Classic Car Restoration in Crowborough | Using a Low-Bake Oven for Body and Bumper Repairs

Located in Tunbridge Wells, Hillary’s Coachworks has a local history spanning more than two centuries. We made our name in the manufacture of horse-drawn carriages. Tradition is still the heartbeat of our company. This reflects in our classic car repair and classic car restoration services. From single panel and bumper repairs, to accident repairs and full resprays, we have the region covered with a complete service range.

Everything we do for classic car owners from nearby areas like Crowborough might be steeped in tradition, but car body repairs in the modern age rely heavily on new innovations.

Nowhere is this truer than with refinishing. This is one of the most critical phases of a classic car repair or classic car restoration job. People rarely think about the hard work that goes into the physical side of a repair. They only make an assessment on the quality of the topcoat and, as many people might know from decorating a room at home, a topcoat is only ever as good as the preparation work that goes into it.

Classic car owners from Crowborough can use us for accident repairs, restorations and bumper repairs with confidence because our premises have a modern low-bake oven.

Our quality car body repairs owe much to this facility.

What is a Low-Bake Oven?

A low-bake oven is a vital workshop installation where our technicians paint a repaired car. An oven has two very important features. The first is filter extraction. This creates a cleaner environment for refinishing and reduces the volume of airborne particles that could contaminate the wet paintwork. It also reduces the emission of volatile organic compounds to protect users and the surrounding environment.

The second is a bake mode that cures and hardens paint much faster than air drying. We can have the paintwork for accident repairs and car body repairs baked within 30 minutes of the final coat, ready for our engineers to start refitting. This has obvious benefits for our Crowborough customers, who can have their cars repaired inside a much shorter timeframe.

Based on workloads, we can turn around small jobs, like one-panel car body repairs or bumper repairs, in a single day.

Understandably, accident repairs take longer to complete but having a low-bake oven at our disposal means the refinishing side of the job is always one of the fastest. Hillary’s Coachworks uses ICI paints which, when used with the correct hardeners and accelerators, also promote fast drying times.

Many of our customers from the Crowborough area choose us for repairs because ICI paints apply so well on classic models.

Optimal Refinishing Conditions

One thing we’ve yet to discuss is temperature regulation. All paint manufacturers have a recommended temperature range for applying material. Low-bake ovens have burners which create heat, and thermostats to control it. Typically, for accident repairs and car body repairs, we apply paint at a temperature of between 18°C and 22°C. At this range, paint atomises as it should, flashing off at intervals of between 5 and 10 minutes.

With three coats of colour followed by two coats of lacquer, we can set up, paint and bake a car inside 90 minutes. Smaller jobs, like bumper repairs, need a shorter amount of oven time.

Owners from Crowborough who choose Hillary’s Coachworks for classic car repairs and classic car restorations benefit from faster service delivery, but modern low-bake ovens also play an important role in job quality too. Fewer contaminants in the air means less time spent cutting and polishing the job once dry. This ensures we can move onto the next customer’s car, doing what we do best, sooner rather than later.

Call 01892 520500 for accident repairs, bumper repairs and classic car restorations. We cover Crowborough and Southern England.