When we first started our business, we focused on creating DIY kits for Tesla owners. Then, we started getting emails and requests asking if we did installs ourselves. Back then, it was a super small group and just the two “bros” so we didn’t quite have space or bandwidth to do installs. So, we decided to work toward that and finally, we moved into a larger warehouse in early 2020.
When we decided to renovate our 500-square foot shop, we wanted it to be practical and efficient. We also wanted the mods to be easily transportable, knowing we are in a temporary, rented space. The warehouse itself is 3000-square feet but it also houses our office and production area for our eCommerce side of the business.
We gutted the entire warehouse when we moved in, put up dry walls, a bunch of lights, tint boards, our Quickjack lifts, and our workbench. We operated with the simple set up most of 2020 while jotting down notes on how we could improve the space. Turns out, we had a lot of work to do.
What We Did
A good portion of our work is installing Paint Protection Film (PPF) and we needed the space to be clean and free of dust. We wanted to epoxy the floor but the idea of not being able to take it with us when move steered us away from doing that. So we started looking into RaceDeck and Swisstrax tiles, specifically the versions that allow water to seep through. We like to wet the floor a little before wrapping to keep the dust at a minimum. I’m not going to lie, too. The RaceDeck totally changed the look of our shop area, wouldn’t you agree?
Tint Peel Boards
This is essential, not only for tinting, but also for PPF. It’s called a peel board, because tinters use it to lay the film on the glass board to peel the clear layer of the film off before installing. You can also use the board to cut if you’re hand cutting tint. In the beginning, we had two boards side-by-side, but we ended up moving one of them to the other side so we would have one on each side of the vehicles that come in. This minimizes dirt getting on the film before we install it due to less traveling from the tint to the windows. We also got 3″ PVC pipes and cut them in half with a 30-degree angle to put on the bottom of the tint boards. This allows for water to drain down to a bucket on the floor so we don’t create a mess.
Water Filtration System
Toward the end of 2020, we were doing a lot of car washing and prepping. We had a pressure washer and a picket outside our building and each time we had to set up, it probably took 30-45 minutes just to get the water system set up for car preps and car washing. Also, during the summer months the water has higher levels of minerals, so we had bad water spots. We decided to create a station where we can get the pressure washer ready within minutes. We ended up purchasing a deionized spotless water system that takes all the minerals out of the water, preventing water spots. Once the water hit the filter, it would go up to the pressure washer which we gutted, rewired, and mounted on a shelf. This helped save a ton of money. Then the water would go to a retractable hose line with quick-connect adapters so we can connect our spray gun easily for a sweet foam action. Sorry for nerding out, but we’re stoked to have this set up!
When doing wrap projects, heat guns are used very often. Previously, we had outlets on the walls only on one side. It was frustrating when the cord would get caught on the tires. So we added Flexzilla retractable extension cords on each side of the shop that allow us to have a smoother workflow. One is on the backside of the car and the other is on the front side.
Our space is limited so the QuickJacks BLX6000 is perfect for us. Also, this was built with EVs in mind since we have a longer base. One of the drawbacks was lugging its power system around. We purchased a rolling cart which carries our power system for the Quickjacks. This way, whenever we need to lift the car, we can simply roll it around, connect it to power and lift the car. It also keeps all of the wires more organized.
Every detailer has their way of organizing their microfibers. We typically use 6 types of microfibers for different parts of the car and uses. We color-coded them so there wouldn’t be any confusion, but we also had to find a way to make sure no one accidentally uses dirty microfibers on clean paint. My wife purchased a recyclable bin from IKEA, and I thought it would be the perfect bin for our microfibers. The left stack is clean and the right is dirty. Once it fills up, I put each type in a hamper and wash it by itself. It’s important to not cross-contaminate depending on the usage. For example, you don’t want to mix engine bay microfibers with paint correction microfibers. That’ll significantly reduce the life of your fibers. We also cut out vinyl stickers to label the bins for better organization.
3M Color Wall
Thanks to Fellers, we installed the 3M Color Wall to add some pop and for our customers to be able to choose their colors easier. It features 106 colors of 3M 2080 colors. We carry other brands, but we’re certified in most of the 3M products, so we ended up getting their rack.
Racks on Racks on Racks
A clean shop is an efficient shop. We noticed that – because we didn’t have dedicated spaces for items – sometimes it would be on the floor. We also added a vinyl rack for our upcoming projects. We don’t hold all of our colors on the rack – only the priority ones. We installed a polisher rack that holds both of our Rupes polishers and a key box to organize our customer’s keys.
We still have a lot to do but we’re excited to take in customers officially at our Wrap Studio (if you would like a free quote, send us a message here!). I’m really glad we waited a few months to really learn our workflow, how we work, and what we needed before going all out. It saved us a lot of time and money by being patient. Thank you again for following us in our journey and if you have any questions, feel free to leave us a comment or reach out to us on social media @teslabros!