The 3 most neglected tools in a bodyshop.

In this
post I would like to turn your attention to 3 tools, which almost every auto
body repair shop owns and at the same time ignores their existence. Everyone
knows that by investing in this equipment you will be able to improve overall
paint quality, save time and money. This is the reason why you bought them in
the first place. However, for some mysterious reason nobody bothers to use nor
properly maintain them. So what are these tools? Well, from my countless visits
to collision repair places all over the world, I have noticed that infrared
drying lamps, dust extracting units and primer/filler guns are either in very
poor working condition, collecting dust in some corner or do not  exist at all.


Infrared drying lamps

Infrared Heater Lamp1Infrared
technology has been adopted by auto body repair professionals for a long time
now. The vast majority of infrared curing units is using short-wave infrared
lamps to speed up the drying process of putties, fillers, primers, basecoats
and clearcoats. There is a great variety of designs, models and brands, which
supply high quality infrared lamps stations.

The major advantages of infrared curing system

significantly the drying times of all painting materials

need to use spray booth for smaller jobs

savings on energy bills

of infrared lamps allows more efficient exploitation of bodyshop space.


Despite the
obvious advantages of using infrared lamps for curing car painting materials, a
lot of car painters use infrared lamps like hangers. Often the major reason for
this is the fact that a spare lamp must be ordered to replace the burnt one. In
fact, there is no good reason to avoid using infrared technology in any
collision repair shop, so…plug in your lamp and speed up your work times!


Vacuum dust extractors

Dust extractor

neglected piece of bodyshop equipment is vacuum dust extractor, which is
supposed to be connected with power or air sanding machines.

The major advantages of using vacuum dust
extractors are:

environment, professional and clean state of the working place

health conditions, therefore less money spent on breathing protection

quality of prep jobs (less paint defects, like dust inclusions or sanding

increase of abrasives’ life time (abrasives are not loaded up and perform much

on cleaning materials like tack rags


When I ask
bodyshop managers why they do not connect their sanding machines with vacuum
cleaner, they usually shrug their shoulders. Not working, filters must be
replaced, or lack of disposable bags…

Pri gun
Primer/filler spray guns

Well, this
one frustrates me the most. How is it possible for a professional sprayer not
to have a gun which is solely dedicated to primers and sealers?

Primer guns
and how you apply your primer is as important as your paint gun. Primer
(sealer) is also “paint”, thus it must be treated as well as the top coats. If
your primer is rough, then your base coat and clear coat will map it. Period!

The main advantages of having a proper primer

saving for sanding rough surfaces

in materials (good spray gun for primer will certainly decrease materials

and controllable primer thickness will help to avoid many paint defects afterwards


I have seen
a lot of painters using cheap low-quality spray guns to apply their primers. Some
chose to use “ancient” top-coat guns to spray sealers, although these should
have been thrown away ages ago. They are fooling themselves that this is the
way to save money. Also I hear a lot the excuse: “I will sand my primer anyway”.
Well, I believe it is a foundation of car body paint job, to keep all painting
layers controlled and measured.


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