't exactly cheap, is there a way to apply the coating that wouldn't be so wasteful? I've tried those fancy little foam brushes, but they tend to be really sporadic with the amount of coating that the foam releases. Just wondering if anyone had come up with a better solution.

On a similar note, what is special about the 3000 grit polishing pads? They run over $1 a piece, making them the single most expensive part of a restoration. However, the back of 3M's Trizact 3000 grit polishing "paper" sticks right on to the interface pad, and if one was willing to spend the time to make discs out of the paper, it would be significantly cheaper. I know that that's a lot of energy to save a few cents, but hey, every penny counts. Would that work, or is there something that makes the discs better suited for orbital sanding?

Thanks in advance,

Alex
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screenman
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Re: Shop Towel Substitute?

Post by screenman » April 25th, 2014, 11:56 pm

How much per light does it cost you? what sort of vehicle do you drive to the jobs? What do you charge per job?

I find for both WSR and HDR the consumable costs are so low, I can save more by driving economically between jobs, if I was not so busy.

Yes you may save a few cents, but the bigger picture is you could do another set of lights per week.

Speculate to accumulate.

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Re: Shop Towel Substitute?

Post by candyman » April 26th, 2014, 4:15 am

As you read and learn more methods of doing HLR, you will discover a cheaper method. However Knowing what I know, I still prefer to use the 3000 polishing pad. It may cost more , but you will see why down the road why some of us prefer it. I am all for saving a penny , but not there. I do use that pad more than once prior to a new one. DK recommends a new pad each HLR. Its a matter of knowing when or not to use a used one. I've got several to do this week and I will alter the method and grit depending on the make of vehicle and condition the lenses are. I cant explain it to a newbie. Its something you learn as you grow and become more experienced. I learn from old blue and others that post on here, and I keep an open mind to alternative solutions. I stick to DK products the majority of the time , but every now and then I need something extra to save pads and time, then I finish off with DK with the same WOW results. Learning can be frustrating at times, but we all go through it , and are better for doing so. When people in my area want the best, word of mouth sends them to me. I use only a small tri-fold section of a blue lint free shop towel, while some use a small air canister sprayer or foam. The towel works fine and I can feel the surface as I apply it. I use one side for one lens and flip it over for the other lens to catch what bleed through. You never want it dry and should be wet at all times, or you will get a drag. Don't cut cost by using less 4.1 infiniti than needed. Have a great week.
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Re: Shop Towel Substitute?

Post by t4k » April 26th, 2014, 6:58 am

The total cost of a restoration is minimal if you are charging properly for your efforts.

cvilleHR
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Re: Shop Towel Substitute?

Post by cvilleHR » April 26th, 2014, 7:41 am

To answer several of the questions on here:

My pricing depends on the number of vehicles I'm doing. My primary focus is fleet vehicles and dealerships, who I charge $30 a car, as long as they give me more than 3 cars. Yes, I know that I will get yelled at on here for doing it that cheap. But frankly, that seems to be about what I can charge. Anything more and people laugh in my face. I have enough trouble talking people into needing the service at that price; going higher would mean losing most of my business.

Question number two: I drive a Miata. Yes, it's an interesting arrangement. No, it's not easy to fit everything (although I do have a trailer hitch and a luggage rack that make things a little easier). Hey, at least it's good on gas. I have a pretty wide range of places that I do, but I usually make sure that I make the trip worthwhile, in that I need to be there anyway, or that I can knock out a bunch at once.

As for candyman's response, I may have been unclear. I'm not suggesting skipping the 3000 grit, at all. That would be foolish. I'm merely suggesting cutting discs out of a sheet, rather than buying them pre-cut.

I didn't expect to find a better way to apply infinity, but I had to try.

Basically here's the deal. Due to my sales skills, my area, or (and I think this is it) my age, dealerships aren't willing to pay more than about $30 per car. I know it sounds lame to blame something like that on my age, but I have had people tell me flat out that they didn't want an 18 year old working on their vehicles. Certainly, my sales pitch could use a LOT of work, but it's kinda hard to overcome that kind of ignorance. Anyway, when I'm only making $30 per car, every penny counts. Doing a rundown of pricing, here ya go.

Sanding discs: Assuming 7 discs per car ( I know that they can sometimes be reused, and that some may be unnecessary). $2.68 per vehicle.
Infinity 4.1 coating: $2.80 per car.
Random consumables and machine wear: Assume about $1.50 per car.

Comes out to about $7 per car. Factor in gasoline and vehicle wear, I'm not making much. Again, people will tell me to charge more, I know. But as is right now, If I could cut even a dollar or two out of that by being a little creative, I don't think it would hurt.
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Re: Shop Towel Substitute?

Post by chips1144 » April 26th, 2014, 2:10 pm

Good luck on finding a cheaper way to apply Infinity than a paper towel.

I do see where you are coming from, trying to be thrifty because to you it really seems to matter, I would encourage you to spend time on finding more work sooner than spending time trying to nickel and dime on supplies, making your own sanding discs etc will not increase your business, just one extra job per month/week would be more profitable.

If you were able to pick up one more dealer it would beat any money you could save making your own supplies, assume nothing and keep asking people for work, it will get easier...

Don't give up on retail, people talk and your business will naturally grow over time...

Forget you are selling yourself and remember you are actually helping people see at night, while saving them lots of money and improving the value and look of their vehicles...

Good Luck...
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screenman
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Re: Shop Towel Substitute?

Post by screenman » April 26th, 2014, 10:08 pm

Great post Chips.

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Re: Shop Towel Substitute?

Post by candyman » April 27th, 2014, 3:53 am

Good morning cville. You are in the correct ball park for your cost estimate. I rarely use seven pads. You can get your price up about $10 for fleet or car lots. and about $20 for general public. I know there are some on here charging a lot more. I have found that the actual majority are getting about what I just suggested. I ask more for some of the harder to do lenses and high end cars, because of the time involved or type of headlights. Sell yourself and let the product and results verify your worth. To replace is expensive and you want to drive that home to the customer. States that enforce headlight clarity helps also. Look for customers that take care of their vehicles. Not the ones that seldom wash it or looks battered. You've got to build a customer base. They will send referrals if your work is great and they trust you. My HLR paid for my HLR Kit & WSR supplies and trip across country to attend training within 4 months. I told people if they were not satisfied they owed me nothing. Bond with your customers and you will see the money and trust even at your age. If your work is poor or lack luster you will fail quickly. Word of mouth and a targeted market is your key. I live in a small town and the unemployment is high. I expanded to cover areas up to 25 miles out. Look at your market. If you sell yourself on the fact that your service is only worth $$$, thats all you will ever get. Educate your market and show them why its worth more. You can do this at 18. Have a great day. Remember, car dealers want a lot for nothing and its your sweat and time.
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cvilleHR
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Re: Shop Towel Substitute?

Post by cvilleHR » April 27th, 2014, 5:50 pm

Valid points, all. Especially you, Chips. I'm looking at this the wrong way; I definitely need to focus more on lead generation and less on nickel and diming everything.

Thanks everyone. Have a good week!
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Re: Shop Towel Substitute?

Post by Old Blue 66 » May 1st, 2014, 6:42 am

cvilleHR wrote:I was wondering if anyone had any brilliant ideas as to what one could use as a substitute for the lint free paper towels that are typically used to apply the UV sealant. The towels absorb so much of the infinity coating, and a lot goes to waste. Given that the coating isn't exactly cheap, is there a way to apply the coating that wouldn't be so wasteful? I've tried those fancy little foam brushes, but they tend to be really sporadic with the amount of coating that the foam releases. Just wondering if anyone had come up with a better solution.

On a similar note, what is special about the 3000 grit polishing pads? They run over $1 a piece, making them the single most expensive part of a restoration. However, the back of 3M's Trizact 3000 grit polishing "paper" sticks right on to the interface pad, and if one was willing to spend the time to make discs out of the paper, it would be significantly cheaper. I know that that's a lot of energy to save a few cents, but hey, every penny counts. Would that work, or is there something that makes the discs better suited for orbital sanding?

Thanks in advance,

Alex
I can get at least seven cars with one 3000 disc. Not expensive at all.

Your biz model is all wrong. Maybe its the part of the country you in, but theres no living to be made at $30/car. Dlrs should be at $50 and retail is double that. With those prices you're gonna go broke. Just my opinion.
Paul Weinstein

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