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Paint Thickness gauge, worth buying? #4436876
06/20/17 02:59 PM
06/20/17 02:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,970
MTL, CANADA
Rolla07 Offline OP
Rolla07  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,970
MTL, CANADA
Hi all, I am considering the purchase of a paint thickness gauge. I would like to buy one for my weekend detailing and the future possibility of doing weekend detailing as a side gig. I want to try one on my own car prior to using a rotary, which I would also be looking into purchasing. For those who have experience in detailing, is this something that would be beneficial? I would like to ensure the paint thickness is of reasonable thickness prior to using a rotary for defect removal. Any recommendations for both a paint thickness gauge or rotary would be appreciated. I have been looking at the Eray
Sunray Digital Paint Coating Thickness Gauge Meter on Amazon and the DeWalt DWP849X. Thanks!

Last edited by Rolla07; 06/20/17 02:59 PM.

2007 Corolla Red Pearl 155k miles
PP 0w20 & ST 4967

Re: Paint Thickness gauge, worth buying? [Re: Rolla07] #4436879
06/20/17 03:01 PM
06/20/17 03:01 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,231
Where the wind comes sweepin'
Reddy45 Offline
Reddy45  Offline
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,231
Where the wind comes sweepin'
Worth having if you will be detailing cars with very old or non-factory paint. But if the bulk of your clients are buying Hondas, Chevys, Toyotas from the last 10 years then most will have more than enough paint thickness for it to not be an issue.

Carry good liability insurance!

Re: Paint Thickness gauge, worth buying? [Re: Rolla07] #4436912
06/20/17 03:50 PM
06/20/17 03:50 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,947
Ohio
L_Sludger Offline
L_Sludger  Offline
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,947
Ohio
I've known of car flippers who use the gauge to see if a car has been repainted in its past.


too many cars and oil combinations to list in 150 characters or less
Re: Paint Thickness gauge, worth buying? [Re: Rolla07] #4436945
06/20/17 04:14 PM
06/20/17 04:14 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,941
Connecticut
69GTX Online content
69GTX  Online Content
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,941
Connecticut
I've used the very simple Year One Spot Rot "gauge" which at the time cost me $6-$8. It's helped me identify original paint vs. repaints/excess bondo on 1960's and 1970's cars. Even used it on an inspection of a 2000 Camaro SS at my local dealership...and found that the right quarter panel had been repainted. You could easily make your own for a few bucks, or just buy a thin, flat refrig magnet. My Year One Spot Rot gauge has probably saved me hundreds of dollars over the years....and $thousands for other people when I checked out their cars for them. It gives out readings from 0 to 10 based on how well and long the paint allows the magnet to adhere. 8-10 is usually indicative of orig paint. 4-7 typical of repaints or thick new paints. And anything lower is multiple issues though usually too much bondo used. I've always gotten readings of 8 or higher on original/un-messed with factory paints.


----------------

2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs
Re: Paint Thickness gauge, worth buying? [Re: Rolla07] #4436961
06/20/17 04:39 PM
06/20/17 04:39 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,825
Taiwan
Ducked Offline
Ducked  Offline
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,825
Taiwan
I'd never heard of this before, (and I suppose I don't much care if I never do again) but I did a quick Google out of curiosity.

Amazon have an electric (electronic?) version for "only" 80US

https://www.amazon.com/Filler-Detective-Autobody-Damage-Detector/dp/B004R26JJ8

Re: Paint Thickness gauge, worth buying? [Re: Rolla07] #4436966
06/20/17 04:43 PM
06/20/17 04:43 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 20,580
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Trav Offline
Trav  Offline
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 20,580
MA, Mittelfranken.de
They work well but there is an issue with these gauges. If the car or panel has be repainted it will give you a false reading. You have the OE e coat, primer, base and clear but if the panel has been repaired and the OE paint scuffed it will have additional sealer, primer, base/clear on top of that and you have no way to tell how thick that is.

Personally I hate buffing cars other than initial color sanding and orange peel removal, I have seen paint detailed to death where the primer or base coat was showing. When painting I usually put an extra thin coat of clear on just to sand and buff away but after that your into the real base coat and it only gets thinner.
If the scratch cant be removed with just a light finishing polishing compound I just leave it and consider it a battle scar rather than hitting it with a full on rubbing compound.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Paint Thickness gauge, worth buying? [Re: Rolla07] #4437125
06/20/17 08:24 PM
06/20/17 08:24 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,684
'murica
Ethan1 Offline
Ethan1  Offline
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,684
'murica
A very nice Pro Gauge II is $60 but it doesn't tell you squat in regards to the thickness of the clearcoat, which is the only thing that matters. Like Trav said, some cars have been detailed to death. They will burn through as soon as you touch them.

Re: Paint Thickness gauge, worth buying? [Re: Rolla07] #4437506
06/21/17 10:11 AM
06/21/17 10:11 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 2,966
North TX
RTexasF Offline
RTexasF  Offline
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 2,966
North TX
Starting off with a rotary polisher can be risky if you don't have experience. If you're going that route then a paint gauge is a must. This is a good one for the money:

http://www.paintmeter.com/HighLine-Meter-Paint-Thickness-Gauge-1.html


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