Part one in a series devoted to assisting PDR Technicians just starting out or improving upon their skills in the fine art of Paintless Dent Repair
Paintless Dent Repair is an art. To be a master of any art, one must practice, but equally important, one must practice correct techniques. Focus on the PDR process as a true art; treat it as such, and after dedication and application of the proper techniques which you learned in training you will soon be able to demonstrate how to craft metal in ways others simply cannot.
Reading the reflection properly
This is one of the most misunderstood topics with
PDR. How to get a good read on the dent and locate a tool quickly and accurately. This topic is very extensive, but lets cover a couple of basics;
1) When locating your tool tip, start with your reading instrument(light/board/etc) approximately equal distance length and width from the dent,(triangle) with about 24" distance from the light to the dent.
Depending on the depth of the dent (sharp=closer proximity, soft=farther proximity) observe the reflection and be sure you get a crisp, clear reflection.
Here is an example of a good read. The picture is subtle, but you want to fill the depressed area full of reflected light, but also be able to see distinct orange peel features of the paint
surface. These pictures will look similar, but to an experienced tech you will notice the light fills the dent area better in
picture #1 than in picture #2.
Here is one example of a sub-standard read.
If you are having trouble locating your tip, try the following:
1) Vary your light angle. This is not the distance, but the degree to which the bulb and background are facing the dent. Sometimes a slight adjustment to the angle will make a huge difference in the read.
2) Vary the distance. Never make big changes here. Subtle ones work best.
3) Be sure you are not getting glare directly into the panel. When working outside use a shade board to keep any glare from impeding the reflection.
4) Remember-PDR is a process that is dependant on reflections. You are blind without them and the process will not yield good results unless you can adequately find your tool tip.
Check back soon for more technical assistance. We welcome any calls or inquiries you may have as well. Call us today!