View Full Version : Construction/Restoration

12-14-2007, 10:32 AM
Hello all,

I would like to offer my aircraft construction/restoration services to the group. I have a 40' X 60' hangar in NE Georgia and have a lifetime of experience with various aircraft. I can construct or restore large projects for $20.00 per hour with first-class workmanship. Please email me directly or give me a call.

Russ Lassetter
Cleveland, GA

12-14-2007, 11:37 AM
Hi Russ, and welcome to the site. Post some pictures of your restorations: we're always looking for new planes to drool over (see the thread on Jerry Jacques new rebuild for example).

Do you know Charlie Aileron? He's won awards for his restorations, and is also in the North Georgia territory.


12-14-2007, 05:01 PM
Welcome! I don't mean to piss you off on your first post but if you only charge $20/hr shop time, you can't think much of your own work.

12-14-2007, 05:47 PM
Ever figure out how much the average person makes on a recover job.
if he gets $20 for every hr he works, he'll come out ok.

12-14-2007, 09:16 PM
Ouch...Thanks for the welcome. I don't even know how to respond to that without attracting more arrows that I sense are already drawn.

12-14-2007, 09:30 PM

Welcome to the site! I assume from your post you are retired and are offering your services as a "retirement hobby" job. GOOD FOR YOU! We need more people who are willing to share a lifetime of experience with the rest of us for a reasonable price. You don't have to (you could take it to the grave with you) but you have offered. I take it you enjoy this kind of work. Thanks for the offer.

John Scott

12-14-2007, 09:32 PM
It's not meant as a arrow. I've seen too many talented people fail in business because they don't charge what they are worth. If you have the skills and talent don't be afraid to charge accordingly. Your rates are your decisions and your business. Just sharing my experience, perhaps a little harshly. The "Will fly for food" mentality just rubs me wrong. Best of Luck.


12-14-2007, 11:18 PM
Russ- With our business some people find the shop rate to be zero, and parts complimentary. Others donít have enough money to even set foot on the place. I guess the older one becomes the more discriminating they can be of the people surrounding them. Whatís the old adage? You are who you hang aroundÖ

Please donít let the fickle attitude of some turn you off from this site. There are a lot of good people here and bountiful information.

A warm welcome (from me) and a Merry Christmas!


12-15-2007, 12:03 AM
I knew and old man once, started out life as the son of a mill worker. WWII came along and he signed up. He came home from Europe and learned the carpentry and cabinet building trade from his father - in - law. It didn't come easy for him, but after 50 years, he eventually became a real artist with cabinetry and finish work.

A couple of years before he retired, sometime in the early 1990's, he had to raise his shop rate to $9 an hour. All the young guys around were double that. Nearly broke his heart, and he apologized to every customer he had for it. He was as proud of his work as he was of his country. He felt he was charging a fair rate, his bills were paid, home free and clear, and slept good at night. Oh yeah, and at 60, he could work the ass off of any 35 year old I've ever met.

Might be something to think about next time, gents.


12-15-2007, 02:32 PM
Welcome to the site. Don't let the comments on here discourage you. If you feel you are charging a fair price and are comfortable with it you will be happy and that is all that counts in this life, that you are happy with yourself.
I have had to have things done to my plane that have cost me $60+ per hour and really felt like I was ripped off. Those are the places that do NOT get my repeat business and also are the ones that I make sure and tell anyone else about.
Best of luck.

12-15-2007, 04:57 PM

Sorry I must have been really tired last night and in a pissy mood cause I can't believe what I said. I think what I was trying to say was, don't be afraid to charge for your service. At $20/ hr shop time nobody is going to bring you a Staggerwing. You could double your rates and still give your customers a good value for the money they spend and probably have more work. This is just my observations having been self employed for 28 of the last 34 yrs. Best of luck in business

12-15-2007, 06:15 PM
Hello again all,

No offense taken. I'm kind of new to these forums and have made some rookie mistakes so I thought maybe I had made another one and just hadn't figured out what it was.

Snert makes a valid point and I don't mind hearing more about getting to the point of having a Staggerwing in my shop.

Let me introduce myself a little better. I got hooked on airplanes as a kid at the 1960's EAA fly-ins in Rockford, IL...now Oshkosh. I wound up in telecommunications in the Air Force and continued in the telecommunications industry as a civilian. I was always working on my own projects or helping others with their "homebuilts" or certificated aircraft. In 2001 when the dot-com bubble burst the telecommunications industry laid-off many people including myself. I decided to do something I enjoyed for a living and built a hangar and residence on a grass strip in the "boonies". We have about 50 hangars here. Until recently, I had relied on word-of-mouth and local projects but now I'm trying to spread the word a little more widely.

Since being here I've recovered/restored a few Stinson Voyagers, an Ercoupe, a Cherokee 140, fixed a ground-looped Cub, repaired a damaged Stearman, modified an Ag-Cat for aerobatics, and lots of other smaller jobs. I have many excellent references as well. The $20.00/hr. labor rate I offered is an attempt to generate some business as the word gets around.

If I can be of service to anyone I am confident you will get a good value for your dollar. This is my passion.



12-15-2007, 09:27 PM
Snert, You were so close to being DQ'd... nice recovery.

12-17-2007, 02:45 PM
Hello again everyone,

I thought I'd try and post a picture of a set of Acroduster II wings that I built for someone. If that goes well I'll try another one later.

I received a lengthy and well-stated PM from Snert. He is wise in seeing more value in my work than I am charging for. I said I will take on a project for $20.00 per hour and I will do that and see it through to completion at that rate. Let's call this an "introductory offer".

I'm not having any success posting a picture here. Imagine a nice looking set of wings. I'm reading through the forums tutorial so will try again later.

By the way, Eric or anyone else, can you give me more info. on Charlie Aileron. Maybe he's someone I know and just don't recognize his "show biz" name. If he's in North Georgia I'd like to introduce myself.


Charlie Aileron
12-17-2007, 04:44 PM
Hi Russ, I live in Chatsworth. A small town about ten miles east of Dalton. I have a 1300 ft grass runway (Harris 4GA4). I am retired and do Cub only restorations as sort of a business/hobby. I don't post much here. Seems like every time I post I start a controversy too. I would like to meet you and you are welcome to fly in any time.

12-17-2007, 05:13 PM
Hello Charlie,

We're old neighbors but I don't think I've met you. I used to live in Chatsworth at the foot of Fort Mountain. I'll send you a Private Message through this forum and introduce myself a little better.

Thanks for the reply,


01-18-2008, 02:37 PM

Making the jump to do something for a living that is your passion probably took some guts to do.

But I imagine you never found anything as fulfilling as what you are doing now.

Did you get your A&P license somewhere along the way or do you get someone to check and sign off on your work?

01-18-2008, 04:48 PM
Ponder this senerio....attorney mentality :o

Five different skilled tradesman bids on the same job. All 5 bids are within a few bucks of each others.....

An attorney thinks different. If one has a billing rate of $200 per hour, the next one ponders quickly and then sets his price at $250 per hour....plus adds more office "fees" and pads the actual hours worked.
Generally speaking, there is nothing an attorney likes better than counting money, closley followed by figuring out different ways to screw people outta more $, and then "justify" the means to thierselves.

There is a good reason attorneys, in general, have the repuation they do, and there is something to be said for cunducting buisiness on the old-school philosophy or providing a good service for a fair price.

As most folks know the relationship between airplane owner and mechanic is a LOT different than the sterio type auto mechanic relationship.

When you find an airplane mechanic who does a good job you develop a trusting bond and stay with him for years..... My experince over the years has been the overwheling majority of airplane mechanics are really great people.....

01-19-2008, 12:12 AM
99% of lawyers give the rest of 'em a bad name.

01-22-2008, 12:53 PM
How about JC's questions Russ? Did you get an A&P license or does someone sign off on your work?

01-22-2008, 01:34 PM
Well said "Luke the Drifter". Your airplane mechanic, once you have the right one, is like one of the family. I guess that's because you are trusting your life and your loved ones lives on their work. For me, its not about what it costs. I'm always willing to pay a premium for quality work and good service. Being self -employed myself for the last 14 years made me realize that the costs of doing business is high. And $60 per hour shop rate probably translates to $10 per hour to the mechanic after he covers all of his overhead. The easiest job I ever had was every job I've had where someone else signed my paycheck. Don't undervalue your services, no matter what you do!