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Things I Cannot Tolerate
The one that gets to me the most is people that make promises, knowing they cannot comply with their promise. To identify just a few, let me start with body shops, race car shops, machine shops, any number of specialized service shops like “powder coating shops” and simply way too many others to remember as I write this. But, although I’m generalizing I have had bad experiences with shops in each of these categories. Therefore, when I find a shop that does great work, does it on time, and the quality is exceptional, I feel obligated to recognize their efforts in print.
The shop I’m talking about is my powder coating shop – “Extreme Powder Coating” in New Windsor, NY, just about five miles from my home. The owner is Tom, an ex-Marine (but always a Marine) who has run several very successful businesses before investing in this enterprise. His experience taught him what to look forward to regarding making the business grow, keeping it busy and how to get enough business to deliver a first year R.O.I.
I have seen complete automotive frames getting powder coated as well as so many different types of commercial jobs that I wouldn’t even try to name them all. To Tom it is all the same; large, small, expensive or just a few bucks, he and his crew of Josh and Tim work hard on a classic auto valve cover just as much a major structural design to make a covered entrance for some high class theater or restaurant in New York City.
For me, Tom and crew have powder coated valve covers, all aluminum trim, sill plates, and brackets for the engine compartment. And I still have a bunch of stuff to get done also. I wouldn’t go back if I didn’t trust the quality of his work and the experience of his crew.
The second shop I want to recognize is my raw metal supplier. Straub’s Welding is about 5 miles from my house, this time to the West. The first time I needed some 1/8th inch aluminum sheet a friend told me to go there and see what I could find. What I found was a very professional shop that can do just about anything in steel or aluminum.
They are willing to sell bits from their scrap pile at reasonable prices. Mostly I take him patterns for something I’m fabricating and he cuts it to size and shape. If I need welding I also ask him to weld the bits together and then I take it home and mount it.
All I can say: if you find a good supplier, service or products, make sure to not beat them down on price too hard, because if they cannot make a decent profit they won’t be in business when you need them the next time. I simply ask them to not embarrass me to my friends. I’ve said this only once to each of these companies and they have understood what I was really saying. (“Don’t gouge me and I will become a steady customer as well as send my friends to you.”) I hope you can find the right shops for things and work you need. But, please don’t beat them up on price, as that simply isn’t good business for either of you.