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March/April 2004

Tech Tips
helpful hints

Ask the Doctor
by Walt Gorman

Q. I understand that you just returned from the National Windshield Repair Associaton (NWRA) convention in Orlando (see page 48 for related story). You say that you always learn something new there. After being in the business for seventeen years and attending every convention, what could you possibly learn that is new to you?

A. First of all, when you think you know it all and stop trying to improve, no matter what your profession may be, you will, eventually, fall behind any progressive competitor.

We have NWRA members with all levels of experience and skill. Longevity alone in a business, sport, writing, music or any other endeavor does not guarantee greater skill. 

Here are some bits of information that you may or may not have known from a very interesting slide show presentation by Thom Inman of the Glass Doctor. He showed a close-up picture of a typical break with dozens of tiny cracks which we cannot discern with the naked eye. This, along with the fact that all resins shrink when cured (some as much as 25 percent), are the reasons we should cure under pressure. 

In addition, you may have had the same ultraviolet bulb in your curing lamp for a year or two. It still lights up, so itís still OK, right? Wrong! Over time, curing lamps gradually lose their intensity and cannot penetrate below the surface deeply enough to cure the resin thoroughly.

A number of vendors also were on hand to display and demonstrate their windshield repair equipment. This was a chance to actually see, use and compare other systems with your own. If your own supplier was there, it also was a chance to get some hands-on instructions and tips to get better results from your own equipment. 

The chance to sit down with techs who do the same job and have the same problems that you do and swap ideas is priceless. If you have a problem, most likely someone in the group has had it, too, and has even found a solution.


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