Volume 9, Issue 3 - June/July 2007

Repair Round Up
nwra reports

Becoming a Techie
by Paul Syfko

Walt Gorman’s passing late last year left a hole in the fabric that is the NWRA. Not only did we lose a friend and industry compatriot, but we also lost the association’s technical director. Walt left behind some big shoes to fill, but we think we’ve found the right person to take his place and her name is Gayle Good.

Good is Good
Gayle has nearly 20 years of experience in the industry and is available to NWRA members seeking help with difficult problems that may arise while working on tricky windshield repairs. 

As technical director, she will advise members who may be seeking advice on filling certain kinds of cracks, using certain types of equipment or general repair-related questions. 

Gayle got her start in the industry in 1990 and she has worked on a variety of different repair systems since she’s been with Cindy Rowe Auto Glass in Harrisburg, Pa. She’s worked with just about every major supplier, as well as having worked with different bridges and tools even when they were new to the market (she demoed the PPG kit when it first came out, for example).

And Gayle knows who she has to live up to.“I’ve read all of Walt Gorman’s articles,” she said. “Anyone starting in the industry needs a good technical background and it’s good to give anyone starting from the bottom up the information they need without an agenda.”

Call for Help
Members can access the NWRA’s technical services department during regular business hours by calling the main office at 540/720-7484 or e-mailing info@nwrassn.org. NWRA’s staff will quickly search its database to see if the technical support service has already addressed this issue and will forward any information available. 

If no information is available, questions or concerns are forwarded to Gayle, who will research the problem and respond to the NWRA as soon as possible. In some cases Gayle may contact the member directly. Check out the box “Help is on the Way” for a sample of Gayle’s hints and tips. 


Help is on the Way
The Ins and Outs of Drilling
Not every repair needs to be drilled, but you should always have a drill handy just in case.

Drilling gets into the glass layers and allows better access into the break. Bull’s-eye-shaped breaks usually do not need to be drilled. However, with star-shaped breaks, drilling will get into the tighter centers of the damage.

What if there is no impact mark?
To drill these types of breaks, turn your drill to the side and put a burr mark on the glass where you want to drill and then drill normally. Drilling straight down on smooth glass will sometimes end up with the drill bit taking off across the windshield. With a burr mark you create a divot that will eliminate the skidding problem.

What if the glass is hot?
In the summer, the windshield can get blazing hot, so the less pressure used in the repair process the better. This includes drilling. If your drill bit is dull, use a new one. With a new bit you can apply less downward pressure, preventing the hot glass from splitting as you drill.

What if the drill bit breaks in the pit while drilling?
This happens if you drill at an odd angel, overuse a dull bit or put a lot of downward pressure on the drill (thus heating up the bit). Whatever the reason, you can’t leave the tip of the bit in the break. Drill beside the piece and use a pick tool or a magnetized probe to dig the tip out of the drill channel. It is usually recommended to drill in spurts, bringing the bit out of the drill channel to spin in the air, cooling off the tip.

Paul Syfko is president of Glass Medic America in Westergate, Ohio, and serves as president of the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA). Mr. Syfko’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

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