A Space-Saver for Painting Panels
What It Is: A self-made paint stand
The Inspiration: Due to limited space, Brad Buck, owner of Brad Buck Paint and Body, began thinking of ways to paint panels in a more efficient way. Due to the size of the shop, almost all of the jobs have to be taken apart before they are painted. Since Buck doesn’t like to paint anything flat that isn’t already flat on the car, he knew he needed to come up with a solution.
He then thought of a way that would save space and keep the panels of the car in a position that would ensure the most accurate paint job.
What It Does: The “panel trees” hold the panels in place while they are painted. Each tree is made up of two rods with exhaust tubing going up and down. Depending on what part of the car is being painted, it is attached to the tree by specific hooks. For example, when Buck is working on a fender, he hangs it high on the tree. The placement allows the front and back of the fender to be painted just as it would on an assembled car. As another example, doors can be placed anywhere on the setup.
The stands that Buck created are no different than ones that can be purchased on the market apart from the fact that they are cheaper and he’s not afraid to bend the rods or modify them to fit particular needs due to the fact that he can make more.
How It’s Made: The trees are made of exhaust tubing that Buck found at his dad’s automotive shop. There are three or four legs on the bottom that keep it upright and then a main pipe that goes straight up from the base. There are two-inch aluminum tubing slides that go over the coupler, which allows clipping and rotating.
The Cost: Buck estimates that it was around $50 per tree compared to the $250–400 price range that most paint stands sell for on the market.
The Return: “It has dramatically picked up production and it frees up a lot of shop space. We can paint multiple different things in the paint booth at the same time now. It takes a little more effort to hang a panel but it’s definitely worth it,” says Buck.
Did you develop an innovative shop tool or piece of equipment to improve your operation? Tell us about it at firstname.lastname@example.org