Streamlining Paint Jobs with a Materials Cart
THE INSPIRATION: One of the most frustrating parts of being a painter in a collision shop, says Tino Aragon, is the constant running back and forth. As the painter at A&J Collision Repair in Conway, Ark., Aragaon says that he found himself frequently leaving the car in the paint booth to go fetch his paper tree, more sandpaper, tape or any other supplies. Although it may take only a minute to run out and grab what he needs, those minutes add up.
“I just like to have everything right there when I’m working on the vehicle so I don’t have to run back and forth to a shelf or to look for something,” he says.
WHAT IT DOES: That’s when he decided to create an all-in-one materials cart that encompasses everything he may need while working on a vehicle. Aragon took a simple office cart from Sam’s Club and began to turn it into an efficient, time-saving tool that maximizes his supplies and keeps him organized throughout the day.
“I got tired of having the cart with just some of my stuff on it,” he says. “I was having to run and grab the paper tree. And then I had all these objects around me that were getting in my way. I thought, ‘If I take the paper tree and weld it to my cart, it’ll just be one cart.’ It’s one object in my way instead of four or five.”
HOW IT’S MADE: Aragon started with a simple metal office cart. He then took the two back legs off the paper tree, a stand that holds the rolls of paper used to wrap a vehicle, and welded it to the cart.
Next, he created small cups out of rolls of paper that he took the ends of and bolted to the bottom of the cart to hold his compound and other small materials. He also created a cup holder for his water bottle, and another one to hold the blower.
Aragon utilizes the bars on the cart to hold everything he needs during a job: his sandpaper, knee pads, buffer, buffing pad, compounds, etc.
Overall, he said that the main construction only took one day.
THE COST: The cart, which was purchased from Sam’s Club, cost only $50.
THE ROI: Aragon says that having one cart has saved him the numerous trips he used to take to grab more tools or materials during a job.
“Everything is right there. I can grab it right at the vehicle,” he says. “I don’t have to leave my area. I have all my supplies on that cart. I don’t have to run to a cabinet and get tape.”
Aragon says he only has to leave his area when he needs to restock the cart. He keeps a little under a half box of sandpaper in the cart, which usually lasts him around two cars. Other than that, he is able to more quickly finish jobs in less time.
“I try to get the job done as fast as possible without taking away from the quality,” he says. “There’s less running around.”