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automotive paint touch up training Q&A Review

What is hydrographic printing?

ref: ,WATER TRANSFER PRINTING AUSTRALIA - Technology and products information Hydrographics FAQ Here are some of the hydrographics questions and answer we normal see people asking us Remember to test products received on a couple of small items first! Our ,Speed Shapes, are perfectly design for this purpose How long does this process last and is it durable? The final finish last forever as its a permanent solution similar to your modern vehicle body finish, depending on the products used the protection may vary. We would advice to ask our professionals for the choice or top coats available for your product at the time of booking the parts or ordering our approved raw hydrographics materials. The film melted as soon as I laid it in the water (before spraying activator)? You missed one of several steps. You need to have a properly taped border. Also, water may have gotten on the top of the film after laying it in the water. Or there was activator left in the tank from a previous dip. After each dip you need to change/recycle the water AND wipe out the inside of the tank. After spraying the activator some parts of the film melt and some do not? It is important that when you spray the activator over the film that you spray in a smooth motion, covering the film, evenly, with activator. We recommend a good quality gravity spay gun to be user at low pressure. After spraying the film spread out too much / melted? Did you leave only (about) a one inch space between your taped film and the border of your dipping tank ,on all four sides,? If you don’t contain the film it spreads out quickly and ruins the pattern. Also, you may have used too much activator or waited too long to start the dipping process. The print looked great then smeared off? There could be several reasons for this, all of which are caused by not following the directions. Most commonly the cause is too much activator. Or you sprayed the activator unevenly. You’ll also have this problem if you don’t tape a border around your film and provide the right amount of space between your bordered film and the edges of the container. After spraying the activator on the film MANY air bubbles appeared on the film as it lying in the water? You may have laid the film on the water flat instead of “in a sling” as described in the directions. Rarely after laying the film in correctly you will see an air bubble appear and most of the time you can dip around that area if it can be avoided. The print looked great on the item ,after I dipped, but had air bubbles/ little holes on pattern Not enough activator or you didn’t give enough time for the activator to work. As long as you don’t go overboard with the activator this is ,usually, around the 15 – 20 second mark. Bubbles can also be cause by dipping with wrong angle and not allowing the bubbles to escape during the dip How much film will I need for each part? For a flat piece leave an inch of film around each side of the piece. For a 3-dimensional object (something with sides, corners, or curves) you’ll need enough film to cover the entire surface area of the object plus an inch left over on each side. How do I lay the film in the water? Hold the film in a sling from opposite diagonal corners and slowly release the film. When, and how long should I rinse my part after dipping? Wait about 90 seconds after dipping to rinse. Rinse as long as necessary to remove the residue – otherwise your finished product will have an unattractive sticky sheen. I’ve run out of paint, film, activator, etc. Do I have to buy another entire kit? You can buy additional supplies at ,our website, as you required them in a kit form or single items. Email us with your requirements if you can’t find a solution you need on the website. I’m having a hard time getting a good grip on my item for dipping. What can I do? Applying masking tape to the bottom of the item to create a handle or make a jig out of plumbing PVC materials as a cheap solution. The part printed great then started to eat into the base coat? This is a caused by not using the correct products or process during painting and preparation of the part. It can also be cause by too match activator or chemicals mismatch. How do I know which side of the film to put down in the water? Wet your fingers and touch both sides simultaneously , the side that sticks to your hand is the side that goes down into the water. Can I touch up a small imperfection? Yes, spray some activator into a small container. Use a small brush, dip into the activator then rub the brush onto a piece of the film. You can dilute some of the ink from the carrier and dab bit onto the area you wish to touch up. After this procedure wait 24 hours prior to sealing the I’m having trouble working with the film because it’s wrinkled and curling a LOT? The film needs to be kept indoors in a dry area. Humidity from the air can alter the film. When not in use place in back in the package it came in. However some films will require a gentle blow while soaking to help them with the laying and absorbing the water evenly. I follow the instruction and FAQ but I am still running into problem. Contact our technical support for advice at your earliest convenient time. What can be hydro dipped? Basically any hard surface you can get the base coat to adhere to you can dip. For example Plastic, Wood, variety of metals, fiberglass or even glass, Is it hard to dip an object? The process is straight forward; if you can follow instructions we provide with our products, you can dip any object. Also training is available to those who want to take this business seriously or need the extra skills to develop. Are some parts harder to dip than others? Yes, depending on the configuration of the part some can be more difficult than others. For some 3 dimensional objects dip one half at a time. Some objects may require to tape off one side and dip then repeat the process to for the other side. Can I use my own base coat colors? Yes, as long as it is a good quality automotive base coat you can use it for processing, however to eliminate process issues we always recommend to use our tested and approved products which come with support during the process. Can I use (fill in the blank) paint/primer? If you have access to high quality, automotive base paint feel free. Yet the raw products we supply is designed specifically for the dipping process. Using off the shelf supplies can yield poor final results How do I paint / prime my object? With several light coats. Make sure to get complete coverage. Remember it’s recommended to paint your item within 24 hours of applying the primer. Do I have to use special water? No any water from a clean supply is adequate including rain water.

How many coats of wax should I put on my car?

Only one- and make sure it’s actually wax. I'm guessing your paint is faded, the surface is rough to the touch, and you want it to shine. In other words, it looks like this: No amount of ,wax ,is going to fix that. Your car has three layers of paint. Directly bonded to the metal/plastic/fiberglass is the primer. On top of that is the base coat, which is responsible for the paint's color. Topping it all off is your clear coat, which gives the paint its gloss. If your car has been sitting exposed to the elements, the clear coat will degrade. Between acid rain, bird droppings (which have a pH of 3.5-4,) an UV light (which is technically ionizing radiation,) clear coat degradation, in the form of oxidation (think of ot as “paint rust") will occur. Farthermore, your clearcoat will inevitably end up engrained with small particles of dirt and rail dust (kicked up by trains when they brake,) which must be removed. All of this is on top (or rather, underneath) of the looser dirt on the car. So, in order to make the car shine, we must remove the ingrained particles and rail dust and remove the oxidized layers of clear coat (there is no practical way to reverse the oxidation reaction.) The first step is to ,correctly ,wash the car without causing any farther damage to the clear coat. Find/buy two clean (i.e. not dirt encrusted) buckets and two grit guard inserts. Buy a premium microfiber wash mitt or sponge online (Walmart's microfiber sponges are cheaply made, and I doubt you've got a detailing supply store near by) and a bottle of automotive detergent (,NOT ,dish soap.) Hook up your hose and attach a nozzle. Turn on the hose, set it to a jet setting, and let the water run for 60 seconds to flush any dirt that may be in the hose out. Rinse out both buckets and grit guards and fill one bucket with plain water. Fill the other bucket with soapy water according to the instructions on the bottle. Rinse your wash mit in the rinse bucket before dropping it in the soapy water. (Note: microfiber products are dirt magnets. This is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because they can pick up a lot of dirt off your car. A curse because, if you drop them, they'll pick up far more dirt from the ground. And dirt is whatcauses scratches.) Now take the hose and blast any loose dirt, leaves, etc. off the car. Although you asked about the wax, when detailing a car, it’s always a good idea to start with the wheels. Given the environment your wheels are exposed to, with asphalt, brake dust, and high heat, you need a fairly strong cleaner. For most wheels, a sodium metasillicate-based cleaner will work, though acidic cleaners can be more effective. Be forwarned, however; some acidic cleaners use a solution of hydrofluoric acid, sometimes at a 35% concentration, which is extremely toxic through all routes of exposure. Clean the wheels by spraying your wheel cleaner on and letting it sit for a minute. Using a stiff bristle nylon brush, scrub and agitate the soap, getting into all the nooks and crannies. Then rinse the cleaner off with water. With the wheels and wheel wells clean, we can move on to the rest of the car. Rinse the car again and scrub the car down with your wash mitt. While scrubbing, use a linear motion as opposed to a circular motion. There is always the potential for dirt, picked up by the wash mitt, to create scratches while you wash the car. By moving in a linear motion, these scratches will be visible from a single angle only. A circular motion can create scratches throughout the entire 360 degrees. Be sure to rinse dirt off your mitt by dipping it into the rinse bucket before returning it to the soap bucket. Work section by section, starting with the roof and working down. Respray the car to ensure it does not dry before you finish washing it. The reason you want to keep the car wet is to prevent the formation of water spots. The water coming out of your hose is tap water. Though it is safe to drink, it is not ,pure. ,Rather, it contains dissolved minerals. These minerals are left behind when the water evaporates. Keeping the car wet allows you to remove these minerals while they are still dissolved in the water by drying. Before you dry the car, you'll want to spray it down with iron remover. This product chemically breaks down rail dust, turning it into a water-soluble compound that can be rinsed away. Allow the product to dwell as per the instructions and rinse away. If required, wash the car again with soap and water to remove any residue from the iron remover. Next, using a microfiber drying towel (which is far more plush than a normal microfiber towel), dry the car. Using a drying aid can provide lubrication and attracts water, but is not required. The next step is to remove embedded debris from the clear coat using detailing clay. Think of this as silly putty (which was originally designed to clean soot from coal boilers off walls) for your car. In order for it to do its job without causing scratches, however, it needs a lubricant: clay lubricant. Spray the clay lubricant onto each section of the car and gently rub the clay across the surface, reapplying lubricant as needed. The clay will “glide" smoothly over the surface once its removed all debris. Wipe up any lubricant residue with a clean microfiber towel. The final step before polishing is to strip any old wax off the car. Simply spray a wax remover onto the car and wipe up with a clean microfiber towel. Your car is now ready for paint correction. We can now focus on removing the oxidation. The only way to do that is to use an abrasive to “grind" it off. We call these abrasives “polishes.” Very aggressive polishes are called “compounds.” Using a heavy cut foam pad, an aggressive compound, and a dual-action polisher, we can begin to cut through the oxidation. Simply dab the compound onto the pad and spray a pad lubricant on, dab the pad onto the surface, and spread on the lowest speed setting. Once spread out evenly, crank the polisher up to a high speed and go over each section. Wipe up the compound with a clean microfiber cloth when finished. Your paint should now feel far smoother. Due to the aggressive nature of compounds, your paint will still be dull when finished. Repeat the above step with finer grades of polish and less aggressive pads to get the surface smooth. Remember: neither compounds nor polish stay on the car. With the oxidation gone, we now want to bring out a shine. A product called glaze is used to fill in minor imperfections. Apply glaze to a non-cutting foam pad and spread evenly as you did with polish. You do not need a lubricant. Apply the glaze thinly as you get zero benefit from having a thick layer. Allow the glaze to dwell then buff it off with a clean microfiber cloth. Only the bottom most layer bonds with the paint; everything else gets buffed off, so thick layers only create more work for you. The primary role of wax is to protect the clear coat from UV oxidation. Wax is sacrificial in nature and will eventually wear off. There is an alternative to pure carnauba wax, however: sealant. Paint sealants also protect from UV degradation but, being a synthetic product, last far longer (up to 12 months.) They produce less of a shine than wax, but you can wax over sealant if desired. Apply both wax and sealant in the same manner in which you applied glaze.

Would using ammonia to clean a bike be a good idea?

No. That might damage the paint on your frame, and possibly contribute to corrosion of some metal parts. It’s been my experience, dish soap and water works just fine. For degreasing drive train components simple green, or simple green foaming degreaser work well. chains and cassettes that are SEVERELY Gunked up can be effectively stripped of all lube with automotive brake cleaner (OFF THE BIKE - remove them and put them in an old coffee can - then spray them down and degrease them… do not use automotive brake cleaner ANYWHERE NEAR THE REST OF YOUR BIKE! chain and cassette ONLY. Please Be responsible and dispose of the used brake cleaning fluid legally.) As for cleaning your bike - get a bucket, squirt some dish soap in it and fill with water to make a bucket of suds take a sponge or cleaning mitt like one would use to wash a car, spray bike with water, dunk sponge/mitt in bucket o’ suds and scrub a dub dub till all the dirt is gone. A nylon scrubby brush like for cleaning car wheels can be useful for scrubbing hard to reach spots and cleaning any gunk out of your cassette. rinse with water and dry with a micro fiber towel. Relube your chain as soon as it’s dry. between “wet” detail cleanings you can use a spray on car detailing product to clean your frame and wipe the sweat and dust off of it For a “quick clean”. Do Keep the detail spray away from your brake rotors or braking track on your wheels, any control touch points (handle bar grips or grip tape or shifter hoods) or your drive train to keep your saddle supple and clean, you can use a automotive leather cleaner (if you have a leather covered saddle) or a automotive interior cleaning spray if you have a synthetic leather covered saddle.

How was the $100 million 2003 Antwerp Diamond Center heist executed?

The story of the heist is better than any robbery movie(fictional or real) carried out with military precision. Spies and other covert operatives can easily take a page from the book. The main criminal is a man called: ,Leonardo Notarbartolo And he narrated his story to Joshua Davis from his prison,: The story is as follows: In the summer of 2001, Leonardo Notarbartolo sipped an espresso at a café on Hoveniersstraat, the diamond district's main street. It was a cramped, narrow place with a half-dozen small tables, but from the corner by the window Notarbartolo could look out on the epicenter of the world's diamond trade. Now, as he finished his espresso, one of them—a Jewish dealer—came in and sat down to chat. "Actually, I want to talk to you about something a little unusual," the dealer said casually. "Maybe we could walk a little?" They headed out, and once they were clear of the district, the dealer picked up the conversation. His tone had changed however. The casualness was gone. "I'd like to hire you for a robbery," he said. "A big robbery." The agreement was straightforward., For an initial payment of 100,000 euros, Notarbartolo would answer a simple question: Could the vault in the Antwerp Diamond Center be robbed? So he strolled into the Diamond District with a pen poking out of his breast pocket. At a glance, it looked like a simple highlighter, but the cap contained a miniaturized digital camera capable of storing 100 high-resolution images. Photography is strictly limited in the district, but nobody noticed Notarbartolo's pencam. He began his reconnaissance at the police surveillance booth on the Schupstraat, a street leading into the center of the district. Behind the booth's bulletproof glass, two officers monitored the area. The three main blocks of the district bristled with video cameras: Every inch of street and sky appeared to be under watch. The booth also contained the controls for the retractable steel cylinders that are deployed to prevent vehicular access to the district. As Notarbartolo walked past, he began taking pictures. He headed toward the Diamond Center itself, a gray, 14-story, fortresslike building on the south end of the district. It had a private security force that operated a nerve center located at the entrance. Access was blocked by metal turnstiles, and visitors were questioned by guards. Notarbartolo flashed his tenant ID card and breezed through. His camera captured crisp images of everything. He took the elevator, descending two floors underground to a small, claustrophobic room—the vault antechamber. A 3-ton steel vault door dominated the far wall. It alone had six layers of security. There was a combination wheel with numbers from 0 to 99. To enter, four numbers had to be dialed, and the digits could be seen only through a small lens on the top of the wheel. There were 100 million possible combinations. The door was monitored by a pair of abutting metal plates, one on the door itself and one on the wall just to the right. When armed, the plates formed a magnetic field. If the door were opened, the field would break, triggering an alarm. To disarm the field, a code had to be typed into a nearby keypad. Finally, the lock required an almost-impossible-to-duplicate foot-long key. Notarbartolo pressed a buzzer on the steel grate. A guard upstairs glanced at the video-feed, recognized Notarbartolo, and remotely unlocked the steel grate. Notarbartolo stepped inside the vault. It was silent—he was surrounded by thick concrete walls. The place was outfitted with motion, heat, and light detectors. A security camera transmitted his movements to the guard station, and the feed was recorded on videotape. The safe-deposit boxes themselves were made of steel and copper and required a key and combination to open. Each box had 17,576 possible combinations. Notarbartolo went through the motions of opening and closing his box and then walked out. The vault was one of the hardest targets he'd ever seen. The Antwerp Diamond Center vault was protected by 10 layers of security. The Door, , ,1. Combination dial (0-99) , ,2. Keyed lock , ,3. Seismic sensor (built-in) , ,4. Locked steel grate , ,5. Magnetic sensor , ,6. External security camera, ,The Vault, , ,7. Keypad for disarming sensors , ,8. Light sensor , ,9. Internal security camera , ,10. Heat/motion sensor (approximate location) Illustration: Joe McKendry ,Five months later, ,the dealer called up Notarbartolo and asked him to meet at an address outside Antwerp. When Notarbartolo arrived, the dealer was waiting for him in front of an abandoned warehouse. "I want to introduce you to some people," he said, unlocking the battered front door. Inside, a massive structure was covered with black plastic tarps. The dealer pulled back a corner and they ducked underneath. At first, Notarbartolo was confused. He seemed to be standing in the vault antechamber. To his left, he saw the vault door. He was inside an exact replica of the Diamond Center's vault level. Everything was the same. As far as Notarbartolo could tell, the dealer had reconstructed it based on the photographs he had provided. Notarbartolo felt like he had stepped into a movie. Inside the fake vault, three Italians were having a quiet conversation. They stopped talking when they saw the dealer and Notarbartolo. The dealer introduced them, though Notarbartolo refuses to reveal their names, referring to them only by nicknames. The Genius specialized in alarm systems. According to the dealer, he could disable any kind of alarm. "You can disable this?" Notarbartolo asked, pointing at the replica vault. "I can disable most of it," the Genius said with a smile. "You're going to have to do one or two things yourself, though." The tall, muscular man was the Monster. He was called that because he was monstrously good at everything he did. He was an expert lock picker, electrician, mechanic, and driver and had enormous physical strength. Everybody was a little scared of him, which was another reason for the nickname. The King of Keys was a quiet older man. His age set him apart from the others—he looked like somebody's grandfather. The diamond dealer said that the wizened locksmith was among the best key forgers in the world. One of his contributions would be to duplicate the nearly impossible-to-duplicate foot-long vault key. "Just get me a clear video of it," the man told Notarbartolo. "I'll do the rest." "That's not so easy," Notarbartolo pointed out. The King of Keys shrugged. That wasn't his problem. "Don't worry," the Genius said. "I'll help." The fourth person is a guy named Speedy who is his childhood friend. In September 2002, a guard stepped, up to the vault door and began to spin the combination wheel. It was 7 am. He was right on schedule. Directly above his head and invisible behind the glare of a recessed light, a fingertip-sized video camera captured his every move. With each spin, the combination came to rest on a number. A small antenna broadcast the image. Nearby, in a storage room beside the vault, an ordinary-looking red fire extinguisher was strapped to the wall. The extinguisher was fully functional, but a watertight compartment inside housed electronics that picked up and recorded the video signal. When the guard finished dialing the combination, he inserted the vault's key. The video camera recorded a sharp image of it before it disappeared inside the keyhole. He spun the handle, and the vault door swung open. Thursday morning, February, 13, 2003. Two days before the heist. The ,thud-thud-thud, of a police helicopter beat over a convoy of police cars escorting an armored truck through the heart of Antwerp. They blew past posters of Venus Williams—she was due in town to compete in the Proximus Diamond Games tennis tournament. The escorts bristled with firepower. They belonged to a special diamond-delivery protection unit, and each cop carried a fully automatic weapon. Their cargo: De Beers' monthly shipment of diamonds, worth millions. Every month, Antwerp's share of the boxes was flown into Belgium and transferred to a Brinks armored truck. Once the truck's doors slammed shut, the convoy sped away, sirens wailing. The vehicles rocketed past the guard gate at the entrance of the district, and the giant metal cylinders rose out of the ground behind them, blocking any further automotive access. The armed escorts fanned out on foot around the armored truck to form a perimeter. No one was allowed near the vehicle. The doors swung open, and the boxes were quickly carried through an unremarkable entrance in the middle of the block. It was payday. The Diamond District was flush. Notarbartolo was, buzzed into the vault the next day, Friday, February 14—the day before the robbery. He was alone. In his jacket pocket, he carried a can of women's hair spray. A security camera recorded his movements—police would later watch the footage—but the guard had gotten used to the Italian's frequent visits and wasn't paying attention. Notarbartolo stepped away from the safe-deposit boxes and pulled out the aerosol can. With a quick, practiced circular movement, he covered the combined heat/motion sensor with a thin coat of transparent, oily mist. The vault was momentarily filled with the smell of a woman's hair. It was a simple but effective hack: The oily film would temporarily insulate the sensor from fluctuations in the room's temperature, and the alarm went off only if it sensed both heat and motion. Still, it was hard to guess how long the trick would work. Once the Monster was in the vault, he had to install the sensor bypass before his body heat penetrated the film. He might have five minutes—he might have less. Nobody knew for sure. Across town, the Diamond District was deserted. Notarbartolo drove his rented gray Peugeot 307 past the city's soot-covered central train station and turned onto Pelikaanstraat, a road that skirted the district. He pulled to the curb, and the Monster, the Genius, the King of Keys, and Speedy stepped out carrying large duffel bags. The King of Keys picked the lock on a run-down office building, and they disappeared through the door. It was a little past midnight. The Genius led them out the rear of the building into a private garden that abutted the back of the Diamond Center. It was one of the few places in the district that wasn't under video surveillance. Using a ladder he had previously hidden there, the Genius climbed up to a small terrace on the second floor. A heat-sensing infrared detector monitored the terrace, but he approached it slowly from behind a large, homemade polyester shield. The low thermal conductivity of the polyester blocked his body heat from reaching the sensor. He placed the shield directly in front of the detector, preventing it from sensing anything. The balcony was now safe. While the rest of the team scrambled up, the Genius disabled an alarm sensor on one of the balcony's windows. One by one, the thieves climbed through the window, dropped into a stairwell, and descended to the darkened vault antechamber. They covered the security cameras with black plastic bags and flipped on the lights. The vault door stood imposingly before them. The building was quiet—no alarms had been triggered. The police never determined how the men had entered the building. The Genius pulled a custom-made slab of rigid aluminum out of his bag and affixed heavy-duty double-sided tape to one side. He stuck it on the two plates that regulated the magnetic field on the right side of the vault door and unscrewed their bolts. The magnetic plates were now loose, but the sticky aluminum held them together, allowing the Genius to pivot them out of the way and tape them to the antechamber wall. The plates were still side by side and active—the magnetic field never wavered—but they no longer monitored the door. Some 30 hours later, the authorities would marvel at the ingenuity. Next, the King of Keys played out a hunch. In Notarbartolo's videos, the guard usually visited a utility room just before opening the vault. When the thieves searched the room, they found a major security lapse: The original vault key was hanging inside. The King of Keys grabbed the original. There was no point in letting the safe manufacturers know that their precious key could be copied, and the police still don't know that a duplicate was made. The King of Keys slotted the original in the keyhole and waited while the Genius dialed in the combination they had gleaned from the video. A moment later, the Genius nodded. The Monster turned off the lights—they didn't want to trigger the light detector in the vault when the door opened. In the darkness, the King of Keys turned the key and spun a four-pronged handle. The bolts that secured the door retracted and it swung heavily open. Speedy ran up the stairwell. It was his job to stay in touch with Notarbartolo, but there was no cell phone reception down in the vault. Upstairs, he got a signal and dialed his old friend. "We're in," he said and hung up. Notarbartolo put his phone back on the dashboard. He was sitting in the Peugeot and could see the front of the Diamond Center a block and a half away. His police scanner was quiet. He took a sip of cold coffee and waited. In the antechamber, the King of Keys deftly picked the lock on the metal grate. He shuffled backward as the Monster propped the grate open with two cans of paint he found in the storeroom. Like the rest of the team, the Monster wore plastic gloves—the police would find no prints on the cans. It was now up to him to disable the remaining systems. The Monster oriented himself in the darkness at the vault entrance. The only sound was the steady breathing of the others behind him. His body was already projecting heat into the vault—the hair spray on the infrared sensor wouldn't last. Every second he was there would raise the ambient temperature. He had to move quickly but keep his heart rate low. As he'd practiced in the warehouse, he strode exactly 11 steps into the middle of the room, reached for the ceiling, and pushed back a panel. He felt the security system's main inbound and outbound wires. An automatic electric pulse constantly shot into the room and back out along these wires. If any of the sensors were tripped, the circuit would break. When a pulse shot into the room, it expected an answer. If it didn't get one, it activated the alarm. With his hands over his head, the Monster used a tool to strip the plastic coating off the wires. It was a delicate task. One slip could cut through, instantly breaking the circuit and tripping the alarm. The police would later discover stripped wires in the ceiling and guess that the thieves considered cutting them, only to lose their nerve. But Notabartolo says that the Monster knew exactly what he was doing. Once the copper wires were exposed, he clipped a new, precut piece of wire between the inbound and outbound cables. This bridge rerouted the incoming electric pulse over to the outbound wire before the signal reached the sensors. It no longer mattered what happened further down the line. The sensors were out of the loop. It was now safe for the others to enter. Still, the men were cautious. They blinded the heat/motion detector with a Styrofoam box, covered the light detector with tape, and then set to work. The King of Keys unloaded a homemade, hand-cranked drill and fitted it with a thin shaft of metal. He jammed the shaft into one of the locks and cranked for about three minutes—until the lock broke, snapping open the box. The guys took turns yanking the contents out. Since they had memorized the layout of the vault in the replica, they worked in the dark, turning on their flashlights only for split seconds—enough to position the drill over the next box. But in those muffled flashes, they could glimpse their duffel bags overflowing with gold bars, millions in Israeli, Swiss, American, European, and British currencies, and leather satchels that contained the mother lode: rough and polished diamonds. They resisted the urge to examine their haul; they were running out of time. By 5:30 am, they had opened 109 boxes. A tamped-down giddiness pervaded the dark vault, but they had to stop. The streets would fill with people soon, and they needed to transfer their bags into Notarbartolo's car. Speedy relayed the message to him. They were coming out. It took almost an hour for the team to haul the bags up the stairs, pass by the infrared sensor, lower the loot down the ladder, and gather in the hallway of the decrepit office building. Notarbartolo idled at the curb while on the phone with Speedy. A bus came and went, and then the street was empty. "Now," he hissed. In the predawn half-light, the four men raced out of the building. They jammed the bags in the car, slammed the doors, and headed off on foot for Notarbartolo's apartment. He put the car in gear and slowly pulled away. In half an hour, they were huddled around the bags in the apartment. The Monster unzipped one and pulled out a leather satchel. It was time to celebrate. He opened the satchel and looked up, bewildered. It was empty. He took out another. It was also empty. A wave of anxiety swept the room. They unzipped all the other duffel bags and rifled through the satchels. More often than not, there was nothing in them. Something had gone wrong. The diamonds should have been there. "We've been set up," Notarbartolo said. February 16, 2003, — a clear, frozen Sunday evening in Belgium. Notarbartolo took the E19 motorway out of Antwerp. In the passenger seat, a man known as Speedy fidgeted nervously, damp with sweat. Notarbartolo punched it, and his rented Peugeot 307 sped south toward Brussels. They hadn't slept in two days. Speedy scanned the traffic behind them in the side-view mirror and maintained a tense silence. Notarbartolo had worked with him for 30 years—they were childhood buddies—but he knew that his friend had a habit of coming apart at the end of a job. The others on the team hadn't wanted Speedy in on this one—they said he was a liability. Notarbartolo could see their point, but out of loyalty, he defended his friend. Speedy could handle it, he said. And he had. They had executed the plan perfectly: no alarms, no police, no problems. The heist wouldn't be discovered until guards checked the vault on Monday morning. The rest of the team was already driving back to Italy with the gems. They'd rendezvous outside Milan to divvy it all up. There was no reason to worry. Notarbartolo and Speedy just had to burn the incriminating evidence sitting in a garbage bag in the backseat. Notarbartolo pulled off the highway and turned onto a dirt road that led into a dense thicket. The spot wasn't visible from the highway, though the headlights of passing cars fractured through the trees. Notarbartolo told Speedy to stay put and got out to scout the area. He passed a rusty, dilapidated gate that looked like it hadn't been touched since the Second World War. It was hard to see in the dark, but the spot seemed abandoned. He decided to burn the stuff near a shed beside a small pond and headed back to the car. When he got there, he couldn't believe what he was seeing. Speedy had lost it. The contents of the garbage bag was strewn among-st the trees. Speedy was stomping through the mud, hurling paper into the underbrush. Spools of videotape clung to the branches like streamers on a Christmas tree. Israeli and Indian currency skittered past a half-eaten salami sandwich. The mud around the car was flecked with dozens of tiny, glittering diamonds. It would take hours to gather everything up and burn it. "I think someone's coming," Speedy said, looking panicked. Notarbartolo glared at him. The forest was quiet except for the occasional sound of a car or truck on the highway. It was even possible to hear the faint gurgling of a small stream. Speedy was breathing fast and shallow—the man was clearly in the midst of a full-blown panic attack. "Get back in the car," Notarbartolo ordered. They were leaving. Nobody would ever find the stuff here. The job was done. The vault after the job. True Intentions: Notarbartolo stepped into a scalding-hot shower while the others made salami sandwiches in the kitchen. He needed some clarity—the fatigue was weighing on him. In the weeks preceding the heist, he had seen many of the satchels in the offices of the diamantaires, and they were always filled with inventory. He expected the total take to exceed $100 million. Now they were looking at a fraction of that—probably about $20 million. Notarbartolo reflected on his interactions with the diamond dealer, and a thought flashed through his mind: Maybe the dealer wasn't operating alone. If he tipped off a group of his fellow merchants, they could have pulled their inventory out of the vault before the heist. Each could then claim that their gems were stolen and collect the insurance while secretly keeping their stones. Most had safes in their offices—they could have simply kept the stock there. Notarbartolo realized that the heist he had spent so much time planning might have actually been part of an elaborate insurance scam. He shut off the water. A half hour earlier he was a king. Now he felt like a pawn. Discovery: ,Meanwhile, Patrick Peys and Agim De Bruycker, arrived at the Diamond Center the next morning. They had just received a frantic call: The vault had been compromised. The subterranean chamber was supposed to be one of the most secure safes in the world. Now the foot-thick steel door was ajar, and more than 100 of the 189 safe-deposit boxes had been busted open. Peys and De Bruycker were stunned. The floor was strewn with wads of cash and velvet-lined boxes. Peys stepped on a diamond-encrusted bracelet. It appeared that the thieves had so much loot, they simply couldn't carry it all away. Peys and De Bruycker lead the Diamond Squad, the world's only specialized diamond police. Their beat: the labyrinthine Antwerp Diamond District. Eighty percent of the world's rough diamonds pass through this three-square-block area, which is under 24-hour police surveillance and monitored by 63 video cameras. About $3 billion worth of gem sales were reported here in 2003, but that's not counting a hidden world of handshake deals and off-ledger transactions. Business relationships follow the ancient family and religious traditions of the district's dominant Jewish and Indian dealers, known as ,diamantaires,. In 2000, the Belgian government realized it would require a special type of cop to keep an eye on things and formed the squad. Peys and De Bruycker were the first hires. De Bruycker called headquarters, asking for a nationwide alert: The Antwerp Diamond Center had been brazenly robbed. Then he dialed Securilink, the vault's alarm company. "What is the status of the alarm?" he asked. "Fully functional," the operator said, checking the signals coming in from the Diamond Center. "The vault is secure." "Then how is it that the door is wide open and I'm standing inside the vault?" De Bruycker demanded, glancing at the devastation all around him. He hung up and looked at Peys. They were up against a rare breed of criminal. ,August Van Camp, likes weasels. The 59-year-old retired Belgian grocer had two—he called them Mickey and Minnie—and he enjoyed sending them down holes in the forest. Typically, a rabbit came rocketing out the other end. It was a lot of fun. But because it adjoined the highway, Van Camp found a lot of garbage. The local teenagers once decided to have a party there and burned down a little hut he'd built. It made him fume with anger. When he found garbage, he phoned the police, who had gotten used to his calls. While hunting one morning—Monday, February 17, to be exact—Van Camp was incensed to find yet another pile of junk in the underbrush. After a flash of pique that made him puff out his cheeks, throw up his arms, and wonder what the world was coming to, he knelt down and glared at the refuse. He wanted to be able to describe to the cops what he had to put up with. There was videotape strewn all over the place. A wine bottle rested near a half-eaten salami sandwich. There were also some white envelopes printed with the words DIAMOND CENTER, ANTWERP. Van Camp's irritation increased. "Kids," he grumbled. At home, he punched in the number for the police and asked to lodge a complaint. The officer listened as Van Camp tallied the mess. When Van Camp mentioned Diamond Center envelopes, the officer broke in. "What was that?" he said. "Antwerp Diamond Center envelopes," Van Camp sputtered. This time, the police came running. ,By mid-afternoon, a half-dozen detectives, swarmed the forest, painstakingly gathering the garbage and collecting stray gems. Van Camp watched with satisfaction. The police were finally treating his litter situation with the proper respect. Within hours, the trash began to fill the evidence room at the Diamond Squad headquarters in Antwerp. A member of the squad bent over the clear plastic bags, looking for immediate clues. A pile of torn paper seemed promising. It didn't take long to reassemble the pieces like a jigsaw puzzle. It was an invoice for a low-light video surveillance system. The buyer: Leonardo Notarbartolo. Back at Van Camp's property, another detective knelt among the thorny brambles and peered at a small, jagged piece of paper poking out of the mud. He carefully lifted it free and held it up to the light. It was a business card that bore the address and phone number of Elio D'Onorio, an Italian electronics expert tied to a series of robberies. Notarbartolo has consistently refused to identify his accomplices, but all evidence indicates that D'Onorio is the Genius. The lab techs also bagged a half-eaten salami sandwich. They found Antipasto Italiano salami packaging nearby and sent it along to Diamond Squad headquarters. Four days later, the detectives executed a search warrant on the apartment Notarbartolo rented in Antwerp. In a cupboard, they found a receipt from a local grocery store for Antipasto Italiano salami. The receipt had a time-stamp. A detective drove to the grocery and asked the manager to rewind his closed-circuit television to 12:56 pm on Thursday, February 13. When the video came to a halt and snapped into focus, there was an image of a tall, muscular Italian purchasing salami. His name: Ferdinando Finotto—the man most likely to be the Monster. While one of his friends from the Netherlands waited on the street outside the Diamond Center, Notarbartolo waved at the security guard and dropped in to collect his mail. The guard knew that the police were investigating Notarbartolo and phoned the building manager, who immediately called the detectives. When the police arrived, they found Notarbartolo chatting with the building manager and began peppering him with questions. The friend took off as Notarbartolo stalled for time, pretending to have trouble understanding French and claiming that he couldn't remember the exact address of his own apartment. He just knew how to walk there. "Let's go then," Peys said and loaded the Italian into a car. Eventually, Notarbartolo pointed out the apartment. As the police car pulled to the curb, Notarbartolo's wife and the friends who'd come for dinner stepped out of the building. They were loaded down with bags and one carried a rolled-up carpet. Another minute and they would have been gone. The police took everyone into custody. The bags contained, critical evidence. The police dug out a series of prepaid SIM cards that were linked to cell phones used almost exclusively to call three Italians: Elio D'Onorio, aka the Genius; Ferdinando Finotto, alias the Monster; and the person most likely to be Speedy, an anxious, paranoid man named Pietro Tavano, a longtime associate of Notarbartolo's. On the night of the heist, a cell tower in the Diamond District logged the presence of all three, plus Notarbartolo. During that time, Tavano stayed in constant contact with Notarbartolo. The day Notarbartolo was arrested, Italian police broke open the safe at his home in Turin. They found 17 polished diamonds attached to certificates that the Belgian diamond detectives traced back to the vault. More gems were vacuumed out of the rolled-up carpet from Notarbartolo's Antwerp apartment. The Belgian courts came down hard. They found Notarbartolo guilty of orchestrating the heist and sentenced him to 10 years. With the cell phone records and the peculiarly precise salami sandwich evidence, the Belgian detectives persuaded French police to raid the home of Finotto's girlfriend on the French Riviera. They retrieved marked $100 bills that the detectives say belonged to one of the Diamond Center victims. Legal proceedings dragged on, but Finotto was finally arrested in Italy in November 2007 and is serving a five-year sentence there. When questioned by police in Italy, D'Onorio admitted that he had installed security cameras in Notarbartolo's office but denied any involvement in the crime. Nonetheless, his DNA was found on some adhesive tape left in the vault. He was extradited to Belgium in November 2007 to begin a five-year sentence. The high-strung Pietro Tavano is serving a five-year sentence in Italy for the crime. He has refused to allow his attorney to make any statements on his behalf. A fifth thief has never been identified, though police know of his existence via cell phone records and DNA traces. The King of Keys was never apprehended. That is the current story: Its not yet been confirmed that Notarbartolo did actually steal $100 million worth diamonds or of $20 million. It may be a lie, it can also be the truth. Since the stolen diamonds have not yet been recovered no one can say for sure what actually happened except for Notarbartolo. Only one reference for this amazing tale: ,The Untold Story of the World's Biggest Diamond Heist UPDATE: Thanks for such an overwhelming response(its the first one I ever got) I have attached a video link from the same source. Its a short narration by the author ,(Joshua Davis) ,himself and I think it will add and hopefully complete the answer.

How would you recommend tackling several small rock chips on the front of a new, black sports sedan?

That’s easy. If you drive this car it will likely continue to chip. Buy a bottle of touch up paint and take your time to properly (i.e., not “blobbing it on) brush touch the chips in. Then you can carefully hand polish them to make them less noticeable. If you are not driving it much as is the case with many “sports cars,” then consider getting it resprayed professionally from a trained body shop that uses the best products (Sikkens, Spies-Hecker, Standox, etc.) then get a “clear bra” installed for the affected area to mitigate future damage. But make no mistake, cars that are driven and not “trailer queens” will get some wear and tear. However, we have a lovely black Cadillac CTS with chips on the hood that I’ve kept brush touched nearly every time I washed it and I’ve never had anyone notice or comment on the chips. I don’t even bother polishing them but am pretty good “brush touching” since I’ve had a career in the automotive paint world. It makes all the difference in the world.

How do I start thinking like a genius today?

The process used to figure out what is causing the global extinctions of amphibians, insects and birds. Here is how it works: Start learning about the environment at age 3 by planting a tree; Learning the geography of Canada and how it relates to the tropics; Learning the dietary requirements of fish and foundational species; Learning how to breed all commercially available tropical fish species and then doing it; Becoming an artist to record the natural world around me; Discovering the foundational species and learning about how their existence affects tropical fish and amphibians; Painted the Apocalypse in 1971 - it foretold coming strife which has come true; Painted the 9/11 disaster in New York while I was in school in 1970 - 8′ x 4′ water colour in great detail - The Reign of the Third Horseman. This painting looks like a photo of the event; Painted 9/11 again in 1974 - different approach, The Reign of the Second Horseman - 7′ x 30″ Painted 9/11 again in 1977/8 - different approach 3′ x 5′ tall The Reign of the First Horseman; Interior Designer; builder; Taxidermy and hunting - learning life habits and diets of complex mammals; Medical research; Investigate political crimes by governments; Investigate medical crimes committed by the medical community; Learn how to work on cars; Racing cars; Restoring cars; Human environmental impacts - predict the collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf two years before it happened. Scientists at the time said it would not collapse for a thousand years. Learning about automotive paints - reading the fine print on the labels; Learning to type and write; Predicted the cancer epidemic in 1980 - 15 years before the medical community and media was calling it an epidemic; Predicted the diabetes epidemic in 1985 - 15 years before the medical community and the media were calling it an epidemic; Environmental research and making submissions to government about environmental factors as an expert; Designing and conducting experiments to determine the significance of how air moves and layers at heights less than eight feet; Wind tunnelling uses to design urban environments; Manufacture automotive parts for international export; Determine based on the evidence what the extinctions were caused by; Scientists meanwhile were/are researching fungal infections in bees and frogs etc. that have existed for billions of years instead of examining what has happened to allow the fungal infections to extirpate and totally wipe out species that formerly had natural protections. The answer has to be that the mucosal layers were breached on skin and internally. What could be the common denominator? Water? No. It’s different by location. Soil; different again. Air. Everything has to breathe. What is different about air quality? Volatile Organic Compounds. At the time recently added to jet fuels. Texaco was the last to add it in 1989 - my neighbour was the Texaco scientist responsible for it and confirmed the dates. By the mid 90s the die-offs had started. The die-off locations are all within aviation commercial traffic routes. VOCs I learned are so dangerous that they have been removed from all paints almost totally. Oil based paints have been removed from the market they are that lethal. VOCs are solvents that create a chemical reaction when they touch living tissue. On contact, VOCs dissolve living tissue. But the molecules are so small they are transdermal - that is they migrate right through skin and penetrate living DNA disrupting that tissue’s ability to remain alive and viable. No living thing can survive exposure to VOCs. Different species have different vulnerabilities. Biologists and Zoologists have no understanding about the lethality of VOCs. Government safety agencies, chemical companies and all of their employees are well versed in the dangers of VOCs. As part of restoring cars I became involved in paint formulation. Reading the directions on the paint cans made me aware of the impact VOCs would have on the natural world. I tried to alert various scientists about the danger including the famous Karen Lips who discovered the die-offs in Costa Rica. I was put in touch with her by a scientist at the Royal Ontario Museum. He understood my points but it was not his field. The lives of entire species hung in the balance. But for whatever reason, Karen Lips hung up on me. From there I examined Climate Change and Global Warming. Years before it was accepted I was a convert to a point. My research indicated that both effects were affected by man-made chemicals and not just CO 2. Don’t forget the VOCs and the Nuclear potential for disaster - Fukushima. So to me the big threat is Chemical Winter not Climate Change or Global Warming. But again no one is listening. Going back to the health research the emissions are also linked to the rise in cancer and especially brain tumours. That is easy to track using the calendar and comparing the disease escalation with the increase in aviation emissions. Another factor is the increase in other sorts of chemical emissions that have escalated globally since the increasing industrialization of China, India and Indonesia. And speaking of industrialization we have the onslaught of obesity and other dietary “diseases”. All linked to the increase in dairy, grain, sugar, salt and and combined in processed foods with meat as a common additive as well as additives. There is no gene for obesity despite what glory hungry scientists are promoting. That can be shown by looking at the advent of obesity by simply looking at photographs in historical order. Fatties are not common until the 90s. Before 70’s they were freaks in the circus. Worked out how to kill Covid-19 before anyone else. Now the book is being published: KILL THE CORONAVIRUS. It will soon be available internationally. Too bad I can’t post a shot of the cover but you can see it on my Facebook page: KILL THE CORONAVIRUS. None of this had anything at all to do with my career as an interior designer. This is all stuff I did that interested me while my family did normal things like watch TV, and all the other stuff normal people do that I can’t think of.