Well Paul’s PDR training went very well. I had been updating my blog while I was training him but unfortunately didn’t have much time to keep up so I am finishing my post since then. Paul had done four PDR retail jobs. He is did 90% of the work. From start to finish. Where I step in is helping him identify the last tiny details. We spend anywhere from 2-4 hours on each job as well.
Yesterday I took him on his first retail job on a black Chevy Tahoe. It was a decent size door ding on the rear door. The challenge though was the ding was located half way on a brace and half off. Fortunately, we practiced on this situation at the shop. Paul knew what he had to do once he determined the best tool for the job.
Paul’s skills are becoming more polished every day and learns quickly. Patience is the biggest asset he has. I’m sure you hear me mentioning that a lot about other students but its true. PDR is hard because it pushes a PDR student’s concentration to their limit. We spent a couple hours pin pointing, tapping down and pushing over and over again until he got it right.
When we went back to the shop, there was a Subaru STI waiting for us. It had a nice crease going across the body line in rear the quarter panel.
Paul had to be very careful not to pock up the metal. I stress “keep it clean” often because there is no excuse for pocked up paint. Reading the reflection correctly with accurate pushes is a successful recipe for clean repairs. I advise my students to protect their tool tip when they are starting a dent. This allowed them to create big contact against the dent without creating unwanted push marks.
I had Paul use a blade tip tool (protected with plastic cap) and push from top of the body line towards center. At certain times, Paul needed to tap down the crowns to release pressure as well. The challenge Paul had during this repair was how hard he needed to push with leverage he never felt before. Showing on video you can learn a lot but what is missing is the physical feel and aspect. It’s a combination of technique, patience, leverage and eye-hand coordination. You must be 100% aware of these small details when performing PDR. I’m here to help him and my future PDR students to develop their skills into a natural habit. Where is becomes second nature and later he won’t think about it. That’s how a good PDR technician becomes faster without making mistakes.
By the time you read this, Paul has already been home for four weeks now back in England. The biggest challenge I see for Paul isn’t going to be his lack of experience but the weather in England. Paul seems to have the drive to create opportunity and a witty attitude like most Englishmen I have met and trained in the past. As always, I will stay good friends with Paul and my past students and help them on their way to become and stay successful.