View Full Version : Getting started?

11-23-2004, 10:43 PM
What products and equipment would you get a shop up and running? Names of the products and the quantitys would you buy of each. Thanks for your help.


Jug Head
11-24-2004, 10:48 AM
well--get the best shop vac you can afford--get a big one! more hp the better!! get alot of brushes--diffrent types and styles! buy some micro fibers--(a bunch) get a commercial water hose and good nozzle. Some wash mits, and 3 or 4 chamois (bigger the better) sponges for wheels and a pressure washer is great but not needed your first week. along with a pc or rotary (first week or two)-- Then call a pro detail supplier (Eagle one, Automagic, Car Brite, Ardex or one from this forum) and have him drop by and set you up with Dressings, All purpose cleaners, compounds, leather conditioners, glass cleaners, air freshners, bug sponges, a roll of steel wool, some razor blade scrapers. and some high sudsing wash soap, and some tar and grease remover.

A good upolstery cleaner is hard too find but one brand will stick out to you--just try and try some more. then work your guts out!! lol--you will figure out which products make the job easier and what works best for what!

But expect to drop $500 to $600 in chemicals and the basics to get you through your first month--work like wild fire on everything that comes thru the door--do way beyond whats called for (your very best effort) and they will be back in 3 weeks to do it again! try to average 8 or 9 a day for a start to get your name and rep built! next thing you know--you will be dropping 1,000 to 1300 on chemicals and will be booked a month out! best of luck to you--and remember--if it was easy--everyone would do it!!! make us proud and give the pro detailers a good name in your community :angel

11-26-2004, 10:50 AM
8 or 9 a day? You must be joking. I could see 8 or 9 a week. I would also recommend calling Top of the LIne. They have pro products for sale that work very well and are very affordable. Most/all are body shop safe. I`m sure they would work with you a on setup. 8 or 9 a day? By yourself? Hmm..... :dunno :bow

11-26-2004, 11:39 AM
I am a beginner but this is what i would have in mind:

First thing I would do is find a nice shop or garage, the bigger the better! The less the price to buy or rent the better! I would make sure it has proper electrical outlets, and good lighting as well as location.

I would look into finding stuff that works for you, and buying by the gallon, or 5 gallon if you get really busy and need it. (Meguiar`s Detailer Line)

I would pick up a Rotary, Cyclo, and PC. I would also think a pressure washer would be very help full, along with a nice Big Shop Vac, and a carpet steamer and extractor. Don`t forget lighting, you want the shop to very bright! (Home Depot) A Washer and Dryer would be a plus.

As far as products, you want to be able to tackle everything. You may want to find a good APC for engine decreasing wheels and vinyl cleaning. Polishes that will take care of defects as wells as different degrees of swirls and scratches. You will also want to a few sealants & waxes. Wash mitts towels and accessories by the dozens.

Some Manufactures products that I like and you would probably find around the shop would be. Meguiar`s, Auto Magic, Poorboy`s, OXO, Gliptone, etc.

This is if I had money, Right now I only have a PC, Shop Vac, Presure washer, and mostly meguiar`s stuff, and PB`s stuff. I think with what I have now I could get by fine with, I would just order gallons instead of quarts. If I could get 1-2 cars a day, and a helper I would be so very happy, and oh if i new how to use a rotary! :hah

11-26-2004, 01:52 PM
I`ll give you a idea of what I have now. I won`t be alone. I will pick up help to start off. I also have two business partners and one of them will be coming in about 2 months after we open. I found a shop and I have that now. Its a 1200 sq ft unit. Has a showroom, loft (office), bathroom and the bay. The bay is just big enough to do to cars. There really isn`t enough light but my partners father is an electrician. I need to set the shop up and hope to open in February.


Jug Head
11-27-2004, 10:57 PM
8 or 9 a day? By yourself? Hmm..... :dunno :bow

4 guys (well one part timer who is in 4 days a week-- :) two of us own it--and work until the last customer is out the door--and yes 12 to 14 hours do happen regularly.