the Fire Gold paint shop

A workshop designed for repainting and
gilding antique firefighting apparatus.

I have built three workshops in my career. The first two were sign shops with long easels and room to pull a truck inside for lettering. I pinstriped and hand lettered cars and horse drawn vehicles all through these years. Sign painting was great preparation for the restoration work I do now.

I'm ready for a new chapter in my life. This time I'll be down-sizing. My 5,000 sq ft building is more than I need these days. I would like to pass my workshop and business on to a younger sign painter... or other kind of artisan. The building would be a good work space for many kinds of businesses. I could help a sign maker get started here with clients, tools and inventory. Please contact me if you have an interest in living on the coast of Maine.

My present shop was built in 2001 specifically for hand painting antique vehicles. It's a big comfortable workspace. At times there have been pieces of 6 or more restoration projects in the shop at the same time.

The shop is in a clearing on a wooded 4.6 acre lot. It's quiet, private and close to the shore. St. George is a lovely town with an abundance of fishermen and artists. The workshop is about half-way down the peninsula, toward Port Clyde and Monhegan Island.

The shop is clean and well lit by north windows and wall lights The lights really help when working on the sides of a vehicle. The entryway leads to an office with a private bathroom. An air exchange system can refresh the air in any of the four large work rooms. Water is available in each work room. Radiant heat in the floor can be regulated to keep rooms at different temperatures. There are two vehicle bays with a 1-ton hoist. One bay is 48 ft long and the other is 32 ft. There is a loop driveway to accommodate large delivery trucks with trailers. There is plenty of parking.

Above the shop is a 1,200 sq ft living space. This includes a full bath, kitchen, dining area, 2 bedrooms and a living room. The second bedroom is used for my vinyl graphics equipment. Vinyl names on boats are an endless source of income in this area.

The next webpage on Maine shows more about the local area.

The restoration of these vehicles requires many skills and a lot of specialized knowledge. The engines were built in shops and factories by groups of craftsmen. My skills are limited to only painting, lettering, gilding, striping etc. There are many other artisans that restore the woodwork, metal work, mechanics, upholstery, electrical systems and more on these engines. Below are some of the people that bring these pieces of history back to their original condition. I'm the guy on the right.

Most of the restorations I have worked on were for Andy Swift of Firefly Restoration. His shop is in Hope, Maine. Here are some photos of his shop.

Ken Soderbeck backing up a Knox fire engine.

Ken Soderbeck has been a driving force in the movement to preserve and restore antique fire apparatus. His skills go way beyond gilding and painting. They include making reproduction decals, metal work, upholstery, mechanical work and much more. He is a restorer, historian, collector, and teacher. I have learned many details about engine decoration from him. His company is Hand In Hand Restoration. Please visit his web site to see more. Hand-In-Hand sign on restoration shop.

hand-in-hand lapel pin.