Prevent Committing These PDR Mistakes

Welcome to Learn PDR Online. In today's video we're going over the top 7 mistakes that all dent repair technicians will make.

1. Beginners and Large Dents

Number 1 on the list is starting with too large a dent. For training, particularly if you're a complete novice and beginner, you need to be starting on a very small dent literally perhaps five mil across a small dimple in a panel.

The mistake a lot of trainees make will be to pit a large dent in or even some trainers will set up a bonnet panel with considerably large dents, kind of golf ball size tennis ball sized dents to start with.

What we're looking to do is have a small little dimple in a panel and be able to take it out 100 percent successfully and then once we are at that level we can then move on to slightly larger dents and panels where I stretch the metal. 

To start with. I will take your knockdown and hammer and pit in a small dent. It might take a bit of force with a hammer for such a small tip but what this will give you is a very small dent to start working with.

2. The Line Reflector Board's Setup

Number 2 on the list is setting up your line reflector board. It's very important to have the right light particularly if we're using the line reflector board shown here as opposed to light and setups which will cover later on which are more typically used inside in body shops.

So having your line reflector board where possible you would need the light behind you so that it reflects on to the board or puts light onto the board so reflect onto to the panel and give you a nice clean crisp image to work with.

You would normally have the lineboard set up on the opposite side of the dent you work in so you have a board, the dent, and yourself and try and get as much light as possible onto that board to give you a nice clear bright reflection.

3. Going Straight For The Dent's Centre

Number 3 on the list is to avoid going straight for the centre of the dents. It seemed logical when you have a dent that you would push straight to the middle to lift the hold ends up. But what this will do is just push the center it up leaving you with low spots either side.

So we always start from the outside in, working around in either clockwise or anticlockwise position until the dent is smaller. Or from left to right top to bottom again progressing until the dent become smaller and smaller and smaller. So avoid going straight for the center of the dent to try and push that up.

4. Not Going For Comfort First

Number 4 is to get comfortable. Now it may seem logical or perhaps common sense but the amount of times I see trainees or even dent technicians in really awkward positions upside down kind of balancing, trying to get leverage and take the dents out. 

It's not always easy to get perfectly set up for every dent but particularly in training on a open panel like this it's very important to get the posture right and get comfortable.

You can use a stool or a step or small chair to set yourself up, you've got your lineboard, your panel, your dent tools and just ensure that you're comfortable enough to work on the panel without putting too much strain on your back bending over and not putting too much pressure on the shoulder, arms, elbows in trying to get the dent out. 

So posture and getting comfortable is very important to avoid getting burnt out in the process and obviously avoid issues with bad back and strained muscles.

5. Improper Pressure Control

Number 5 on the list is not to push too hard. It's very tempting to get behind the dent with the tool and it's very easy to just push it too hard straightaway.

What that will do is create a high spot and stretch the metal or worst case scenario it will break the paint. Paintwork can be quite brittle so applying too much force and too quickly will crack the paint which then makes it not repairable with paintless dent repair.

So generally start pushing the dent out and work yourself up or work it up to apply more pressure. Do not go straight in and put all the pressure on there which is why it's key in ensuring that the tip of your tool is in the right place so you're not looking at a dent over here.

Putting all the pressure in and not realizing that you're creating a high spot over here and not where you should be.

6. Improper Leverage

Mistake number 6 is all to do with leverage particularly with a S hook and ring setup. So we have our bar and we have it going through the ring. You'll find if you're trying to push a dent within this position, it's going to be very difficult and you've got a lot of movement making it difficult to get a precise movement and accuracy.

So try it in different positions if you have the leverage point here, you need a lot less pressure and pushing up the dent and you will find that sweet spot in the middle where you have the best leverage so you're not putting too much pressure into your arms and shoulders but also it's a lot easier to have accuracy in doing fine adjustments and movements on the panel so ensuring you have the correct leverage is key.

7. Never Checking Your Work In Different Angles

Number 7 on the list is to cross check your work. Now it's very easy particularly with a line board to take a dent out and have it look like it's perfect from one position.

You pack your tools up, thinking you got the job done but when you look at the dent from a different point you can still see it whether it be a little bit of highspot or that some of the dents are still there.

So by cross checking your work you can make sure you taken it out from every angle and you can't cross-check it too many times. So check it from pretty much every single angle and without the lineboard with the naked eye just to ensure that you've got the dent fully out of the panel.

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