When David Miller was a boy, his father owned a John Deere tractor. It was a classic piece of machinery that would likely be considered vintage today.
It served its purpose well for a time, but even so, young Miller thought that perhaps it needed something extra. And so he asked his father if he could touch it up with a bit of paint.
Well, his father wasn’t keen to the request, and he eventually sold the equipment to a family member. The trusty tractor made its way through a few ownerships within the family, until Miller, as a newlywed, had an opportunity to buy the family heirloom back into his care.
And at last, he was able to paint it, revive it, and design it to his heart’s content.
That is the story of how Miller launched Superior Restoration, at the family homestead in the Ligonier countryside. Now marking the 21st year of operation, Miller is gearing up to offer some new services to his customer base.
Miller admits that this career venture wasn’t particularly part of his original goals, but that, over time, his reputation has grown exponentially through what he modestly admits is word of mouth. With virtually no large-scale advertising, and a fairly minimal profile, Superior Restoration has become a formidable force in the restoration and recovery of a tremendous range of items.
“We cover a pretty big field,” Miller says, when asked what types of machinery he has worked with. “I couldn’t name everything we’ve done in just one day,” he adds with a chuckle. His expertise includes, but is by no means limited to, appliances, farm equipment, toys and accoutrements for the home and lawn.
Miller’s customer base is equally diverse.
“We do business with a lot of different shops and existing customers, but we’re always looking forward to meeting with new businesses,” he says.
To that end, Miller is bringing some new additions to his current line of restoration equipment. One of the new units he is looking to acquire is a tumble blaster, which is a significant upgrade from what is typically referred to as “sandblasting.” With a tumble blaster, the power of centrifugal force works with a specially designed wheel and belts within a steel frame. The item that is being refinished is subjected to a continual source of abrasion, while simultaneously recycling the particulates being used to perfect the finish.
Another piece of machinery that Miller will be incorporating is a vapor blaster, which involves infusing the abrasives with water, which helps to provide the finest, smoothest grade of surface. Miller notes that this is an ideal situation when working with thinner sheet metal, as it greatly reduces the possibility of damaging a more delicate exterior. It can also be a preferred option for varying sizes and shapes of metals, and by utilizing the power of water, there is less of a mess created by dust.
Miller enjoys showcasing some of his finished work at various shows across the region, and most recently has displayed his restoration talents throughout LaGrange County and the Antique Engine and Tractor Show in Portland, Indiana. He is hoping to make more appearances as the current and future environment changes in light of the pandemic.
Miller does not have an established slate of business hours.
“If we’re here, we’re here,” he says.
Superior Restoration is not open on Sundays, however. He invites anyone who would like to arrange an appointment to call and leave a voicemail message, which can be done by calling 260-593-0382.