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About esoterik_appeal

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  1. Because I want the patterns. To be clear I can hand cut, and I already have a couple done that fit well. I was just looking for tips for rounding corners and sizing that would make the best patterns because I'm less experienced than I know some of you are. I don't need basic instructions, I am looking for pro tips, thanks!
  2. Yes I meant I am going to send them to Brett at Film and Vinyl designs. I can hand cut just fine, but I wanted to know if anyone had any experience in sending in patterns so they would fit best. Also I haven't cut a bunch of frameless so I wanted to see if there are any tricks so I don't have to fiddle with them too much, particularly corners. Thanks!
  3. I am not the most experienced hand cutting, especially frameless but I want to do a couple of 2019 Audis tomorrow with the hopes of sending the patterns in to FVD. Any tips or tricks you all can offer so the patterns turn out great for everyone?
  4. Definitely. I've never even considered having employees, even if I did open my own place. I know how tinters are lol. I guess after all these years, with the experience I have, I'm just not sure what professional progress looks like. Outside of management or opening a business, what other options are there?
  5. But seriously though, is job hopping just part of the game in this industry? Is the ultimate goal to work for yourself? I've never been offered more than $50k to manage a shop, I can make way more than that even in a dealership.
  6. Thanks guys, that's kind of where my head is at.
  7. Good morning Pros, I have a little bit of a decision to make and I am hoping you all can provide some input. I have been tinting for about 8 years now, almost exclusively for dealership preload both in house and for vendors. Pros and cons definitely, but I feel better with steady(ish) work. My market is pretty saturated with preload. I recently got on with a company that pays pretty well above average, but my install environment is rough and I've been pretty slow, but if they pick up another account or 2 I will be set. IF. I have an offer from a retail shop that doesn't have any real work but they are trying to get more auto tint and PPF work, along with flat glass and they want to invest in a tinter with experience and pay a salary/draw to keep me fed until the work gets to a level where commission will overtake that. But the average commission is pretty far below what I make now. They do offer benefits but that's not a huge deal because I'm on my wife's insurance now. Paid vacation is nice though. The retail shop is way more established and I believe that they can pay me what they say, but I would be taking a pretty big hit per car. The dealership vendor I work for pays great, but I know how cutthroat that business is as well as the other challenges (environment, operations, etc.) I don't want to get too specific, but do you all have any input or advice as to thing I should think about short term vs long term? Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom!
  8. esoterik_appeal

    2019 A6

    Nothing like getting a new challege after 3 pm! I've been bottom loading since the beginning so I got a little crazy (or stupid) with this one. One piece seals, like the A8. The panels come off pretty easy, as do the plastic seal covers around the sides and top. Start working the wood trim from the front, be careful it feels pretty brittle. Its got some little tabs that have to be wiggled a little and then twisted out because of a large tab in the back. On the front there is 1 T25 behind the trim, one behind the speaker grill, and one under the armrest. On the rear, 2 T25 under the trim, one under the armrest. The plastic along the sides and top just pulls off with a little effort in the front, it is held on by tape in the rear corner. I just pulled the sides on the rear doors, the top has two screws holding the shade buckle on and I didn't feel like walking back to my tool bag. I pulled the rubber out at the bottom all the way to the edge and tucked it over the metal lip. The corners are still a little tight but it helps a lot. You will need a Titan or something similar to get the quarters done. Also there is a pile of expensive looking electronics on the RIGHT side of the trunk that I can only imagine is the infamous amp situation. The brake light cover pulls straight back like all recent Audi sedans. If you are going to two stage this one good luck!
  9. What's up pros, quick question: I have installed a few different films over the years with various results, but the other day I installed Llumar for the first time and it was hands down the best film I've had my hands on. After doing a job with 3M the day before, it was night and day. I'm primarily a tinter but I'm trying to increase my presence in the PPF market and I'm curious if there are other films you all have used that perform like the Llumar product or if I should just hitch my wagon to them? I know a lot of it is personal preference but I could use that film every day and be a happy camper. Thanks for your input!
  10. esoterik_appeal

    2019 A8L

    I got my hands on one yesterday. I like to pull panels, but the back doors have power shades so I can't comment there as I didn't want to break anything. Tight seals but not terrible to top load. The front have 4 screws, 2 behind the wood trim, 1 behind the speaker grill, 1 under the arm rest. T25. The wood trim comes out pretty easy, I started at the front with a chizzler and worked my way to the back. Look out for the metal clips in the door panel coming out with the trim. Didn't seem too be any weird twisting needed pull the trim as with other models. The speaker grill came out easy. Luckily, they have switched to the metal pin clips so less chance of breaking any. Unfortunately, it's a one piece seal that can't be easily removed. But pulling the panel did give me some much needed clearance in the front corner, which is tight. The brake light cover pulls straight back like other newer models and the harness is like an A4. You have to bend the red clip pretty far to get it out so just be careful. The frit is sandwiched so no silver rings on quarters and back windshield. Not the easiest car but not super difficult. No FVD patterns yet. Hope this helps!
  11. Thanks for the help everyone, going to go talk with an accountant soon. I'm thinking DIY accounting looks like DIY tinting
  12. Do you still carry insurance as an S Corp? And as a sole proprietor are your personal assets at risk from legal action?
  13. What's up tint pros, I have a question about running side work out of my house. If I purchase liability insurance would it limit my risk as a sole proprietor or would it still be advisable to form an LLC? I've only been doing a few jobs here and there, but I'm considering ramping things up a bit. Thanks for your input!
  14. Thanks for the tips guys! I'm no stranger to removals, but I've never had much luck with bagging. Never tried ammonia though, do you just use the stuff from the grocery store? And if it is cloudy, would the rear defrost provide enough heat to affect the adhesive? I'm definitely done quoting removals before I see the car.
  15. What's up tint pros? I've been lurking for years, but I had a day today that I thought I'd vent about and maybe ask a few questions. I've been a dealership tinter for years now and it's been a pretty great job. I've always been in-house so steady work, few paycheck issues, benefits, etc. But after grinding away for a long time I thought I might try my hand at doing some side jobs for myself. Just a few cars here and there to make some extra money and see what headaches there are in the retail game. So I had my first paying clients that I didn't know personally today. An FR-S and a R/R on a 350z. They showed up an hour early, which was an issue because I am working out of my house and my wife wasn't home to watch the kids. But they dropped both cars off so not really a big deal. Got going on the FRS, no problems, easy car. Right before I started the visor strip I plugged in my steamer for the R/R. As I am cleaning up from the first car, the power goes out and stays out. Stormy day. Whatever. I can scrub the glue. Barely even need to shrink that back glass. Keep rolling right? So the side windows are slow going, the tint that is on there is like nothing I've seen. The top layer peels off, but the bottom layer has broken down to the point that it is like paint on the glass. I went through like 4 or 5 razors per rolldown. Might be trouble with the back glass. I finish up the sides and do a test area on the hatch. Same issue only worse. Figuring there isn't much I can do without my steamer, I call the guy and tell him I'm done with everything but the hatch and we can reschedule. He's cool, will pick up the cars in an hour. Bam, power is back on! So I plug in the steamer and get ready for war. I start steaming the top (bottom) of the hatch and get it nice and warm. Both layers start coming up in the corner and I think I'm home free. But the top layer separates quickly and the layer left behind is... indestructable. I hit it with steam, glass cleaner, grease lightning, magic eraser, steel wool, rubbing alcohol, my head, plastic brushes, chizzlers, my head again; nothing could touch it. So guy shows up and I'm out of ideas. I tell him I can just not charge him for the back window, install over the film (which is now wrecked and hazy because of my assualt), I even ponder razoring the back window but take that off the table. He decides to go ahead and tint it and I offer him a discount and also offer to try a removal a few weeks from now to see if the old stuff comes off with my film. Get it on and it looks rough. All of the bubbles in the old film are still there under the new film. It actually looks worse now because the old film was so faded. Balls. He understands though and pays me. So to summarize, in spite of some set backs I had an ok, if crazy first day. I just hate I came up a little short on a couple of otherwise quality installs. Just thought I'd share and I welcome any criticism or advice. Most importantly, is there ANYTHING that can be done with a back glass that has film like that on it? Besides asking what his glass deductable is, which I did. Sorry for the novel, I have been wanting to do my own thing for years and even though today didn't go as smooth as I'd hoped, I made it through and hope to keep building some side business. Thanks for any input!