Every now and again we come across a dent that somebody has tried to fix themselves. Now, this was the case with my customer and his Vauxhall Astra. As you can see he's had a go unfortunately made quite a mess of his panel and as I use my line board to kind of highlight the highs and lows, we can see we've got all sorts of distortion across this panel, there's stretch marks, there's high spots, low spots. Ultimately it's a real mess and I've got to try and figure out how to fix this dent and get the best results I can.
I'm gonna talk you through what it is that I did to rectify this damage. And also during the repair process, the panel began to oil cam. Now that's when the metal stretches and pops in and out. So I'm gonna walk you through the process of how I rectified this damage.
So first off I'm going to get rid of all of the high spots that I can. So with my line board set up at this angle we can see we have a high spot here across this top edge, everywhere where these lines pinched together. So just here here, these long scrape lines that run through the panel, which I would assume is where the customer has slipped with a tool and then once I've taken out the highest from that angle, I repositioned my line board and repeat that process and then again going to take all of the highs out that I can from the next angle, flip my board around to the other side.
So I'm now working towards the front of the car and take out all of the high damage that I can from this particular angle. So that's the first thing I want to do. I want to try and reverse some of those pushes that my customer did. He created a lot of high spots in the panel. So it's my job now to take out those high spots. And what that's gonna do is release some of the kind of false attention that shouldn't be there. But also it's getting me back to the original damage so I can have a look at what it is I'm working with now, as with most things PDR related, it's a game of patience.
So right now I've got my small root beer tap down and a hammer. And I'm gently just going around picking out the obvious high spots that I can so where those reflected lines pinched together, that's the area that I'm now tapping.
I'm tapping it down until those reflected lines start to pull apart and come back into a more natural position and then I'll continue that process, removing those highs and as we take a look with the lime board you can see I've massively reduced the amount of high spots and tensions that are in there so I can now start to work on some of the lows.
With the rear lamp removed, I've got good access going through this hole, it gets me right to the back of the dent. So now I'm going to take a look at tool selection. Now there's a few different tools I have in mind for this particular repair. First up I have this small kind of brace flag tool now it's really good easy to use but unfortunately it doesn't quite have the right reach the right angle and as you can see the tool is spinning all the way around without really letting me apply any pressure to the back of the dent.
So next up I have a very similar tool that's a little bit longer, The angle on the reach is longer and so is the bar. Now again, this gets me straight to the back of the dent and by twisting it, I can touch the back of the damage. So this could be a really good contender. However, with that longer about I do have a certain amount of flex in there, I'm gonna run through just a couple more of my other options.
So next up is the short dough bar. Now this are referred to as a hockey stick style tool, it's really strong bar and with the extra reach with that curved tip, I can not only get to the back of the dent, but I've actually got some really good leverage as I start twisting the handle so so far this is my kind of best contender but I still have one more tool to try. Now it's the same style as this particular bar, but it's the longer version.
So the good thing about the longer version is that I can open my body up a bit more when I'm using it so perhaps a little bit more comfortable. I can put a bit more force with my right arm onto the bar but again with that longer bar it has just got a little bit more flex, a little bit more bend when I apply the pressure, but I can definitely get some good reach on this so it might help me during those later stages but for now I'm gonna stick with the shorter version of my hockey stick style door bar.
But before I start pushing any of this damage out, I'm going to wrap a few layers of tape around the tip, More tool. This will create a bit of a damper, allow me some softer pushing to reduce the chances of creating some nasty high spots
So I start with just some gentle pushing, you can see just down at the bottom of this shot just here. I'm just starting to get my tip in, gently apply some pressure and begin lifting out the lows.
Now as I speed up this section of the video, you can kind of see the shape of the panel changing as I moved my tool around, readjust my line board. But effectively just as I was tapping down the individual high spots, I'm now trying to pick out some of the individual lows. Now I'm working around the outside of the damage area, slowly working my way in. This is to allow me to get a good reading on the shape of the panel, start to get the outer edges reading true and bring me in towards one specific low spot in the center and again by speeding it up. It really kind of shows you my tool position working around the dent gently, my working my way in. Now this process does of course create some more high spots.
So there's gonna be a lot of back and forth between lifting out some of the lows, tapping down the highs that are created during that process. Then switching to tap down those highs to then begin working on the lows. So there's a lot of back and forth in the process and it does require a lot of patients and also a lot of accuracy with your tap down and you're pushing.
So now having another assessment on the panel, you can see I've began to clean up the area. It's by no means clean. It's still very messy but it at least is starting to make a little bit more sense to me, so I'm just trying to work on getting the overall panel back into the right shape, switching between the pushing of the lows, tapping down the highs and I'll be doing this from both angles, front to back, top to bottom to really give me a good kind of cross check and reference point throughout the repair process.
So I've got my right hand on the bar as I'm right handed, but I've got my left hand just give me some support. So I've just got it in between my fingers and my thumb. Just allow me some really fine adjustments to get exactly where I want that tip to be. So, by adjusting the bar through my fingers, I've got some really good stability to really allow me to get accurate with my pushing and pick out some of these lows you can really see from this angle as those reflected lines pinched together. I'm just picking out those lows as many as I can from this angle, repeatedly moving and adjusting my line board to give me a new reflection and continuing that same process.
So I continue on picking out the lows as I speed up this process, you can really see the location and the movement of my tool tip working across the whole repair area and from this angle I've started from the right, gradually straighten up the metal as I work towards the left and at this point the repair began to get a little bit more challenging.
So as I said at the start, my customer decided to have a go at repairing extent himself. To be honest, he's mostly pushing blind from the inside in the hope that the outside dent will look better at the end of the process. The problem is without the correct tools and the correct training on how to start to move metal, you can easily make damage worse.
So the metal began to be stretched in the industry, we can refer to this as oil canning, so you can look at these lines as they pinch together and then as I press in here, you can see a big low spot and then when I tap to the left, it pops back out again. So when that damage starts to pop in and pop out, that's usually an indicator that the metal is stretched. Now there are a few different methods, tools, techniques to shrink the metal and I go through this in a full tutorial available at learnpdronline.com
So to find out more about shrinking metal, working with stretched damage and the different tools techniques involved to really start living up this repair. Come and check us out online at learnpdronline.com and have a chat with me and we can see how we can get you started in the PDR industry.
So now that I've added some strength and stability back into the panel, it's really starting to take shape. It no longer pops in and out as I'm working and I'll be able to take some of that tension, some of the excess metal from the middle and gradually start pushing out towards the sides, adding strength stability into that repair area.
So I can now continue on with the repair process. So I'm gonna switch up and do a little bit of blending. Now I've got a blending tip on this particular blending hammer and I'm working around my damage area, gradually blending out the repair area into the existing texture of the panel and paint work.
Now there are a lot of different blending tips, blending hammers tools and blending techniques available to choose from in PDR. And again, this is something that I teach within our online training platform.
So as we draw towards these kind of finishing stages, I'm now doing what I refer to as fine tuning. So the overall shapes back, there's no obvious highs and lows but as we take a close look, we can see some of the micro highs, some of the microbes that are left within the finishing stages.
So I've now working with the metal tip of the tool, I've taken the tape off and this allows me a little bit more accuracy and precision and are moving less metal in a smaller area. With each particular push, this really allows me to pick out the micro lows without moving too much metal. And just as before with the back and forth process of lifting the lows, tapping down the highs. I'm now doing that but on a much finer level.
So picking out the micro lows, tapping down the micro highs but also a combination of blending across the repair area and across the entire panel just to give me a really nice shape and blend out that stretched metal as best possible into the repair area. So overall I was pleased with how this particular repair came out.
Now I hope within this video I've been able to share with you my tools, my techniques and my process for rectifying this D. I. Y. Attempt at painless dent removal as always. You can visit learnpdronline.com for more of this. Thank You!