History of PDR Blending

The history of PDR blending, what it is and what it is not. Listen to learn more.
Could you really be your own worst enemy? Or is there a part of you that needs tamed? How can this other you become an ally?
How to keep from walking off a tough job.
Hail hack to use on large dents.

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The jeweler’s rouge in the video above was used to polish both the paintless knockdown and the hammer. Listen to the podcast above for a tip on how to it another, easier way

Jeweler’s chasing hammer
Druz Tool’s Carbon Fiber Hammer
Jack Hammer
PDR Finesse Hammer 104


“Never Binge Again” by Glenn Livingston
Rational Recovery by Jack Trimpey
Self-Discipline in 10 days: How To Go From Thinking to Doing by Theodore Bryant

Miscellaneous Ramblings:
Etymotic ER-4

Tim Olson: I mean, is there a bad guy that lives inside of us, do you think?
Derek Olson: I think there is.
Tim Olson: Welcome to everybody to The Paintless Mentor Podcast. This is episode nine. I am Tim Olson.
Derek Olson: And I am Derek Olson.
Tim Olson: Welcome, appreciate you being here with us. I’d like to remind you that we’d love for you to subscribe to us on iTunes and leave any comments or questions that you have there, as well as on our website. Recently, Derek and I are fans of music, we like to listen to it. Derek likes to play it. The Bob Dylan collection, or some of his collection of writing, song writing stuff, was sold to a guy here in Tulsa, wasn’t it?
Derek Olson: That’s right, yeah, it was the George Kaiser Foundation. He was an oil guy, so lots of money, and wanted access to all that stuff, and it turned out to be a ton of stuff, too. A lot more than anybody thought, because he worked on these songs a lot, and there were tons of revisions. That what was so interesting to me. Some of these songs, there was like 40 revisions for one song. It was one song that was never released, actually. He didn’t put all this blood sweat and tears into it, and it didn’t come to fruition.
Tim Olson: Isn’t that interesting. That’s interesting, this guy Kaiser, I think he’s the richest guy in Oklahoma maybe.
Derek Olson: Yeah, billionaire, with a B.
Tim Olson: He’s right here in Tulsa, so if you’re listening to this, Mr. Kaiser, please give us money, no. It is interesting like that, like he said, he’s not a big fan of Dylan, but he kind of wanted to bring that stuff to Oklahoma, maybe bring some coolness to us, which is nice. It is interesting though, he did all those revisions on one song, like Derek said, that song didn’t even make it on the album did it?
Derek Olson: That’s right. Was it worth it to do all that work? I think so, because I think for everybody, it’s that journey, so I’m sure he enjoyed the journey either way.
Tim Olson: That reminds me of yet another music documentary that I watched called the History of the Eagles, which we’re big Eagles fans. My wife and I, we’re really glad we got a chance to see him live twice before Glenn Frey who just died recently. Something that Glenn said in that film, History of the Eagles, was really interesting. He wound up being neighbors with Jackson Brown. Matter of fact, he took over Jackson Brown’s old spot, and then Jackson then moved upstairs or downstairs, something.
But he kept talking about how Jackson would wake him up, working on this one song. He just kept playing this one verse I guess you’d call it, over and over again. It was driving Glenn crazy, but he also realized that man, that’s what song writing’s all about. It’s the grinding it out, getting it right, over and over again. That song that he happened to be working on was one of Jackson Brown’s most famous. That was interesting to me because that’s … When he said, “I learned what songwriting was all about,” and that’s when he really started to apply himself to that discipline of really grinding it out. The same thing goes with paintless dent repair. We get better and better at it. I know Derek, you had one at the tailgate the other day that I think kind of challenged you a little bit huh?
Derek Olson: Yeah. I was off … It was a tailgate on a GMC Canyon, and it was pretty deep. It was also under the once brace in the entire tailgate, and so I just wasn’t sure, is this even gonna go? It’s interesting how you just kind of dig in and see what happens. I’ve only worked on one other Canyon, so I kind of forgot just how soft the metal was, so as I was going, it was just amazing to me how you could … Even though it was so deep, and of course I had a highlight so I could even see it, and I have to be close to it with the whale tail. Had that back panel out at the tailgate, and it was just interesting that because of the way the metal worked, I was able to push really clean and push it down, because it was really a stretched dent is what it was. It was that deep. Got it to tighten up, and it really turned out nice.
Tim Olson: I was watching it a little bit of the way through the process, and I tried not to look over your shoulder too much, but it was interesting to me where at some point, you were kind of like eh, this is not that great, and you kept working at it, and it became something great. It reminds me of a guy that worked for me years ago. It was an interesting reaction to a dent that he had done. it was kind of a big shot in the bottom of a door, but it wasn’t awful. He got it done, and it was pretty high, it pretty moundy. He said “That’s the way they are, that’s just the way they work, that’s what you wind up with,” and he was kind of a newer guy and I said well, “Is that really the best we can do? Let me see.” We went after it with a hammer, with a knockdown and a blending hammer, and it flattened out and became nice. He was like, “Wow, I didn’t know you could do that,” you know. There’s always … I say there’s always, sometimes you better walk away from it.
Derek Olson: There is that point. It’s funny too, because it ends up being like you’re really doing it for yourself, because the body shop it was for, they probably would’ve been happy … I could’ve stopped 20 minutes earlier. But for me, yeah, I just enjoy the process of can I really get this down more? The way I wanted it to, since it was a stretched dent, you know how they end up moundy oftentimes, just so they’ll stay up. That was sorta happening, so I just … It’s a lot of fun to get that light distant, and just see, can I really make this even better?
Tim Olson: Yeah, that one surprised me, not just how flat you got it, but also how firm it was. It wasn’t a … I thought it would be a weak oil can, that thing really tightened up. That is some very different metal. I was at the … Working at that factory, and seeing that metal, of course it goes through the bake cycles, and that makes it harder. But boy, when it’s raw metal, it really works kind of funny.
Derek Olson: I wanted to insert a quote I had found here from Leonard Cohen who was also a songwriter, and he said, “The cutting of the gem has to be finished before you can see whether it shines,” and so that relates to what we’ve talked about here with all these revisions and really taking it as far as you can.
Tim Olson: Yeah, because you wouldn’t think of a dent repair being a revision, but it is. It’s that going back, I know I pulled one out the other day, and there’s the customer we’ve got, he is super picky. He’s got a good eye, and he’s had some work done by other guys. I pulled it outside, and across from our shop is a nice building that provides a natural reflection. It’s a corrugated building, and so it’s pretty unforgiving. If you don’t got it right, it’ll show it up. It was like I was trying to work it out there and I pull it back in and finally get it where I can see it and work it well. But it is, it’s interesting, you know. We’re kind of our own editors and like you said, no one really sees that, there is no glory like Bob Dylan. Would you say that … I think the New York Times said that sold for …
Derek Olson: They said it was pretty worth 60,000,000, at least that’s whoever says that. They think it sold for 15 to 20,000,000, so that’s a lot of money.
Tim Olson: Sadly, our work will probably never be sold, and once it’s gone it’s gone, and that’s the way you want it to be.
Derek Olson: Interestingly, this is all the byproduct of his work, because his real work is the actual songs, and this is the byproduct of making a song.
Tim Olson: Yeah. If only … I joke with customers sometimes, they say, “Oh it’s gone, it’s like it never was there,” “Well I’ve got it over here in a bucket if you wanna see the old dent.”
Derek Olson: Maybe someday we can sell all the little pieces of glue from our glue tabs.
Tim Olson: If the before and afters were just worth something. That’s interesting. Something to learn from persistence and all that, I think, Derek, you’ve probably heard the story about the time I wrecked my very first car, but these guys never had. It’s an interesting story to me in a couple of ways, but it was a 1972 Opal GT. It was a little car that looked like a Corvette, and it had a little lever inside when you push the lever forward, it would make the headlights flip over, they didn’t lift up like a Corvette, they would flip over. My dad loved these cars, we had like seven of these Opals. A couple of them were the GT model, which one of them, he said he bought for me, but I was like 14 years old so I think he was kind of buying it for himself really. Using me as an excuse.
Because I was 14, he would take me to parking lots and teach me to drive in it, and of course, that gave him a chance to drive it, which he wanted to do. There was a kid in the neighborhood that knew I had the car, and he was kind of a bad news guy. He was the kid at school that was kind of in mischief a lot of the times, he was popular, he was a handsome guy, he was cool with the ladies, and all that. He was kind of bad news. He was real bad news in the sense of what happened to me and this car. I don’t blame him, but I blame what happened … I mean he was certainly an influence on me.
He begged me for quite awhile, “Come on man, take me for a ride in your car,” I was like, “Dude, I don’t have a license, I’m not gonna do that.” “Oh we’ll go down the street, we’ll just come around and come right back,” well he finally talked me into it. What was funny about it, it’s still funny to me today, it’s not funny. There’s a buddy of ours that lived down the street, and he had, if you can picture like a ’75 to ’77 Monte Carlo, the real long bodied car, big car. He’s out on his porch, and he’s looking, he sees me coming, and he knows I don’t have a license. He’s making this funny face, right?
I wave at him, and of course the thing happens that a kid doesn’t know about, but I see his car start to rise up, and I’m like, “That’s weird, why is car lifting off the ground?” That’s when I realized, because I was going kind of slow, but I ran right underneath just the corner of his bumper and dented the fender. Of course he’s looking, and he’s like, “What?” He comes out laughing. Didn’t do anything to his because he had a big chrome bumper, but it dented in my fender pretty good.
Unfortunately, my dad, I didn’t get to catch him. I left before he got home that night. He goes out and he tries to drive it and the headlights won’t flip over, and he’s like, “What is going on?” It was because the fender was all dented. Coming back to why that happened or at least what the influence of it was that happened, that guy was really bad for me to be around. He was a guy that was up to no good, and it wound up putting me in the no good folder there. There’s kind of a … When you think about it, I remember the cartoons we used to grow up on. They would have like the picture of the bad guy on one shoulder, and the angel on the other shoulder, right?
Derek Olson: Yeah.
Tim Olson: Is there a bad guy that lives inside of us, you think?
Derek Olson: I think there is.
Tim Olson: Yeah. We’ve recently read a couple of books that sort of apply to that. One of them is Addictive Voice Recognition Therapy by Jack Trimpey. That’s an interesting book, and it’s controversial in a way, it’s been out for awhile but, it’s controversial in the sense that he’s really, really down on 12 step programs for people who have addictions. You people that have addictions, please don’t be offended by what I say, I’m only repeating what the author Jack Trimpey says in his book. I’m not sure, because I’ve seen it work for some people, I’ve seen it not work for others.
He asked the question in a book that I find interesting, is, “Why does a guy who’s clearly addicted and clearly hit rock bottom just suddenly stop one day?” He just stops, while another guy acknowledges “Yep, I’m an addict,” and he just goes to meetings for the rest of his life and he copes with it in that way. Jack’s down on 12 step programs, but what’s interesting about the book to me is that he really kind of wants you to acknowledge that there’s another guy inside you. Kind of like that angel or bad guy on your shoulder that’s really the addictive voice is what he’s calling it.
Another book that’s written kind of in the same way, I guess, is Never Binge Again, which is a really excellent book. It takes the same kind of a thought process, but it applies it to reading. It’s Glenn Livingstone. We’ll put links to those books in the show notes. What do you think, Derek? Is there something to that?
Derek Olson: Yeah, I think there really is. Jack Trimpey talks a lot about it being the difference is the commitment to what? For 12 steps programs, I’m gonna go into that. The commitment is to a life of going to AA meetings, whereas for someone else who just gets fed up and makes this decision themselves, they commit to themselves right then and there to never again drink or whatever else they’re addicted to. That’s kind of a key difference, isn’t it? Because they just stop because of that commitment. It’s a commitment that they don’t let themselves go back on, and so really they’re quieting that voice or saying, recognizing, “Hey, this voice, I don’t like what it’s trying to get me to do, and I’m not gonna listen. I’m gonna make a choice.”
Tim Olson: Yeah, that’s interesting and you might wonder … This is a podcast about dent repair, why are we taking about this? That’s a good question, but I really think that when you’re doing a dent or you’re practicing, when you’re first learning especially it’s bad. There’s so many voices outside you that are really trying to get you to stop, really trying to tell you that you can’t do it, that you’re no good. Tell you that somebody else is better than you, tell you to focus on the competition, all the wrong things. It’s funny, I was just thinking, this thought just came to me. There are times when people that I love say things that really trigger something in me. I think, why do I go off so much? Why does that affect me so much? Well, of course it’s your family, so they probably think a lot like you. That’s at play, but also, you already kind of have that thought already. When they say it out loud, or something that sounds like that, the hackles come up.
Derek Olson: Yeah. It’s interesting that it doesn’t ever really go away, as far as like when you’re first practicing and you’re first learning dents. You’re getting through that struggle and you’re doing whatever you have to do to deal with those voices of like, “Oh man, I really chewed that one up, I don’t think I can actually do this,” but then as you get past that, so now you’re like … Say intermediate dent person, right? You’ve done it for awhile and you can do it, and you’re getting better, but you still deal with those kind of thoughts and whatever.
Tim Olson: I think it’s even … Have you ever been working a dent and it doesn’t take all your thoughts, right? It doesn’t take your whole thought process to do a dent, because you’re so good at it, right? Then suddenly, if you go to a critical thought or a negative thought about someone or even yourself, have you ever noticed your repair changing?
Derek Olson: Yes, yes I have.
Tim Olson: Yeah.
Derek Olson: Absolutely. Starts getting worse.
Tim Olson: I’ve made some of the worst mistakes. It’s … If you think about being in the flow state of doing dent repair, you really can. It’s an easy state to get into, like you do it probably playing guitar pretty well, pretty easily.
Derek Olson: Yes.
Tim Olson: Anything that engages both sides of the brain, and I think dent repair definitely does that, will put you into that state. Of course you can interrupt it with those kinds of thoughts.
Derek Olson: That’s true. Yeah, and I also read a book on self discipline that we’ll include in the show notes too. It was called Self Discipline in 10 Days, and it was really cool because it was using that same kind of idea of these voices, or that there’s multiple yous, basically. He said, “Before you start any kind of self discipline routine, your greatest obstacle is going to be Hyde,” H-Y-D-E, like Jekyll and Hyde, that old story by Robert Louis Stevenson. You’ve got the good guy and the bad guy.
We’re not saying that you have multiple personality disorder or that we do, but if you view it that way as these different selves, it does help. It’s like you’re separating the bad part of you from the good part of you. Just that in itself helps you to do better work and to do better things, and it’s good to recognize that there’s a part of you that doesn’t want self discipline. It just wants to eat potato chips and sit on the couch watching television.
In this book, he suggests that you don’t want to battle with that version of yourself, with Hyde. Instead, you wanna recruit him as a partner who supports your self discipline efforts, your goals, and to also recognize what this part of you believes, which I found really interesting. This part of you believes “If I start some kind of goal, and I start going towards it, like say, learning dents, then I will become a slave to routine, I’ll lose my freedom, I’ll lose my sense of fun, I’ll drown in a sea of responsibilities, I’ll put too much pressure on myself,” and then on the other hand, you’re thinking, “Well that’s not really what I think about my dents,” but subconsciously, you might be thinking that. It’s gonna be too much pressure or something like that. Those kind of thoughts, wherever they sit, they can cause you to wanna stop your training.
Tim Olson: That’s interesting to me, Derek. Do you think that these two … ideas, they sound a little bit different. Like one idea, we’re talking about Jack Trimpey and Glenn Livingston, thinking of it as kind of like even Glenn calls it the pig, for Never Binge Again. He’s basically saying, don’t listen to it. But this guy’s saying something kind of different to what you’re talking about, it’s saying something a little different to me.
Derek Olson: Yeah, because he’s saying you wanna work with him, and he goes through all the ways he can do that, using things like rewards and stuff like that. The other character, like the pig, you wouldn’t reward that one because it would just wanna keep going and going. I guess it is a little bit different.
Tim Olson: Maybe the thought is that … You go ahead.
Derek Olson: You know, this character, Hyde, is more … It’s kind of like it does have your best interests at heart, it wants you to be happy, and it thinks that going after these goals is actually going to make you unhappy. By helping him see that you actually will enjoy this as you get into the practice of whatever it is that you’ll actually enjoy it, you’ll have a good ride, you’ll enjoy the journey, then he won’t be so loud in telling you not to do it.
Tim Olson: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Looping it back around to dent repair, let’s say. Hyde looks only at the frustration that you feel when you try to learn something new. I’m not gonna like it, I’m not gonna enjoy this at all.
Derek Olson: Yeah, and you know, that’s what’s so funny about it is the truth is the challenge itself is what you will come to enjoy. You know, not really at first, but over time, that’s what keeps you coming back for more.
Tim Olson: You know, I guess one of the things that I really appreciate about this is you can sort of use both methods. Obviously if you’ve got an issue with something that you know you shouldn’t be doing, think about the Addictive Voice Recognition Therapy or Never Binge Again, whereas if it’s just procrastination, maybe something to look at more is there could well be many yous inside of you that are holding you back, because that’s really the … You can’t really stop somebody from outside you … You obviously don’t listen to them or whatever, but that’s almost easier to object. But when it’s you talking to you, that’s harder to reject, I would think.
Derek Olson: Yeah, it really is, because at that point, then you’re the only one stopping yourself.
Tim Olson: If you kind of think of it as that you may not have your best interests at heart all the time, or it’s somebody you could work with, I like that quite a bit, and just like I say, dent repair, it is such a middle game and it is only because it’s just so uncomfortable at first. Whether you’re trying new, even just with glue pulling, you know, here I was good at dent repair, and then glue pulling came along, it’s like man, you got to get good at that too, even though they’re sort of the same discipline, that’s something new. Probably now they’ve got the cold glue out, right, so maybe it’s something new. I don’t know if they got it to work on smaller dents, but that’s something that we’ll try that I’m sure there’ll be things to learn as that goes as well.
Derek Olson: Yeah, I might just mention these five things that this Hyde character’s always going to do, and you’ll definitely see it in your dent repair. Things like cynicism, so that’s why bother? That kind of attitude. Negativism, just a bad attitude. Just in general. Might not even be about the dents, could be about anything. Defeatism, saying well maybe it would work, but not for me, that’s defeatism. Escapism is I just wanna do anything else, something else, something more fun, which is funny thinking about that.
I’ve been doing, especially with big dents that will take hours and there’s a lot of mental toughness it takes and physical toughness, I’ve been thinking about something, so I’m pushing the dent, and I’ll think about something, and I’ll find myself walking away. Halfway across the shop, and I’m like, “Why am I just walking around?” It’s so weird. I just wanna do anything else than that dent at that moment. That’s Hyde. The other one is delayism, and I’ll do it later. That attitude creeps in too.
Tim Olson: My favorite quote about procrastination is a guy said, he said “We always think that tomorrow’s self will be better than today’s self, but the tomorrow guy is the same lazy sloth that is here today,” so you think you’re gonna be a better self tomorrow, better guy tomorrow, but there’s no way. You’re gonna be the same person you are today that you will be tomorrow. I’m like you, that’s … Sometimes you think, “I’ve got ADHD, I just can’t stick to this dent,” well truth is, you don’t want to and you’re letting that guy win. That’s understandable sometimes, and sometimes that can even be a little trick, I know a guy that … On a whole hail car, if there’s one dent giving him trouble, he walks right away from it. He’ll come back to it later, but he’s not gonna let it stop the flow.
Derek Olson: That’s a really good trick. That works well. Last week, I set my stopwatch on my watch, because I would not sit still and do … It was those F-150 doors, right on the line, those things are so tough to get out, because it’s so strong there. I had walked away a couple of times, just lost in thought, I was like, “That’s not cool, I got to fix this dent so I can do whatever else I wanna do,” so I set my … It was good too, because at the end, I could look back and like how long did that actually take me? It was like 35 minutes. It was good to know, if you actually focus, it takes half an hour.
Tim Olson: It could be a long afternoon, slow torture, or it could be a quick less than an hour deal. Interesting. You’ve probably heard of the pomodoro method, where they … Is it 33 minutes I think?
Derek Olson: Yeah, and then a break for how … Seven minutes or whatever.
Tim Olson: Yeah. I saw a guy the other day, he said … Some guys will use their computer to do that. They’ll just set their computer, and get a little timer app to run on it, but if you actually get an egg timer and just crank it up, because since they’re … While it’s running, you can actually kind of hear it winding down, so psychologically, as long as I stay working, pretty soon that thing’s gonna ding and then I can take a break and let Mr. Hyde have his fun for a moment.
Derek Olson: Yeah, that’s a great thing. Little small rewards like that definitely help.
Tim Olson: Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s cool. We’ll move on now to a little series that we’re trying to do, mistakes dent guys make, and the dent guys that I’m talking about today is actually me. Not trying new things or things that I’ve always kind of thought were sort of gospel, so I was with a trainer a couple, a few weeks ago. He was teaching people to push down on the tab when you glue pull. I’ve always said don’t do that. Leave some glue, let that glue do the work. All that.
I got a chance to try what he was saying, the black plague tabs work pretty well. The tiny ones, I’ve sort of had different success with them sticking. I got a car that had really small dents in it. It would be perfect for it as long as they were kind of sharp. As long as it would actually pull. When I went ahead and pushed down on the tab, and it made a tiny film, it did seem to actually stick better. He explained it in a way that I think’s pretty cool, he talked about the feet of a gecko. They’ve got those little micro something, I don’t know the scientific term, but they can walk on a ceiling of glass upside down because of that effect that causes it to stick.
Maybe there’s something to that with glue. Not sure, wanna keep trying. We’ll update you in the future. The other thing he said that I had kind of forgotten about is that you don’t have to pop the tab off every time, and I had kind of gotten in the habit of you know, the tab’s off, the glue’s easier to come off, but really it does take longer if you ever pull one when you don’t need to. If you’re trying to over pull one that’s a sharp dent, or something, that’s a different story. If the tabs don’t pop off, that’s okay. I save quite a bit of time by not having a super ugly high spot that needs to be really shrunk, taken down.
Derek Olson: That’s a great tip.
Tim Olson: We also, we’re trying to do a series on our podcast episodes of talking about tools, just talking about blending hammers. The first one, it’s not the first one that I found. The best one that I found, back before everybody started making them was a jeweler’s chasing hammer. I never have found one since. I really like that one, and I think it was because it wasn’t super hard steel. Most tool steel or hammer steel is pretty hard. This wasn’t super hard, it was easy to polish, and easy to keep polished, but it had a nice, round face to it. Kind of a big fat handle. I used that one for quite awhile. I’ve even polished the face of the peck hammer, a snap on peck hammer that worked pretty good. Had a slight dome to it. I liked that quite a bit. You bought me one that I really liked. It’s been my go to for awhile. That’s the Drew’s Tools carbon fiber handle. I think it’s 18 inches.
Derek Olson: It’s the 18, yeah.
Tim Olson: I like that quite a bit. Of course, you can change the tips on it. It’s a few years old, so he’s got a newer one now, but a buddy of ours tried, both of them, he bought one from Drew’s Tools and he bought one from Shane Jacks, which is the aluminum version. I got to try them both, and this is before the Shane Jacks hammer got longer, so it’s the shorter version. It’s well balanced, but I did prefer the carbon fiber over it. What are you using right now? You’ve got one.
Derek Olson: Right now, I’ve got the PDR Finesse, and it’s tool number 104, and it has … Both sides are interchangeable tips. I just have a domed … I guess actually they’re both polished tips. I’ve got one of the domed ones and then I’ve got one of the metal knockdown tips.
Tim Olson: That’s a pretty good tip, with polishing, you can buy jeweler’s rouge and all that, and you can use a progressively heavier coarser, or less coarse grains of sandpaper, but the thing that I’ve found over the years in polishing these different hammers up, you don’t actually have to have a mirror finish on it. As a matter of fact, a lot of time if you’ll take, if the last step is 2,000 grit, just dry, a lot of times that’s enough to where it won’t mark the paint. It’ll actually kind of put a shine on it, make it unnecessary to buff with … Near buff it out. Talking about a technique, that kind of leads us into the next technique that we wanna talk about, and that’s blending. I actually filmed the first blending video and didn’t know it.
Derek Olson: That’s awesome, was that the glue pull video?
Tim Olson: Well, not glue pull actually, it was the first polished hammers video in 2007. That’s how long it took me, that’s kind of a funny story because I heard about polished hammers for a number of years and hadn’t tried them until that point, and of course we filmed that. It was an Acura kick dent, so it had pretty large eyebrows on it. I actually polished that pick hammer and you know what we should do? We should let people see how we polished that pick hammer because I think that’s in that video. We’ll do that, we’ll let them see that portion of that video. Let’s see, this is episode nine, go to PDRsecrets.com/9, and you can go see that video.
Yeah, that was 2007, but like I said, it took me awhile to really kind of come around. Why I say that is because the very first time I heard about polished hammers was in ’98 in Minnesota. Let’s see, did you guys … You guys came out there with me, didn’t you?
Derek Olson: Yeah, that was a good time. I like Minnesota.
Tim Olson: How old would you have been in ’98?
Derek Olson: I was nine.
Tim Olson: Nine years old, yep. It was fun having you guys with me, we got to go to … Was it Mall of America and all that stuff? That was really cool. Your mom is the best tour guide in the whole country when it comes to taking you kids around.
Derek Olson: Yeah, we went to a lot of museum type stuff, it was cool.
Tim Olson: Yeah, it’s neat. I was working at a shop where Jurgen Holster actually did dents there. That was his account, but not necessarily for hail, just because he wasn’t really up to speed with a bunch of guys at that time to do a large account for hail. The broker that I work for got that account also because he was already in with the insurance companies, so that was another good reason. I never got to see Jurgen actually work a dent, and Jurgen’s been around for awhile. As a matter of fact, I’ll post a link to an article that came out in 1981 about him in the Minnesota papers. Kind of interesting history of dent repair there.
He was I don’t know, there’s really no best way to describe it, except for this. He basically pushes from behind and hammers on the top at the same time. He was trained by BMW, and that was the technique that they apparently used. When he left BMW, and who knows what year it was, so he would always be pushing and then hammer on top. Always some kind of a dolly like push from the back. I didn’t get to see him work, but the broker I worked for did, and he knew dent repair some, and so I said, “How was it?” He goes, “Well, it was pretty good. You could see where he hammered, but it was a neat technique to know about.”
I thought about it a lot and I noticed that he had some guys that he trained that actually had to kind of learn the more modern techniques, so that sounds kind of mean because Jurgen’s an amazing dent guy, and really a great pioneer of the business, but the only way to really describe it is like I said what we do in PDR today most of the time is this, then that, versus this and that at the same time. We’re not hammering dolly, we’re hammer then dolly, if you will, right?
Derek Olson: Yes.
Tim Olson: We’re working the top, we’re working the bottom, and it works pretty good. Because we’re still talking about really blending and polishing hammers up, that’s really what … Without polished hammers, there could be no blending. Is that a fair statement?
Derek Olson: Yeah, that’s right.
Tim Olson: Yeah. Because you can blend with a knock down some, but you’re just way too close to it, right?
Derek Olson: Yeah, you can’t really see what you need to be attacking.
Tim Olson: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Blending, I mean, talking about what it is, it’s … A lot of guys get the mis … I’ve seen some guys do this actually where they’ll just reshape a whole panel, right? And just make the rails … Kind of change, alter the appearance of that panel, but really that’s not what it is. What it is, is it’s using the tension of the panel that’s already there to work the dent out. In other words, it works the best on panels that have high tension, so there’s a trick you can do.
Next time you go out to a rail with a buddy of yours, just say here’s a panel with tension on it. Have him put his head at the end like say down by the windshield pillar, at the bottom or at the back, doesn’t matter. Then you start tapping lightly with your hammer way at the back, and that rail, if it’s a nice curved rail, it’s gonna have so much tension on it it’s probably gonna hurt his head all the way down. He’ll feel that really strong, and that’s because of that tension that exists in that panel. How do we use that to our advantage, Derek?
Derek Olson: Well, by knocking down around the dent, we can use that tension to actually blend it out, instead of having to work it from behind or glue pull it, or in conjunction with our glue pulling, even.
Tim Olson: Right. Yeah, so it is really the … I mean, think about a dent, as long as it’s not a sharp dent, it’s a small hail dent, it doesn’t really wanna be there, it wants to go back to the shape that it was, that’s one of the characteristics of sheet metal. It has a memory. If you pull a dent, and it winds up a little bit high, then you can put your light far off and you can really what we call blend the rest of it out. Even like Derek said, if you have a dent that’s not that deep and it’s barely there, chances are pretty good that you can start vibrating around it, which is really what you’re doing. If it’s gonna move, you know, you’re gonna vibrate around it and it’s gonna come out.
Think about though, pretty much every panel has tension on it. Some panels have more. A rail, for example, we used. Think about just a pick of sheet steel that you pick up off another stack of sheets, right? It hasn’t been shaped yet. Think about picking that up and how flimsy it is. There’s no tension on it whatsoever. Think about a door, and now you take that and turn that into a door skin, and so you’re gonna put some bins in it, and then you’re gonna put a 90 at the edge, and then you’re gonna fold that around. That becomes what we call the hymn. The hymn itself puts tension on the panel, so it’s kind of tugging away from the edges, and then the body lines or the style lines are also causing tension in the panel.
There might even be a crown to the panel, right? Or a bow. All those things cause tension, but even a roof, that’s why cars are somewhat almost always rounded or concave. They’re rounded in reverse, and sometimes those can be fun when they flop out on you. You’re using that tension to your advantage. Think about, there’s some places where it just doesn’t work that great. What would you say?
Derek Olson: Like on a roof, you’re not really gonna be blending out dents on a roof usually, because it’s … In fact, they corrugate roofs just so they’ll have some tension, because it’s basically a big piece of sheet steel.
Tim Olson: Yeah, without those corrugations, it would be a big drum, wouldn’t it?
Derek Olson: It would.
Tim Olson: Think about that when you use it. Like Derek said, you know, you’re just not gonna use it, large flat areas, because there’s not enough feedback really.
Derek Olson: Yeah, that’s a good word for it.
Tim Olson: Because Newton, he said equal and opposite reaction. If the opposite reaction’s not … If it spreads out over the panel or if it just creates wave after wave as it goes, if you could see it with a high speed camera. Blending really is just using the tension of the panel to take out lows. Or actually, to vibrate them. You use blending really on that tailgate you did the other day we mentioned earlier.
Derek Olson: Yeah, I did, because you know how stretched dents end up at the end. They often are mounded up high because they don’t have the strength they had. Leaving them a little bit high makes it so they’re not just falling in. Well, this one wasn’t really falling in anymore, but it just wanted to kind of stay mounted. It was black too, so on a darker color car, as you … It looks fine close up with the light on it, but as you look at it from farther away, you’re like, wow, it still is high even after all this. You know, that’s what it took was getting a really far off light to be able to attack that and bring that mountedness as flat as I could get it.
Tim Olson: Okay, so that’s interesting to me. Now, answer this for me. Where did that metal go?
Derek Olson: Hm.
Tim Olson: It was mounted before, now it’s not, so where is that metal?
Derek Olson: I guess it expanded outward?
Tim Olson: Yeah, I mean I guess what you think about is really what you did is shrink it. You brought, with every little tap, it’s causing vibration.
Derek Olson: Yes, so that’s interesting. I didn’t even … I’m glad you asked that. I didn’t even think about that as I was doing it. I just wanted it to flatten out, but it’s kind of like what you’re doing from the backside of it when you’re pushing it. I just, I was doing it from the top with a knockdown.
Tim Olson: Yeah, that’s a really good thing to remember because everything we do is shrinking. Right, that’s because every dent is stretched, right?
Derek Olson: Yes.
Tim Olson: If you think about a crystalline structure that is metal, they’re moved apart, they’re low, the low moves those things apart because the number of grains, the number of molecules, the number of crystals didn’t change, they just moved apart. Now that you’ve worked that to a mound, basically just needed to be shrunk back down. We always shrink with vibration. If you got one, it’s an interesting to me because I nerd out sometimes about this stuff, but if you get one that’s an oil can that is really, really overstretched, and the crystals are now broken, you can bring them back. You can recrystallize the metal, but with heat.
But think about heat for a second, it’s really just vibration, isn’t it? It’s another form of, because of its effect on that metal. Half the melting point recrystallizes the metal, and that’s actually what they call a heat shrink. Blending works because of that pretension, so think about that next time you do one. Set your light low and try working around a low that’s not super pronounced and really got a lot of … You know. See if you can’t blend out, or even one that’s mounded. Think about it as blending as what you’re doing there, but think of it as shrinking every time, and that’ll cause you to really see things different.
I wanted to wrap it up, it was kind of funny. This is a funny story to me. Only because I went thorough it, it was ridiculous. We worked a hailstorm in Dallas in 2003, and it was hot, I mean hot. It was just about the time when MP3 players were like, whoa, MP3 players, right? Now everybody’s got one on their phone, no big deal, but we were working in this body shop, and they had … In fact, they had over 500 cars damaged on the lot because of this hailstorm. It was a big storm, and so they had a lot of phone calls to make, right?
They were just hiring body men left and right. Some of them weren’t really equipped, so there was one guy that was … He was working on a truck bed, where he should’ve been using a dye grinder or a drill bit to drill out spotwelds, all he had was an air chisel. It was hours and hours of air chiseling on this bed, and it was resonating through this concrete shop like crazy. It was at that time, I was like, “I’m going on a quest. I’m gonna find some in-ear headphones that will also block noise,” right? Of course when you start looking for that you find it, and then find out it’s also kind of expensive. We found one that’s an Etymotic that we like quite a bit that it’s a wire headphone, and I like em so much that I wound up getting the guys that’ll go to concerts that actually get the ear molds, the performers. I had some of those made. It’s funny, you ever go on a tool quest?
Derek Olson: Oh yeah, absolutely. You do a lot of research, and then you finally buy stuff, and then you think, “Man, I should’ve got the other one.”
Tim Olson: Yeah.
Derek Olson: It becomes a long journey.
Tim Olson: I think about that watching some of these guys with their tool cars and everything, I see the TDN tool cart is a very popular nice cart, but I see also guys that have had them, “I’ve had this one for four years, I’m selling it, I’m getting rid of it, I wanna try something else,” so there’s a lesson there a little bit actually. That your customer can kind of get tired of you, they can get tired of your product.
Tide laundry detergent knows that in the United States, because they did a survey, it’s like “We’re getting good sales, but then they drop off. Why do we have a sudden drop off in seven years, or what looks like a sudden drop off?” What they realized was the housewife was just getting bored with their product. It’s about that time that they said you know what? We’ll just knock ourselves off. Some of the products that you see are actually also made by Proctor and Gamble, but they’re not Tide. They’re gonna get you one way or the other. But you don’t want your customers to ever get bored with you, so think about that. Think about ways that you can be new to them and keep yourself in front of them. I think that is about all for this episode, Derek, unless you’ve got something you add to it.
Derek Olson: No, that was great.
Tim Olson: Well I appreciate everybody being here. Just a reminder that we’ve got a couple of cool things for you at PDRsecrets.com/9, as well as the show notes. We thank you for listening, and please again, subscribe and comment or question please at our website or at iTunes.com
Derek Olson: See you next time.
Tim Olson: We’ll see you on the next episode.

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