Monday, February 18, 2019

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water damage restoration near me

Months after storm, Hurricane Florence's effects linger near Duke Marine Lab - Duke Chronicle

Posted: 05 Feb 2019 12:00 AM PST

Crawling inland at a slow rate of 3 miles per hour, Hurricane Florence dropped approximately 8 trillion gallons of rain on North Carolina. 

In the short time since the hurricane, the Duke University Marine Laboratory has chipped in to play a small part in helping the slow recovery process.

The Hurricane made landfall south of Wrightsville Beach, N.C. on Sept. 14 as a Category 1 storm, yet Florence shattered previous flood records set by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Gov. Roy Cooper announced in October that estimates of damage caused by the storm reached $13.7 billion, but the greater ecological impact has yet to be fully understood. Some coastal residents will still feel the effects of the damage for months to come.

Toxic flooding and pollution

Flooded rivers bring pollution and debris to the ocean, which can create dead zones where marine life cannot survive. In addition, the floodwaters can carry pollutants hazardous to human health across large distances.

"In North Carolina, when storms like Florence hit, there's a delayed impact where the water will run down toward the coast through rivers and you'll see flooding that doesn't peak until a week after the storm," WRAL investigative reporter Tyler Dukes said.

Eastern North Carolina's economy has been supported by large-scale hog farms after the fall of Big Tobacco in the 1990s. Waste from the farms are flushed into open pit lagoons. Florence caused at least 110 of these lagoons to flood, killing 5,500 hogs and 4.1 million chickens and turkeys. 

In addition to the flooding of hog lagoons, two Duke Energy coal ash pits experienced significant flooding. Coal ash is a byproduct of burning coal for energy production which contains toxic heavy metals such as mercury and arsenic. 

Waterkeeper Alliance, an environmental advocacy group, released test results showing arsenic levels 71 times the state water quality standard by the Cape Fear Riverwatch downstream from the dam breach. Arsenic levels upstream of the dam breach were only a fraction of state standards.

The Department of Environmental Quality, however, released test results showing all but one heavy metal to be below state standards. Copper was detected at a level slightly above the standard. The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority said that any coal ash flooding would not threaten treated water being supplied to 200,000 people in Wilmington.

Courtesy of Sean Rowe
Students and volunteers at the Duke Marine Lab brought supplies to smaller towns to the northern and eastern parts of the state once the flooding in Beaufort began to subside.

Stepping in to help

Although Florence made landfall south of Wilmington, Swansboro, a town further northeast along the coast, was hit with the most precipitation in the state, receiving over 33 inches of rain. 

A 40-minute drive east from Swansboro lies Beaufort, the third-oldest town in the state and home to the Duke Marine Laboratory and other historic sites, including where Blackbeard the pirate ran his flagship the Queen Anne's Revenge aground in 1718.

"Since Florence, we have pulled up over 100,020 pounds of debris including 11 vessels, 34 illegal moorings and seven car tires within Beaufort waterways. A lot of it was storm debris and some had been in place for quite some time," said Rett Newton, PhD student at the Duke Marine Laboratory and Mayor of Beaufort.

Newton said the town was fortunate the hurricane made landfall as a Category 1 storm, as it had been classified as a Category 4 hurricane while still over the ocean. Duke Energy arrived in Beaufort with military grade equipment to try to turn the power back on. 

The town ran out of food altogether, and rescue groups distributed Meals, Ready to Eat to citizens from the fire station. Across Carteret County, there was a need to provide shelter for displaced residents, but no place for them to go. Newton said the economic divide became very physically visible during the storm.

"Right after Hurricane Florence hit, it was clear that there was a lot of damage along the coast," said Nancy Kelly, Director of Nicholas Community Engagement & Events at Duke. "Our response plan focused on Carteret County because of our Beaufort campus. The Marine Lab was severely damaged, but Duke has a lot of resources that others in the community do not."

Shortly after the storm, Marine Lab graduate students, postdocs and faculty mobilized to help recovery efforts. Students who had evacuated to Durham raised money on social media to fill their cars with relief supplies and bring them to the coast. As donations became more readily available in Beaufort, students packed up their cars once again to bring relief supplies to rural towns that faced more damage and received less help.

Duke undergraduate students also took initiative to help how they could. Trevyn Toone, a senior at the Marine Lab, made and sold t-shirts to people across Carteret and Durham counties raising over $1,000 for relief supplies purchases. Kelly also organized two day trips over fall break where undergraduate students in Durham could volunteer to help clean up in Carteret County.

About 30 or 40 students took the three-hour bus ride to Beaufort either day, bringing supplies from a donation drive on main campus and working to clean up houses that had been suffered water damage. They helped clean up mold, raked marsh grass, cleared yards and pitched tarps over roofs for first responders and members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plains.

"Students went door to door checking in on citizens, offering rides to the FEMA office, helping with language barriers, identifying individuals who might need assistance," said Rachel Lo Piccolo, PhD Program Coordinator at the Duke Marine Laboratory. "They took it on themselves to learn about FEMA and DSNAP, a federal program for emergencies allowing people to apply for money for groceries. The students learned about these programs and facilitated bringing them to the public."

Courtesy of the Nicholas School of the Environment
The Marine Lab brought mental health professionals to the coast after the storm to help at nearby public schools and volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club of the Coastal Plains.

'There is more work than there is labor'

Since much of the flood water didn't reach the coast until a week after the storm, many buildings experienced water damage after Florence had left the area. The damage led to high incidences of black mold, which is highly linked to cancers and birth defects. 

In Beaufort, the residents in units where mold was present were evicted and housed in emergency shelters. In more rural areas, many stayed in their damaged homes for shelter with nowhere else to go.

"Our house was not as badly damaged as others, but we had mold in the ceiling of our bedroom," said Leslie Acton, a postdoctoral research fellow at Colorado State University living in the Beaufort area. "We tried to stay, but I have really bad allergies and was really sensitive. My eyes were red and swollen and people asked me if I got punched in the face. We stayed for three or four days and then stayed with friends around here."

Acton and a group of her friends took loads of supplies in their car to underserved towns north of Beaufort, including Marymount and South River. Newton suggested they go to the smaller towns in the north because the towns to the east, which received more precipitation, were better organized and had clearer avenues to get resources.

"The key needs were information about FEMA, food aid and lost wages aid. I knew that kind of information but was not getting to a lot of people who needed it the most," Acton said. "There were a lot of rumors going around that people were stopping at houses and pretending to be FEMA to come inside and stake out the houses to rob."

Much of the community began communicating via a Facebook group called "Beaufort NC – Florence Community Support Group." The group's name has since been changed to "Beaufort / Down East Community News" and continues to serve as a place where residents can ask questions, find links to apply for FEMA and find housing such as FEMA trailers.

Marian Tucker and Brenda Lee of Newport also created a nonprofit called Carteret Warriors for Recovery about two weeks after Florence.

"I felt lucky that we didn't have any major damage at our house, just a little roof damage," Tucker said. "I wanted to help people that weren't as fortunate and basically through the generosity of our community, we've been able to get the group off the ground."

The nonprofit has helped supply over 300 families with clothing, linens, houseware appliances and furniture, especially mattresses. They've expanded to help Carteret, Onslow and Craven counties. About half of the 300 families lost everything in the storm initially, while the rest were later evicted from their apartments due to water damage. Tucker estimates that only about 25 percent of the families they've helped are back in their homes.

"Duke has millions of dollars to pour into restoration effort, but there aren't enough contractors to do the actual work to rebuild," said Stacy Zhang, PhD student at the Duke Marine Laboratory. "People are coming from all over the country right now to help rebuild, but there is more work than there is labor.... I drive by a lot of the homes we put tarps on, and the tarps are still there three and a half months later.

"We've seen trucks and vans from Alabama and Arkansas. Contractors are coming in from everywhere to try to help," added Acton, who moved back into her home on Dec. 3.

The Marine Lab community also made counseling and mentoring local children a key part of the recovery process. They brought mental health professionals from Durham to volunteer and offer services to children at the Boys and Girls Club of the Coastal Plains and Carteret County Public Schools. In addition, students, staff and faculty volunteered at local Boys and Girls Clubs to help after the complete destruction of the facilities and to become long-term mentors to local families.

Elizabeth Demattia teaches a service learning course at the Duke Marine Lab where students created science and art projects to show both the physical and emotional effects of Florence. They made a "heat map" by asking children what they would tell the hurricane if they could or what they would tell other community kids.

"We want people to read the words. There were times when I teared up," Demattia said. "Half of my class really wanted to talk about the justice and mental health of hurricane trauma and the other half wanted to talk about protections from the shoreline and ecological response."

Navigating FEMA paperwork

Despite the efforts of the community to provide information about applying for FEMA reimbursements, the process remained confusing for many residents. FEMA requires applications and supplies funds meant to supplement already existing insurance. A homeowner needs to be able to show that the damage was caused by the hurricane, a complicated process that differs in the amount of proof needed for wind and water damage.

"I heard that if people got denied, it could have been because they were helping out the people who had the most intense damage first and that if you appealed your denial, you had an okay chance of being approved that time," Acton said. "I don't know if that's accurate, but a lot of people at the Marine Lab had a lot of damage that only became clear after the fact, such as a small leak that caused mold and became catastrophic later on."

Acton sought out FEMA workers directly to try to distribute information to the families of the Boys and Girls Club of the Coastal Plains and to the northern towns she had visited that weren't receiving much help.

"A FEMA person went to North River one day but only had one or two people come and sign up. Reasons for that could be a ton: bad advertising, people already applied, people might not have been home, couldn't get to the fire station, trust issues and all kinds of tensions," Acton said. "It's unfortunate they didn't help as many people as they wanted to and I'm afraid that's going to deter them from helping in the future."

Most homeowners were still awaiting federal assistance from Matthew when Florence hit.

North Carolina received less than 1 percent of the federal refunds requested after Hurricane Matthew in 2016, which only estimated $1.5 billion in damage as opposed to Florence's $13.7 billion. As of Sept. 1, North Carolina had only released $2 million of the $266 million it received in federal rebuilding money after Matthew. 

What comes next?

Cooper's $1.5 billion plan for Florence recovery anticipates help from private insurance and federal and state government. He initially released $56.5 million for immediate recovery. He is proposing to put $750 million in a special fund in the state budget for 2019 to pay for future storm relief.

He also emphasized that taxes would not be raised in order to do this. The relief money is meant to get displaced people in permanent homes, help small businesses survive and help the state's agriculture industry.

As the funds to support hurricane relief programs are being redistributed elsewhere, the country continues to face climate change events that are potentially increasing the intensity of hurricanes. Hurricanes form over warm seas, and in the past 100 years, the global average sea temperature has risen by about 1 degree Celsius.

The Duke Marine Lab and other organizations are already investigating the environmental impact of Florence as well as ways to increase natural defenses along shorelines such as rock walls, oyster sills, marshes and jetties, which help protect more than man-made sea walls.

"I think we have so many natural disasters happening back to back it's hard to remember that people are deeply affected for years," Kelly said. "I really want to encourage people to come outside of their little bubble and help those that are in need. It's so widespread it can be overwhelming, but if everyone pitches in a little bit, it really does go a long way."

Watch This 1969 Yenko Chevelle Go From Barn Find to Beautiful - MSN Autos

Posted: 11 Feb 2019 02:59 PM PST

a large piece of machinery: 003-nelson-1969-chevrolet-chevelle-yenko-intro-removed-quarter-panel.jpg

When you come across a rare muscle car, you make sure you cross your Ts and dot your Is when restoring it. When you come across a one-of-99 car, such as this 1969 Yenko Chevelle, you go way beyond correct alphabets. And when it is one of just seven known Garnet Red Yenko Chevelles, you make sure every detail is exactly as the factory built the car.

Such is the case with this 1969 Yenko Chevelle, which was purchased last year from the estate of the original owner. It was located in his garage with only 19,895 miles on the odometer, having been parked there since it was damaged in an accident in 1970. Annie Hartweg and I are co-owners of MuscleCar Restoration and Design in Pleasant Plains, Illinois. We made the purchase with the agreement that the car would be restored to the highest of standards with no corners cut.

After two days were spent clearing out the garage to retrieve the Chevelle, it went to our shop for lots of documentation and history gathering. As with so many barn- or garage-find stories, more often than not there is a massive amount of rust damage that has occurred to these cars over time. Fortunately, that was not the case with this Chevelle. However, there was considerable damage done to both the body and the frame. It would need a lot of attention and fine detail work to be returned to the way the Baltimore factory had built it. There was not only damage from two unfortunate accidents, but also from the many four-legged animals that called this Chevelle home for the last 47 years.

Fortunately for us, our friends Jamie Cooper and Joe Griffith and their crew at Super Car Restoration in Clymer, Pennsylvania, are as dedicated to detail and correctness as we are. Jamie, Joe, and crew have been doing the paint and bodywork for MuscleCar Restoration and Design's customer's cars for several years and with good reason. It was only natural that we would hand over the duties of restoring the body of our personally owned car to them as well.

a car parked in front of a building: 002-nelson-1969-chevrolet-chevelle-yenko-intro-in-process-in-front-of-scr© Hot Rod Network Staff 002-nelson-1969-chevrolet-chevelle-yenko-intro-in-process-in-front-of-scr

Speaking to the Chevelle's owner, as well as to close family friends and people who had seen the car over the years, we learned about two separate incidents in which the car had been damaged. The first happened when the car was fairly new and the owner let another family member or friend drive it. This individual supposedly drove down the driveway not having a clue how much power the car had, and jumped the ditch on the other side of the road, landing squarely on the frame and rocker panels directly behind the doors. This damaged the frame and all but crushed the rocker panels from the doors back to the rear wheel openings.

Rumor has it the next accident occurred sometime in 1970, when the owner came out of a bar after playing pool and having had one too many. He crashed it into a guardrail or some other solid object, taking out the front clip, driver's door, and quarter-panel. For reasons unknown (be it lack of insurance, his having been drinking and driving, or just plain embarrassment), the owner claimed the car had been stolen and then relocated. He then brought the car home and disassembled the front clip, likely in an effort to rebuild it, which never happened. Everything in the owner's garage was disassembled, and nothing had been returned to its original shape. It seemed the car was destined to live the rest of its life in a mass of parts and disarray.

After bringing the car home, we and our crew at MuscleCar Restoration and Design donned full body suits and removed some 3 inches of raccoon feces and skeletons from the floors, seats, cowl, and trunk. We then completely disassembled everything but the main body and rolling chassis to get a firsthand look at the challenges that lay ahead. Much to our surprise, after pulling the original carpet back and expecting to find massive amounts of rust due in part to all the urine from the raccoons, we found nothing but original primered and solid floor pans. Unfortunately, we also found a fair share of damage from both accidents.

Super Car Restoration would be faced with fixing a bent forward frame, a firewall that was damaged in the area of the driver's footwell where the clutch Z-bar had impacted it, two rocker panels, a missing door, a rolled drip rail on the driver's side, and a very badly damaged quarter-panel, not to mention a small dent in the center of the taillight panel. For reasons that no one can explain, the owner had cut a very large hole in the quarter-panel as if to remove the window regulator, which could have been easily removed from inside the car by simply taking out the seat and side armrest panel. Because the whole area was so badly damaged, it was agreed that a new GM N.O.S. panel would be the only way to fix this, and so the work began.—Rick Nelson

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Fixing the Chevelle's Quarter and Rocker Panels It may surprise you to learn that Jamie Cooper buys a lot of his replacement sheetmetal the same place you do: swap meets. The cars coming out of Super Car Restoration are at a level of quality that pretty much demands factory sheetmetal, so his first stop at a car event is the swap meet to look for new old stock (N.O.S.) or original parts. Some he will buy for a specific project; others he puts in inventory.

"If I found quarters for a 1969 Camaro at Spring Carlisle, I'd own them," he tells us. "We do tons of Camaros and Chevelles, so I know I'll eventually need them. The N.O.S. wheelhouses for this Chevelle I picked up at Carlisle two years ago. You don't want to pass this stuff by."

Many of his customers have done some (or all) of the parts collecting prior to the car arriving at his shop, a process that can take years. Rick Nelson supplied both original and N.O.S. sheetmetal for the Chevelle.

Nelson says, "When we first dug the car out from its 47-year-old tomb, we were unable to locate any of the front clip other than the original front fenders, which I felt were unusable as they had been twisted beyond repair. I then located an entire Malibu front clip that had been taken off a car in the 1980s. Everything I needed to put the front clip back in placewas there, other than an SS hood, which I later located."

The passenger door is original to the car, but, Nelson says, "for reasons unknown other than possible severe body damage, the driver's door was not located when the car was found. Using an N.O.S. door skin is one thing, but there was no way I was going to use an aftermarket door, more for the fact that it was a completely non-original GM part than the fact that it might not fit well. A good friend of mine,Luis Caceres-Rivera,not only located an original 1969 driver's door for me that was in excellent shape, but then he hand-delivered it to Super Car Restoration, which took more than an eight-hour drive for him."

Cooper says, "In the GM world we've been fortunate to have sources for N.O.S. parts. Do they fit good? Absolutely not. Not every time. From storage to swap meet to this guy to that guy, they're not 100 percent perfect. You always have to massage them."

On the other hand, "take-off original sheetmetal was on a car for all that time and bolted in the position it is supposed to be in, so it will usually fit much better," Nelson believes. "If you are lucky you are also using original assembly-line sheetmetal and not over-the-counter replacement sheetmetal, which can vary in both shape and in very small stamping details. This is why I elected to use original assembly-line parts on the front clip, bringing them back to bare steel and fixing minor imperfections while keeping all the small details that an assembly-line fender would have."

The rear quarter-panel that appears in this story "was a slightly different situation," says Nelson. "Finding an original assembly-line part still on a car would be hard to come by, not to mention the immense amount of labor it would take to remove it while keeping all the detail. For this reason I elected to locate and purchase a very nice N.O.S. quarter-panel."

To give you an idea of the bodywork processes done at Super Car Restoration, the photos and captions here describe how Cooper and his crew repaired the Chevelle's ruined driver-side quarter-panel and rocker panel. —Drew Hardin.

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Rocker Panel

Giving the Floor the Attention It Deserves In many restorations, car floors do not get the attention they deserve. It may be due to budget constraints or because the car owner (or the restoration shop) has the attitude that "it's just the floor." But when one is doing an assembly-line-correct, concours-level restoration, the floors are a key part of the project. Done correctly, they look like a work of art, even though much of the final product will be hidden from view.

There were six assembly plants building the Chevelle in 1969, seven in 1970. The cars they turned out definitely did not look the same. Take primer, for example. Not only was primer color different from plant to plant, but it even changed from year to year. In the Baltimore plant, where this car was built, the 1969 Chevelles were sprayed with a red oxide primer that was more of a reddish-brown than it was in 1970, when the primer had more of a rosette color to it. In the Arlington plant, by contrast, the red oxide primer was more of an orange-red, and that was the only plant that used that primer color.

Processes were different from plant to plant, too, and even from car to car within the same plant. Seam sealer may have been applied in one area of a particular car and missed on that same area of another. Why these kinds of things happened sometimes boiled down to the line workers themselves. They were under time constraints, with just minutes to get their tasks done and move on to the next car. If they fell behind, they may have skimped on certain areas, overlooked areas, or gotten sloppy when it came to properly covering an area.

Bottom line: No two cars are exactly alike. We spent days photographing and documenting every inch of this car, so we could duplicate the factory finishes as well as how they looked after assembly-line application. The photos here show how we made use of that information to restore the Chevelle's floor.—Jamie Cooper

Refinishing the Chevelle's Body Shell It would be impossible to encapsulate in this short space the hundreds of hours of work that go into top-quality bodywork and paint. What you see here, instead, is a "greatest hits" collection: the repair and replacement of certain key body panels in the previous two stories, and an overview of the body and sheetmetal paint process on these pages. Along the way, Super Car Restoration's Jamie Cooper has shared some valuable information about the long and often tedious tasks involved in a top-tier refinishing job, tips that should help you whether you are tackling a paint project yourself or interviewing prospective painters to do the job for you.

The photos and captions here illustrate the major steps taken by Cooper and his crew to bring Rick Nelson's Yenko Chevelle from bare metal to body drop. Below, Cooper discusses the pros and cons of paint types, something of a hot-button issue in the refinishing community.—Drew Hardin

a man holding a gun: 001-nelson-yenko-chevelle-floor-restoration-spraying-floor.jpg© Hot Rod Network Staff 001-nelson-yenko-chevelle-floor-restoration-spraying-floor.jpg

Solvent or Waterborne? More often than not, when talking paint products with potential clients, we get mixed reactions when we talk about waterborne basecoat. They hear the terms waterborne or water base and they panic. Whether they are leery of new technology or because there's water in the paint, or both, most people are just not real receptive to it.

Although waterborne basecoats are the latest technology, they are far from new. Waterborne paint technology was introduced to OE assembly plants in 1986. Waterborne technology gives you a much cleaner, brighter color than solvent systems. This was a big reason the factories went to it a number of years ago.

The waterborne basecoat we use (including on this Yenko Chevelle) is PPG's Envirobase High Performance, otherwise known as EHP. It was introduced to shops in 2006. Some of the advantages of EHP over solvent basecoat include less odor and improved air quality. EHP also gives you better metallic control than solvent basecoat, while requiring less product to achieve coverage. Where solvent basecoats are said to leave roughly 0.4 mil of film build per coat, waterborne basecoats leave half that, for a smoother, flatter surface to apply clearcoat over. Among the many benefits to the thinner overall coat is that it's much less likely to crack when body fasteners, like fender bolts, get tightened. EHP has better adhesion than solvent systems and is much more flexible, which in combination reduces the risk of stone chipping. If you do get a stone chip, it's much smaller.

Waterborne basecoats are much different from solvent. Not only do they require dedicated waterborne equipment (including a specific paint gun), but the drying process is totally different, too. Solvent systems are more prone to trapping solvent during drying, which can stay in the paint film for months, or even years, causing problems.

With a waterborne paint, creating turbulent airflow across the wet paint enhances flash times. EHP can be sanded to remove dirt specks or two-toned faster than solvent. And because there's almost no solvent in the waterborne paint, there's much less chance of it being trapped in the film, which helps the durability of the whole paint system.

Whether you are a believer in waterborne products or not, they are our future. Some states, such as California, already mandate their use because of air quality regulations. That trend may spread in the years to come, and there could come a point when we may not have a choice as to which one to use. That won't be an issue at our shop; we are already believers.—Jamie Cooper

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Firewall Markings As part of the restoration process, many people like to put assembly-line build notations back on the firewall as they were done at the factory. Unfortunately this is often done incorrectly. When the body was being produced, Fisher Body workers would write these notes on the bare steel firewall in various locations. These would alert workers down the assembly line as to some of the major options going on the car, what color the car would be, the car's body series number, and so on.

The 1969 Chevelles typically did not have as many of these markings as 1970 models. On a Chevelle you might find the number 13637, which is the body series number. Other numbers would spell out the transmission (M21, for example), stripes (D88), an SS engine option (Z15), color (RED), or a color number (52). I have seen mostly color names on 1969 Chevelles and color numbers on 1970 models. You may find no markings, or you may find a firewall that looks like a college chalkboard. It depends on the plant and the timing. Same goes for where the notations are on the firewall, as that depended on who was doing the writing.

We often see these markings written on top of black firewall paint, but that's not always correct. Some plants wrote the color number on the bare steel, while others wrote it on top of the black paint. My experience shows this depended on the paint order process—whether the firewall blackout paint or body paint came first.

Jamie and I both apply our firewall markings over primer because the car is primered immediately after blasting to protect against flash rusting. We use a grease pencil similar to what the factory used. Lacquer paint would not stick to the grease pencil markings, so years down the road, the paint would come off the areas that were marked, making them appear that they were on top of the paint originally (whether or not they actually were).

You may also find slash marks that were, in fact, added after the firewall paint to note locations for such things such as cowl hood relays or ground straps. Those are usually the exceptions.

The bottom line: Do your homework, and be very careful and slow when removing the firewall paint so as to expose any of these markings, where they were, the color of the markings (usually yellow), and if they were on top of the paint, on the bare steel, or both. —Rick Nelson

On Color Sanding

As the painter in this shop, let me be very honest about something. Although the painter usually gets the credit for an amazing paint job, I am not the reason the paint looks so flat and has such a high glamor. Wet sanding the outer body and the sheetmetal is time consuming and takes real talent and patience to do correctly. The sanding process from 800- to 5,000-grit takes more than 140 hours. This is what makes the painter look so good.

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