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Helpful tips to speed up Production


Hi, I recently was hired to manage a finish room and I have some questions. My boss seems to have this idea in his head that it takes only a few hours to finish a project. For instance I will recieve a couple kitchens a day mainly paint and told he needs them by tomorrow. I would say they will have roughly 30 doors a piece 15 cabinets prefinished except ends and panels along with the trim and base etc. I have one spray booth and I just need some tips on how to speed up production. We are using Ml Campbell stealth conversion varnish. I prime the doors with 2 coats of primer backs then fronts. He does not want us using nail boards because the last guy would leave tiny holes in the doors. I would really like to impress my new boss so any tips would be extremely helpful.

1/19/17       #2: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...
Paul Snyder  Member



There are multiple factors that limit how much finishing you can do in a day. Here are some that come to mind;

  • How well is everything prepped before you get it? Do you have a prep crew?
  • How fast does your equipment spray? This is dependent on the type of spray equipment (e.g., pump vs. pressure pot vs. spray gun).
  • How much liquid you can spray before needing to refill or remix?
  • How quickly can you change between finishes (primer, sealer, pigmented, clear, etc.)?
  • How long does the finish need to dry before you can re-coat it (how much time does the finish need between coats)?
  • How many helpers you have doing the sanding and moving the items to and from the booth?
  • What is the cure time of the finish - how long before you can stack?
  • Do you have enough and the right kind of spray racks and jigs to manage large numbers of objects quickly?
  • If you know how to use nail boards without leaving unsightly holes, show your new boss.
  • Is the sanding equipment and supplies the best choice?
  • Is the finish room laid out for best flow?
  • Do you have plenty of room for drying?
  • Is the spray booth the right size and type for the job?
  • Do you have a heated drying room/oven?
  • Is there good climate control in the finish area?
  • Is there good dust control?

Make the changes you can to improve efficiency and quality and keep in mind there's only so much work a person can do in a day. Do a fair days work for a fair days pay and if it isn't good enough for your new boss, find another job.
1/19/17       #3: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...
Robert Member

Jason, forgive my bluntness but you will never accomplish the impossible,considering the parameters you are in.

If your current boss, placed the same "dreams" on his/her last finisher...its the reason you now are filling the position.

I retired a few years ago and believe me, during my 30+ years as a Finisher, Ive had bosses just like that, perhaps even worse.

Do yourself a great big favor and get the hellout of that position as fast as gossip travels through a Beauty Salon.

Your sanity, and health is more important than trying to pacify some talking head that has absolutely no clue and no common sense. You will NEVER impress your boss.

1/19/17       #4: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...
Robert Member

Hi again Jason..... check out this 2:03 minute video on YouTube. Its titled " Lucy's Famous Chocolate Scene ". You might get a chuckle out of it.

1/20/17       #5: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...
Michael Foscone  Member

I really don't understand how a Finisher would not know, how to increase productivity. It might not be possible with your current set up and equipment and materials used. But as a Finisher you should be able to give options. Such as, I need a bigger booth, I need better drying racks, xxx makes a better primer. That's what a Finisher does, gives options to hard question. You are a Finisher, right?

1/20/17       #6: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...

Yes I am a finisher a pretty good one just never ran a finish area. I was just looking for some tips from some seasoned finishers. I.e. what type of racks quickest ways to finish doors and so on.

1/20/17       #7: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...
Family Man

Your heart is in the right place but your mind hasn't caught up yet. We simply do not have enough information on what you currently have in skills, space, equipment & capital to make recommendations. You've given almost zilch to go off and asking us to pour out years of hard earned knowledge- a true precision game but asking us to throw spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks. Focus man, focus. If you aren't more focused and organized in your management of the finishing area then you are in your woodweb posts you are doomed kind sir. And that is best advice I can give you with what you've given us.

1/20/17       #8: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...

Ok I see that some people just want to troll on and just not help. Its fine I know in this day and age people like to feel superior by insulting others. I was just looking for helpful tips that's all. A new guy in a new position. I have a blank canvas and I was just looking to see what other shops are doing. We have basic racks but great Kremlin pumps just looking for helpful advice on products better than Ml Campbell stealth and Krystal. And some tips on better techniques that I'm not used to seeing.
That's all but thanks for the advice.

1/20/17       #9: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...

sooo...answer Paul's questions right down the line in a post and l bet a host of helpful experienced people will share their knowledge with you.

1/20/17       #10: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...

Ok here goes: things are hardly prepped. We get a shipment of doors no sanding owner believes primer will hide all mistakes.
We have Kremlin pumps and guns with agitators.
So We can shoot as much as needed before mixing more product.
We use all Ml Campbell products.
2 booths no drying room.
Multiple jobs different colors a day but have roughly 5 pumps for multiple change over.
About 1000 square foot of space.
Any ideas on racks would be helpful.

1/20/17       #11: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...
Robert Member

Jason, as per the information you have provided, I quote;

(A) You have one booth.
(B) You will receive a couple of Kitchens per day to paint.
(C) You will get 30 doors and 15 cabinets per Kitchen.
(D) You will have base and trim for each Kitchen.
(E) You say your BOSS needs them tomorrow.
(F) You say your BOSS thinks it only takes a few hours to finish each Kitchen.
(G) You mentioned " the last guy "......

Ask yourself why that " last guy " is no longer with the Company. Do you think it has anything to do with your BOSS not having a clue on what he/she is doing AND he/she has no clue on what to expect his/her employees to do.

Given the fact that you are stepping into the shoes of the previous finisher who was unable to " impress the BOSS " what makes you think that you can, considering the parameters you are working under ?

1/20/17       #12: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...
rich c.

If you have to do all the finishing in a day with no drying room and he won't let you use nail boards, you better ask him to step up with his billfold and look into UV cured finishes.

1/20/17       #13: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...
Family Man

Jason, I tried helping you but your thin skin won't allow you to see it. It'll have to get thicker if you are going to manage a finish room, especially with your boss if you are portraying him accurately.

How many men under your supervision?

We rarely do only kitchens, 15 cabinets would be half a smaller normal job for us. But assuming things are sanded properly I budget roughly 1.5 man hours per cabinet, including all necessary parts a pieces, for a standard stain or paint finish. Of course glaze, rub thru, ceruse & a million other variables can change that but that is a real rough rule of thumb in my shop if boxes are prefinished. 15 cabinets=a minimum of 22.5 hours of finishing.

There aren't many short cuts in this business outside of automation without sacrificing quality.

Good luck. Get tougher, more detailed, more organized and have a well thought out plan- that's the trick you are looking for. It's only cost is blood, sweat, tears, falling down and getting back and learning from it.

1/21/17       #14: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...
Carlos Levine  Member

We need more information more details to help you, I can only say if you are painting doors, you can speed up the process if you hang them so you can paint both side and not wait to one side to dry in a rack, you can do this for primer and color, I don't recommend for final finish, you can get a drip in the finish.

1/21/17       #15: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...

Not that I can add much to the discussion, but I would not go looking for answers with a change in the current choice of ML Campbell Stealth & Krystal. They are KCMA rated, and good, standard products that alot of shops use today. Re-training your staff to use new products could be a disaster. Focus as 'Family Man' suggests, and get your boss to hire more finishers.

1/21/17       #16: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...

I use the Hafele racks (Richelieu has the same one) great time saver...holds fifty doors. The only down side of these racks that I've noticed in the years that I've been using them is the wire shelves can imprint a fresh finish especially on heavy doors and end panels or doors/panels made with softer wood (Alder for example). This problem is easily fixed by placing a piece a cardboard between the rack and door/panel.

1/21/17       #17: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Here is a layout of my finishroom. I have 2 booths one booth is set up with 1 ca tech spray pump with a bobcat gun. This booth is set up for staining and spraying clear topcoats and sealers. Our other booth has 2 Kremlin pumps with the Kremlin excite guns one pump for primer and one pump for paint. I have 2 hafele door racks and 2 big racks for storing mouldings and big doors. I also have 10 carts about waste high for spraying items on as well. For our cleartopcoats we use Ml Campbell Krystal and for paints the stealth product. We have no drying room and the temp in the room is probably 55 degrees. I guess what I'm looking for as far as advice would be is there a better product out the thAt dries quicker without having to use uv? And is there a quicker way to spray doors than just one at a time putting it back on the rack? I really would like to use nail boards and we do for stained jobs and spraying primer but didn't know if there was a quicker way to get them completed than the old one at a time routine. I am an experienced finisher but I have never had a boss demand so much out of the finish room. We are literally scuff sanding way before the product has anytime to chalk up. He doesn't even prep the doors once they are delivered just sends them to us and says two coats of primer will hide any defects buthe wants a top notch product. I really love my job and my boss is a good guy but I have never worked for a place that expects you to have things finished in a few hours. I hope that sheds some light into my finishroom and any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

1/21/17       #18: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...

of course the answer can't do the impossible; quality work in too short of time with-out the proper equipment (better source of heat). From what you've said (and what others have pointed out) it appears the responsibility for improving your production lies more with upper managment than with you.

1/21/17       #19: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...
Family Man

Increase the heat by 20 degrees and you'll cut your time by a third. Plus you'll actually get the performance you are paying for out of the CV and not just liability.

1/24/17       #20: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...
Pdub Member

Your boss is coocoo. If he won't listen, use the parameters he sets forth and show him the crappy results you get. Your only chance is to show him the flaw in each of his wrong assumptions one by one. Prime the doors without touching them and then show him the results. Or as others have said, get the hell out of there as fast as you can.
Hanging doors for all but the final coat helps dramatically. However, it takes up a lot of room.

2/1/17       #21: Helpful tips to speed up Production ...
Dave Edgerton  Member

Infrared heaters in the dry area speeds drytim of primers and sealers and topcoats. Krystal has a long dry time. Chemcraft Danspeed at 150f has a very short dry time and I prefer it over krystal. Use a sealer rather than topcoat as sealer. Get some hafele racks. Use a turntable with wooden pins on it with rubber tips to hold doors so you can spin them preferably on a stool. The dry time is key. Get some simple air multipliers to keep air flow moving.

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