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Old 03-28-2010, 08:07 AM
 
10,871 posts, read 41,150,426 times
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Mac_Muz ...

J-B Weld is sold at retail in just about every hardware store in the country ... good stuff for average, everyday consumer repairs. More than once, I've found a use for it when out on the road when a "cheap" epoxy was adequate for our needs ... although it's not inexpensive given the small package size it comes in.

But it's an "entry level" grade of stuff compared to the industrial quality materials. It's an old formulation, and depends upon a very rough near white metal surface to get it's adhesion. Better materials actually use a chemical bonding as well as mechanical bonding to achieve their grip, and are far better at heat/chemical resistance. I've got epoxy materials that will bond to glazed ceramic tile with more adhesion than J-B (and a host of industrial competitors) can bond to roughed up steel surfaces.

If J-B is doing the job for you, then it's good stuff. If you work on more demanding applications, then there are products available that may do the job.

Some of the projects I've worked on had serious adverse consequences if my repairs didn't work ... some financial, some with health/safety issues. For example, I sealed some ammonia coolant tubes in a flash freeze tunnel in a red meat plant with epoxy ... where the in-plant maintenance staff had been unable to braze the tubes and it was a mess of spattered brazing rod and flux. I cleaned that up and encapsulated the cracked area with epoxy and a reinforcing dacron mesh cloth (kinda' like fiberglass cloth, but with a wide open weave). It held for years of service ... the downtime for the tunnel was a huge loss for the ground beef plant production, but more importantly ... if my repair had failed, the area would have been an ammonia leak of serious amounts, literally an EPA reportable event with the possibility of injured food plant workers, too.

I've done other areas, like fixing containments with process water for manufacturing plants where they were losing thousands of gallons of (expensive) treated water every day. If my repairs didn't hold, the resulting outage would have been billed back to me at the project loss of about $50,000 per hour until I got the leak fixed, or they got somebody else to do it if I couldn't. I saw a competitor fail in one of these situations, and the company sued him for over $1mil of lost production time ... and won (fortunately, he was insured for this) ... although much of the lost manufacturing production time was attributed to the fellow not complying with on-site safety requirements for his crew and being thrown off the jobsite after repeated violations. Folk in manufacturing/plant safety will know of the requirements in the company manuals and how seriously they take on-site contractors complying with their regs .... Sometimes, as a contractor, you have to take these situations into account when you price your work and the limitations that they impose upon your timely/successful completion; I've passed on projects in prisons, for example, where I could not maintain an installation schedule due to the access and tool counts and such restrictions that I didn't think we could conform to.

From my perspective, the problems in the epoxy biz are identical to those in the automotive repair biz ... you need to be aware of the "red flags" that a client presents. When somebody came to my threshold with a littany of complaints about other shops, especially people I knew were capable & competent & honest techs/businessmen ... I rarely took on the the challenge. It was far better to refer them on to my favorite shops that could best deal with them as clients, who were more oriented to dealing with client situations/complaints/confrontations. They could waste their time on the BS, and I could focus on doing quality work at a fair price for people who appreciated my work product. It's all about that "denial of service" tool that we have as techs in our toolbox ... why set your business up for an expensive loss/confrontation when there's a lot of good clients out there clamoring for your work?
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:01 AM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,571 posts, read 17,953,604 times
Reputation: 5919
Potential customer asked me to install his parts and wanted a GUARANTEE. "Sure I said...to the end of the driveway"

Another called on phone for an estimate of a Tune up on his car. I quoted my Labor plus whatever parts were needed. He brings the car in at the appointment time with his OWN parts in hand. Wants to know the Labor $$$ to install his own parts. I quote the price and he agrees.
I install the parts but the car will not start (Taiwan parts from K Mart). I push the car out to the pkg lot and wait for him to return. He comes back and I tell him the car will not run. He's P'od and complains about my work. My reply was that he asked me to install his parts which I did. I cannot Guarantee some other parts that people buy as the quality will not be the same as those that I buy/install and GUARANTEE.

"Okay he says...install your own parts (Bosch)". I do the work as he watchs and he drives away happy with my work and a GUARANTEE in hand.

Steve
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:43 AM
 
19,122 posts, read 21,371,764 times
Reputation: 7314
Mrs. Mo, reminded me of another.

Phone rings, woman in a moving car, tells me she hears a noise, then holds the phone outside the moving car for me to hear this noise..

She comes back on, and tells me about where she is. I made a comment that section of road is closed for repairs, and wonder how she can even be there at all. I tell her to stop, since i could hear a wild scrapping sound.. I was thinking bad front wheel bearing, a really bad wheel bearing from what I could tell on the phone.

It takes me about 10 minutes to get there, and before I can get out, I see the whole problem! LOL. In a flash I am out of the truck, and under her parked car to drag out a big orange road cone!

No charge, it was worth just seeing that..
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:01 AM
 
19,122 posts, read 21,371,764 times
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Steve sounds like 'century' parts to me. Cheap junk from Tai-wan-on. Their logo was a circle with a cross, and for crap quality. Lawyers would bring in parts like that most often.

Sunsprit, Unless I get an extention on life to start a new career, you are way over my top with epoxie. Now I wouldn't mind learning and I am, but not hands on from you. At one point I built fiberglass boats, swimming pools, and floating docks.

I got a lot of white powder up my nose too, and it wasn't fun at all.

I did a lot more with the glass products too, like install engines in boats, install pools in the ground, and install moorings for the docks, in SCUBA gear. I am not sure i want to expose myself to that stuff much anymore and or would like the labor either.

One boat was really fun though. It was supposed to be large metal flake candy red.

I had just about one coat of gel on the mold, when the boss and the customer came running. Now the customer wants candy cobalt blue!

I tell them both FINE next boat out of the mold, this one is gonna be RED! A problem happens, and no one agree's with me at all, and I am loosing it, not just the argument, but I am seeing red, and it wasn't any gel coat either!

I stormed off, and got candy cobalt blue and shot that gel on top of the red.. For some reason everyone is all happy, except me.

After the gel coat, as you likey know, the glass chop gets shot, wood gets laid, more glass gets shot, and roving gets laid and rolled by hand.

The time comes in several days work time to blow the mold, and what comes out at first looks red, then purple as you walk by and last blue....

And even! which was the mirical, and now they want me to do it again!

Yeah right....
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:27 AM
 
10,871 posts, read 41,150,426 times
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Mac_Muz ... the more recent 100% solids formulations of epoxies are much more user-friendly than the stuff you worked in the marine trade years ago, or even a lot of stuff in the marketplace today.

There's no smells, no odors, no oxygen depletion in confined spaces, or similar issues as with solvent based epoxy systems.

As a kid, I worked around wooden boats ... building and maintenance, and I well recall crawling out from under deck areas or confined areas in lockers and engine bays with less than good ventilation ... with a rip-snortin' headache and general sinus and breathing issues. For many years, I was sensitized to the smell of a fiberglass boat and stayed in wooden boats ... as well, I saw a fair number of really fine fiberglass boat techs become sensitized to the smells and they'd get pretty sick. One group, in Boulder, building fiberglass kayaks ... had to go to vacuum bagging their hull production, and leaving the hulls outside to age for a year after making them before they could finish the hulls ... all of them could get blood poisoning from the MEK and other solvents in the epoxies, just to smell the odor was enough to get them very sick. Skin contact turned them into lobsters with serious rashes ....

Ya' never know about "second careers", either. I'd figured I would someday retire in the automotive biz, but that one tech coming into my shop opened my eyes to an entirely different venture. While he saw it as "easy money", I saw it as an opportunity of challenges similar to what I was already doing ... and it has been pretty lucrative. It allowed me to get a lot more particular about the size/scope of my auto shop and who I would work for. I went from a medium sized shop to a small shop, didn't need as much cash flow in the auto shop to justify it .... And I started the second biz just a few years before most folks think about retirement, and have continued all into the years when folks want to sit on the porch. Having too much fun now to want to stop working, and that's all on top of my farm/ranch activities which I'd planned on as my retirement activity when I closed the auto shop ... which will be this year. Not going to deal with all the new taxes and regs coming down the pike ....
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:34 AM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,571 posts, read 17,953,604 times
Reputation: 5919
Had a young girl in with a engine problem that I diagnosed...gave her an estimate for the repairs...she then started to sound real sad and did not know what to do and implied that there might be some way we could work out a deal. Well I'm an honest man with integrity...besides my son was working for me and was listening in on the conversation. I politely changed topic and there was no further discussion.

Another case where I knew this mechanic at another shop was on a creeper under a ladies car checking the undercarriage when she squatted down exposing herself and wanted to know if he would be interested in exchange of services for the repairs needed.
His answer was that he was married and could not. Her reply was that it made NO difference to her...she was go for it.

Many people out in the public are NOT aware of how others will act when a need arrives.

Steve
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:40 AM
 
19,122 posts, read 21,371,764 times
Reputation: 7314
yeah I agree Sunsprit to smells and feeling of things, I can't stand a great many, and recently tripped over glass powder combined with clorine which is a coolant in glass slides manufactor. The glass a high grade medical glass for slides in a microscope. The over all feel and reaction is a lot like brake fluid which I dispise. I am exposed to this since one job has been to totally rebuild 3 of 4, 1 ton belt grinders. We are doing the 3rd now, and hope to gain the 4th when this one is done. When these go back they are better than new.

Sunsprit ya know, it would be just fine with me, if you called me plain old Mac, aka mac.. Everywhere i go on line Mac is either taken, or more than 3 letters are required. That Muz just stands for muzzeloader and I would suppose a pain to type mostly...

I just happen to be big into flintlock guns..
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:51 AM
 
19,122 posts, read 21,371,764 times
Reputation: 7314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bagu View Post
Had a young girl in with a engine problem that I diagnosed...gave her an estimate for the repairs...she then started to sound real sad and did not know what to do and implied that there might be some way we could work out a deal. Well I'm an honest man with integrity...besides my son was working for me and was listening in on the conversation. I politely changed topic and there was no further discussion.

Another case where I knew this mechanic at another shop was on a creeper under a ladies car checking the undercarriage when she squatted down exposing herself and wanted to know if he would be interested in exchange of services for the repairs needed.
His answer was that he was married and could not. Her reply was that it made NO difference to her...she was go for it.

Many people out in the public are NOT aware of how others will act when a need arrives.

Steve
Well that just one up ed me!

I have 'seen' that at voo though, and I can't say it didn't help sales... I wasn't the buyer either, I was passing by on my horsey. That gal had quite a remarkable day selling trinkets, and beads i'ld have to say just the same.

And with a gal like you had in the sad case, I would have done something, and an affordable rate. I have before, and will again no doubt.

I know what to be needy is, I have been there, and while I didn't ask for more than paid work, I still know how that is. Not making any judgement as i know there is more to these short tales...

At voo, my work tends to sell it self. I am known for top notch what ever it is I have made, be it Trade Silver re-productions of musem pieces in silver, or blades. The blades are the most fun to make and to sell, because I can literally chop up my competitions work, while mostly I waste pot hooks, hacking them up, and shaving what I hacked up off, so the hook can be used again.

Uh oh I am running off topic.....
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Old 03-28-2010, 01:57 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,571 posts, read 17,953,604 times
Reputation: 5919
Stories yes...we have stories.

One gal came in with an engine problem on a VW bug. I told her the alternatives and costs involved. She cried the old story of being low on money and making ends meet and of course the sympathy method working in overtime.

Ok...I'm a nice guy so cut her some slack on the price of the parts needed...future customer and all that stuff.

Do the repairs and she comes in to pick up the car with her husband driving a NEW car.

I'm feeling like a smultzy...so much for being a NICE guy.

Steve
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Old 03-28-2010, 02:25 PM
Status: "Hope is a walking dream." (set 12 days ago)
 
Location: Still in Portland, Oregon, for some reason
864 posts, read 2,981,998 times
Reputation: 691
Give people an inch and they'll take a mile.

That reminds me of another story courtesy of the Audi/Porsche dealer. This was going on right as I started working there so it was a heck of a way to start out employment. A man loaned his significant other his black A4 sedan and while she was driving it, the information display popped up the oil level low icon. Now in the modern Audis, this icon will show up when the car is one quart low on oil. Apparently she took it as meaning it had NO oil. You can see where this is going.

She figured "I can do this" and cracked open the owner's manual to see the oil capacity for the 2.0 liter engine was 4.5 quarts. So she went and bought 5 quarts of oil and dumped them into the engine. I went into the shop while the techs were draining the engine. There was so much oil in it they had to use a radiator drain pan to get all of it out then there was a cup or so of oil in each cylinder. There was a small crowd when they started the car for the first time and thankfully they had the foresight to do so outside. The cloud of smoke from all the burning oil was so large it covered most of the lot. I happened to see this car going down the highway while they were trying to burn the oil off and it was smoking like you wouldn't believe. I don't know what the final tab was but I'm willing to bet you she wasn't allowed anywhere near that car for quite some time.
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