3 Car Sanding Tips for Students in Auto Body Repair Courses

auto body technician careers

Auto body repair technicians are responsible for making sure that the body of their client’s vehicle is in tip top shape. Typically, technicians will see vehicle damage caused by car accidents and other unfortunate incidents like runaway shopping carts, weather, or rogue baseballs. Whether the damage is severe or minor, following the proper repair procedure and using the right techniques is important for producing quality finished work.

Are you curious to learn how you can improve your sanding skills? Here are three tips to try during your auto body courses!

1. Pros With Auto Body Technician Careers Know to Choose the Right Grit

Choosing sandpaper with the correct grit is essential to a good sanding, paint job, or auto refinishing job. Choosing the wrong grit could result in damage to the car’s surface or almost no improvement being made at all. As graduates of auto body repair courses know, there are plenty of different grits to choose from.

Sandpaper is classified by its grit number. Generally, the grit number can range from approximately 40 to 2000 grit. The lower the grit number, the rougher the sandpaper will be. Low numbered sandpaper should be used for parts of the vehicle that need drastic sanding before other body work can be started. Medium grit sandpaper, at about 600 grit, can be used to smooth the surface of the vehicle before a base coat. And fine, high grit sandpaper ranging between 1000 to 2000 grit should be used to smooth out small imperfections and scratches.

2. Grads of Auto Body Repair Courses Know that Sanding Blocks Are Preferable

When sanding a vehicle by hand, it’s best to use an automotive sanding block. Professionals with auto body technician careers will tell you that when you sand with your hand, pressure is unevenly placed on the piece of sandpaper. The tiny variations in pressure can cause the surface of the vehicle to become wavy and uneven.

When using a sanding block, you wrap the sandpaper around the block to create a flat and even sanding surface. The block spreads out the pressure of your hand, resulting in a more even job. The difference may be slight, but once the paint goes on, the difference in the quality will be obvious.

auto body repair technician
Sanding blocks help even out the pressure of your hand

3. Pros With Auto Body Technician Careers Know to Be Thorough

It’s often said in the automotive industry that a truly great paint job isn’t always the result of the paint job itself, but instead because of the meticulous sanding job that prepared for it. When sanding a vehicle, whether it’s a major job or not, it’s extremely important to take your time and be thorough. By sanding too much you could create dents and gaps in the vehicle’s surface. This could create extra unnecessary work, because you would then need to go through the process of applying filler, sanding again, and making sure it’s perfect.

In addition to over sanding, under sanding can be an issue as well. Small imperfections in the vehicle’s surface can take a finished paint job from amazing to unsatisfactory. A great way to track the progress of your sanding is to use your hand to feel the surface of the vehicle for any imperfections. Your hand will be able to pick up more imperfections than your eyes will be able to see.

Do you want to start a career as an auto body repair technician?

Contact Automotive Training Centres to learn more!

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