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Tales From The Body Shop

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I'm starting this blog today for a couple of different reasons. First, I want you guys to be able to see what I see every day at the shop, and second, I am kind of bored. My plan is to take a lot of pics at work and post them here with a nice write-up explaining what is going on in the pics. I know most people that need their car repaired just drop it off at the shop and picks it up when the work is complete without ever seeing the inside of the shop itself. So, maybe this blog will give you a " behind the scenes " look at the collision repair industry.
First off, I guess I should give a little info about myself. I graduated high school in 1989 and took auto body class at the local tech school during my junior and senior years. The class doesn't make you a technician or custom painter, but it gives you the basics so that you can get started in the field, probably sweeping the floors. I was able to paint one car while there and it turned out pretty nice. I got my first job in a shop in 1990 doing just that, sweeping up and washing cars. I spent about a year and a half there, but my boss wouldn't let me do anything constructive so I moved on. I called around other shops looking for work. Now the town I live in only has about 45,000 residents, so the amount of shops here is pretty small. I managed to find a small shop in town that could use some help at the entry level and I started a week later. This shop only had two employees, plus the owner, and I got my hands dirty right away. One day soon after I started, the painter called in sick, so my boss was doing the painting. He got me to trim in a new hood , which is painting the underside so it could be bolted on and then the topside was painted with the rest of the car. He then asked me, " Wanna learn how to paint ? " . I thought to myself, " Damn right I do ! " I became the painter and stayed with the company until the spring of 1997 when they had personal financial problems and had to close the doors. I then started at the shop where I am at now, going on 13 years. Over the years I have been to multiple training classes and am certified by PPG, DuPont, and Standox. Our shop is also a BMW certified collision center, one of only two in the state, certified to repair the aluminum structures on their new vehicles.
So, enough at about me. I need to get some pics together for you guys and more importantly, get my stuff together, so it may take a few days for my next post. If this goes as I hope, I think it will be very interesting to you and you will see some pretty cool stuff that you maybe haven't seen before. I hope to heve a Commander torn apart for you but I can't guarantee that, we have only had one in the shop, ever. But a car is a car , and I know we all like cars , so it will fun none the less. So until next time, take care.
Tags: commander, jeep Add / Edit Tags


  1. fixtalons's Avatar
    With Smitty being a professional body man... I have to wonder how he rates the Commander's factory workmanship against other makes and models. How 'bout it Smitty?
  2. NeilSmith's Avatar
    We have only had one Commander in the shop and it was a minor door ding job so I really cant say. As far as Jeep goes, they do just as good a job as everyone else. Every manufacturer has its own little quirks and Chrysler / Jeep is no exception , but they do seem to be safe , well built , reliable vehicles overall.
  3. jsulen's Avatar
    Can you post some image of your a/c receiver drier so that we can all see the procedure on how to do it. Thanks in advance.
    Updated 04-11-2011 at 06:14 PM by jsulen