This is Millo, founder and dreamer behind the creation of New England Dry Stripping, and this
is that story.
Since 1966 our family business had been primarily subcontract machining, providing various small components for an array of customers. My Pop took the company from idea to reality in those early years and in 1972, at the age of 14, I joined him. The best claim we have of those times is having put parts on the moon, if you believe we did indeed travel there and put men upon it, where aboard the lunar rovers affixed miniature load-cells — sensing stresses and forces that would benefit future moon goers with valuable information. I always thought that was pretty damn cool in itself, and thereafter through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s we stayed busy with the fluid control, robotic and load cell industries.
There were always up and down times, as in any business, but then, after the
infamous day of 9/11, business turned pretty much flat. It was then that my right hand man and friend, Steve Seifert, and I found ourselves sitting in front of the facility, wondering how to fill the void regarding the work load. The possibilities were many. We had the space, the personnel, the time and economic means to endeavor into most anything. Then I mentioned having always wanted to do something in the automotive field, as the passion for some of the world’s finest art I found to have four wheels and a stick shift. We discussed automotive machining, body and paint, the customization of one-off parts, and even chassis work. None fit very well. Then, as we conversed, we went to the topic of Steve’s project at the time, the build of a ’70 Cuda for the drag strip. It was then I learned of the process he had performed to the body of the project car — a process that our shop had been providing to its aerospace customers for decades — ‘surface preparation’. Many of the components we were making for our customers required different types of surface finishing, and those needs were much more critical than anything the automotive restoration industry was asking for. The light turned on and brightly! NEDS’ path was set.
Anyone that has followed New England Dry Stripping through the years has seen the tribulation of our initial growth period. From simple cabinet work to a designated room within the building to a raised platform and a drive-in booth attached to the rear of our place, we have continually expanded with bigger and better ideas. Now, New England Dry Stripping can boast a brand new facility! A 6000 sq. ft. building across the lot from our original 9000 sq. ft. building houses several brand new, state-of-the-art drive-in booths, cabinets and convenient ‘priming’ facilities. Yes, since that day over cigars and sambuca, [did I fail to mention that as part of our decision-making process], we’ve added an array of primers we can apply, including 2-part epoxy type primers and other popular name brand coatings. We can handle anything from small parts and components to full size cars and trucks. NEDS has also expanded into powder coating as well — hi-temp coatings such as Cerakote®, and at the writing of this brief history are installing one of Connecticut’s largest burn off ovens. At 18 ft. in depth, this oven is able to burn off paints, coatings, rubber, grease or oil from most anything that will not melt — all in a quick and inexpensive manner.
The dream part of this whole adventure comes in two parts: first, to be honest and true to our craft, providing the best service to the customer while keeping costs low. The second was to enjoy what we do as we do it. I have long believed that we go home to watch a little television, get a bite to eat and rest, but we live where we work. Remove the time we spend sleeping at home and it is easy to see more time is spent at work than anywhere. So, where do we actually live?
This place hosts music, usually 50’s & 60’s style streaming from the computer. There are speakers in both buildings as well as outside in the parking lot. The atmosphere is pleasant, with much camaraderie. The men working here are free to travel to their native lands and stay for months if they desire, knowing their job is here when they return. My Pop came from another land, so I understand the value of ‘going home’. This is a ‘different’ place.
An additional part to the dream was being able to entertain the wide array of car clubs in the area. Per
that desire, we’ve installed a 50’s style soda fountain, an original piece I picked up in Milwaukee. After some TLC, we’ll soon be serving Italian Ices and Ice Cream Sodas, gratis – hopefully every summer.
With the addition of an outdoor grill, we wish when car club members depart they will do so with some-thing to remember, and a reason to return when they need our services. The way I look at this is that we are here for the long-term, and we do and will treat each person that enters our doors with both respect and pride put into their projects. Like the tagline says, “we will treat your project like it was our own!”
To this we vow.
I personally welcome all customers with friendship and a promise of professionalism applied to any project big or small. We are that, professionals, and we are sincere in our approach.
We hope to see you at one of our events, our weekly open house coming summers, or at one of our other events to be announced!
With sincere desire to provide excellent service, and an open invite,
Be safe! Bring it on!