Friday, July 17, 2015

DuraCoat University Series Post 2 - Certified Finisher Interview 1

In Part 2 of the DuraCoat® University Series we will be talking with long time Certified Finisher, John Buethe, of Cal Armory in Camino, CA. Let's hear what he has to say about his experience at DuraCoat® University and find out what his business is like.

You can read Part 1 of this series here.

Example of DuraCoat camo completed by John at Cal Armory

About John's Business:

1.       Do you have a storefront? Do you have a gun shop or firearm related business? 

John:  I have 17 acres in the country and have several shops.  I am a 07 FFL and manufacture AR’s, AK’s and tactical shotguns.

2.       Do you offer DuraCoat® services as a main business, part of another business, or as a side business?

John:  Duracoat is my primary business.  All of my builds are Duracoated.  The majority of my business is Duracoating.  I recently Duracoated the Shotguns for the local Sheriff Department.

3.       How much DuraCoat® work do you get on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis? 

John:   I duracoat three to four full days a week.

4.       Do you advertise your DuraCoat® services in any way? Print ads, signage, website, etc. 

John:   I do not advertise.  I operate word of mouth.

5.       Do you have employees that perform DuraCoat® services? If so, how many? 

John:   I have one person Duracoat with me.

6.       Do you specialize in solid colors, camo patterns, restorations, hydrographics, or something else?   

Another great example of John's work
John:  We specialize in the Disruptive (based loosely on the Kryptek pattern) Style of camo patterns. We still do a fair amount of tradition camo (BDU. 3 Color Desert, Multicolor) and restoration of old fire damaged or simply old or damaged firearms.

7.       Please tell us anything else pertinent about your current business.   

John:  We had considered offering the traditional hot and cold bluing at our customer’s request.  The DuraBlue came at a great time.  We will expand into DuraBlue over this summer.  We have used DuraBlue on several projects and we are impressed with the results.

Work in progress: DuraCoated parts drying in an LCW Baking Oven

About DuraCoat® University:

8.       How did you learn about DuraCoat® University (workshop)?

John:  Internet

9.       How many times have you attended a DuraCoat® University class? 

John:  Two

10.   What was the most important lesson learned at class? Anything else you feel was vital information that you learned?  

John:  The complete process of Duracoating.  The blasting and parking of the ferrous steel process.

11.   Would you be interested in attending another DuraCoat® University class? Is there a specific topic you would like to focus on or learn more about? 

John:  Yes, the blending and feathering of colors.  The application of DuraBlue.

12.   Did you have a firearm related business prior to attending DuraCoat® University? 

John:  Yes and I used Guncote and Alumahyde on my new builds.

13.   Had you applied DuraCoat® prior to attending the class? If so, were you offering services?   
John:  Yes I used Duracoat for about six months before I attended the first class.

14.   Did you come alone or did you bring additional attendees with you to the class? 

John:  My first class I came alone.  My second class I brought three additional people.  My next class I will bring one additional person.

15.   What was your main reason for attending DuraCoat® University? 

John:  I had a lot of questions I needed answered.  I had no experience using the templates.  I had only been using single colors.

16.   How has attending DuraCoat® University benefited your business?   

John:  I am better able to sell the product to customers as I have a much better working knowledge of DuraCoat.  My work has improved at I learned the proper way to apply DuraCoat.

17.   Do you have any advice for people considering attending DuraCoat® University? 

John:  Yes, try to get some DuraCoating completed before attending the class.  That will help you generate good questions for the class.

18.   Please tell us anything else relevant that we did not ask but you feel is important in describing your experience.

John:  The DuraCoat Adhesion Promoter has be the single greatest improvement to the Lauer line of products.  We have had problems with high end stocks, for example the stock skins on the AICS, several of the paint markers made by Tipton, and even synthetic stocks from the major manufactures that duracoat will not adhere to, even after degreasing and several blasting times of the material.  We have started using the DuraCoat Adhesion Promoter and we simply no longer have those issues and the preparation time is minimized from blasting. 

Find out more about John's business by visiting him at

Read Part Three of the Series Here: Certified Finisher Interview Two

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