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  • Investigative Tools

2.1.3 Investigative Tools

 

 

During the investigation of suspected contaminants, it is critical to really see the nature of the contaminent. Each contaminant has its own "signature", which helps in tracking down the source.


A microscope is a must — this is your "dirt cam", your window into the world of the nearly-invisible. Although people tend to say, "my booth isn't working," what they're really saying is "my finishes used to be great, now they're terrible, so it must be the booth." Our experience has shown that it is almost never "the booth". We have instead found that practices used or not used in the shop, steps taken or not taken to prepare the vehicle, the quality of materials used, etc., were really making all the difference in the finish.

 

If "the booth" really is the last suspect, then one must probe the clues left behind in order to solve finish problems. There really is no other way. You have to examine the evidence with magnification. Although we show a traditional laboratory microscope and camera setup, inexpensive microscopes which send their images to a desktop or laptop computer are available today. Image quality is excellent: in fact, most of the 60x images for these pages were made using a famous-maker "toy" digital microscope plugged into an office laptop via USB. With the portability of a laptop, you can literally take the microscope to the finish problem.

 

 

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