Have an idea for a PDR Light? Great! Please share it with the world. Better yet, build it, sell it and make lots of money.
No really you should.
But tread carefully, for it appears paintless dent repair tool innovation has sunk to the level of litigation.
Could you be sued for your innovative idea? Maybe. At the least, you can expect a cease and desist letter.
On one side of the court is James Lee and Elimadent, who holds a patent on mobile pdr lighting.
The other corner is filled with those who copy (or appear to) the designs of Elimadent.
But is that all there is there is to the story? What are we missing?
Only all the history of LED based PDR lights which dates back to at least 2009.
This episode will highlight some key factors in the patent fight, and why we are against patents in general.
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“I invented nothing new, I simply assembled into a car the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work, and the discoveries of still other men who preceded them. Had I worked fifty or even ten or even five years before I would have failed. So it is with every new thing. Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready, and then it is inevitable. To teach that a comparatively few men are responsible for the great forward steps of mankind is the worst sort of nonsense.” –
Is the T-Hotbox a viable tool for paintless dent repair, or is it all just wisps of smoke?
Drew Lechtenberg of druztoolz.com tells us why it is becoming a must have on the tool cart of the best hail and dent techs.
Is it really possible to cut your glue pulling time in half? Can you skip the alcohol and still get a good pull?
Charlie Sanders, owner of DentGlue.com shares tips on glue pulling and his approach to the PDR Business
how to leverage your best customers assets
Charlie’s ideas on the future of the Paintless dent business
The funniest paintless dent repair commercial I’ve seen yet. This is from European paintless tool company Exeltools.
The handle design looks super comfortable for the hand, but looks to stick up a bit too high on top. Said handles look a bit like a golf club head, so the video is spot on.
These guys put on a great display, and you can get some ideas for marketing your own paintless dent business.
The video starts at the promo, but if you speak French, you can view the full video on the Exeltools website.
When doing PDR on door dings or hail, sometimes you need to prop the door open. Maybe you’ve taken the door panel off, or you are using a drain hole underneath. Perhaps you’re using an old car for PDR training and manufactured an access in the door frame. You want the door locked in place. The Door Jammer from B and D tools is not the first on the market. But it is by far the tightest. You can prop the door open with any old stick and a bungee cord, but if the door moves on you? Just more frustration you don’t need. I’ve used a jammer from Steck for many years, but it moves. Not much, mind you, but enough to irritate me. Top of this, it won’t work in many doors. The Door Jammer from B and D has a threaded design to pull the door tight and work on even the strangest door and striker combos. (even Mercedes!) Yes, this tool does cost twice as much, but its also machined aluminum, not stamped steel. Worth it to me to be frustration free.
It was a big hailstorm with lots of cars. Most were paintless repair candidates, but many would need glue pulling dent repair too.
Made me so glad I cut the electric cord and now use a 12 volt glue gun. Having the tray right there nearby is a huge time saver.
The battery weight in the bottom tray makes the glue cart really stable too.
With so much work, we spent many days working late into the night.
I arrived early one morning, and to my horror, I had left the paintless glue gun connected to the battery all night.
It was still warm, but barely. So I took the battery over to the automatic charger, and it wouldn’t even charge it.
Just a light saying “no connection”. What?
Grab the voltmeter, battery is at 3 volts. Not good.
The only option I have now is putting it on the old school car charger on trickle. This brought it back up to 11 volts after a few hours. Now the auto charger could “see” it as a battery. I leave it connected a few hours to top it back off.
But that battery will never be the same. I know it. I’ve seen it before.
Running it down to such a low voltage makes the plates dirty inside and changes its internal resistance. Which is a techie way of saying “it won’t hold a charge as long as before.”
Not to mention the effect a 3 volt power source has on a 12 volt tool.
I told you in this article what an expert told me to make batteries last longer.
Since then, I’ve been on a quest to find a system to protect me from myself, to save my batteries from my forgetfulness.
The evolution of battery protectors
First, we tried these “Volt Minders” (no longer available). They have an alarm and a constant voltage read out, but consume very little power on their own. The voltage alarm is adjustable, and does indeed tell me when to change them.
Trouble is, an alarm is only good when someone is around to hear it. You need something to disconnect when you forget to.
So the next step was a trip to the Recreational Vehicle supply for a Battery Protector (T3). This device was made to keep enough juice in your RV’s batteries to start it the next day. It has a cutoff around 12 volts, which seems high, but remember, chargers and batteries rated at 12 really charge and run for a time at 13.8 volts. But I knew I could take batteries down to 11 or so safely and this would buy some time between changes. Trouble is, these RV style protectors are not adjustable. They also will cut you off without warning, unless you hear the click of the relay opening. Then I found this protector, the Sure Power Low Voltage switch. Though preset at factory, these have a potentiometer (like a volume adjuster) you can turn with a screwdriver and set the voltage to cut off where you want. It has the alarm, too, but even better, it also gives a warning tone to let you know its about to cut you off.
This keeps you from walking over to a cold glue gun.
At a minimum, I would recommend having one on your glue gun. But if you’re using smaller batteries, ideally you want one for each light too.
If you have multiple items on battery power as we do, the price can add up. The RV battery protector is at $80 and the adjustable SurePower is at $60 or more new.
Which is why I was happy to find them used for such a good price $10. I picked up 4 and all work well.
These are meant to go between the battery and the tool, so they do require some extra wiring, but worth it for peace of mind.
If you want to add another wire, there is even an override which will make it run for a few minutes longer. You could also just wire around it for short periods if you ever need to.
Since being cordless adds so much to the bottom line in paintless dent repair, I consider batteries one of the most important paintless tools in my kit.
Making them last long as possible just makes good sense.