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Guest Hal Davis (MODEL A HAL)
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Guest Hal Davis (MODEL A HAL)

The deeper I dig into this project, the more I realize I'm a better mechanic than body man. Does anyone out there know of a book or website with information on doing body work? Especially with respect to the proper use of body hammers and dollies, and use of body filler. Maybe I need to have my fingertips calibrated. This may sound crazy, but I sometimes have trouble distinguishing high spots from low spots. I can feel a bump, but can't tell what's high and what's low. I have heard of people spraying two contrasting colors of primer, then sanding to tell where it is high and where it is low. The problem with this is if you need to add more filler, then you need to take all of the primer back off.

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Hal, <P>First off Hal, no book written by anyone, is going to teach you what you are learning on your own by trial and error. I think it is great for everyone in this hobby to try restoration work themselves. But I know, not everybody can do it well. Stay with it.<P>There are I'm told, some great books and videos available to guide you by Jim Richardson and others. You can buy these through Eastwood Products for one place. <A HREF="http://www.eastwoodco.com" TARGET=_blank>www.eastwoodco.com</A> (I think) But that too, will be a trail and error to see if they help you.<P>I know I can't help much telling you my version of do's and don'ts of body work off of this keyboard. If I could, I would. I do however, here in my area recommend to hobbiest who want to learn, to attend evening classes at our local Vo-Tech high school. I also have had many folks stop in here to ask questions or be shown certain things to help them. Try asking some shop in your area, you may be surprised of their willing to help you.<P>You mention of spraying out a mist coat of primer. This will help determine highs and lows, but all of this should be determined before you primered the entire panel. When you use plastic filler of any type, keep in mind, that its bad reputation came by the way of using to much and covering over it to soon. "Patience, Patience, Patience". Buy yourself the best sanding block you can. (Like 3M brand for one)<P>I'll do what I can to help, just ask.<P>Good Luck <BR>Rick<BR><P>------------------<BR>Rick Hoover<BR>AACA # 409952<BR>Hershey Region

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Guest Hal Davis (MODEL A HAL)

Rick,<P>Thanks for responding. I checked out Eastwood. I am having them send me a catalog and added them to my list of favorites. As far as using too much filler, I am limiting its use to 1/8" thick or less. You mentioned covering it too soon. You have my attention. I have experienced my primer being lighter in color over areas of filler. Could priming it too soon be the cause of this? How long should I wait before priming?

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Don't pay me any mind here, but any filler is to much filler. Now I feel better for putting that on the record here.<P>When you are finished spreading or working your filler ( we're talking thin now ) let it cure a "minimum" of 24 hours before sanding. You have to be sure all moisture is out. Entrapped moisture is what causes pimples and others to pop out later through the paint. The same applies to primer. Alot of repair shops prime and paint within hours. You must give things time to cure. I know everybody does not have this time to spend, but it's a must for me. And no heat lamps please! I don't know your getting a lighter color, it could be your problem. I need to know, what brand and type primer and filler are you using? How long did you wait before priming. And which area of your A are you doing now. (Fenders, Hood ect.)<P>Rick

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Guest Hal Davis (MODEL A HAL)

Rick,<P>This may be less than entertaining to most folks, therfore I will e-mail you with all the gorey details. <P>Thanks again for responding.

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First - Don't deprive us of the opportunity to learn more by going to one-on-one email. This is the very type of discussion our readers want!!!!!<BR>Second - There a bunch of good books out there, but as Rick mentioned, after you've read one or all of them, and taken their hints, practice and trial and error will eventually make you expert, or at least, moderately proficient. One book is "The Art of Metal Bumping" (can't remember author, but it's an older book in reprint), another is Matt Joseph's book on restoration. If you need more detail on how to find the books, let me know.<BR>Third - one eights of an inch of filler is way too much. When you get to bare metal, first use an epoxy primer such as DP-40 to protect the metal. Any time you penetrate this primer, replace it. Over that use only primer-filler while working the metal and finding trouble spots. Don't use bondo or similar fillers until you have gotten the metal as straight as possible, or at your wit's end. Get that baby straight before you use a very thin filler.

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Well Hal, it looks like we just got the devil from Father Ron!<P>You guys didn't miss anything. He was giving me his recipe for Cajun Shrimp and I was giving him mine for PA Dutch Pot-Pie.<P>Hal, you need to get rid of that primer. You do not want to be mixing those primers. Purchace a quality sprayable High-Fill primer as Dupont 'Fill n Sand' or Martin Senior 'Primeez' and use no less a medimum reducer. What type of Body Shop supplier (Brands) do you have there? I may help you better if I know. Don't want it to be making it confussing for you. I know from your "recipe" you'll be OK.<P>Oh, when I said moisture I'm meaning product and solvent moisture, not as in water. Slow things up in that area.<P>Rick<P><BR>------------------<BR>Rick Hoover<BR>AACA # 409952<BR>Hershey Region<p>[This message has been edited by Rick Hoover (edited 02-19-2000).]

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Hi,<BR>I don't know a thing about any of this, having never done any bodywork more sophisticated than touching up rock dings. And not well either. But I wanted to say, please don't take this to private email. I am trying to learn from your mistakes here. smile.gif<P>If someone is not interested in reading it, they can skip the thread. That is the beauty of the UBB system.<P>Cheers, 3MP

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Guest Hal Davis (MODEL A HAL)

OK Rick,<P>I checked with a supplier that was recommended by another Model A guy. They sell Martin Senior or Signor or however you spell it. As laquers are no longer available here, I suppose I will go with acrylic enamel. They said to use an etching primer since I had gone to bare metal. I am still uncertain whether I can use etching primer over bondo. Sanding off the "spray bomb" primer is not a big deal, but I really don't want to have to take all the bondo back off.

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OK,<P>Clean up your panels the best you can. You can still spray a "mist coat" of primer over your worked area to then re-check your high / low spots. Remember, get your panels straight now, not after you prime.<P>Martin Senior self-etching primer( my mind just went blank for its product name) is a must and is ok to be sprayed over your filler. You want to spray at least 2 medium coats. ( "Get yourself the best spray mask you can get" ) Let that self-etch dry at least 4 hours ( longer the better) before priming right over it with Martin Senior "primeez" primer. Use a medium temp.( 65-75 deg. ) reducer. Mix as stated on the can (I usually go 65 primer : 45 reducer.<P>As for when you paint, it's matters what you prefer. I use Acrylic Enamel on almost 90 percent of my jobs. We'll get to that later.<BR>( My finger is tired of typing )<P>Stay with Martin Senior as it is one of the brands we use here. Another thing is that you said they don't sell lacquer there. We had a discussion on this here earlier. If you want Lacquer, let me know. I have all model A formulas. (I think)<P>Oh Hal, you'll be ok with the old filler! Just try to get it down the best you can.<BR>Good Luck,<BR>Rick<P>------------------<BR>Rick Hoover<BR>AACA # 409952<BR>Hershey Region<p>[This message has been edited by Rick Hoover (edited 02-21-2000).]

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Guest Hal Davis (MODEL A HAL)

I will definitely use acrylic enamel for the fenders and related parts that get painted black. As for the upper and lower body colors, I would be interested in laquer. I understand it is easier to work with for a beginner. Wouldn't the laquer require a different type primer than we have been discussing? Any way, I have a while to make that decision. I have not started on the body yet. The fenders, on the other hand, I intend to get primed in the next 2-3 weeks.

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Hal, <P>Lacquer is fine for the recommended primer. Both are acrylic lacquer. Yes your fenders and aprons should be done in Black A/Enamel.<P>Have you decided on body colors yet? That is something you might want to let me know about. Lacquer is drying up quickly here too. The only problem with lacquer is product shortage due to lack of demand. I would not wait for the 11th hour on this.<P>Rick

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Guest elk93001

Model A Hal:<P>For Christmas one year, my folks ordered a metalworking techniques video by Covell Productions. I think these videos are sold in the Eastwood catalog. The video has been helpful in explaining the "hammer on/hammer off" dolly techniques to raise and lower body panels. You may want to consider this as a way to get started.<P>By the way, this is a pretty interesting topic, as all topics in this forum have helped me answer questions before I ask them (clairvoyant forum?). So please don't deny the forum of questions and answers for fear that we are bored, they actually help!<P>PS If somebody is really bored, they can ignore this thread.

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Guest Hal Davis (MODEL A HAL)

Rick,<P>First, I want to make sure I understand you correctly. Acrylic enamel and acrylic lacquer both use the same primers?<P>Second, I intend to paint the body Bonnie Grey and Chelsea Blue. Do you have those colors available in acrylic lacquer? Do I need a gallon of each? or less? Not a lot of surface area, but I know it needs several coats. What is the shelf life? It may be a year or more before I actually need it. Let me know how to go about getting it.

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Hal,<P>Yes, that's correct about the primer. You can paint enamel product over lacquer products, but not the other way around. So, you will use the same primer throughout the job.<P>As for the paint, I am working on that now. I need to see if all product is on hand to produce these two colors. Will let you know.<BR>Remind me again, what body style are you doing? With that and finding out if I can mix up lacquer for sure, will tell us how much product to get. I always buy more than I'll need, on every job. <P>Shelf life; I have bonney gray here in storage for a Model A coupe I did 14 years ago. And that's a/enamel. Lacquer has a almost endless shelf life. I have some lacquer paint here from the 70's.<P>Let me know about which body, and I will work on these colors.<P>Rick<BR> <p>[This message has been edited by Rick Hoover (edited 02-24-2000).]

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Hey Hal,<P>Bad News! I'm striking out all over finding lacquer for this up here. Things really dried up here also, more than I knew. Would find one brands formula but not enough tints to make it and others with formula for Chelsea but not for Bonney, ect., ect. Did'nt give up yet, but it's looking bad. Least I'm learning things. Acrylic Enamel may be the way to go, as that's all I use here. (It will give you a better job.) Oh well, will keep you posted! <BR>Rick

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Guest Hal Davis (MODEL A HAL)

Not a big deal. Knowing that lacquer was scarce, I had about decided to go with acrylic enamel. (until you got my hopes up) Back on the primer front; Boy, they sure don't give that self etching stuff away, do they? Do you use a sealer or primer-sealer over the primer-surfacer before putting on the color coats? Or do you just apply the color over the primer-surfacer? What grit sandpaper do you use between the self etch and the primer-surfacer? What about on the primer-surfacer before sealing or color, etc...?

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Yeh, sorry about doing that with the lacquer.<BR>So you like paying these prices eh, I'll tell you, I sometimes get the shakes carrying these monthly bills out to the mailbox to send to customers. The whole thing is pass getting nuts. Just bought the "Goya Red" paint for a '31 Packard we're doing. ( $170.00 per gallon ) Anyhow,<P>1. Yes, I use a sealer on top of the finished primer right before painting. This will be Martin Senior #5500 called Poly- Satin. This is sprayed straight from the can. ( No Reducing ). I will spray (2) medium coats at 45-50 psi. You can paint directly over (after tack cloth) from 30 minutes up to 7 days after applied, but don't wait that long. You do not have to sand the sealer. ( Unless dust specks get in it )<P>2. You do not have to sand the self-etch primer. Only if you picked up some dirt in it or ran it. Do not apply it on heavy. (3) light to medium coats as long as it covers the panel. Remember always use a tack rag between every application of coats and product. ( Except between coats of enamel painting!) Tacking is just a good habit and saves sanding out dust specks, ect; later.<P>3.Sanding your base primer. This differs from job to job. You could load prime and dry block sand with 180 grit or (220 / 240 dry or wet) to make sure your panel is straight. Then, say you feel your panel is in tip top shape and your ready to final primer and wet block sand, you could start out with 320 grit, reload and then final sand with 400 grit or go right to 400 after 220. I always finish sand with 400 grit. This is a try it and learn it area. Once you get into it awhile sanding you'll see what I mean. Holler if anything else comes up.<P>Wait till we talk painting!! (as Dan would say BOY HOWDY!)<BR>Rick

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Hal Davis (MODEL A HAL)

HELP! RICK!<P>Well, today was the day. The Trio-prime self etch primer went very well. It took a while to determine how much I needed. I kept mixing up too little and running out, but other than that, no problem.<P>The Primeez, on the other hand, was a disaster. The overspray formed "strings" if you will. It looked like lint or spider webs covered with primer. At first we (my gorgeous assistant/wife) thought that we had not tacked well enough and that we had left some lint from the rags we used to wipe off the fender, but as it got worse, it was obvious that it was being formed by the overspray.<P>You had recommended #3099 reducer for the Primeez. They did not have any and assured me that NAPA 15240 (lacquer thinner) was the same thing. One other thing, on the can of Primeez 3255 it says to use CS-20 or CS-30 1:1 to thin it with. It had no mention of #3099.<P>Is my problem solvent related or improper spray gun adjustment or what? At first it did well, but progressively got worse until it was so bad I had to stop. I could spray away from my fender into the air and actually see the "strings" fall to the ground. <P>My gut instinct is to get some of the CS-20 or CS-30 and give it a try, but I'd like an expert opinion first.<P>Thanks,<P>Hal<BR>

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Hal,<BR>I don't know what CS-20 and 30 is, or 15240 is either. Tell them to get that #3099 in stock. You want a medium reducer in that primer. I'm sure the CS-20 / 30 is OK. Is that other reducer their NAPA / MSA brand? If it is, stop using it.<P>As for the primer problems. You could have one or several of these problems.<BR>1. To high of air pressure. 45-50 psi.<BR>2. To thick of reduced primer. Thin it out a little more. (I think this is yours)<BR>3. Poor volume mixture.( to much air ) Adjust the lower adjustment screw out on the gun more.<BR>4. Close up the spray pattern on the gun. (top adjustment screw.)<BR>5. Shooting too far away from panel.<BR>6. IMPROPER REDUCER.<BR>7. Not tacked well enough. Wife's are always right!<P>Don't be afraid of putting it on wet. Just let it flash off well before you re-apply other coats.<BR>Try this out and let me know, I'll be around.<BR>Sorry, I'm just now reading this, I had a car club here today and didn't turn this on to late tonight.<P>Let me know,<BR>Rick

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Guest Hal Davis (MODEL A HAL)

The 15240 is NAPA Econo-Body lacquer thinner. Sounds like I should retire it to spray gun cleaning. <P>As for pressure, I had it set to 37-38 psi with the trigger pulled. <P>Too thick? Possibility, but not for the reason you might think. When we were mixing, it appeared that the solids kept wanting to sink to the bottom, but we finally got it mixed, or so I thought. As the first fender went fairly well until almost done then the second fender was a nightmare, I wonder if the thick solids hadn't sunk to the bottom of the cup as time passed and were being drawn up into the sprayer. <P>The pattern may well have been set too big. It was probably 6-8 inches tall at 8-10 inches away. The air volume adjustment was wide open. I played with the paint volume adjustment, but kept getting the same results.<P>As for tacking. I don't think that was the problem. Man, you should have seen this. As it got worse, it was almost like the Silly-String that kids have at birthday parties. I could have swept up a handful of these little "strings".<P>My money is on improper reducer. I will get a different reducer this week and try again next weekend.<P>Thanks, Hal

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Hal,<BR>That's what I thought about the reducer. Use it for cleaning the gun only. Sometimes these wash thinners won't even do that. If a thinner looks yellow and not crystal clear I won't use it for cleaning guns. NEVER use anything labeled Econo or "cheap" on a Antique Car. Thinner is as important as anything else you spray on the car. The primer should never seperate in the gun, or as you say, solid go to the bottom. Call NAPA tomorrow and order the #3099 so you have it next weekend. I have a $10. spot here that says that was your problem. <P>As for tacking, that was only for your wife's sake. ( Now I know your young!/WIFES ARE NEVER WRONG!)<P>Good luck, let me know,<BR>Rick<P>

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to return to Model A Hal's first question:<P>I too am a novice body man, just learning how to use my Chinese hammers and dollies. Matt Joseph in his "Standard Guide to Automobile Restoration" has some good advice on feeling for bumps and dents. He says, you can't do it with your bare hands. Use a cotton cloth between your hand and the metal. With practice you can feel dents and bumps that you cannot see. Thus far I have begun my dent removal without removing the paint therefore as you remove the dent gradually and sand occasionally you can get a good sense of bumps and dents. For fine tuning your repair on bare metal Joseph suggests using a broad magic marker to blacken the area under study. Then going over it gently with a file to locate high spots. Thus far I have successfully removed some dents from my hood. <P>I would highly recommend Joseph's book as an introduction to bodywork He makes you understand that there is more to body work than meets the eye yet he makes you believe that it can be done and you can do it. A very entertaining, readable, and informative book for the beginning restorer.

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Guest Hal Davis (MODEL A HAL)

Thanks Bart. I think I will buy it. As a matter of fact, I just tried to call a bookstore to see if they had it, but forgot I was connected to the Internet.<P>Hal

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Hal,<P>Good news for a Monday!<BR>Found the lacquer paints for the car. No problems except having to pay for it. The Bonnie Gray is $120.10 per gallon. and the Chelsea Blue is $35.65 per quart. I would go (2) gals. on the Bonnie and (2) qts. on the Chelsea. ( Or what ever )<BR>Both will be matched to good chips. Formulas are out, so I'd make sure you get more than enough to do the job in case of a mistake or two.<BR>No problems if you no longer want lacquer, just wanted to let you know. I'll have to figure out a shipping deal here to cut down on the Hazardous Materials shipping costs. Let me know.<P>Rick

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Guest Hal Davis (MODEL A HAL)

Rick,<P>Definitely interested. What else is needed to thin/reduce the lacquer. Lacquer thinner would be my guess, but I sometimes tend to oversimplify things. (Who's buried in Grant's tomb?) I assume that whatever it is would be available here. <P>Incidentally, what is the difference between thinner and reducer? According to NAPA, CS-20 and CS-30 are "compliant" reducers, where 3099 is a thinner. They still don't have it. I think I will go with the CS-30. That is the one they consider "medium", and it is in stock.<P>You can e-mail me with the shipping details.<P>Ron & Bart<P>Thanks for your input. I have the book on order from Booksgazillion.<P>Hal

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Model A Hal, How about posting some photos of this work in progress. Are you planning on showing this car when finished? When is the estimated completion date?<BR> Rick, don't tell Hal that it takes at least <BR>twice the estimated time.<BR>later-jac<p>[This message has been edited by jac (edited 03-27-2000).]

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That's why I wanted you to get #3099 reducer. That way, it would help keep things simplfied for you. You would use the #3099 for the lacquer paint also. ( this would depend on what time of the year you would be painting.) Here in PA., I pretty much can get away with using a medium reducer all year round. I would only assume you have higher temps and humidity there in the summer, if that's when you end up painting. So, you would want a slow reducer as not to blush the paint. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.<BR>As for the paint, I'll get that going when you give me the word. And yes, I want to do all addressing and tranactions on e-mail, no matter if Father Ron does yell at us. You tell me when and how much paint and we'll go from there. I was just glad they called back and have the correct tints. I only heard of this local company but never used them. They told me that lacquer is never a problem. Their company name is " Paint & Lacquer".<BR>( go figure )<P>Rick<P>

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Rick, gimmee a break! I agree with you that when you get down to "transactions", email is the best place to handle them. What I didn't want to lose was the technical background that we all need to learn.<P>To show my simple frame of mind, I thought that thinners were for lacquer and reducers were for enamels. Now you say that there is a reducer that can be used for enamels or lacquers. What is the difference?

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Guest Hal Davis (MODEL A HAL)

Jac<P>There's not much to look at right now unless you want some "before" photos. I intend for it to be a driver. Maybe "display" would be a better word than "show". I will definitely display it at our local shows, but not for judging. We don't judge our own cars anyway. As for completion date, I would say a couple of years. I don't work on it every day, and can't afford to spend all the money at once. <P>Rick,<P>Tell us the difference between thinner and reducer. And yes, it gets hot and humid. We have already had some 80+ degree days here, and it's still March! <P>Hal

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First to just Ron, Sorry, don't take that in a bad sence. I was just checking to see if you were asleep at the Helm! I hope finding you on duty will have a affect in your paycheck here.<P>Now for business. That is my poor wording you see here. Yes, lacquer is thinner and enamel is reducer. Why? I don't know, other than a wording to separate the two from being mixed, maybe. <BR>This became our morning coffee discussion after I spilled my first one today. (Dan!) <P>As for the CS-20 and CS-30, I think this is a sign of what's ahead for us. It is a low VOC "Thinner/Reducer" versus lacquer thinner as we know it. (Which is high in VOC's) I believe this may be why they don't stock or they may not be allowed to have the #3099 thinner there in your area. Enviromental hazard concerns with automotive refinishes I believe, are rapidly changing thoughout our country and beyond. (This may be a issuse for us on another thread here later.) So I believe this is why they are saying "compliant" with the CS-20/30. I have several cans of the Primeez primer on hand here and only the newer cans say anything about the CS-20. Something I never noticed before. My NAPA / Martin Senour doesn't stock CS-20/30 here yet as we here in Central Pa. have not been regulated as of yet. (Heck, we're still dealing with Three Mile Island here in my back yard.)<BR>I wonder Hal, what we're doing to use to thin the paint with down there? <P>Rick<p>[This message has been edited by Rick Hoover (edited 03-28-2000).]

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I've been told that lacquer thinner is called that because it thins the paint and is not incorporated in the finish at all (completely evaporating), while enamel reducer is partially incorporated into the finish (which cures rather than dries). Chemically they are more or less the same, being made up of varying proportions of aliphatic and aromatic compounds.<P>By the way, off spec batches of these things tend to turn up in some cheap high test gasolines.

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Guest Hal Davis (MODEL A HAL)

Rick,<P>Went to the paint store today and got some CS-20, CS-30, and some 3095. They can get 3099, just don't stock it. Martin Seniour was nice enough to include a temperature chart on the 3095 which says it can be used from 80 to 90 degrees for 1 or 2 panels. They weren't so nice on the CS-20 and CS-30. The lady at the counter did tell me that CS-30 was medium and CS-20 was slow. I assume the temperature ranges are similar for the compliant vs. the "good ol' stuff".

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