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Old 09-03-2018, 04:59 PM
John Buchtenkirch John Buchtenkirch is offline
MetalShaper of the Month October 2012
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Glen Cove, Long Island
Posts: 1,563

Guys who didn’t come up thru the auto body trade may not agree with this but after you block out plastic (Bondo) on auto body panels for a year or two you end up with a fairly advanced understanding of panel flow and how to feel (with your hand) for surface irregularities that the general population just doesn’t have. Some collision shop workers become very good at it while others fall to the wayside or end up working on taxi cabs, they just don’t have a very good feel for it.

Some hints. When you run your hand over a panel you want to focus on irregularities passing under the flat of your hand, not on the texture of the metal on your fingertips. Because of that some guys prefer a thin rag under their hand, I just keep very light pressure on my fingertips but sometimes regret not mastering the rag trick when I occasionally cut my hand. If you feel a problem area you are not sure of run your hand over it in different directions. As crazy as this sounds sometimes it helps to close your eyes so you are focusing only on your feel. I dust coat panels with quick drying Krylon primmer and then sand or file them very lightly to highlight highs & lows…….. you really only want to remove the primer, not the metal. I prefer a somewhat dull Vixen file for this work, a sharp one will tend to hook & cut off metal especially with aluminum. That’s all I can think of at the moment……….. gotta go cook for mom . ~ John Buchtenkirch
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