View Full Version : Rupes Detailing Classes at Autogeek!

Pages : [1] 2

Mike Phillips
10-22-2013, 03:43 PM
Rupes Detailing Classes at Autogeek! (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/ask-expert-featuring-mike-phillips/72071-rupes-detailing-classes-autogeek.html)


Rupes Detailing Classes

Video documenting the true before condition

Rupes Polishers & Rupes Detailing Classes at Autogeek
Autogeek.net carries the complete line of Rupes polishers, pads and products at our warehouse in Stuart, Florida. We've also added dedicated car detailing classes for both the Rupes Bigfoot 15 and the 21 Polishers at our Detailing Boot Camp Classes.

We hold these classes three times a year (http://www.autogeek.net/detailing-boot-camp.html) here at our Corporate Office in Stuart, Florida.

For these classes, I get my students the real deal, that is I get scratched, swirled-out and oxidized street rods, muscle cars and/or classic cars, for my students to get plenty of hands-on training time behind the Rupes polishers. For a lot of people, the chance to work on the type of cool cars I use in my classes not only makes the learning process a lot more fun and memorable but it might be the only opportunity you get to work on cars like these.

For this class we're using a hotrod 1963 Ford Galaxie!

Autogeek's fully equipped training garage

Waterless Wash for Classics, Muscle Cars and Streetrods...
I teach my class to never introduce running water to classic cars as a professional courtesy to the owner of these types of cars and as a professional best practice. This helps to reduce the potential for water to get into places that you cannot see or reach and thus creating a rust issue for cars already considered survivors.





Mechanically decontaminate the paint
The paint on this 1963 Ford Galaxie had some type of above surface bonded contaminants on the paint. To remove these contaminants before machine polishing we used the Nanoskin Autoscrub Towels.



Swirls and scratches
The paint on this car was filled with swirls and scratches, there were holograms in the finish which are the sign it was improperly machine buffed using a rotary buffer.

This 1963 Ford Galaxie has a modern basecoat/clearcoat paint job just like the car sitting in your driveway. When the clear layer has millions of swirls and scratches this makes the clear paint hazy and cloudy so your eyes cannot see through it to the beautiful colored basecoat below it. In this case the paint is Chestnut Metallic.


Always use the least aggressive product to get the job done

I teach the sage wisdom of always using the least aggressive product (and pad), to get the job done because this practice will remove the defects while leaving the most paint on the car to last over the service life of the car.

Test Spot Number 1
For our first Test Spot we're using the Rupes Bigfoot 21 Orbital Polisher with a Rupes Yellow foam pad and the Rupes Keramik Gloss Fine Cut Polish.

I show my class how to pick up a thin, bead of product using a modified version of the 10 @ 10 Technique which pulls the bead or strip of product under the pad trapping it between the pad and the paint instead of splattering it.

For our first



Test Spot Number #2
The first combination of pad and product removed the shallow swirls but it wasn't aggressive enough or fast enough to meet our requirements and expectations for the finish quality on this car's paint.

Next we tried the Rupes Green foam pad and the Rupes Quarz Gloss Medium Cut Polish. Note we're doing this Test Spot in a new section of paint as re-doing the test spot to an area we already polished would skew the results.






Perfect Finish
The more aggressive green pad and polish worked perfect on this paint system to remove the defects and restore a clear, high gloss finish.


Tape-off and Cover-up
I teach my class to wait till they've proven a system that will remove the defects and restore a finish that meets their expectations. You never know, something could be out of your control and taping off a car before you dial in your system could end up being a waste of time.

After we proved our system approach we went ahead and used the beach towel technique to cover and protect the fresh air grill, wipers and windshield from any accidental splatter. Remember for most of the people in this class this will be the first time they've either machine buffed and/or used the Rupes system and usually both.



Hands-on Training
After taping off and covering over things like the convertible top with a tape line surrounding the areas close to body panels the class dives in using the buddy system. Students are paired up with one person buffing and the other person watching their technique as compared to what is taught during the power point presentation and when I demonstrate the tool. The person not buffing is also responsible for making sure the cord is not touching the paint and if it is, gently reminding their buddy to place the cord over their shoulder. They are also responsible to carefully wipe off the product residue. After the first buddy buffs a section of a panel they switch places with the second buddy and repeat the above process. By watching and working together, both people learn from what is done correctly and also by any mistakes that are made. This is a system I've developed on my own and is very effective.



Mike Phillips
10-22-2013, 03:44 PM

As you look through these pictures, take note of how much room there is for everyone to buff. Classic body designs from Detroit offer plenty of real-estate to learn on and practice your technique.










Small, Compact Polisher for Thin Panels or Intricate Areas
For doing small, thin panels we're using the Griot's 3" Mini Polisher with the 4" Rupes Pads. In my opinion, there's not only room in the market place for a REALLY GOOD mini or small orbital polisher but there's a HUGE DEMAND for a tool like this also.








Hands-On Training
When I say hands-on... I mean hands-on... Sometimes the fastest way to dial-in your technique is to have someone physically place their hands on your hands as you grip the polisher and show you,

How much or how little downward pressure to use.
Which directions to move the polisher.
How fast or slow to move the polisher.
The size of an area to tackle at one time.
How to divide up larger panels into smaller sections.



Show Car Techniques - Machine Applying a Show Car Paste Wax
As the saying goes, there's all kinds of ways to skin a cat. At my classes I show multiple ways to "seal" the paint after polishing. For this car I'm going to show my class how to machine apply a true show car paste wax to create a deep, wet shine.




Mike Phillips
10-22-2013, 03:46 PM

Here's my friend Axel, I'm placing some Pinnacle Souveran Paste Wax onto the face of the buffing pad...


Machine Waxing = Better, Faster & more Effective
When I was asked to train Wayne Carini's painter and detailer the art of polishing paint I showed them how to machine wax the cool cars they worked on for Wayne. After machine waxing their first car they said they would never wax a car by hand again.









Microfiber Wiping Techniques for Show Car Work
Anyone can wipe wax off a car, you know, the old Karate Kid saying everyone likes to mimic... wipe-on, wipe-off.

In my classes I go over tips and techniques to bring your skills to a higher level in all areas of car detailing including what many would think is a very simple procedure. One thing for sure, after you attend my class you'll know exactly what to do when ti comes to carefully removing any wax, sealant or coating off perfectly polished paint.









Mike Phillips
10-22-2013, 03:49 PM
Here's how this car looked when it first arrived...


Before - Swirls & Scratches

Video documenting the true before condition








Here's how it looked after my class used the Rupes Bigfoot Polishers, Pads and Polishes to decimate the swirls out of the basecoat/clearcoat finish on this 1963 Ford Galaxie and create a show car finish.







Further Resources
Until you can attend one of my classes, get your hands on my how-to book...

The Complete Guide to a Show Car Finish (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/ask-expert-featuring-mike-phillips/64360-detailing-how-book-detailing-how-e-book.html)

And be sure to join the AutogeekOnline Discussion forum as thatís where ALL the actionís at in the online detailing world!

Click here to become a member of AGO! (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/register.php)

See you on the forum!


Mike Phillips
10-22-2013, 03:55 PM
And here's the Class of September 28th & 29th, 2013 that did the transformation...


Now get this...

The majority of these guys had NEVER used a Rupes Bigfoot polisher before this class.

Testimonies about Autogeek's Detailing Boot Camp Classes...

Here's some of the first hand testimonies from the guys in the pictures above...

Hey Mike thanks again,

Really appreciate your hands on approach as well the of passion for detailing that few posses.

Great class, great people, great host Best of luck to all.


thank you!!! for your expert advice. its very rare to have a place to experience all the tools that where there to try and on all the cool cars. i gunna try and get a a few to come on down for the next class..

and thanks to da crew at autogeek wishing you all the best..

Axel :)

Really enjoyed the class thanks for all the knowledge and hands on

Awesome Weekend!

I had high expectations before the class, but it was better than I could have ever imagined. Mike has a great approach to teaching by offering hands on training which makes everything even more interesting.

It was great to try out all of the tools and different chemicals. If anyone is thinking about going to the next class I highly recommend it!

Thanks Mike, Nick and everyone at Autogeek!

Chris :xyxthumbs:

The class was fantastic! I learned a lot of great things I can apply to my business and met a lot of really cool people.

Mike was great, as expected. And Nick really helped walk me through a lot of decisions on products and equipment. He's practically a walking catalog!

I hope to come down for a Thursday sometime, but the eight hour drive may delay that for a while. (Let me know when you do something in Georgia!)

I need to get back to my shopping now (thanks, Nick! :xyxthumbs:).

I'll start posting some of my projects soon!

Thanks again!

I had a great time at boot camp! It met and exceeded all of my expectations. The hands-on training was great; we got to try out so many products and different pieces of equipment.

Many thanks to Mike, Nick, Brian, and Andre for putting on such a great event. I highly encourage anyone who is thinking about going to get signed up.

I am usually not up early on the weekends, but I was so excited to get to class Saturday and Sunday that I was up and out of bed as soon as the alarm went off.

Today was a different story, knowing that I just had to head to the airport to fly back home.

What else can I say other than Mike :urtheman:


he class was great. It introduced all the fundamentals to the novice and taught new technologies and techniques that any seasoned veteran could use to improve their craft.

Mike was the best instructor/teacher I have every had, he was knowledgeable, enthusiastic, concerned, and encouraging.

The perfect class if you want to make your cars look shiny the best and most efficient way. A must for guys getting into the detailing business and great for guys that love working on their own cars and boats...like me.

Thanks for a great class Mike!

This class exceeded my expectations. I am now prepared to detail my own vehicles, but I think I will start with a neighbor's car first, LOL.

Looking forward to putting to use the techniques and products.


This class was awesome! It completely exceeded all of my expectations.

From the threads that I read before going to the class, I knew we would be working on some great cars and dealing with a lot of different tools and products, but I'm still amazed at how much I learned in just the two days of class.

Now that I have been to the class, I really wish I had decided to go sooner as I am now comfortable with tackling removing the swirls on my black Challenger. Unfortunately, after I showed my wife some of the pictures of the cars that we worked on in class, she wants me to detail her car first.

Also, just want to say that it was great meeting Nick, Bryan, and Andre from Autogeek as well.

Being that I'm just a hobbyist and plan on just detailing my vehicles, everyone went out of their way to make sure I fully understood the products and techniques that were taught in the class.

I guess this little icon says it all for you Mike. :urtheman:

Hey Mike, just got a minute to sit down and reflect on the boot camp I attended. Well I would have too say it was well worth the money. We met a lot of very cool guys . I learned a lot about the product side as well as the hands on. The atmosphere and attitudes were perfect .

Your teaching style is just right making it easy for all to learn from beginner to seasoned vet. just FREAKIN AWESOME man .
Cant wait till DetailFest see u soon thanx.

Let me first start off by giving a big thanks to the Autogeek crew;
Mike, Nick, Andre and Bryan..

:applause: :applause: :goodjob2:

I just made it back up north earlier this morning from spending the weekend at Autogeek's Show Car Garage.
I was thrilled to be able to connect with such a great group of guys and participate in Mike Phillip's Detailing Boot Camp.

Mike, I am really taking over the top with the course outline that you have prepared for the boot camp and the way you navigated the class confidently through it.

When it comes down to finding someone to listen and learn from in this industry, your going to have to do your homework to find a reliable source.

I am honored to conclude that I have found the MOST CREDITABLE PERSON who has years of experience and a unlimited amount of knowledge in the detailing world.

And thats why I continue to come back and visit as much as I can to be in a passionate and positive atmosphere to further advance my set of skills.


First of all, I would like to thank everyone at Autogeek.net (Meghan, Nick, Andre, Bryan, and of course Mike) for the best time I have ever had in Florida (and Iím a golfer).

The Auto Detailing Boot Camp was even better than I imagined. New Products to try, new procedures to utilize and a hundred helpful tips were just part of the take away, from the weekend.

I have never been exposed to Auto Detailing before Boot Camp, except as a very uneducated consumer. Iím 58 years old and have never had a DA polisher in my hands, let alone safely utilizing this equipment on paint.

Mike and his team had me polishing a 2002 Tahoe (headlights) in the first hour of the class.

Mike stated two things in his opening comments, and I will try to paraphrase;

(1) I cannot make you a detailing expert in two days, but I can give you the confidence to safely detail a car/vehicle paint.

(2) I will give you 100% effort for the next two days.

My comment, to those statements are done and done!

I would recommend this education to anyone that wants to keep their second most important investment in the best shape possible. The best way for me to describe this course is, if Autogeek.net will have me back, I would like to enroll in another Boot Camp Weekend next year!

So, whether you are a novice like me, or have been detailing for profit, you will learn new techniques and test the latest products, during your next Auto Detailing Boot Camp experience.


Hello Mike,

Took a bit of time to get back to the computer to sign up for the forum, as we hit the ground running, after attending the Detailing Boot Camp last week. So I've decided to take the time for a few thoughts.

Firstly, I would like to extend my gratitude and thanks to you and the rest of the Autogeek crew for an informative, professional, and encompassing program.

When we set out to resurrect our detailing department,which has been in-operational since hurricane Katrina, I knew we needed something that would give us the edge over our competitors.

Simply saying that you can detail a car is just not enough. Our clientŤle are high-end production autos, a number of high-dollar SIV's such as Ferrari, Porsche, etc, and a very demanding customer base. We actually have Bentley's come through our tunnel! So there is no room for error.

Our customers maintain high expectations and demand explicit attention to detail. Simply put, we have to be the best! And weeks of research led us to attending your class.

With expectations as high as ours, you would have expected some sort of disappointment. Quite the contrary, our expectations were surpassed!!

You have given us the tools, knowledge, and experience to return home with a program specifically constructed towards our customer base. We have no time wasted in attempting to provide services, or products that we don't need, or our customers don't want.

Probably the most important thing covered in your class, also something i have always preached:

Know your limitations, and match them to your customers expectations.

Instead of 30 or more products in our inventory we will never use, we now have about 6!! Coupled with a standardized procedure for evaluation, communication, and work-process, we are confident that we are launching the very best detailing service department this area has to offer!!

We have minimized risk, cut our process times, and will be able to deliver a product that will simply blow our customers away!!!

Thank you Mike, for sharing your passion and experience with us. It shall be carried on by us, with every car we put our hands on...

Many Thanks, and God Bless....

Tyron Benoit
Safari Car Wash

Mike Phillips
10-22-2013, 04:10 PM
Question: When do these classes take place?

Answer: These classes are offered three times a year. Because we have people that fly in from all over the United States, Canada, South America and from countries around the world, we hold them at the same time every year.

By holding these classes the same times every year, it makes it easy for you to arrange your schedule, make your travel plans and be part of the next detailing boot camp class...

Here's when the classes are held, these are FULL 2-day classes, starting at 7:30am each day and going all the way to 5:30pm.

Last weekend in January

First weekend in May

Last weekend of September

Meet & Greet on Saturday Night!
There's ALWAYS a Meet & Greet at the Marriot Lounge on Saturday night after the class where we all have a chance talk about cars and our other hobbies and passions out of the shop environment.



Mike Phillips
10-29-2013, 01:13 PM
RUPES Bigfoot Polishing System at Autogeek.net
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoganIRQcHU&hd=1]RUPES Bigfoot Polishing System at Autogeek.net - YouTube[/video]

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7q-a9P7xZg&hd=1]RUPES Bigfoot Polishing System at Autogeek.net - YouTube[/video]


Mike Phillips
10-29-2013, 01:16 PM
What's a Rupes polisher you ask?

Great question!

Here's a closer look at the RUPES LHR21ES Random Orbit Polisher and the RUPES Paint Polishing System.

Pictured below

RUPES LHR21ES Random Orbit Polisher
RUPES Compound and Polishes
RUPES Color Matched 7" Foam Buffing Pads


First let's open up the box and take a look inside...


Inside the box you'll find,

One Polisher
Owner's Manual
Protective cover on the factory installed backing plate


Remove the protective cover before trying to affix a buffing pad to the backing plate...


Here's the RUPES LHR21ES Random Orbit Polisher with the Blue Compounding Foam Pad attached to the backing plate.


Well engineered design
The rear handle is well thought-out with the variable speed dial placed on the top of the body so you can easily adjust the speed on the fly using your thumb. The trigger lever is located on the bottom of the ergo handle and there is a trigger lock button on the left hand side to lock the on/off trigger into place while operating the polisher.


The pivot point or the trigger lever is reversed as compared to most polishers, instead of hinging or pivoting at the front it pivots at the rear of the lever.

This design takes advantage of a person's normally strong grip and control of their index and leading fingers.

The range of the variable speed dial runs from 1 to 6 with the 1 speed setting for low OPM's and the 6 speed setting for high OPM's.



A hex key is included and stored onboard for removing and tightening the backing plate to the spindle.



There are 4 fresh air grille vents for air to travel through to control temperatures and keep the tool running cool.






Mike Phillips
10-29-2013, 01:16 PM

The 6" backing plate actually measure in at approximately 5 13/16" in diameter



The face of the large foam buffing pads measures in at approximately 7" in diameter.


The hook-n-loop backing material on the back of the 7" foam pads measures in at approximately 6 1/4" in diameter.


The 7" foam buffing pads are approximately 1 1/8" thick.


When attaching the 7" foam buffing pads to the 6" backing plates you want to center the pads as best as you can for smooth operation. You should see about an 1/8" of hook-n-loop material surrounding the outer perimeter of the backing plate after attachment.


The RUPES hook-n-loop interface offers very strong attachment strength so when removing a pad from the backing plate be sure to work your fingers under the pad and then pull the hook-n-loop material off the backing plate firmly. Don't simply pull on the foam portion when removing pads. Also keep in mind that the hooks used for hook-n-loop interfaces can wear out over time decreasing attachment strength. Keep this in mind and when you notice the attachment strength wearing out, replace the backing plate. Autogeek stocks all replacement sizes for RUPES Polishers.




RUPES offers a complete polishing system to go with their polishers including 4 different liquid with color matching caps to go with forum different foam buffing pads offering different levels of aggressiveness or non-aggressiveness.



From the most to the least aggressive...

Zephir Gloss - Coarse Compound - Blue Lid & Blue Foam Pad
Zephir Gloss is engineered to be used with the aggressive blue foam cutting pad to remove deeper below surface paint defects while polishing out to a hologram-free finish. Zephir Gloss is aggressive enough to remove down to P1500 sanding marks.


Quarz Gloss - Medium Cut Polish - Green Lid & Green Foam Pad
Quarz Gloss is engineered to be used with the medium aggressive green foam polishing pad to remove medium depth below surface paint defects while polishing out to a clear, high gloss finish. Quarz Gloss is aggressive enough to remove down to P2500 sanding marks.


Keramik Gloss - Fine Cut Polish - Yellow Lid & Yellow Foam Pad
Keramik Gloss is engineered to be used with the soft yellow foam finishing pad to remove fine or shallow below surface paint defects while polishing out to an LSP-ready, flawless show room new finish.


Diamond - Ultra Fine Cut Polish - White Lid & White Foam Pad
Diamond is engineered to be used with the ultra soft foam finishing pad to remove maximize gloss, clarity, depth and shine. Diamond Ultra Fine Cut Polish is an optional step for anyone looking to create a true show car finish.


On Autogeek.net

Rupes LHR21ES Random Orbit Polisher (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-lhr-21es-big-foot-polisher.html)

Rupes Zephir Gloss Coarse Gel Compound 500 ml. (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-zephir-gloss-compound.html)

Rupes Quarz Gloss Medium Gel Compound 500 ml. (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-quarz-gloss-compound.html)

Rupes Keramik Gloss Fine Gel Polish 500 ml. (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-keramik-gloss-polish.html)

Rupes Diamond Ultra Fine Gel Polish 500 ml. (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-diamond-ultra-fine-polish.html)

RUPES Color Matched 7" Foam Buffing Pads (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-7-inch-foam-pads.html)

All RUPES Polishers, Pads and Polishes (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-polishers.html)


Mike Phillips
10-29-2013, 01:17 PM
A few thoughts and comments...

What makes the RUPES LHR21ES Random Orbit Polisher different from similar random orbital polishers?

The RUPES LHR21ES Random Orbit Polisher offers a huge 21mm long orbit or stroke. This is huge, or more technically this stroke is dramatically longer than the 8mm orbit offered by tools like the Porter Cable 7424XP, Meguiar's G110v2 and Griot's Garage 6" DA Polishers.

This longer stroke working together with the RUPES engineered system of precisely matched abrasive compounds and polishes to matched foam pads gives you a polisher that has the ability to remove all types of below surface paint defects quickly and easily and do it without creating excessive heat to the surface or instilling holograms at the same time.

Another unique characteristic in the design of the long orbit stroke with the matched compounds, polishes and pads is the ability to remove below surface defects without the need for extreme downward pressure to the head of the polisher during the buffing procedure.

Most other random orbital polishers rely on firm downward pressure to engage the pad and the abrasives against the paint in order to effectively remove small particles of paint and thus remove the defects. Not so with the RUPES design.

With the RUPES Random Orbit Polisher, you truly let the machine do the work while all you have to do is guide it over the paint.

I've been buffing out cars all my life and teaching others how to machine polish paint with every type of polisher common to the body shop and car detailing industry and after using the RUPES polishers one time I was impressed.

Here's a few projects cars I've buffed out using the Rupes Polishers, more write-ups finished and to be posted soon...

Rupes Polisher Time Lapse Video - 1955 Ford Crown Victoria (http://rupes%20polisher%20time%20lapse%20video%20-%201955%20ford%20crown%20victoria/)

1987 Monte Carlo Extreme Makeover with Rupes and Blackfire BlackICE (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/pictures-autogeek-s-car-week/62491-1987-monte-carlo-extreme-makeover-rupes-blackfire-blackice.html)

1932 Ford Phaeton Roadster - Write-up shortly...


North Miami Beach Police Mobil Command Unit - Show Car Makeover (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/pictures-autogeek-s-car-week/63069-north-miami-beach-police-mobil-command-unit-show-car-makeover.html)

Mystery Car #1


10-29-2013, 01:19 PM
Another great class in the books. Well done gentlemen.

Mike Phillips
10-29-2013, 04:06 PM
Another great class in the books. Well done gentlemen.

Thanks Mike...

I wish I had a count of how many classes I've taught in my life and how many people have taken my classes... sorry to say it's been too many over too many years to even try to count.

The Rupes segment of my class is one of the most popular now as the people that attend these classes tend to have read about these polisher but never held or used one.

Right now I'm working on just the right car for the class coming up in January of next year.

The first class is always a lot of fun as everyone attending will be some of the first people in the U.S. to test out many of the cool new tools, pads and products introduced at SEMA here at our garage.


10-29-2013, 09:00 PM
Wow, outstanding write up as always. I am absolutely going to buy a Rupes polisher this Spring.

10-29-2013, 10:06 PM
Another great informative right up Mike. I love my new Rupes polisher. This is my Black 2013 Genesis Coupe polished with Wolf's Medium/Jeweler combo and topped with BF Black Ice (courtesy of Meghan:kiss: )
http://i1075.photobucket.com/albums/w421/custmsprty/BlackIce_zpsddbc47d5.jpg (http://s1075.photobucket.com/user/custmsprty/media/BlackIce_zpsddbc47d5.jpg.html)
http://i1075.photobucket.com/albums/w421/custmsprty/BlackIce1_zps504a2066.jpg (http://s1075.photobucket.com/user/custmsprty/media/BlackIce1_zps504a2066.jpg.html)

Mike Phillips
10-30-2013, 06:33 AM
Wow, outstanding write up as always.

The pictures of the 1963 Ford Galaxie came out kind of dark, I didn't train my photographer well enough to know how to turn the flash on. My mistake.

I am absolutely going to buy a Rupes polisher this Spring.

You'll love your choice.