Johnson refinishing...why so expensive?

soundnmind soundnmind at RICA.NET
Tue Feb 8 23:46:57 EST 2000

Is this price so expensive because labor rate is so high ??? I don't know
how many hams can afford such a price. It is more expensive than a clean
working radio. Just curious.
de K6??

My reply
Sorry you cant see the value here. But I have an aversion to working for
nothing! It IS very costly to do this right. (have you looked at my
home site to see samples?) Anybody can spray can paint, I used to, and
sometimes still do. The color and finish often is less than desirable.
Sometimes it comes out ok. I start by spending $35 ea on cabs just to have
them stripped(bead blasted at machine shop). This is necessary to hold the
paint from chipping & falling off from the strange metal Johnson used 40+
yrs ago. A special self etching primer is then used ( costing $70 per gal).
Then comes the main work, filling imperfections & scratches / gouges that
come from yrs of knocking around. The paint I use on panels is THE BEST. Not
really anything you have used before unless you are a professional auto
painter. (Btw, on that note, did you know that the $600 paint job we used to
pay for our car is now more like $2500 or $3000.?) The DuPont basecoat /
clearcoat system cost (just the paint) in the neiborhood of $160. per gal.
There are 4 differant coats of paint on those panels. Before the clearcoat
the silkscreening has to be applied. After clearcoat applied they have to be
buffed out to bring panels to perfection. Now consider the cost of the
artwork & silkscteen. The Valiant silk screen, for example, cost me $350.
This week I paid for the artwork for the Ranger 2 logo....$40. All computer
regenerated to original crystal clear lettering, etc. The cost of the screen
for the logo, is mabe another $50. This last winter I built a new spray
booth & bought 2 new paint guns. I have new double air filters feeding those
guns. Oh yes, I have to have a sizeable compressor. And these new pints are
very hazardous to ones health. Money has been spent & will continue to be
spent on OSHA approved protection equipment. Yes its expensive!  But the
results, so far is VERY HAPPY customers over the finished product. Often I
get panels & cabs w / holes that have been drilled in them. You try it
sometime & fill all those holes & wrinkles so they disappear in the finished
product. Sometimes I have to "talk the Ham thru" dismanteling & assembling
his radio. I dont mind doing this, its part of my service to you all. But it
takes time. Right now I have a shop full of work including panels & cabs.
Every month I get refinish work from hams that take pride in their
boatanchors & want them not only to work well but look new also.
Yes, its expensive, and not everyone will see the value of spending  this
kind of money on boatanchors. But I do appreciate the opportunity to serve
you all with what I do. So keep those panels & cab coming! I will do my best
to return them to you looking better than factory.
Warm regards
Patty & Dee's Marina  534 W. Main St.
Waynesboro, Va. 22980
(540)249-3161 fax (540)249-5064

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