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  1. #1
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    Paint Thickness Gauge.

    I am looking for a PTG and I found this one. It's pretty cheap compared to most I have seen. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this type of gauge? It looks like it has a magnet on the end. I am assuming that's why you would touch the paint and pull it away to get the reading. If so, it would be useless for any part of the car thats not metal.

    Amazon.com: PRO Gauge II Powder & Paint Thickness Gauge: Automotive

  2. #2
    Senior Member richy's Avatar
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    I had one and sold it. IMO it is not precise enough for our needs. I got this one and have recommended it to several people who have been very pleased with it:

    http://www.highlinemeter.com/


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Re: Paint Thickness Gauge.

    I don't understand the real value of the gauges. Sure you know how much paint in total is available, but we don't work with all of the paint unless it's a single stage. I don't see any way to tell how much CLEAR COAT is remaining with these devices. It feels like a waste of money when how much of the paint is left until removing all of the clear coat is still a guess.

  4. #4
    Senior Member C. Charles Hahn's Avatar
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    Re: Paint Thickness Gauge.

    Quote Originally Posted by grantm View Post
    I don't understand the real value of the gauges. Sure you know how much paint in total is available, but we don't work with all of the paint unless it's a single stage. I don't see any way to tell how much CLEAR COAT is remaining with these devices. It feels like a waste of money when how much of the paint is left until removing all of the clear coat is still a guess.
    The value isn't necessarily in knowing how much of the paint is left, it's in determining if the readings across a panel are consistent or not. A PTG will help you spot thin areas that may have already had correction done, as well as aid in spotting possible re-sprayed areas as well.
    Charlie
    Automotive Appearance Specialist - Serving Greater Lansing, Michigan
    http://www.cchautoappearance.com/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiny Lil Detlr View Post
    The value isn't necessarily in knowing how much of the paint is left, it's in determining if the readings across a panel are consistent or not. A PTG will help you spot thin areas that may have already had correction done, as well as aid in spotting possible re-sprayed areas as well.
    And is an excellent tool when wet sanding, especially when paint readings are 2.7 mil Yes I did in case you're wondering, after sanding and polishing the area read 2.5 Door jambs read 1.9 and 1.7 mil.


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  6. #6
    Senior Member 93fox's Avatar
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    Re: Paint Thickness Gauge.

    ive always wondered how the readings are read and whats safe and whats not. i do not own one but i am saving to buy the highline meter 2 richy posted. Just wondering what a reading means and what each readings determine.
    Hi !


  7. #7
    Senior Member C. Charles Hahn's Avatar
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    Re: Paint Thickness Gauge.

    Quote Originally Posted by 93fox View Post
    ive always wondered how the readings are read and whats safe and whats not. i do not own one but i am saving to buy the highline meter 2 richy posted. Just wondering what a reading means and what each readings determine.
    In the case of a meter like the Highline II, what you're measuring is the thickness of the entire film build -- meaning all primers, fillers/glazes, sealers, base coats, and clear coats that are sitting on top of the (ferrous metal) substrate.

    It can be difficult to determine what a "good" reading is and judge how thick just the clear is, but you can sometimes guess at it by measuring the paint in the door jambs since often times these areas get less clear, if any at all applied to them from the factory.

    There are however some more expensive gauges (we're talking in the $1500+ range) which can read and report how thick each layer of the film build is individually. Others (in the $2000+ range) can also read on plastic, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and other such substrates as well, though these often also require the use of a couplant (similar to the way doctors use a gel when doing an ultrasound) between the surface and the probe.

    Basically what you're looking to do is to find areas you should avoid heavy sanding and/or buffing on, as well as determine how much material you're removing with whatever process you've decided to use. The goal of course being to get defects out while removing as little of the top coat as possible.
    Charlie
    Automotive Appearance Specialist - Serving Greater Lansing, Michigan
    http://www.cchautoappearance.com/

  8. #8
    Senior Member 93fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiny Lil Detlr View Post
    In the case of a meter like the Highline II, what you're measuring is the thickness of the entire film build -- meaning all primers, fillers/glazes, sealers, base coats, and clear coats that are sitting on top of the (ferrous metal) substrate.

    It can be difficult to determine what a "good" reading is and judge how thick just the clear is, but you can sometimes guess at it by measuring the paint in the door jambs since often times these areas get less clear, if any at all applied to them from the factory.

    There are however some more expensive gauges (we're talking in the $1500+ range) which can read and report how thick each layer of the film build is individually. Others (in the $2000+ range) can also read on plastic, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and other such substrates as well, though these often also require the use of a couplant (similar to the way doctors use a gel when doing an ultrasound) between the surface and the probe.

    Basically what you're looking to do is to find areas you should avoid heavy sanding and/or buffing on, as well as determine how much material you're removing with whatever process you've decided to use. The goal of course being to get defects out while removing as little of the top coat as possible.
    Super informative post charlie. I had no idea that there were high end readers that could read each individual film. Now that would be nice to have. But thanks for the informative post. I know have an idea and will share this post witha few people i know that say paint readers are a waste of money. Thanks for the great input Charlie.
    Hi !


  9. #9
    Senior Member james_death's Avatar
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    Re: Paint Thickness Gauge.

    Quote Originally Posted by richy View Post
    I had one and sold it. IMO it is not precise enough for our needs. I got this one and have recommended it to several people who have been very pleased with it:

    Paint Meter, Paint Gauge, Paint Gage - HighLineMeter.com


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    I have the same but different badging....
    As do most of us in the UK, that cant afford the 2K ones.

  10. #10
    Senior Member richy's Avatar
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    Re: Paint Thickness Gauge.

    Charlie's post was well written. I measure after wash and clay. It is both a comparative tool to see how panels measure in relation to each other as well as the total thickness itself. If you get a car with low readings (under 100 microns), you know you need to re-evaluate how aggressive you will be correcting the paint. You may have to sacrifice some level of correction you would have liked to attain in order to keep a safe amount of clear on the car. Unless it's being done to be sold, you want to protect the paint against thinning out the clear too much.
    Another thing is it's invaluable to show panels that have been repainted. It is an awesome tool to go used car shopping with. Good litmus test for the honesty of the salespeople you're dealing with in regards to the history of the car.

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