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Keith Cosentino: I’m Keith Cosentino, he’s Shane Jacks, and this is the PDR College podcast, where we are coming to you once a week to talk about everything that has to be with PDR business. That is paintless dent removal. That is what we do. That’s what we do full time, and we’re here to share with you all the stuff that we’ve learned along the way. Tools, techniques, and a ton about the business. The business is the most important thing to us. Tell them why it is, Shane?
Shane Jacks: Because I’m tired of stretching my dollars. I want to stack them now, baby.
Keith Cosentino: I love it. I love stacking up dollars. I love them more when they’re 100s and stuff, but I’ll stack ones. Stack them up so high I can’t even see dents anymore. We both talked about that before, haven’t we? We love fixing dents. We’d do a lot less of it if I had a couple of million dollars in the bank.
Shane Jacks: If I had $5 million in the bank I’d do a lot zero.
Keith Cosentino: You’d still fix something for yourself or your buddies.
Shane Jacks: Horse crap. I’d pay you to fly out here and fix it for me.
Keith Cosentino: I sadly would probably still need to do it. This 12,000-foot house is not cheap to rent.
Shane Jacks: You spend more on grounds maintenance than I do on my house.
Keith Cosentino: That’s true. My kids are always disappointed at the parks?
Shane Jacks: Like theme parks, Six Flags, Disney Land, or like the local parks?
Keith Cosentino: Just for now the local parks. I have taken my kids to Disney Land a few times, and I suppose you all have probably been to Disney World instead. I’ve never been there.
Shane Jacks: I’ve been to Disney Land twice, and I’ve been to Disney World about four times.
Keith Cosentino: So, Disney Land, I just started going a few years ago when my kids were starting to get old enough, and if you pay attention and look around, you notice once in a while there’s these handlers that work at Disney Land that are carting people around and taking them in the exits to the rides and stuff like that, and I was enthralled with this idea that people were enjoying the park at a much higher level than I was. Here I am in steerage in the lines and waiting with people, standing in spit and everything, and these guys are getting taken for the royal treatment, so I had to figure out what this is. So after asking –
Shane Jacks: I did the same exact thing, Keith.
Keith Cosentino: It’s kind of like we both have a similar mindset. Like, “What is this? What is this gradience that these people are enjoying that I am not privy to?” So I asked enough questions of people working there and getting online and looking. It’s called the Disney Concierge Service. You book them by the hour. Now I’m going to screw up the amounts because I can’t remember how much it was, but it was something kind of stupid like $300.00 an hour.
Shane Jacks: I think Keith, what I was told by one of the people at the park, there were a few movie stars when I was there. Well not movie, but TV, like Disney stars. Jillian from The Biggest Loser was there that day. So anyway the handlers, what I was told, it was $100.00 an hour per handler, but some of them had four to five handlers.
Keith Cosentino: You’re right, it was like $100.00 something, maybe $150.00 or something like that, in the hundreds per hour, but it was an eight hour or 10-hour minimum.
Shane Jacks: Right, and most of those people have several of them around them.
Keith Cosentino: And they say that they don’t guarantee you getting on the rides, but you and I have both seen them in the real world. They do card them in the exits and get them to the fast pass and everything, and there were quite a few of those people I didn’t recognize and I thought, “Where is this guy making this money? I don’t recognize this guy at all.” That’s probably the best kind of celebrity as far as I’m concerned. You have all the dough and nobody knows who you are, until you have this funny dressed lady taking you through all the back doors of the rides. I got a new goal. I’m coming back here and taking my kids on the Hollywood treatment. I’m doing the math, I’m like, “Okay, let’s see. If we only go for two days, I don’t have to do any waiting.”
Shane Jacks: $1.00 for every square foot of your house.
Keith Cosentino: You have no idea how bad I hate to wait in lines. No freaking idea. I don’t know if there’s a sickness that I could be diagnosed with, but I cannot stand waiting in lines.
Shane Jacks: Just get the fast past. It’s only $90.00 a day.
Keith Cosentino: No I’m talking about in every aspect of my life. If there’s a line, I don’t want to be in it, no matter what. If I’m waiting for food, after about 30 seconds I’m renegotiating in my head whether this is a transaction I even need to be in. Am I that hungry? Is the food that good? Can I get it somewhere else? Can I pay three times as much somewhere else and just get my food and get out of there? I can’t stand it. Have you ever been in a wedding where you have to stand in line and wait for the food? I’m out. I’m not even eating.
Shane Jacks: Weddings around here you kind of just gather around the hog and pull off what you want.
Keith Cosentino: What the hell is this podcast about anyway?
Shane Jacks: I don’t know. We’re six minutes in and it’s horrible thus far. Ah well, we’ll get it done.
Keith Cosentino: Well here’s what I thought we’d talk about today, which I think is pretty cool. We’ve both been doing PDR a long time, and I was thinking back to when I started and how different it is now on a day to day basis, how many things I do differently that I either didn’t even do at all before, or did in a different manner when I started, and was still successful and did great repairs. But everything has changed so much. I thought, “Gosh, this is almost like a different trade,” you know? So I thought it’d be cool if you and I both shared the top five things that maybe we have now but didn’t have before and couldn’t work with. Like if you took these five things away, you couldn’t do the job you do today.
Shane Jacks: For sure Keith. Man, things have changed an unbelievable amount since 1994. It’s insane. The difference in tools –
Keith Cosentino: Cars are no longer painted teal. 1993 every car was teal.
Shane Jacks: Oh got you. Yeah, things have changed dramatically since then. There was, that I could fine, one tool company, the interwebs was not prominent at that time, and and I think it was Specific Innovation. Dave Weiss was the guy that made these tools and it was horrible. It was a paper catalogue stabled together. It was terrible.
Keith Cosentino: I remember some of those catalogues too. The first ones I remember seeing were PDQ and something else. I don’t remember what the other stuff was. Of course we had the Worth catalogues when the glue stuff started gaining popularity. I don’t think they ever made a traditional tool set, did they?
Shane Jacks: Worth? Not that I know of.
Keith Cosentino: I haven’t seen one. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is one somewhere, but I haven’t seen it.
Shane Jacks: Was it late ‘90s or early 2000s?
Keith Cosentino: I think it was late ‘90s. I think it was at least when I first started seeing it, so it was probably out a couple of years before that. I’ll never forget, my boss was already looking, when I worked at that company with more technicians, my boss was always looking for stuff to keep us on what was the cutting edge then. Of course all you could rely on was the catalogues you’d get when they’d do stuff like that small ad. You could find them in print publications, and he brought home the Worth kit and I was like, “This is retarded. You glue stuff to the car and pull on it? Get out of here. What other kind of stupid crap can you bring home?” And all of us tell it the same way. You don’t want to change, obviously what you’re doing is the best. That’s why you’re doing it. So it wasn’t until one of my good buddies lost an account because he said no to a dent on access and some guy came behind him and glue pulled it and we all went, “Oh. Okay.”
Shane Jacks: Aha moment.
Keith Cosentino: Glad it wasn’t my account A, and B, I guess I’ll take a second look at this glue pulling stuff.
Shane Jacks: That’s when you go to that guy that lost the account that you’re working and go, “Yeah, you should have tried the glue.”
Keith Cosentino: Everybody’s glue pulling. And that was all we had was those giant Worth tabs. I remember doing little rail dents with those things, and I would actually wax the panel so that the glue wouldn’t hardly stick to it. I’m not kidding.
Shane Jacks: I used motor oil.
Keith Cosentino: Did you really?
Shane Jacks: No, I was just being facetious.
Keith Cosentino: But I’m serious, if I wanted to pull a little dent and all I had were these big tabs, and I only had a slide hammer. I didn’t have a lifter. So I had tried cutting down the small tabs but they wouldn’t stick at all, so I put a big tab and wax it down so I’d just barely yank on it. Like a real soft, shallow, not like a little hail dent. Like a soft kind of palm dent or something. It was pretty fun.
Shane Jacks: We had homemade glue tab things. I think we’ve spoken about them before.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah I don’t know if we spoke about them on the show but that was really cool. You guys had, as far as I could tell, stuff way older than Worth stuff, because the Worth products were relatively polished when they hit the market. Your stuff was just retarded.
Shane Jacks: Insanely retarded. They were actually hard sticks of glue that we would heat up screws that would fit them in the homemade slot hammer. We had this way before the Worth kit came out. The Germans brought it over. So you heat that screw up, stick it in the end of that hot glue stick, there were two different sizes, there was like a half inch in diameter. These sticks were about three inches long. One was half an inch in diameter, one was about one inch in diameter, and you screw that hot screw into the end of that tab, and you’re actually pulling the glue stick itself. And you heat the end of the glue stick up that you’re going to stick to the car, put it on the car, and you pull the entire stick through the screw in the back. It worked, ish.
Keith Cosentino: It worked. Why’d you even need to use that at the plant? Was that when the cars were already assembled?
Shane Jacks: Yeah everything we did was post assembly. I was on assembly on the final finish line which means it’s the very end of the process.
Keith Cosentino: Might as well be in a parking lot.
Shane Jacks: Correct.
Keith Cosentino: So on that note, one of my five things that I absolutely could not work with now is a mini lifter. Absolutely changed the way I work. I saw the mini lifter; I thought it was a joke. I thought, “This is retarded. You’re going to push two dents in and take one out.” I never used little tabs because I had the slide hammer and I never even knew a lot of the little tabs were available. All I had was the Worth stuff, and I had tried to shut them down like a lot of guys had, and had no success because with one big giant slide hammer, it would be really tough to pull a little tab like that. So it wasn’t until I had a hail car come in, and obviously we talked about this before. I don’t get hail here, but people get hailed on bringing their cars back home, and this was a Porsche, and it had a suede headliner and they had the metal sunroof or moon roof you could call it. Not glass, but it was dented too. But they were little dents, little dimes, and I was talking to a friend of mine, Marty Runick, he’s one of the trainers not too far from my place. We’re about an hour apart from each other. But I was talking to him about glue pulling this roof, and he said, “Oh, you’ve got to use the mini-lifter.” I said, “Yeah, I know guys are kind of talking about it, but I don’t have one,” or I hadn’t really seen a need to get one yet.
Because before you have any of these tricked out tools, you’re fixing whatever comes across your desk, whatever you see. You’re fixing your cars and you’re not running into a bunch of problems because you just know what you know and you’re finding ways to get stuff done. So I didn’t feel like I had a huge need for it, but I wanted to try this differently because I didn’t want to take this thing apart. So I went over to Marty’s place and he let me borrow the Econolifter, the real lightweight one, and a handful of little tabs from Keiko, Atlas, Chitty. Terrible tabs, by the way. I don’t like those at all. And one or two others, blend and something else, and kind of gave me a run down using the mini lifter, and I was off to the races and I fixed that roof and sunroof with mini lifter, and I thought, “Holy smokes, this is way different. This is amazing.” That mini lifter now, I use every single day on all kinds of different stuff. Absolutely amazing tool. I would not do the same job I do today without a mini lifter, I could promise you that. Not just glue pulling, but glue pulling with a mini lifter and little tiny tabs.
Shane Jacks: Keith, the mini lifter and the revelation of that working is the number one reason that I now say don’t knock it until you try it, or don’t automatically think a tool is worthless without trying it or at least speaking to some people who have tried it.
Keith Cosentino: Same thing for me. That was huge for me. Because I would have told you with all my heart that that thing is a stupid joke and doesn’t make any sense, but I was an idiot. That thing is amazing.
Shane Jacks: For sure.
Keith Cosentino: All over the place. Rails mostly, but I’ll use it in the middle of a door or by the handle. And it’s just a little whispered dent that you don’t even want to take the time to go grab your tools to get in underneath. It’s a one pull and done of thing.
Shane Jacks: See, I’m a little different with that. I would use it more – I use it less on the rails than I do in the middle of floppier panels, panels that have some spring to them. And I’m beginning to transition over to using the mini lift a little more with the Revelation glue that I have spoken with you about recently, the kinds of glue to use with which one. But anyway, I’m starting to transition over to using it more on the rails. But mainly the mini lifter I’ll use it, and that was the revelation to me. I was doing hail damage on some BMWs and a guy that I brought in, he has this mini lifter and I’m over there, there weren’t enough dents in the roofs of these things to take the headliners down, and I’m over there out in the middle, long-arming out in the middle of a roof with this thing, and he’s got this mini lifter. And I’d seen them in the catalogues, and I go over there and this guy is from Arkansas.
We called him Arkansas Mike. The guy barely had clothes to wear, but he was rough. So anyway, he’s got this, and I’m like, “What are you doing with that stupid thing?” And he explains to me in his Arkansas accent, which is worse than my accent, by the way, he said; “That thing right there, what it does in feet right there, it holds that metal down around that dent so it’s only pulling some of that thing, some big old stringy panels like this,” and pulls that dent up, and that statement, it was like, “Holy crap. You’ve been avoiding this tool for two or three years, longer than that probably, because you thought it was stupid and you weren’t willing to try it.”
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, same thing happened to me, so that’s probably my number one, or at least on my list of top five tools that I couldn’t do the same job tomorrow if my mini lifter was taken from me.
Shane Jacks: What is number two?
Keith Cosentino: Well before I go to number two, I’m sure some guys are curious what mini lifter I’m actually using. I use the one made by pdroutlet.com that’s sold through just about everybody who sells mini lifters, but it’s the kind of non-descript silver, like bead blasted finish, with black handles and big rubber feet, and that’s kind of how they all are shaped. But Dent Craft sells it, PDR Outlet sells it. I think A1 makes their own mini lifter. I think that’s the one you use, right?
Shane Jacks: No, and yes it was the one that I used. I now have the same one you have.
Keith Cosentino: Oh that’s right. We talked about that.
Shane Jacks: I like the feet a lot better on the current one.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah the feet are important. A lot of people have these weird looking mini lifters with plastic feet, like the worthless plastic pieces. I don’t understand why you would use that at all. The feet on that PDR Outlet lifter are really really soft and supple and they’re big and flat so I never have problems pushing other dents with the feet into the car. Once or twice, and both times have been my misuse of it rather than the lifter’s shortcomings, orienting it 90 degrees from the proper orientation on the rail, for example. You want the feet top bottom, and I had them left and right on a round soft rail like a Mazda three or something, and I smashed feet dents into it. My fault, not the lifter. So anyway, that’s the lifter I use. Number two for me, well I guess these kind of go hand in hand, is specialized tabs. My crease tabs, the Black Plague crease tabs. I would mention another crease tab if I thought one did a similar job. Okay the Blem crease tab, the little red one, fantastic tab.
I use it alongside mine. Sometimes I’ll choose that over mine, or mine over that, depending on the dent, but fantastic crease tab.
Shane Jacks: I’ve never used a Blem crease tab.
Keith Cosentino: Oh they’re really good, the little red ones. They have just a little more snap to them than my comparable-sized Black Plague tab. I used mine in more of a softer kind of trough crease, and I’ll use the blend tab, the tiny ones, in a sharper crease. From there up, mine pulled as sharp a crease as you need to. But from there down, they didn’t quite have the snap that those little blend tabs do. I would recommend to anybody if you don’t have those, go get those. They’re cheap too, on Blem’s site. So specialized tabs, those little tiny round tabs that wouldn’t work with a slide hammer, at least the slide hammers I always used, they would yank them right off. They don’t rip that hard. But a lifter holds down the metal and you can just pull that center up, get a good snap out of it, and you can do precision, precision work with these little tiny tabs. So my number two is specialized tabs.
I guess also with the big tabs, my big Black Plague tabs and some of the other really big tabs, I really only use mine. I don’t use the Keiko Super Tabs. Not because I think they’re bad, but I don’t use them. But hustling out a lot of metal that would have taken R and I and big giant tools before or feet or hands or whatever, I can now do with a tab. So I’m saving tons of time and tons of R and I liability exposure, because I’m not the best at taking stuff apart. I’m pretty good, but one out of 100 cars I’m breaking something, and I’m not breaking anything when I’m glue pulling, so I like that better.
Shane Jacks: That is also on my list, Keith, the specialty tabs. That’s number three on my list, so I guess we can go ahead and talk about it now since they’re both on the same list. So that’s number three on my list, specialty tabs. Reiterate what Keith said, his Black Plague tabs, there is no better crease tab for the smaller things. The only other crease tab I would say worked, and it’s really not so – it pulls a broader area, those white –
Keith Cosentino: Oh, PDR Gear.
Shane Jacks: Those things are really good to have.
Keith Cosentino: The white ones and the yellow ones. They’re fantastic but, like you say, they’re more of not a crease, it’s a cylindrical – well, cylindrical isn’t the right word, but an elongated, wider dent.
Shane Jacks: But that tab, just because we’re talking about specialty, I’m calling that a specialty tab because you use it in certain situations, like you said, a long, cylindrical, they really really hold really really well. And the other one would be, there’s one particular one out of this set that I use, the Atlas Titan Tab. The one that is convex. It’s oval and convex. That thing holds like mad for big stuff.
Keith Cosentino: It is a great tab too. There’s certain things I like about Atlas tabs and certain things I can’t stand, but nobody would argue with the fact that that’s a great tab, and just try and break one.
Shane Jacks: Yeah, and Keikos, the tiny Keiko – well, all the Keiko tabs, but they’re not specialty tabs, but I’m going to call their tiny tab that you were speaking about, I’m going to call that specialty tab for that minute stuff really pinpointing, you’re correct, and the Keikos work fabulous for that.
Keith Cosentino: I actually prefer PDR Gear tabs over the Keiko for the small stuff, although I do use those little Keikos a lot. I prefer the PDR Gear for a little different characteristics here and there. And I guess this is as good a time as any to tell everybody listening that I will have another set of tabs coming out soon. This is not the purpose of this podcast, but while we’re on the subject of specialty tabs, I’ve got a new set of tabs that are going to be hitting the market in the next month or two months. The manufacturers move kind of slow, so I can’t tell you exactly when they’re coming out, but I’ve got a whole series of round tabs coming out that are not earth-shatteringly different than what you’ve got now, but considerably different. I’ve got a theory about glue pulling that I’m going to prove to everybody is right with these new tabs.
And for all these giant tabs that we’re pulling with, like the giant Black Plague tabs, giant Keiko tabs, and then from there down to the regular sizes, like everything that does a 360 within the mini lifter feet, there’s nothing between those two sizes until now. I’m going to have a set of tabs that is going to fill those gaps between little one and two inch tabs and three and four and five inch tabs. Everything in the middle. More of a normal sized kind of door ding stuff that we’re working on, we’re coming out with some tabs that are going to fill those holes. So as I get some images and some prototypes out, I’ll share them here on the show and give you guys some links to see videos and pictures and ultimately give you a chance to get ahold of them before anybody else does. So keep an eye on that. They’re coming out soon.
Shane Jacks: Nice. That’s the first I’ve heard of that myself.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, I didn’t want to make a big deal about it because I want to present them when they’re close to being read or ready, and they’ve been in the works for over a year. They were supposed to be ready at the last MTE, I was supposed to have them there, and they were running into more problems and more problems. Turns out making this new stuff is not easy. It seems pretty easy looking at it. “Hey, it’s a little piece of plastic and flies out of the mold,” but there’s a lot to it. So I’m learning that, and so are the manufacturers I’m working with. So they are coming out. I didn’t want to talk about them before they were going to be a reality, but they’re real now.
Shane Jacks: Exciting. Can’t wait to see those, try them. I get some of the prototypes, right?
Keith Cosentino: Yes sir.
Shane Jacks: Nice.
Keith Cosentino: I need you and your boys over there to try to break them for me and make sure they’re not going to break on everybody else. All right, next on my list is a Dent Gear tool. And this seems like a pretty simple little thing, but it’s a little one-inch rubber ball that screws onto interchangeable tip tools, and I use it both for pushing and I use it as a tap down for doing crown work. And it doesn’t seem like much. A little rubber ball. How different is that going to be? But this little rubber ball has changed what I do so much that I would have a hard time doing the same repair without that ball. I’d get it done with whatever I’ve got. I’d find something else to do it like I did for plenty of years before. But it is so fast and so clean on a crown, and I know Shane, you’re a freak with a hammer and you’re going to fly through that crown probably faster than I am with the ball and cleaner, but if you don’t have those 10,000 hours of hammer skills, the ball is for idiots like me. You can just run through it really quick and not make anything – you can’t make a dent with it that you couldn’t easily pull up with a tab.
So you almost can’t go backwards with it. You know what I mean? So for blending out tiny little crowns and waves, that thing is phenomenal. And for pushing, if you can get it behind the dent, it’s one inch, so you can’t drill a hole big enough to put it anywhere. You’ve got to either take some stuff apart or use it in a fender is where I use it most often. It’s amazing how much metal I can move with that thing and not leave any trace of a push mark.
Shane Jacks: And I don’t have one of these balls. I was trying. That’s why I paused because I was trying not to laugh. Who’d have thunk I’d be the clean one on the show, try to be the clean one on the show, anyway? I don’t have one of these balls, I have two of them. We’ve spoken about this before. I don’t have one and I need to get one to try it out. My reservations behind that ball, and I believe you alleviated those fears or concerns of mine. It’s really, I’ve had a ball that when the shaft goes in that, it flexes way too much. You said that doesn’t happen on this one, correct?
Keith Cosentino: No the size and the density of the rubber are just right that it doesn’t flop around. It’s nice and solid but it’s squishy enough that it conforms to the panel and just makes a nice, soft push. I literally buy 10 of them at a time because I’m constantly screwing them on and screwing them off and I always want on either in my pocket or right at the top of my tool box, and I think they’re $6.00 or $8.00 or $10.00 or something.
Shane Jacks: The reason why you buy 10 of them at a time is because you’re a baller.
Keith Cosentino: I’ve got balls.
Shane Jacks: That was a pretty good joke.
Keith Cosentino: That was good. Or because I lose a lot of tools. What’s next on your list?
Shane Jacks: Let’s continue with your list. That wasn’t all mine, evidently, but let’s continue on yours and we’ll see how close our list is, if you have any more on there that I do have.
Keith Cosentino: All right so this is not really in order but it kind of goes with the other tool, and that is interchangeable tip tools. Again when I saw these I thought, “That is also kind of stupid. I can use my normal tools and I can put tape on the ends, or I can take the tape off.” And if you want something with a point, it doesn’t matter if the point is plastic or metal or chrome or whatever. If you’re pushing with a point behind it you’re pushing with a point behind it. Again, kind of a stupid idea I had. Still, I don’t really get hung up on the material that I’m using behind, like plastic or steal. They are different, but it’s not a huge deal to me. But what is a big deal is the shapes. Unbelievably big deal for me. The interchangeable tip tools for doing big smash dents that I like to do – well, I can’t say I like to do. I’d rather do door dings all day long. But if you’re doing retail and you’re doing it well and you’re doing enough of it, you’re going to get big smash dents.
And I can hustle through stuff like that with these by screwing a big rubber ball on, getting the shape back, moving to a steel ball that’s maybe a little bit smaller, and here’s one that wasn’t on my list but absolutely needs to be, is covering my tools with leather. This is a big deal. I’ve got to give a shout to my buddy Sal Contraras. He started talking about using leather. I though the was a knucklehead, even if I love him. “That’s dumb, dude. I’ve got plenty of tape. I don’t want to be using leather.” But if I’m using tape I’m also using heat. And if any of you have covered a tool with tape and then hit it with some heat, you break through the tape in anything between three and 23 pushes, and you never know when that’s coming. So push push push push push, everything’s going great, boom, all of a sudden you get this nice little point in there because the tool broke through and you were using too much pressure.
So that always used to drive me crazy. So Sal started talking about using leather and I was like, “This guy is crazy but all right, I’ll try it.” I’d learned enough not to say no forever from the mini lifter program. So I started covering stuff with leather. Holy crap. I can hustle some metal out now and leave no traces of push marks behind because I’m using these leather covered tools. It is amazing. It still feels kind of artsy craftsy, cut a little piece of leather and glue or tape it on there, but you can’t argue with the results. I am hustling out, especially small, really deep dents, that you would have pimpled up with a steel tool, I am blowing a center out of those things nice and smooth and soft, bringing it all up high and then setting it all down flat, just like Sal talks about.
I’m not necessarily using all of his tools to accomplish these repairs, although I am using a dent dial on occasion and that slapper tapper he calls it, the slap hammer, but most of the magic for me is in the leather. Fantastic. I would recommend anybody give that a shot if you do retail work. If you’re hustling through dealership stuff, whatever, if you don’t want to spend the time, and if you’re doing hail work you’re probably not going to use it a lot. But if you’re doing big hits, it’s amazing. Absolutely amazing.
Shane Jacks: He’s still a knucklehead, though. Just kidding Sal.
Keith Cosentino: He’s an awesome dude. Sal is ahead of his time and behind his time. Because I think he would be equally at home in a blacksmith’s shop 200 years ago.
Shane Jacks: He’s eccentric. He’s very eccentric.
Keith Cosentino: He’s awesome though. I mean, some of his stuff is fantastic. You couldn’t fix dents the same way without some of the stuff he’s shown me. I couldn’t do it anyway. So if we’re going down my list, after interchangeable chip tools which, by the way, I use Dent Gear and Dent Craft for my interchangeable tip tools. LED lights. This is a huge deal for me.
Shane Jacks: That’s number two on my list.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, it probably could be higher on my list. It should be, I guess, but LED lights are a big deal. And I have by no means used all of them. I’ve just used a handful. I stared with a Pro PDR Solutions mini light because I didn’t really have a need for a floor light. I’m never in the same place twice and I didn’t want to lug around a giant light stand, and I don’t do a lot of hail work, so that mini light was good for me. So I used that modified it a little bit to, again, on Marty Runick’s recommendation, actually, to bring the light strips up closer to the lens to give a little tighter of a fade, not as wide.
Shane Jacks: A little sharper.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah a little sharper, I guess you could say, and rocked out with that thing for years. And I’ve broke it so many times. You drop it and the sides would break off. It really isn’t that durable, but it always keeps running because it’s simple. It’s just LED strips taped to the bottom of a piece of plastic. So as long as you can piece it back together and keep on rocking, as long as the lens stays on you can keep working with it. But I can’t tell you how many times I had to re-solder it at a body shop or something because I bombed it out. But I use it all the time. Previously I just used a reflector board. A yellow with a black painted fog stripe, and if we were in a dark shop, I would put a light behind it. That was my light. Interestingly enough if you’ve ever watched videos from guys in South America, it seems like the light system they all use. They use a piece of acrylic with some type of light behind it, whether it’s an LED strip or fluorescent bulb or whatever.
But you’ve seen that light set up before?
Shane Jacks: Oh yeah.
Keith Cosentino: It seems like that’s what everybody uses and that’s what they train on. I haven’t seen it at all in the states, to be honest, but I watch videos from those guys and it seems pretty popular, and it looks like a good fade that it throws off. That might be a cool project for somebody that doesn’t want to spend the dough over a light, which would be stupid because the light makes you more money than any tool. But if you didn’t want to spend it and you liked tinkering with stuff you could probably build something like that. But the LED lights are a big deal. I’m currently using the Elimadent light that’s got the Mekida battery built into the base, and that thing is freaking bomb proof. I’m in love with that light, and it charges so fast on my drill charger. It’s a great idea. I’ve really been enjoying that thing. No lines for me, just fog.
Shane Jacks: Yeah, I used to, we used fluorescent lights with, in the very beginning it was plastic poles with lines taped on them, and then fluorescent lights with black background, harsh contrast between the light and the black background.
Keith Cosentino: That’s tough to do a dent in there. You’re either in or out of it.
Shane Jacks: Yeah and that, for years, up until ’09 I believe, was when I let somebody talk me into using a fade light, and it took me a while to get used to it because for all those years for, how many years was that? That was 14 years, 15 years probably, that I had used –
Keith Cosentino: Bare bulbs?
Shane Jacks: Bare bulbs and harsh lines constantly. And I did well with it, and transitioning was horrible for me. I say horrible. It took a month or so.
Keith Cosentino: Why did you stick with it?
Shane Jacks: Stick with what?
Keith Cosentino: Switching?
Shane Jacks: Why did I?
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, if it was like the first week and you sucked with it, why didn’t you just go back to your harsh bulbs?
Shane Jacks: Well, I guess a month would be exaggerating. After probably two or three days, I could see the difference, but my eyes just weren’t used to it. So it was taking me a little longer, I guess, would be the most – it was a month before I was comfortable with it I guess would be the best way for me to describe it. But we used boards outside with a fog line painted on them and stripes after that, and then we used the old A1 LED light, which was terrible, horrible. And then we went with the Pro PDR Solutions, and now that’s what we have stuck with. We have a shop so most of ours is done inside. We use those lights rolling around insight, but I do have an Elimadent light on the way. I actually think it’s going to be here Tuesday.
Keith Cosentino: You’re really going to like that. It shines in the mobile environment because it’s such a tidy little package. You can just toss it around; throw it on the car, just like you would with your old school plastic reflector board. In a shop environment, you’ve already got your lights plugged in. It’s not going to be that exciting to you. But when you’re jumping in and out of a truck, I don’t need to go plug in anything. I just hit the switch and throw it on and it’s an awesome little product.
Shane Jacks: I don’t know, Keith. I’m really getting tired of pushing a light around the shop and going around the car with a light, heavy, battery.
Keith Cosentino: Well then you might dig that Elimadent light as much as I do then.
Shane Jacks: Yeah, I think I am, just to be honest with you. I think I’m going to really like it.
Keith Cosentino: Now just to give credit where credit was due, the first cordless light that I used for years and years was Carl Stuckey, Dent Specialist International. He’s got a series of cordless lights, which, and he sells the with or without a fade strip in the middle. I like a fog line in my board, so for me I have a sticker in the middle. I call it a Stuckey Sticker. I don’t know what his actual model is for it, but it’s the best fade sticker you can get. If you still use a board outside, which there’s nothing wrong with because it’s always on and it’s super light and it’s easy and fast. But if you still use a fog board and you like a fog, nice fog line, you don’t want to spray it yourself, buy his sticker and throw it on there and thank me and thank him later. It’s fantastic. But I was using his lights forever, but they’re just a little, they’re kind of overbuilt at the base.
The bracketry is huge and stout and you could probably drive over a tank with this thing, and the Elimadent light is just a little more sleek so I’ve been enjoying using that. One of my guys, Jared, he has a brand new Elimadent light in his truck and he still uses his Stuckey light. He likes it a little bit better. So it’s a little personal on what you’re going to choose but it’s a viable alternative, Carl Stuckey’s light. But everybody’s always excited about the new stuff and the Elimadent light is new, so everybody’s excited about it. But do not forget about the Carl Stuckey light. It’s been around forever and Carl’s got fantastic follow up with his customers. If you’ve got any issues, he’s right on it. He takes care of everybody really well. So if we’re sticking with my list, the next thing I’ve got is the Recon Pro software by Auto Mobile Technologies, that I use to run my company. Could not do business the same way tomorrow if you took that away from me today.
Right now, with my guys out in the field – well, let me take you back in time. Before I had that software, everybody was on paper. These guys would all have to go out, do their work, and now they’ve got paper invoices in their clipboards that I need to get to my office, input into my computer, so that I can bill the customers. Some of this stuff is paid for on the spot. Some of this stuff is on account with body shops and dealers. So it doesn’t seem significant until you think about it. The time that it takes that tech to stop working, bring them back to the office, push them in, and get back to work and get back to pushing metal or, they stay productive for me to stop pushing, run around town, pick them all up from them, and come home. Just that time alone, not spending that time and continuing to push dents, that money saved right there pays for Recon Pro. But when you get those paper invoices to the office, they still need to be put in the sticking computer.
It was eight to 12 hours of data entry, and that doesn’t need to be a skilled person, but that’s still all this work that needs to happen before you can even bill anybody. So it was the most retarded system ever. But it’s what we had. It’s paper, and everybody’s on paper because it’s easy. But man, when we switched over to that it was tough at first, going from paper to a computer system, that was a little challenging getting used to doing things a little bit differently. But now that we’re on it, what a breeze, man. Everybody just does their work and they go home and all the stuff is electronically going into my computer, all by itself. I’ve got to click three or four buttons at the end of the month to make sure everything is where I want it to be. When I get a call in the field from one of my dealers who wants to pay but they’re missing two or three random invoices from the month, before I had to wait until I got home, physically dig through a paper file, get them out, and fax them.
Now I open up a program and I click four boxes and email them to them right away. It has amazingly streamlined my business. I could not run my company the same way without that software.
Shane Jacks: Yeah, that may have not been a good thing.
Keith Cosentino: Mr. Jacks, what is next on your list?
Shane Jacks: Okay we had two of the same things on our lists, being the LED lights and specialty tabs. Number one on my list, and I did mine kind of in order of importance to me personally, and number one on my list, number one and two were pretty much interchangeable, and we’ve already talked about LED lights at number two, and at number one is the blending hammer. And this thing is just paramount to my success in PDR, being able to get away further away from the damage than you can with a hammer and knock down is huge for me. And I’ve been, again, this isn’t something that has changed. This is kind of different from the way we’re going on this list of most of this stuff is stuff that has evolved over time for us to get better at. This is something that I’ve used since the beginning. Although the first blending hammers I’ve had up until the last few years were a bit primitive. They were decently balanced but the weight was a little off.
Keith Cosentino: They weren’t made for that purpose.
Shane Jacks: Right, they weren’t made for that purpose. They were modified from an existing hammer. But now we’ve got these things dialed in and totally adjustable to your own tastes and it’s made for this purpose, for blending. So number one is a blending hammer for me. Number two, again, LED lights. Number three was the specialty tabs. We’ve already talked about those two. Number four is the internet. And to elaborate on that, when I say the internet, I’m talking about the information you can get from it.
Keith Cosentino: Hang on a second. Before you go that far, you’re talking about the blending hammer, you might as well tell them what blending hammer you’re using and where you can get it.
Shane Jacks: Yeah, maybe not everybody knows this. I’m using a blending hammer that I developed. And this thing was not just something that I threw together on a whim. Years and years and years, god, I’ve been blending for 19 and a half years now, and –
Keith Cosentino: It’s almost misleading the way you use the hammer to call it a blending hammer, because that makes it sound like you’re just blending dents out all of the time, and that isn’t necessarily what you’re doing. You’re doing all of your knock down work with that hammer.
Shane Jacks: Yeah doing 90 percent of it. Probably more than 90 percent of it, unless it’s a really sharp, high spot and I am using that as my knock down, as Keith just said. And the blending hammer that I’m using is, again, tailor made just for this purpose. Interchangeable tip on each side so you can adjust the weight and the face that you want to use for knocking down, and it is the jackhammer. And you can find that at blendinghammerpdr.com, and again it is the hammer that I developed. And we went through a few iterations of this thing to get to where we’re at now, and this thing is super balanced. It is a good length and, again, totally customizable to your preferences as far as weight. You can really fine tune how you’re using this thing by the different heads that you can put on it. That is the hammer that I use, and 100 percent suggest and have no qualms about it whatsoever because it is an awesome hammer.
Keith Cosentino: It is fantastic. All right, so your last one you were talking about is the internet.
Shane Jacks: That is not my last one, but it is my next to last one.
Keith Cosentino: The last one you were talking about.
Shane Jacks: The last one I was talking about was the internet, and again, there are several forums out there where you can get information about PDR, about our industry, about our business, and one of those, the one that I’m really going to pimp right now because I believe in it immensely and Keith does also. It’s where Keith and I basically “met.”
Keith Cosentino: Not basically at all. That is where we met.
Shane Jacks: We didn’t meet in person, of course, but we met on doording.com, and it’s run by a gentleman that has a passion for this industry and it’s really cheap. Well, most, or a lot of it is free. But he does have a pay per view section that is well worth the amount of money that he charges per year on that thing. Go check that out. There is so much information about so many top level techs in there.
Keith Cosentino: Both of us have contributed a lot over the years. Not as much as –
Shane Jacks: Yeah it has tips, tricks, and it’s all broken down into categories and sections and it’s a really good site for information. And a lot of world class techs are in there giving away free stuff, free information, so that thing, that site right there alone upped my game tremendously over the last few years, four or five years now I guess it’s been since I started on doording.com. But again, the internet, so that’s number four on my list. That is not the only site that you’re going to find the information on. YouTube videos by some of the top techs out there, there are a lot of different things that you can do. Training videos, we’ve got one on our site, pdrcollege.com. But videos on YouTube, everywhere. Just go check out this stuff. You can learn a lot from the internet.
Keith Cosentino: You know, there’s another forum over in Europe that’s pretty popular. There’s an outfit called dentrix.co.uk I think is the website, but they sell just about every tool you’d want to own, they sell. They sell Dent Craft tools and Ultra tools and Dent Gear tools and everything else, and Black Plague tabs. But they’ve got a forum associated with their site that’s pretty popular as well over there. It’s the only one I know of in Europe. I’m sure there’s others, but the only one I know of. So between doording.com and the Dentrix forum, there’s a lot of great information out there. I think that doording.com is much deeper, but Dentrix has a lot of information up there too with some active guys.
Shane Jacks: Nice. And lastly, the last tool on my list is networking, and I know Keith wants to talk about this also, because if it weren’t for networking with other guys, seeing other guys’ techniques on the internet and in person doing hail like I do on sites, a lot of these tools, we would not have picked up, we would not have bought. So networking with other guys. And it’s not just for tools. It’s also for techniques. There are so many different things you can learn from just being around other dent guys. We talked about that in the whole going from route to hail and form hail to route. I talked about it some in that episode, a few episodes back of our podcast, and talk about networking with other guys. You can learn so much about, when you’re doing hail, you can learn so much about how the hail business runs and then as far as tools, the mini lifter, we spoke about that earlier.
I thought it was the dumbest tool I’d ever seen, when you’ve got this big heavy slide hammer that can pull all this weight and all this force behind it. Who in the world is going to want this little thing with one inch of travel that’s going to pull it slowly? But networking with other guys has shown me and Keith that these tools really are valuable, and something that we probably wouldn’t have picked up had it not been for other guys.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, so, I kind of look at networking as the tool that opens the door to every other tool. If I never had gotten online and started meeting other people, including Shane, I would still be stuck in my old trained ways that were fine and were adequate, but they weren’t the best. They weren’t even close to the best things and techniques that I could take advantage of and get my job done better. It’s these connections that you make with other guys and talk tools and ask recommendations on what they’re using, look at it, don’t say no to it until you try it. These are the things that enable you to open all these doors and step through and fast-track to the best tools in the industry. Because you don’t know. You get a catalogue in the mail and it doesn’t tell you anything. Most of the tool companies don’t have technicians there. They just sell tools. They don’t even know how to sue their own stuff.
So they’re just going to tell you there’s some stuff to buy. But until you talk to other people and find out what they’re using and what they’re having success with, then you’re going to stay stuck. I mean chances are, if you’re listening to the podcast, you’re probably already networked pretty hard. But if you’re not, or you think you could do better, do better. Meet some more people. Reach out and make some personal friendships within these giant forums and develop these relationships and get these questions going with some of your friends or guys that you see doing work that you’re impressed by. And you’re going to be blown away. Some guys are using custom tools that you’ve never even seen before and doing fantastic repairs, like our buddy Barry out in Ireland. That guy is whipping stuff up in a barn that you’ve never seen before, and he’s fixing all kinds of smashed up junk.
Shane Jacks: I have one of his tools, actually.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, I’m mad. I don’t have the doo da.
Shane Jacks: I have the doo da. And it’s a good too, great tool
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, it’s fantastic. Yeah, so networking probably should be my number one, because it’s the tool that opens the door to every other tool. So if you aren’t doing you some networking, do some. Get closer to buying you your new yacht.
Shane Jacks: Or your second one.
Keith Cosentino: Or replacing your first one with your second. All right, so, to recap, the tools and techniques, or I guess tools that we talked about today for me, my list, is the mini lifter, the one-inch rubber ball from Dent Gear, specialized tabs like the Black Plague tabs and little tabs from PDR Gear and Keiko and places like that, LED lighting from Pro PDR Solutions, Elimadent, Carl Stuckey, interchangeable tip tools from Dent Craft and Dent Gear. I know Ultra makes some great ones too, I just personally don’t have any. Recon Pro software from Automobile Technologies, and networking, baby.
Shane Jacks: And the only ones on my list that weren’t on Keith’s are blending hammer and the internet.
Keith Cosentino: It’s not just for YouTube anymore.
Shane Jacks: But it’s great for that.
Keith Cosentino: Yeah, if you want to see dancing cats, or, you know what’s making me laugh lately? I don’t know if you ever played Street Fighter when you were a kid, that arcade game.
Shane Jacks: No, we didn’t have the money to put in those devil’s machines.
Keith Cosentino: Street Fighter two was fantastic. I probably put 1,000 hours or more in that game. But there was a character called Blanca that was this monster, and he had a certain set of techniques he could fight people with. But taking all these fail videos where people are crashing bikes and smashing into walls and stuff, and he edited in this street fighter character.
Shane Jacks: Oh I’ve seen them, yes. They had Taylor Swift when she was down. Look it up, it’s great.
Keith Cosentino: So YouTube is not just for dent videos. It’s for Blanca tripping people at weddings.
Shane Jacks: You also need to check out Froggy Fresh. He’s awesome.
Keith Cosentino: I don’t know about it but it sounds like I will.
Shane Jacks: Oh check it out. He’s great.
Keith Cosentino: All right, so we leave you with a motivating song to help you remember what you really want in your career and how to get it. Until next time, get better.
Shane Jacks: Get better.
Duration: 57 minutes