From Dougger Anderson, 1946 Ford Woodie owner:

   First, when I was contacted & asked to provide some information about my experience with Daniel Dews, who varnished my 1946 Ford woodie, in June 2009, I was glad to learn that I might be able to share my pleasure with the job he performed with others.

   I first met Daniel at Nick Alexander’s woodie show in February 2008 when he approached me and asked me a few general questions about my woodie.  At that time, he did not indicate to me that he had experience with varnishing wood.  But, I do remember that after a short chat, he politely excused himself so that he could attend a demonstration on painting simulated wood by one of Nick’s expert employees. 

   Six months later, I ran into Daniel at the “Woodies at the Beach” show in Santa Barbara and I learned that he had purchased a woodie at the LA Wood show in San Pedro a few months earlier.  That weekend, I also learned that he had extensive experience in varnishing wood, and that he was going to be undertaking a thorough restoration of the wood on his woodie after the “woodie show” season ended. 

   In December, four months later, I saw the results of his work.   It was quite impressive!

   A couple of months later, at the “Beachcruisers” show in Huntington Beach, I recall going out of my way to introduce Daniel to Dave Holmes, a long-term woodie owner.  In fact, before Dave & I walked over to meet Daniel, I told Dave about Daniel’s experience and I told Dave how I felt about Daniel’s candidness and honesty.  Within a couple of months, Dave Holmes had Daniel re-varnishing his unique, 1946 Mercury, Marmon-Herrington 4 x 4 R.  When Daniel completed that job, Dave emailed me to tell me that his woodie “had never looked so good”!

   The next time I saw Daniel, about a month later, I asked him if he wouldn’t mind taking a look at my woodie, with a critical eye, and give me his professional opinion of my varnish & wood.   Without hesitating, he suggested that we walk over to my woodie right away before we lost the appropriate, good light of day in order to make a proper assessment.  With very precise observations, Daniel pointed out “issues” that needed to be addressed soon, including some things that I had not noticed. 

   Daniel convinced me that it was time to re-varnish “Old Yeller” and within a month, he began working on her.  When I arrived, about 10 days later, to see the finished product and pick her up, my woodie was sitting in his driveway.   When a climbed out of a car, Daniel, asked, “How’s she look?   I replied, “Stunning!   No, absolutely stunning!”.  

   When my wife & I inspected the woodie after driving home, and in the days to follow, we realized that Daniel had not only completed a beautiful, error-free varnish job (protecting the paint & interior during the process), but that he had also “detailed” the vehicle better than we had been able to detail it in the preceding three years that we had owned it! 

   A couple of weeks later, a woodie buddy (who had become very familiar with my woodie), saw me arrive at an event and quickly walked over to greet me.  His first words were, “What have you done to your woodie?  It looks magnificent!”  After I told him that the wood had just been varnished, he added that it appeared that something more than new varnish had been done.   Of course, it was because of Daniel’s attention to detail & delivery. 

   Daniel did not have to disassemble any wood to complete the job.   He did, however, remove a door, and with the help of a carpenter, glued a Mahogany panel back to a horizontal, structural piece of Maple.    I was aware of that “issue” and I am pleased with the steps he took to correct the problem. 

   Daniel is a professional in every sense of the word – from his initial examination of the condition of the wood, throughout the process of re-varnishing the wood, and to the delivery of our woodie looking (as Dave Holmes had said earlier) “better than it had ever looked before”.  His final bill, that included everything from rags to varnish & time, even came in below the original estimate (that he reluctantly provided).

   There are many established, reputable people available to varnish woodies.   I cannot speak for the others because I have not used them, but I am (obviously) very happy with the job that Daniel Dews provided and I would not hesitate recommending him to others. It was a pleasure to do business with him, from start to finish!