View Full Version : Rupes Bigfoot Polishers Detailing Class & Extreme Paint Restoration

Mike Phillips
10-14-2014, 08:53 AM
Rupes Bigfoot Polishers Detailing Class & Extreme Paint Restoration (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/pictures-saturday-detailing-101/85862-rupes-bigfoot-polishers-detailing-class-extreme-paint-restoration.html)

To give everyone lots of hands-on time using the Rupes Bigfoot family of orbital polishers including the,

Rupes Bigfoot 21mm Orbital Polisher (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-lhr-21es-big-foot-polisher.html)
Rupes Bigfoot 15mm Orbital Polisher (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-lhr-15es-big-foot-polisher.html)
Rupes Bigfoot Duetto 12mm Orbital Polisher (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-12e-duetto.html)
Rupes Bigfoot Mini 12mm Orbital Polisher (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-lhr-75e-polisher.html)

Plus we used the complete Rupes "system" of pads, compounds and polishes to machine compound and polish the original paint on this classic one-owner 1967 Lincoln Continental.

Rupes Zephir Gloss Coarse Gel Compound (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-zephir-gloss-compound.html)
Blue Coarse Foam Cutting Pad (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-foam-pads.html)
White Diamond Ultra Fine Polish (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-diamond-ultra-fine-polish.html)
White Foam Finishing Pads (http://www.autogeek.net/rupes-foam-pads.html)

As you can see in the "before" picture below, the paint, glass, chrome and interior are all dull and lifeless. But even though this car is 48 years old using the proper products, techniques and Rupes Bigfoot Polishers the paint on this car is going to spring back to life! Plus the interior is going to be revitalized too!

Another first in the car detailing industry
The original antique single stage paint on this 1967 Lincoln Continental Convertible was hurting for certain. It's not only old but it's dried-out, oxidized and brittle.

My article on how to restore antique single stage paint is the only article like it in the world and teaching a class using the real deal, that is a real classic car with the original paint is the first time a true class has been taught showing how to properly restore antique single stage paint using the techniques I share in my article.

So this is a first in the industry and what makes it more unique is that Richard, one of the cameramen from My Classic Car with Dennis Gage was here to record this rare and unique opportunity for a future episode of My Classic Car.

Watch as the amazing transformation takes place before your very eyes.....

Meguiar's #7 Show Car Glaze - Been around since the time of the Model T

Each project starts with a demonstration, in this example the correct technique for applying Meguiar's #7 Show Car Glaze (http://www.autogeek.net/meg7showcarg.html) and really working it into the paint is shown.


Here you can see Richard from "My Classic Car" filming this demonstration.


Behind me you can see multiple bottle of #7 waiting in the wing....


Waterless Wash

Before we start, we go over "why" to use a waterless wash on a classic or antique car. The audience that watches My Classic Car will hopefully benefit from this but the reason why is so you don't introduce water to areas inside the car body and frame where it can cause RUST.

So a waterless wash is perfect for classics and antiques and even muscle cars and streetrods not to mention your car as long as it's not to dirty.



Hands-on with Detailer's Waterless Car Wash
After the demonstration as to how to properly use a waterless wash the class goes to work getting this 1967 Lincoln Continental surgically clean and this car was really dirty when it arrived by my request to the owner.



Heavy Saturation Application of #7
After the loose dirt was removed, next there was a demonstration on,

How much #7 to use (a lot).
How to work the #7 into the porous single stage paint.

Then I turned the class loose to rub the paint out with the #7 Show Car Glaze.







Soaking in #7
When this step is performed correctly, there should be a visible, thick layer of the #7 polishing oils covering all of the paint.





After this step we moved the car out of the studio and into the warehouse where it soaked in the #7 polishing oils till approximately 4:00pm.

This project was started before 8:00am and even before we started the Power Point Presentation so we could get the car clean, get it rubbed-down and move it out of the way till later in the day.

I have had the good fortune of helping hundreds if not thousands of people bring old, dead and dying single stage paint jobs back to life. I'm not the only one that knows about the secret of #7, I'm just the guy that wrote the article sharing it here (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/ask-expert-featuring-mike-phillips/25304-secret-removing-oxidation-restoring-show-car-finish-antique-single-stage-paints.html).

Besides myself, watch the below video and you'll see and hear both Barry Meguiar and Wayne Carine say the same thing about #7, that is how it's been around since the car as "invented" and it's been saving paint for over 100 years now.... and these two guys have been using this product long before me....

Barry & Wayne talk about #7..." target="_blank">Barry & Wayne talk about #7...


Mike Phillips
10-14-2014, 08:54 AM
*****Time Lapse*****

Now keep in mind, before we buffed out the paint we first did these projects,

1. Car Washing Techniques
For this we used a 2000 Camaro and a 2002 Chrysler Town & Country Van

We had hands-on time using,

Autogeek Foam Gun
Iron X
Nanoskin Wash Mitts

2. Show Car Detailing with entry level DA Polishers
For this hands-on training we used the Porter Cable 7424XP, Meguiar's G110v2 & Griot's Garage DA Polisher with Pinnacle Advanced Swirl Remover, Pinnacle Advanced Finishing Polish and Pinnacle Souveran Paste wax. The training car was the 1956 Dodge Royal Lancer.

3. Show Car Detailing with the Flex XC 3401 Forced Rotation/Oscillation DA Polisher
For this we used the 1965 Plymouth Belvedere II Muscle Car along with Blackfire SRC Compound, Blackfire SRC Finishing Polish and Blackfire Black Wax plus Lake Country 6.5" and 5" Hybrid Foam Pads.

Soaking Time
It wasn't till after we finished all of the above products did we bring the 1967 Lincoln Continental BACK to the studio to buff it out. That was to allow the oils in the #7 to migrate into the paint like you see them migrating into this piece of paper.


I explain how this works and why it's important when restoring antique paint in this article which can also be found on AutoTraderClassic.com

The Secret to Removing Oxidation and Restoring a Show Car Finish to Antique Single Stage Paints (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/how-articles/25304-secret-removing-oxidation-restoring-show-car-finish-antique-single-stage-paints.html)


Mike Phillips
10-14-2014, 08:54 AM
Fast forward to 4:00 O'clock PM!

At approximately 4:00pm, after working on 4 other cars we moved the 1967 Lincoln Continental back into the studio to wipe off the #7 that has been soaking into the paint for approximately 8 hours.

Removing the #7 Show Car Glaze
Wiping off #7 that's been soaking in and also semi-drying isn't like wiping off a coat of Souveran Liquid Wax, (very easy to wipe off, you have to put some passion into it or as some would say... a little elbow grease....


The below picture is actually cropped out of the above picture showing the time via the clock on the wall... that's Bob Eichelberg talking to my buddy Jason who owns the 2000 Camaro.


Not only does it cut down on some of the grunt labor but it's also a lot of fun, especially since all these people saw the "before condition" of the paint and as they are wiping the #7 off they are seeing a dramatic transformation in color and overall condition.



Here's Axel looking like he's at peace with himself and with the car...


Cars from the 1940's, 1950's, 1960's and 1970's are often times HUGE! In order to remove the #7 pure polish out of the center of the hood Justin is really having to reach and use some arm muscles too...

Another reason besides the "cool factor" I bring in classics, muscle cars and streetrods is because they do tend to be very large it provides PLENTY of room for everyone to get plenty of hands-on time for whatever the tool or process is that we're going over.

Come on Justin... r-e-a-c-h a little futher... you just about have it.... :D


Tape-off Time
After we wiped off 97% of the oily #7 Show Car Glaze we then went over techniques for how to tape-off a car.

Classic cars with original paint will tend to have thinner paint on all the edges, corners and raised body lines so to prevent a whoops! we carefully taped all these areas off.


In my class you get hands-on experience on the techniques needed to correctly tape-off a car. If you can't get to my class here's my article on this technique....

How to tape-off a car before machine polishing (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/how-articles/80865-how-tape-off-car-before-machine-polishing.html)

Next up.... time to break out the Bigfoots!


Mike Phillips
10-14-2014, 08:55 AM
How to use the Rupes Bigfoot Orbital Dual Action Polishers

First a demonstration showing the correct technique when using Rupes polishers. This starts with teaching everyone to forget everything they know and do when using other dual action polishers like pushing down firmly on the head of the units.

Instead you use light pressure as the cutting action comes from the long orbit stroke of the drive unit moving the abrasives over the surface.

Full Attention
Even though the class has been going full speed since 7:30am this morning just look at how attentive they are as we head towards 6:00pm!


This is funny... look at Chris in the yellow shirt behind me intently watching...


Test Spot
Here's the section where I did the Test Spot using the Rupes Bigfoot 21 with the Rupes Blue Foam Cutting Pad and the Rupes Zephir Gloss Coarse Gel Compound.

The paint where I buffed looks brand new....


Hands-on Training Time
We have enough of the various models of Rupes Bigfoot polishers in the classroom that everyone can use them all as they cycle through them on this really big training car.






A Flex guy using the Rupes!
Here's Chris working the Rupes Bigfoot 21 to remove years of swirls, scratches, water spots and oxidation.

Just to note, I love having Reps from any of the companies carried by Autogeek take part in our classes and this means getting to use their competitors tools and products.


Equal Opportunity at Autogeek's Detailing Boot Camp Classes
Both Marco D'Inca and Andreas Valentini, son of Guido Valentin, Presidente of Rupes and an engineer for Rupes, both attended my May Detailing Boot Camp Class in 2013 and both of these guys, also my friends had a chance to use the Flex Tools on a 1940 Chevy Sedan Streetrod.

VIP Guest Marco D'Inca from Rupes at Autogeek's Detailing Boot Camp Class (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/ask-expert-featuring-mike-phillips/69635-vip-guest-marco-d-inca-rupes-autogeek-s-detailing-boot-camp-class.html)

Here's Jeff using the Rupes Mini...


Pigmented Single Stage Paint
Pretty easy to see that we're working on single stage paint. This is perfectly normal to see in case you've never buffed on an old school single stage lacquer or enamel.


Machine Polishing
After the compounding step everyone switched over to the white foam finishing pads and the Ultra Fine Cut White Diamond Polish.



Here's Willy polishing the paint to a super high gloss finish....




Mike Phillips
10-14-2014, 08:56 AM
Machine Waxing

After compounding and polishing the next thing we did was machine apply Pinnacle Liquid Souveran Carnauba Wax. To apply this we switched over to the simple Porter Cable 7424XP with 5.5" Lake Country Blue Waxing pads.

After compounding and polishing with the Rupes system the paint on this car was 99.9% perfect as could be achieved without risking damage so all that's left to do is seal the surface with a coat of wax. When working on paint this clean, smooth and defect-free you don't need any aggressive action from your polisher, all you need to do is spread out a thin coat of wax so that's why had everyone use the PC to apply the wax instead of the Rupes.

Plus I already had about 6 LC 5.5" Blue Wax pads primed with wax from a previous car project and ready to go...

Here's Willy, Craig and Justin machine waxing or machine sealing the paint....



Here's Arnold getting the vertical panels....

Here's Kevin, Jeff, Dave and Rick tackling the front clip.

NOTICE how clear and wet looking the paint is in this picture BEFORE the wax is applied and removed. The #7 followed by the Rupes Paint Polishing System totally knocked this project out of the park!


Thanks Rick for your attention to detail...


Here's Tyler machine waxing the huge back fenders...


Here you can see the MASSIVE trunk lid coated with wax. I don't think anyone that attend this class will ever work by hand again... they've become one with the machine...


Wiping off the wax
After we let the wax dry to a haze, everyone used the skills and techniques they learned earlier that day on the 1956 Dodge Royal Lancer to,

Inspect their microfiber towels
Wear Microfiber gloves
Fold their towels 4-ways
Gently break-open the wax and then gently wipe off the dried wax residue...


You can see Axel folding his towel in this shot while in the back Craig, Sam and Willy have their Microfiber Gloves on as they work....


Finishing up....


Next up...

The big reveal!


Mike Phillips
10-14-2014, 08:56 AM
First... here's the before pictures.....






Here's the after pictures....








The below picture is the same picture as above only flipped vertically


I won't post the after shots of the interior till I get to the process pictures showing the interior being machine scrubbed and steam cleaned....


Mike Phillips
10-14-2014, 09:10 AM
Detailing Classes at Autogeek for 2015

Consistent Dates Each Year
Because we have people that fly in from around the country and around the world we consistently hold our classes the same time each year so you can make your travel arrangements, (airline tickets, hotel reservations and rental cars).

Due to the popularity of these classes we've added an extra class for 2015.

Last weekend of January.
First weekend of May
Third weekend in July
Last weekend in September

Here are the dates for Detailing Classes at Autogeek for 2015.

January 2015 Class

January 24th and 25th - Full - No more seats available.

Note: Starting in May of 2015 the classes go to three days.

May 2015 Class

Friday May 1st
Saturday May 2nd
Sunday May 3rd

Click here to sign-up for this class (http://www.autogeek.net/detailing-boot-camp.html)

July 2015 Class
Friday, July 17th
Saturday, July 18th
Sunday, July 19th

Call 1-800-869-3011 to sign up for this class.

September 2015 Class
Friday, September 25th
Saturday, September 26th
Sunday, September 27th

Call 1-800-869-3011 to sign up for this class.

All classes always fill up so plan accordingly and get registered early.


Mike Phillips
10-21-2014, 11:13 AM
First hand testimonies....

These are the first-hand testimonies from the people that attended the September 2014 Class. More to come...

Pictures & Comments: Sept 2014 Detail Boot Camp Class (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/pictures-saturday-detailing-101/85380-pictures-comments-sept-2014-detail-boot-camp-class.html)

This class was absolutely awesome. I learned more information and had plenty of opportunity to learn to use new equipment than I thought was possible during a two-day training. It was great to work with one of the top professionals in the industry.

I had two goals in mind I wanted to take away from this class. The first was to introduce myself to different polishers. Currently, I use the Porter Cable and want to purchase a second, more advanced polisher, and with so many on the market, I was unsure of which one. My new polisher will be the Flex. My second goal was exactly how Mike Phillips stated, and that was to bring my comfort level up with paint correction.

I detail for a living. Beyond the above, I learned some new information that can improve my business skills, assess a potential client's needs, and realistically - from both my client's perspective and mine - meet those needs. I was also introduced to new compounds, polishes, and waxes that I can add to or replace what is currently in my arsenal.

In Ken Robinson's book, "The Element," he writes about doing your passion and being in your "tribe," and how this helps create a successful and satisfying life. It was great to spend a weekend with both enthusiasts and other detailers doing this work for a living. Thanks for recognizing our passion Nick, and thank you for all of your guidance too!

Hi guy's I'm just new to the forum; I just took Mike's bootcamp and for me was a mind blowing experience; working with those cars especially the Dodge Lancer what a unique car.

I flew with my wife all the way from Puerto Rico and l wanted to thanks Mike Phillips and his crew (Nick and Jesse) for the training and sharing their experience with us, I feel that my confidence level went from a 3 to a 7.

I am thankful for getting the opportunity to know Bob from Autogeek, Bob and Chris from Flex North America thanks for the meet and greet and all the classmates; I had a wonderful time and hope to see you all soon.

William Catala


I'm a new member of the forum and this is my first post.

I've been researching and reading so much about detailing since I decided to pursue this art. Part of that research was looking for schools to attend.

I found Mike's approaches, responses in forums that I read and his willingness to help others interesting. So, I focused on his company. I missed the cutoff for the September class and didn't want to wait so I emailed him about availability and was able to get into the class (last spot). Now about the staff and class.

Mike and Nick are professional, highly skilled but also extremely genuine folks. There's no doubt they are there to give their best to all in the class and answer all questions. Also at this class were two outstanding folks from Flex who were there in support and to learn.

Bob and Chris are equally genuine and supportive. I was there to learn everything as this art is new to me but was welcomed by staff and the other great folks in attendance. A non competitive environment, everyone was willing to help, talk, share, etc. I won't go into the course outline as you can view it yourself.

I will say that I learned so much about the art, the tools, products, the folks at Autogeek, my awesome classmates and myself. If you have not attended, not only do I highly recommend it for those thinking about attending but also to those who have been in the business for sometime as technology changes.

I'd also recommend it as a life experience as the folks at Autogeek are interesting, your classmate experiences and lives will enrich you and you will grow if you allow it. Stop thinking about it, just do it.

Jeff "JP"

Mike Phillips and his team were awesome this past weekend.

I walked in to the Detailer's Boot Camp with an expectation of long lecture and a little hands on but boy was I wrong.

Each one of us had plenty of hands on with a multitude of tools and cars. Getting the chance to learn how to use the different polishers before purchasing is a huge plus. Working on daily drivers as well as show cars is a huge confidence booster.

Mike Phillips is a genuine instructor. Mike, Nick, and Jesse, thanks for a tremendously valuable weekend.

Bob and Chris from Flex also attended and were hands-on right with the class and were also very resourceful. It was really good to have industry leaders sharing their knowledge with the class. Thanks for being there.

If anyone is on the fence about registering, do yourself a favor get registered.


This was an awesome class, and again, I learned quite a lot from when I first attended the boot camp back in 2012.

There have been many changes in tools, products, and information concerning automotive detailing since then, and I have learned so much from this class on the use of products, tools, and techniques that Mike Phillips demonstrated in his class.

Autogeek founder and CEO Bob McKee stopped by to say hello, and he and Nick gave us a tour of Autogeek's warehouse and operations. Thanks guys!

We also had the president of Flex Tools North America in attendance Mr. Bob Eichelberg and his associate Chris, who not only participated in the boot camp, but also gave us great info, tips and history on Flex Tools the 3401, and the PE-14.

They also answered any questions that the class may have had on these tools. We also had the rare opportunity to work on a 1967 Lincoln Continental with single stage paint, that turned out beautiful.

A show room finish on the custom 1956 Dodge Lancer, and the amazing correction we did on the 1965 Plymouth Belvedere II.

I was real impressed with the use of the Flex PE-14 and Blackfire compound and polish that we used on the 1939 LaSalle and after damp sanding, the finish was awesome!.

All the cars that we worked on had their own unique challenge, from daily driver to custom show car, and that's what this class is all about, to give you the opportunity to learn how to detail cars the correct way, and how to use all the current tools and products.

If you are thinking about attending one of these classes I would say do so, you will learn quite a bit, meet new people, and have fun.

Special thanks to Mike and Nick for an awesome boot camp!


Wow what an information packed weekend. Learned so much about the different products and the techniques to maximize results using them. Best part about the class is it's 90% hands on. I'm confident I can now maintain the black finishes on my cars.

Mike, Nick and Jesse worked their a$ off to make the class the best it could be.

Bob and Chris of Flex North America treated us to a very nice reception Saturday night.

Talk about going above and beyond, one classmate's car had yellowed headlights so Mike had him bring it in the studio and showed us how to do headlight restoration.

Hope to make it to Detail Fest in March. Now where did I put that margarita machine...

:applause: :applause:

wow lets do it again!!, just over the top !! mike, nick and da hole crew


thank you for all the tips and tricks i will never forget the great time we all shared !!!

ill be back for more thats 4 sure :)

This was not only an amazing class but overall experience. I learned so much and met some amazing people that came from all different professions and skill levels.

Mike, Nick, and Jessie were great teachers. You can tell that they not only have a passion for detailing, but also educating others. I definitely feel that the class was worth it and I highly recommend that anyone looking to become a better detailer or even if you have an interest in learning how to work on your own car, take the class.

You spend a lot of time hands on working with the newest equipment, learning proper techniques, and learning to be more confident when it comes to detailing cars.

The class covers both interior as well as exterior detailing and is great for guys and gals that are in the industry and those hobbyist who are looking to learn more.

I had a great time and again would highly recommend it to anyone lucky enough to sign up for the next session.

Thanks again Mike & Nick!


Thanks so much for documenting the detailing we did at Boot Camp in September. This thread is like an encyclopedia of our work and I can see it being very helpful.

I keep referring to my notes on the handout you provided us and your comments in this thread refreshes my memory.

It's been less than one week and I have already started using my new knowledge and skills.



This was my second boot camp.

The first taught me enough to be able to do a great detail and speak knowledgeably about most aspects of detailing a car inside and out. But over time many questions arose and I was able to get even more out of the second because I could ask better questions.

The second one also further charged my passion for the craft and gave me even more confidence when talking with our customers about what they need done to their car.

I cannot thank Mike enough for what he has done for my career, since attending my first class I have become General Manager of our Car Wash business and our sales and customer satisfaction are growing every day. I couldn't have done it without the knowledge obtained from Mike.

Thanks again.

Thank you everyone for taking the time to share your thoughts and experience after attending our class.