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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Why hand wax? Machine waxing is the ONLY way to go! Let me show you have to make it fast, easy and safe!

    Why hand wax? Machine waxing is the ONLY way to go! Let me show you have to make it fast, easy and safe!



    The Griot's Garage 3" Mini Polisher aka the Machine Waxer







    First, I never apply a wax or sealant by hand.


    Why?

    Because the human hand can never out perform the machine.


    Wait... let me qualify that first sentence... I never apply wax or sealant by hand when detailing my own cars or for customers. I do show hand techniques for applying waxes and sealants on TV when it fits the sponsor's product or the theme of the episodie for that TV show.


    But other than that....

    I never apply a wax or sealant by hand.


    A little story...

    Yesterday I had a great conversation with an Autogeek customer asking me about ceramic paint coatings for two of his special cars, or what I call SIVs.

    SIV = Special Interest Vehicles


    I'll write an article here in the next day or so explaining what cars qualify as SIVs but in this example, both of this "toys" are cars that are also SIVs. One is a classic Lincoln Continental and the other is a modern Corvette. After talking about whether or not a ceramic coating would be a good match for either of his cars or both and also for him and how he uses these two vehicles and also stores them when not in use I asked him how he currently protected the paint? He said


    I hand wax them


    After talking a bit more I told him that I meet people like him all the time that in this year, (the year 2017), they still hand apply car waxes and synthetic paint sealants.

    Nothing wrong with this... but... heck if you can afford a car, (any car), then you can afford a simple, small lightweight compact orbital polisher and use it to machine apply a liquid or paste carnauba wax or synthetic paint sealant.

    Machine application will not only tend to be faster and easier but machine application will also do a better and safer job than hand application in my experience and in my opinion.


    So I asked him to...

    Hang tight


    And I would write a fresh article for him and also for all the people I meet and talk to that are still hand waxing. And that's how this article came to be.


    I also mentioned to him that there's probably no one else in the car detailing industry (at least no gurus), that if you call them that after your conversation they write an how-to article with pictures showing you what was discussed. A picture tells a thousand words....


    Mike Phillips
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  2. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Why hand wax? Machine waxing is the ONLY way to go! (Let me show you have to make it fast, easy and safe!

    Continued....


    So like I said above, after talking to this gentleman and because I've had similar discussions in the past with other people, I decided to write a quickie article just to send to this guy so he could see exactly what I was talking about.


    Here's the pictures for that quickie article,



    The Griot's Garage 3" Mini Polisher




    This tool has been around for about 6-7 years. Most people that are not up to speed with the newest in buffing pads on the market would say something negative like Negative Nancy or Debbie Downer would say,

    I tried that tool, it wasn't strong enough to remove swirls and scratches


    And about 4-5 years ago they were correct. Now they are wrong.


    Griot's, Lake Country and Buff and Shine have all introduced wafer pads or THIN buffing pads that because there's so LITTLE MASS to the pads, they will rotate very well and thus you can remove paint and this means that yes, you can remove swirls and scratches. Heck I have pictures showing this tool remove sanding marks, which is usually a process best performed with the mighty rotary buffer.

    And while yes this tool with the right pads can be used to remove swirls and scratches that's not what this article is about. This article is about what I like to do with this tool and what I like to show others people they can do with this tool and that is to safely, quickly and easily machine apply a wax or a sealant, both pastes and liquids.



    Lightweight and compact size
    The tool weighs in at around 3 pounds. This lightweight feature and compact size makes it SUPER EASY to hold and use to spread out a wax even when working on vertical panels like fenders and doors. Because it's lightweight and easy to hold on to it's also more practical for our more seasoned members of the car enthusiast society that now in their older years may not have the same muscle strength they once had in their youth. And for this same reason it's also a great tool and a safe tool for young kids to use to machine wax mom and dad's cars, trucks, boats, etc.





    Perfect for either paste waxes or liquid waxes...
    I use the term wax here generically as you can use this tool for liquid paste synthetic sealants also....






    Lots of pad options
    There a dozens of small buffing pads on the market today that fit this tool for machine waxing. The pad you see in the picture below is the RUPES 4" white foam finishing pad. The velcro backing on the back of the pad is approximately 3" in diameter and the pad has a nice TAPER to it resulting in the face of the pad having a 4" diameter or footprint.



    Link to Autogeek Store to get this pad: RUPES 4" white foam finishing pad



    Easy wipe-off
    I like to show people products that are easy to use, super easy to wipe off, leaves a slick and slippery feel to the paint as well as high gloss and shin, the Pinnacle Liquid Souveran does just this thing to all paints.




    Deep, wet shine
    For the ultimate deep wet shine, it's hard to beat Pinnacle Souveran Paste Wax




    You can tilt the pad to get some wax on the pad....





    Or CAREFULLY pop the wax out of the jar and then while holding it very carefully swipe some wax across the face of the pad...









    Me? Which pads do I like best for machine applying waxes and sealants?

    I like any of the below,

    From left to right are,

    RUPES 4" white foam finishing pad, FLEX PE8 black foam finishing pad, Buff and Shine white foam finishing pad





    For smaller tins and jars I like the Lake Country 3" Flat foam pads...







    Mike Phillips
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    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Why hand wax? Machine waxing is the ONLY way to go! (Let me show you have to make it fast, easy and safe!

    Continued....


    After taking the above pictures and writing the quickie article, I thought to myself,

    Self... other people will probably want to know what other pads can be used with this tool as well as other waxes and sealants?


    So I took some more pictures and I'll include the links for each of the various pads for anyone that want's to step up from working by hand to working by machine using the very simple, easy-to-use Griot's Garage 3" Orbital Wax Machine.



    Many pad options for the Griot's 3" Mini Polisher






    RUPES 4" Foam Buffing Pads



    Link to ALL RUPES 4" pads on Autogeek.com




    Lake Country 3" HDO Foam Buffing Pads
    Blue = Cutting
    Orange - Polishing
    Red = Finishing but can also be used for waxing



    Link to Lake Country 3" HDO Foam Buffing Pads





    Griot's Garage 3.5" BOSS Foam Buffing Pads

    Orange = Cutting
    Yellow = Polishing
    Black = Finishing and can also be used for waxing



    Link to Griot's Garage 3.5" BOSS Foam Buffing Pads





    FLEX PE8 Rotary Foam Pads
    While these pads are marketed for use on the FLEX PE8 Rotary Polisher the 3" versions will work on the Griot's 3" Mini Polisher

    Orange = Cutting
    Green = Polishing
    Black = Finishing and can be used for waxing



    Link to FLEX PE8 Rotary Foam Pads





    Lake Country 3.5" ThinPro Foam Buffing pads

    Grey = Aggressive cutting
    Orange = Cutting
    White = Polishing
    Black = Finishing and can also be used for waxing
    Red = Waxing



    Link to Lake Country 3.5" ThinPro Foam Buffing Pads




    Lake Country Hybrid Power Finish 3.5" Foam Buffing Pads

    Grey = Aggressive cutting
    Orange = Cutting
    White = Polishing
    Black = Finishing and can also be used for waxing
    Red = Waxing



    Link to Lake Country Hybrid Power Finish 3.5" Foam Buffing Pads





    3" Buff and Shine Uro-Tec Foam Pads

    Blue = Coarse heavy cutting pad
    Maroon = Heavy polishing
    Yellow = Polishing
    White = Finishing and can be used for waxing




    Link to 3" Buff and Shine Uro-Tec Foam Pads






    Lake Country Beveled Edge 3.5" Pads

    White = Polishing and can be used for waxing
    Red = Waxing



    Link to Lake Country Beveled Edge 3.5" Pads





    Lake Country 3" Flat Foam Pads

    Yellow = Cutting
    Orange = Light cutting
    Pink = Cutting/Polishing
    White = Finishing
    Black = Finishing
    Blue = Finishing and can be used for waxing
    Red = Waxing



    Link to Lake Country 3" Flat Foam Pads





    Meguiar's 4" DA Power Pads
    These pads are originally intended to be used with the Meguiar's DA Power System which is an attachment that turns any household drill but they will work on the Griot's 3" Mini Polisher

    Burgundy = Cutting
    Yellow = Polishing
    Black = Finishing and can also be used for waxing



    Link to Meguiar's DA Power System Foam Buffing Pads





    Pad thickness versus pad thinness
    Some pads are thick and some are thin. When it comes to machine applying a non-cleaning wax or non-cleaning synthetic sealant, the thickness or thinness of the pad is not crucial as pad rotation is not crucial. All you're trying to do is spread out an even, uniform layer of wax or sealant.

    Generally speaking, thin pads will rotate better than thick pads on free spinning orbital polishers. Pad rotation is vital when using cutting and polishing pads to remove below surface defects like swirls and scratches. If you're trying to use a Griot's Garage 3" Mini Polisher to do correction work then you must use THIN pads. But again, for machine applying a wax or sealant to paint that is already in new or like new condition, pad thickness is not an issue.






    Machine applying liquid waxes and sealants
    In the below picture you see liquid waxes and sealants from Boyd Codington, Jay Leno, Wolfgang and Pinnacle Natural Brilliance. These all work GREAT to apply by machine.






    To use a liquid wax or sealant simply apply so to the face of the pad like this....






    Machine applying paste waxes and paste sealants
    Below are a variety of paste waxes and paste sealants. Some are available on Autogeek.com while others are from my antique wax collection.






    When using large tins or jars you can often fit the face of a small foam pad directly into the can to get some wax on the face of the pad like you see me doing here with a can of Meguiar's #16 Professional Paste Wax.








    For smaller tins or jar like the Pinnacle Black Label Synergy paste wax you can use a 2" pad to dip the face of the pad into the tin or jar of wax.








    Here's a can of Classic Wax from the 1960s and 1970s





    The Buff and Shine Uro-Tech 4" white foam polishing pad easily fits inside the antique tin of wax....





    Looks like a few cars have been protected by this can of Classic Wax






    Final thoughts....

    There are lots of pad options available for the Griot's Garage 3" Mini Polisher, if you're still waxing by hand, make the transition to waxing by machine. You'll be glad you did!






    What about machine applying a one-step cleaner/wax?



    Great question!

    Cleaner/waxes are meant to be worked over paint just like compounds and polishes, that is with a little pressure, a little high speed power and by making section passes over section of a painted panel. If you have a car with neglected paint and want to machine apply a one-step cleaner/wax then get a full size simple or entry level dual action polisher like the Griot's Garage 6" DA Orbital Polisher.






    The Griot's Garage 6" DA Orbital Polisher is larger and has a much more powerful motor and would be the right choice for applying compounds, polishes and cleaner/waxes to neglected paint, not the Griot's Garage 3" Mini Polisher.





    Definitely the way to go when it comes to applying waxes and sealants....








    On Autogeek.com

    Griot's Garage 3" Mini Polisher aka The Machine Waxer

    Griot's Garage 6" DA Orbital Polisher



    Pads?

    The links to each of the different types of pads are below the picture of each type of pad.



    Misc. items

    Also, for all of you that have cars in GREAT condition so that all you have to do is apply a wax or a sealant, here are some other things I'd higly recommend to help you keep your car's paint glowing and flawless...


    Microfiber Gloves

    16" x 16" Gold Plus Jr. Microfiber Towels

    16" x 16" Super Soft Deluxe Green Microfiber Towels with Rolled Edges



    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  6. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Why hand wax? Machine waxing is the ONLY way to go! (Let me show you have to make it fast, easy and safe!

    Continued....


    Also just to note... there are some products you cannot machine apply for 2 reasons...


    1: The chemistry of the product is such that it must be applied by hand. These are usually spray-on type waxes and sealants and for these types of products simply follow the manufacturers recommendations and directions.



    2: Some products like mentioned above are best hand applied but also are simply no longer on the market... like


    Touchless







    Yes, this is an original, up-opened package of TOUCHELESS circa 1992


    My good friend and mentor Dick Koth gave this to me before passing away... may he rest in peace.


    I though it would be fun to end this article with a little Car Detailing History.



    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  7. #5
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Why hand wax? Machine waxing is the ONLY way to go! (Let me show you have to make it fast, easy and safe!

    Lastly...


    Handy little tool. I also use this for machine sanding paint, gel-coats and headlights.



    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  8. #6
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    Re: Why hand wax? Machine waxing is the ONLY way to go! (Let me show you have to make it fast, easy and safe!

    Continued....


    I have lots of write-ups for cars I've detailed personally and cars that have been detailed here at Autogeek's Show Car Garage showing this little mighty mouse in action.... here's one example....


    New Product Testing - Monster 4x4 1957 Chevy Bel Air


    Continued...

    Time to seal the deal

    In order seal the paint and maximize the gloss and protection I chose 2 products from Dodo Juice Carnauba Waxes. Dodo Juice Light Fantastic Soft Wax and Dodo Juice Rainforest Rub Soft Wax. I love the Griot's 3" Mini Polisher as a machine wax spreader and also for machine wet sanding with 3" sanding discs. There's no sanding going on here but there's a lot of sheetmetal real-estate to cover. With a 3" foam pad I can place the pad directly into the jar of wax and then simply blip the on/off button on the polisher to get some wax on the pad. Then it's just a matter of spreading it over the panels.


    Dodo Juice Carnauba Waxes and the Griot's 3" Mini Polisher





















    Beauty shots...









    More pictures of this tool in action waxing cars tomorrow...


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  9. #7
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    Re: Why hand wax? Machine waxing is the ONLY way to go! Let me show you have to make it fast, easy and safe!

    Also, here's AJ using the Griot's 3" Mini Polisher to machine wax her personal 1968 Firebird after we did a full show car detail to it at the Classic Auto Show in California back in January....





    Hey... if AJ can do it... so can you!



    Mike Phillips
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  10. #8
    Senior Member custmsprty's Avatar
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    Re: Why hand wax? Machine waxing is the ONLY way to go! Let me show you have to make it fast, easy and safe!

    I love the picture of the white portion on the 57 Chevy Mike. No way can any hand get that type of uniform consistently thin coverage.

    It's machine applying LSP's for me for sure.

    And it saves me tons of product as I use so much less. Not to mention ease of removal.

    Thanks for taking the time to post this in depth article.


    Why hand wax?  Machine waxing is the ONLY way to go!  Let me show you have to make it fast, easy and safe!-escalateviking5-jpg

    Why hand wax?  Machine waxing is the ONLY way to go!  Let me show you have to make it fast, easy and safe!-vikingcoat-jpg

    4" LC Pad on my Rupes Mini Polish Angel Viking Coat

    Why hand wax?  Machine waxing is the ONLY way to go!  Let me show you have to make it fast, easy and safe!-vikingcoat1-jpg
    2013 Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track Edition
    2015 Hyundai Sonata Limited, 2016 Pearl White Nissan Altima SR
    2019 Nissan Rogue SL

  11. #9
    Senior Member Route246's Avatar
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    Re: Why hand wax? Machine waxing is the ONLY way to go! Let me show you have to make it fast, easy and safe!

    Assuming the vehicle's surface is relatively void of nooks, crannies and concave spaces, and has vast amounts of flat surfaces, is there any reason why not to use a 5"/6" DA and hand apply to those areas that are missed (i.e. behind door handles, around trim, etc.)?

  12. #10
    Senior Member Kamakaz1961's Avatar
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    Re: Why hand wax? Machine waxing is the ONLY way to go! Let me show you have to make it fast, easy and safe!

    Way cool thread! As always thank you for the information! I only use my DA to apply sealant/wax too. My PC7424XP has been converted with the 3" BP and lots of fun to put a sealant or wax.
    CJ
    2013 Mustang GT w/Track Pack 6-Speed Manual
    Save the Manual!

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