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Which Paint Depth Gauge?


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#1 Sandford

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:42 AM

Hello,

Can you please comment on a good gauge that is not ridiculously expensive?

Thanks,

David

#2 Envious Eric

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 04:59 AM

highline meters...around 225

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#3 gdumond

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 06:01 AM

Check out your local Paint and Body supply shops. I have used the Mar-Hyde paint measuring gauge #1099. It's down and dirty cheap for around $15.00. It's a mechanical pen size reader that operates off of a magnetic reading. Not as sophisticated but it gives you a lot for the price. I noticed some other posts on this subject as well you may want to plug in a search on this product.

#4 Flashtime

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 06:27 AM

Check out your local Paint and Body supply shops. I have used the Mar-Hyde paint measuring gauge #1099. It's down and dirty cheap for around $15.00. It's a mechanical pen size reader that operates off of a magnetic reading. Not as sophisticated but it gives you a lot for the price. I noticed some other posts on this subject as well you may want to plug in a search on this product.


This pen gauge isn't worth it at all. Neither for detailers nor body shops.
Certainly not good for measuring paint thickness. For suspect areas,
where it's usually obvious a repair/refinished was done, it can give a
rough idea how much filler (aka bondo) is used. That's about it.

#5 Dan

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 06:33 AM

This pen gauge isn't worth it at all. Neither for detailers nor body shops.
Certainly not good for measuring paint thickness. For suspect areas,
where it's usually obvious a repair/refinished was done, it can give a
rough idea how much filler (aka bondo) is used. That's about it.


That is what I have read too. Not even close to accurate but it will tell you body filler is. I have the Highline II, works well enough for me, its priced fair and sold by a solid company.

#6 MarcHarris

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 07:23 AM

Highline all day. Most affordable solution out there.
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#7 rwisejr

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 07:57 AM

Another vote for the highline meter Paint Meter, Paint Gauge, Paint Gage - HighLineMeter.com
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#8 Sandford

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 08:27 AM

Thanks guys. I assume that reads total depth?

I will most likely be ordering it before the end of the month and using it in the UK until I come to Florida in the summer. What is generally the total thickness of paint on new or nearly new cars out there? Which manufacturers are known to be harder/softer paints? Thanks again.

#9 mixmaster209

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 08:51 AM

another vote for the Highline gauage here.
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#10 subygirl

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 09:56 AM

What is the resolution on the highline meters? It doesn't say it on their website. I've heard that the cheaper meters use a resolution of 0.5mm and not 0.1mm like the expensive ones.

#11 MarcHarris

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 10:09 AM

.5mm vs .1mm ????? huh? This PTG takes readings in both mils and microns. When reading in microns (thousandths of a millimeter), you're giving a reading of a number and a decimal. I think that's quite accurate enough for any of us.

If anyone has questions: call up Highline and talk to Brad: very knowledgeable guy that can help you out.
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#12 Dan

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:16 AM

Thanks guys. I assume that reads total depth?

I will most likely be ordering it before the end of the month and using it in the UK until I come to Florida in the summer. What is generally the total thickness of paint on new or nearly new cars out there? Which manufacturers are known to be harder/softer paints? Thanks again.


There are no absolutes. We have two A4's, one has 20 more microns of paint. What has worked well for me is to measure around the emblems and under the mirrors (places where a polisher won't really fit) to get somewhat of a baseline for that particular car. The best plan of action, if you have the time is to draw up a paint map. Take lots of measurements on each panel and record them. Then you will be able to judge what condition the car is in and if it has been repainted. That said, most new stuff is in the 110-130 range.

#13 subygirl

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 03:45 PM

.5mm vs .1mm ????? huh? This PTG takes readings in both mils and microns. When reading in microns (thousandths of a millimeter), you're giving a reading of a number and a decimal. I think that's quite accurate enough for any of us.

If anyone has questions: call up Highline and talk to Brad: very knowledgeable guy that can help you out.


Yes, I know they read in microns - but the accuracy on many of the cheaper meters is +/- 5% which is about 0.5 mm/ or about 25 microns (I believe). That is a huge discrepancy when you are talking about working with the top 0.1 mm when you polish. Here is another thread talking about the same thing http://www.autopia.o...ness-guage.html

I'll have to send highline an email to see what their accuracy is. Just my $0.02.

#14 Accumulator

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 07:45 AM

Do the Highline meters work on nonferrous/aluminum panels?

#15 Dan

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 08:18 AM

The highline II I have does both aluminum and steel. It comes with to plates, one aluminum, one steel and several calibration film panels, though I don't see how you can actually calibrate it, but mine is spot on.

#16 gungriffin

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 12:00 PM

I bought my paint thickness guage off of eBay and could not be more happy with it. Maybe it was a fluke, but I bought a PTG handheld unit. It was used, but in great shape. I only paid 70 shipped for it, but I think it retails for about 300 new. Only works on ferrous metals though.

#17 AV6NHBP6SPD

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 01:23 PM

i have HLII and it works great. i got centech one from harborfreight for $10 and it works just as good

#18 Accumulator

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 07:43 AM

The highline II I have does both aluminum and steel. It comes with to plates, one aluminum, one steel and several calibration film panels, though I don't see how you can actually calibrate it, but mine is spot on.


Thanks for posting that. I simply *HATE* trying to get consistent readings with my PhaseII and I sometimes toy with the idea of getting a different ETG.

#19 gungriffin

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 10:28 AM

Keep an eye on eBay for these. I just didn't have time to look for it the other day, but this is the one that I got in the link below. It is an ETG Mini. Iirc I paid about 75 shipped for the item and there were several more that sold for under a hundred. Not sure if it was a fluke or if these just don't sell for much second hand. (Maybe the item was hot... ;) ) Only thing I kick myself about is that I did not buy all 5 of them and resell them on here :D


ETG-MINI Pocket Size Electronic Paint Thickness Gauge

#20 gdumond

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 11:45 AM

Your right, The Mar-Hyde is not very good for reading paint thickness. It will however alert you to were any Bondo might be since the gauge works by means of a magnetic pull.

The idea of the gauge is the higher up the measurement indicators on the measuring column the less paint on the panel your testing.

The reverse is the more paint on the surface means a thicker barrier and the lower the magnetic pull on the measuring column.

Again, it's a bit tricky to work with and not very accurate. You want cheap-you get what you pay for! Definitely invest in a quality meter- your the pro!




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