Today, we're going to be focusing on finishing the dent and cross-checking our work. So just here you can see we've got a vertical crease dent running down the driver's side rear passenger door on my customer's vehicle.
Assessing The Dent
So, a fairly standard door dent it's likely being caused by a car packed and adjacent open up the car door into my customer's door panel. But, I'm gonna really kind of focus on that process the final stages in finishing. What it is we're really kind of looking out for so a little bit less about the kind of the lines the highest and the lows and really all about kind of that finishing process.
So, as you can see here, we've got a bit of a crease. You can pick it up on the fog as well as on the lines.
Accessing the Dent
I'm going to choose to go through the wiring loom access for this particular repair. I could drop down the glass using a wedge and a window board but because there's a perfect little grommet here, I know I can get a tool up and just get behind that dent.
Whenever you're working around wiring looms of course you've got to be very careful of these wires. It's so easy to pinch them with our tools so as you'll know by now we apply a fair amount of pressure with the bars and rods when we're pushing out the dents. So, really got to make sure we know what we're pushing against and if we're using a bar up along the side.
Just make sure you've got the right side of the wires so that you're not leveraging off the wires themselves. It doesn't take long at all to wear through the plastic and the wiring limb and of course, the last thing you want to do is be replacing your customer’s wiring them I guarantee you that will not be cost-effective.
Body Position During Repair
So this is the kind of body position I’ve got myself down low. I've set my line board up at a slight angle now as we've covered before in crease repairs. I always like to tilt my board a kind of like a 45-degree angle to the repair and this creates a zigzag reflection on the panel. I just find it makes it easier to read that centerline.
Now, as we zoom in, you can see what I'm seeing and this is the reflection of my line board so here you can see that zigzag. That is created by turning my line board at that 45-degree angle rather than having the lines run symmetrically down vertically in line with the crease.
I've just given it a slight tilt to give that kind of zigzag or that lightning effect light and symbol effect on my line board itself.
Again, in today's repair, I'm gonna pretty much just whiz through the bulk of the repair process itself so that I can focus a little bit more on the finishing side. The really kind of detailed side of the PDR process.
Lines or Fog Board
Now, I'm a line board user myself but I have just set this up onto a fog setting. So, with the amber strip on the left-hand side, you can probably just pick out a slight crease. There's a little black blemish on the reflection as well.
I know a lot of you are fog users so hopefully this kind of indicates the difference between the fog and the lines. But ultimately having this kind of setup, I'm using the Elim A Dent v3 board but I've got it split with the tight lines. A couple of mid-size lines and then the fog on the side.
So being able to kind of use all three to cross cross-check my work and really make sure I'm not missing any of the repairs really kind of helps me out get to a nice high stage in my repairs.
Sometimes I can use fog to start off the repair and helps me see come in the shadows, particularly if I've got some highs. But, ultimately, when it comes to finishing, I'm a line board user, and the lines just make sense to me now. I'm sure you've heard the expression “You can't fix what you can't see”, so it's very important to get whatever device you're using as your reflection to read true to you.
So just here, I'm highlighting it on the kind of tight lines on my reflecting board and it's right on that kind of white led strip behind and some of those lines are kind of pinched together.
I've got some highs created by my tool and just from that tip, creating some highs during the pushing process.
Cross-checking My Work
But what you'll see me do, I'm just moving that line board left and right a little bit so I do it with the board but also do it with my head as you're working. It's easy just to kind of rock your head side to side and start to pick up any distortion in the lines itself but also from a camera point of view. It's easier doing it to move the line board so really kind of get yourself in a good position and when it comes to cross-checking, it's not just a case of left and right.
You really are kind of just putting yourself above below the dent and from each side. I'm really kind of making sure you can pick out every little fine detail to really ensure you're getting a high-quality repair. So, it's all about getting the right angle to be able to really check your work.
Just here, I'm going to focus back from a bit of a distance showing my body position. Again. I'm moving my line board around, pushing it back just a little bit and I’m tapping down a bit more of the kind of high spots that we just saw in the reflection. I hope it shows you is my body position switching between the pushing process, the hammer, and the knock down process.
You'll see me kind of move my head back and forth at different angles but also just keep repositioning that light board, to really kind of check that you can see all the angles. Most importantly, when we come to cross-checking our work is to flip to the other sides.
So I’ve spent a lot of time working on the right-hand side of this repair. Looking back towards the rear of the car now flipping back to the left-hand side of this shot.
Focusing towards the front of the repair but also looking at my body position now, how far I’ve got my head back.
Main Damage Tap Down
I’ve now got my reflector board kind of behind the door skin. A bit further back you can see where I'm tapping is where the main kind of damage is. But I'm really kind of pushing my head a fair bit further back just to make sure I can get all the kinds of perspectives from it.
The further you have your line of vision or your head from your reflector board, the tighter that kind of reflection is going to be. Often when we start the repair, we put the line board close and our head close and really start to work out the depth as the dents reduce in size. It's important to create a bit of distance. So, I'll put the line board further back, and that in itself creates a tighter reflection of the lines which kind of just gives me a fine detail.
So when it's close up, it may look like the dents are gone but pushing the line board a bit further back, creates a new reflection. Those lines group closer together and it’s kind of like putting it in HD, I can then pick up some detail that I couldn't see while it was close. Again pushing my head back to really kind of check I've got it out from every angle.
I'll continuously check from left to right and now even just raising myself up a little bit and I'm just very slightly looking down so diagonally down on my reflecting board as opposed to just straight across.
So again, flipping back round to the other side, looking back towards the rear of the car. Again, I've got that line board set up and you can possibly just pick up some of the distortions here. There's a slight low I’m just trying to illustrate here by pointing and these are the fine details that are really important.
Again, we've got one here I've tilted my line board again at that slight kind of 45-degree angle so it just creates um that kind of another viewpoint is another perspective to really check your work. There really is no rush.
Most Important Part of the Finishing Process
The important part of the process is getting proficient at removing dents. So, this section here between my finger and thumb is the main kind of crease line, and whilst it's mostly out, you'd have difficulty seeing it without the line board. I know that it's not perfect yet so my whole kind of ethos if you like is to really focus on high-end PDR work. I want to get it to perfection where possible.
I think that really makes a huge difference in yourself taking pride in your work but also in your own reputation as a PDR technician and building up your own business. The last thing you want is the customer to just be very focused have a really good eye and spot something that you think you might have got away with.
I had this repair probably out mostly out within the first 15-20 minutes, but I’d say I probably spent another 15-20 minutes just on the finishing process. Just to really make sure it was as good as I could get it.
Now, if you wanted to, you could do some flat polishing. It didn't really require it this particular model. The Subaru has got a slight texture to the paint so I didn't want to flat polish it and create a suit a smooth spot. So keeping it within the kind of line of the paint texture is just always a good thing to help you get a high-quality repair.
Again, Cross-checking My Work
What I'm doing here, I've obviously detached the line board itself and I'm moving it around to increase your visibility on the reflection. So you're moving your head back and forth you're moving the kind of line board itself back and forth but also picking it up like this. It really helps me to just kind of catch every possible angle with my fog line with my lights with my lines and really just pick up any distortion left on the panel.
So I hope that helps in terms of what it is that I’m looking for. Again my body position is so important in this so do re-watch that and just kind of see how far I’ve got my head back from the reflection, how often I move from one side of the repair to the other, and just really kind of constantly adjusting my line board making sure I can see what it is I’m doing.
Finally, without the line board at all, just that natural kind of light that customers view you.