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  1. #1
    Mike Phillips

    Man versus Machine

    Man versus Machine

    The human hand versus Meguiar's G110!

    This Lincoln has moderate swirls and also straight-line scratches running from front to back, they look like the type of scratches inflicted from an automatic brush style car wash. Besides the car wash scratches which are all in the same direction, there are also plenty of what we call RIDS.

    RIDS stands for Random, Isolated Deeper Scratches.

    Instead of a noticeable pattern like the car wash scratches, RIDS run in all different directions as they are caused by normal wear and tear in a random fashion over time.

    The goal of this project is not to remove each and every one of the deeper scratches as it's a daily driver and will see normal wear and tear the rest of its service life. Instead the goal is to remove the majority of the swirls as well as the lighter or shallow scratches to restore a beautiful, clear finish the owner will be proud of.

    Hand versus Machine - Time Comparison
    For this project we're going to use the Meguiar's Consumer Line of products by hand on one side and then the same products by machine on the other side to give people an idea of how much faster and easier it is to work with a dual action polisher instead of working by hand.

    Here's our candidate car,

    For the hand portion of this comparison we'll be using, Smooth Surface Clay Kit, Ultimate Compound, SwirlX, NXT Tech Wax and Supreme Shine Microfiber Polishing Cloths .

    The car was washed the day before so we wiped her down using Quick Detailer and a microfiber polishing cloth and then inspected the paint for above surface bonded contaminants. It wasn't horribly contaminated but it did need a thorough claying.

    For this we used the Meguiar's Smooth Surface Clay Kit and followed the technique described here,

    Tips and Tricks for using detailing clay

    We kneaded our clay into a round patty about 4" to 4.5" in diameter as this way we can place our hand/fingers on top of it and it will cover all of our hand.

    Here's the results from the hood.

    Next up were going to do a Test Spot on the trunk lid and dial-in our system. After we prove the system works in our Test Spot on the trunk lid then we'll duplicate the system to one half of the hood of the car. For the other half we'll use the G110 Dual Action Polisher.

    Besides showing how to use this system to remove swirls we'll also track how much time it takes us to restore just half the hood by hand and then half the hood using the G110 Dual Action Polisher to give people an idea of how much time can be saved when working by machine.

    We don't want to persuade anyone to not detail their car by hand but simply to try to show the time savings when using a safe tool like the G110.

    Test Spot by Hand
    At the time of this article, (8/26/09), I had never used the CCS Euro Foam Hand Polish Applicators so the first thing I'm going to do is test them out and see how they work while doing my test spot.

    In the strip in the middle of the trunk-lid we're going to test out the three different levels of aggressiveness available in the CCS Euro Foam Hand Polish Applicators using Ultimate Compound.

    Note: While Lake Country intended these pads to be used with the CCS pocket side facing down, you can also use the flat side, which I chose to do for this test because I want 100% of the surface of the applicator working against the paint. This is a big car and it's going to take a little passion behind the pad to work the defects out and I want everything possible working for me.

    Testing out the CCS Euro Foam Hand Applicator Pads
    First I tested each of the different foams with the Ultimate Compound to see how each foam formula worked to remove the defects.

    Red Ultra Soft CCS Euro Foam Hand Polish Applicator
    The red foam was too soft for applying and working compounds as I thought it would be but I wanted to try it for myself so that anytime these tools are discussed on our forum or in our classes, I can speak from real-world knowledge and hands-on experience.

    White Polishing CCS Euro Foam Hand Polish Applicator
    Then I tested the white polishing applicator pad and found that it worked well for with Ultimate Compound and SwirlX because of the increased firmness.

    Orange Light Cutting CCS Euro Foam Hand Polish Applicator
    Lastly, I tested the orange applicator pad and found the extra firmness and aggressive nature of this foam removed defects the fastest and the most effectively with Ultimate Compound but found it to aggressive to use with a cleaner/polish.

    The visual results from my testing proved that for removing serious below surface defects, the fastest and most effective pad out of the three would be to use the orange applicator pad.

    Now that I confirmed which foam pad worked best on this paint system for the heavy cutting step with the Ultimate Compound, I continued with my test spot by re-working the entire area with the Ultimate Compound and the orange applicator pad.

    Large Oval Shape
    The CCS Hand Applicator Pads are oval in shape and comfortably fit your hand. What I really like about the orange cutting and the white polishing pads is they are firm enough to distribute the pressure from your hand evenly over the entire face of the pad in contact with the paint.

    Softer foam pads tend not to offer this benefit and for some applications that’s okay but for working out defects where you’re going to need to invest a lot of time physically rubbing on the paint the firmer pads work better.

    First Step process
    Here I’ve placed some Ultimate Compound on the face of the pad in the shape of a ring around the outer edges of the pad. You could also make an X-pattern or even spread the product over the face of the pad with your finger or some other tool if you like. I prefer to keep procedures like this as simple as possible as well as easy and fast to duplicate over and over again over the surface.

    First Step Process

    Always work clean, in this case after applying and working your product, remove any excess off the section in order to inspect your results and also to remove the spent product.

    Whenever you’re using an aggressive compound on a clear coat finish, its normal to hope for great looking results afterwards, but don’t expect the end-results to look like you just wiped off a coat of wax as that’s not realistic.

    Aggressive compounds are just that, aggressive. They are meant to be the FIRST step in removing serious below surface defects, they are not meant to create a show car finish after wipe-off even though Ultimate Compound will produce some very amazing results just by itself.

    With some paint systems, it’s actually possible for a compound like the Ultimate Compound to finish out beautifully, but the visual results from my test section clearly showed that a second and even third step might be needed to refine the results to the highest level possible when working by hand.

    Second Step Process
    After compounding the entire test section, I moved on to the next step in my process and that was using SwirlX with a white applicator pad to refine the results from the aggressive compounding step.

    Second Polishing Step using a less aggressive applicator pad by hand with SwirlX..

    Third Step Process
    Next we're going to use the soft, red finishing applicator pad with SwirlX.

    Comment: The color of applicator pads.
    My personal preference is to use applicator pads that are light in color. The reason for this is because one of the best practices I preach and use myself is to turn your applicator pad over often and inspect for any dirt or abrasive particles that might somehow enter into the application process.

    With a light colored applicator pad you can easily inspect and see if there are any contaminants on the face of your pad. With dark colored applicator pads it’s difficult to see dirt or abrasive particles and it's better to remove any abrasive particles if discovered than find out later you've been instilling scratches accidentally that now must be removed.

    Third Step Process

    Now that a majority of the below surface defects have been removed and the finish is polished to a clear, high gloss it’s time to seal the paint. Since this is an article on how to work by hand we chose the Meguiar’s NXT Paste Wax.

    NXT Paste Wax comes with a purple foam applicator pad and while the foam is soft and gentle to the paint, for the reasons mentioned above on dark colored applicator pads, we substituted a small, round, basic yellow foam applicator pad to apply the wax. You could also use the red CCS finishing foam pad but it won’t fit into the can of wax so instead we opted for the small round applicator pads which are available in the Autogeek store.

    Then we did our best to apply and work-in a thin layer of wax. It’s vital to apply a thin layer of wax because excessive wax takes longer to dry and is more difficult to remove.

    Below you can see the we products we used, matched to the applicator pads used with them. Off to the right side is our Test Spot with a thin coat of wax drying.

    While the wax is drying we’re going to remove our painter’s tape.

    Tip: Whenever you’re removing painter’s tape off automotive paints, always pull back on the tape at an angle as a safety precaution. With a factory finish it’s doubtful you would ever pull paint off the car, but with a re-paint, you never know the quality of the prep-work and paint-work and it’s just better to form the best practice of removing tape by pulling it off at an angle close to the surface.

    Avoid pulling tape straight-up and off the paint

  2. #2
    Mike Phillips

    Re: Man versus Machine


    Using our Brinkman Swirl Finder Light, here are the results from our Test Spot.



    Iím sorry to say that I was unable to get any full-on sun shots as the clouds moved in and blocked the sun.

    I stood around for about 10 minutes and waited for the sun to break through as some clouds blew away and hereís the best I could do. In bright light the before sections were truly swirled out and filled with scratches but without the sun itís impossible to show.

    It is easy however to see the huge difference in clarity between the before and after sections even without the cooperation of the sun. Removing the defects and polishing the clear coat till itís totally clear enables your eyes to clearly see the black basecoat underneath the top layer of clear paint.

    These scratches you can see in the below two shots are partially highlighted by the sun shining down on the paint. Notice how they are in straight-lines? This is because this car was run through a brush type automatic car wash and the spinning brush heads inflicted straight-line scratches like you see here. In reality they are everywhere in the paint. This is very common for rental cars.

    Sun placed on the tape line.

    Sun placed directly on the compounded, polished and waxed section.

    This is a Random, Isolated Deeper Scratch (RIDS)

    Note: When you remove the majority of shallow scratches from a car's finish, what happens is all the deeper scratches will now easily show up to your eyes like a sore thumb. These are the RIDS, or Random Isolated Deeper Scratches.

    Some people get confused when they see these deeper scratches after removing the masses of lighter, shallow scratches and are caught off guard and may even think they weren't there before? That's just not the case, the deeper scratches were there all the time it's just now that all the shallow scratches are gone they show up easily to your eyes.

    Swirl-free finish by hand

    This extreme close-up shows a swirl free finish but you can see what looks like little holes in the paint. These types of defects tend to go deeply into the paint and should not be removed as you risk removing too much paint in the process. Again, this is a daily driver so weíre not aiming for perfection, but instead, very good results.

  3. #3
    Mike Phillips

    Re: Man versus Machine


    August 25th, 2009

    Okay, on Monday I did a Test Spot on the rear trunk lid and once I was confident my system approach would work I'm ready to tackle the hood today.

    I'm going to only work on one half of the hood and document how long it takes to do a multi-step swirl removal process by hand. The same process I tested and proved on the test section of the trunk lid yesterday.

    One reason for doing this is because at almost every class I've ever taught, after explaining and demonstrating how to work a compound or paint cleaner by hand, the question often comes up,

    "How long will it take to detail an entire car?"

    Or more accurately, they want to know if they start in the morning,
    • How long it will take to wash the car
    • How long will it take to clay the paint (if needed)
    • How long it will take to remove all the swirls with the compounding step.
    • How long will it take to polish the paint with a less aggressive product to refine and maximize the clarity.
    • Lastly, how long will it take to apply and remove either a wax or paint sealant.
    In other words, how long does it take to detail a car. (Polish out the paint)

    The reason this question comes up is because watching me apply a compound or paint cleaner to just a small section of paint and the time and passion behind the pad required usually surprises most people. As they watch me working a single small section, they multiply what theyíre seeing in their mindís eye and imagine how long it would take themselves to go completely around their own car or truck doing the same thing. And at some point it sinks in that itís not a 2-3 hour job.

    As the class is watching me work the compound, that's when I usually add some comedy and say,

    "Watching me apply a compound by hand is usually the best sales tool for the a dual action polisher!"

    That's when everyone laughs. And while it may be funny, it's also true.

    The above is a serious and accurate summary of the conversations that have been taking place ever since the first class I taught in a formal classroom setting on July 31st, 2002

    Here's the link to the sign-up thread on the discussion forum with a time stamp of 07-11-2002, posted by placo1 who to this day is still a good friend because of that class.

    So to help answer the question, how long does it take to just remove the swirls and scratches out of the paint by hand, I thought I would track how long it takes me to remove the swirls and car wash scratches out of just half the hood of this black Lincoln.

    Then, I'll use Meguiar's G110 Dual Action Polisher to buff out the other side using the same products and the same steps and then post the time for both methods.

    You can then get an idea as to which approach is better as well as have an idea as to how long it would take to do a multi-step process to the entire outside of a car.

    Just to note, even though swirls can be removed by hand and the paint polished and waxed to a high gloss and it will look a zillion times better than when you started, it's still never going to look as good as the results you can achieve using a dual action polisher.

    As Bill Murry said in the move Stripes,

    "That's the facts Jack"

    Letís beginÖ

    I'm going to rub-out the driver's side of the hood by hand and before starting, Iíve sliced up half of the hood by taking some painter's tape and taping off small sections to show you how to break-up a panel to be worked by hand when applying an aggressive product to remove swirls and scratches.

    As you can see, you canít tackle half a hood at one time, you have to work small sections at a time.

    For reference, I also placed a Meguiar's Supreme Shine Microfiber polishing cloth folded in half to give you and idea as to the size of the major sections to be worked. Meguiarís Supreme Shine Microfibers are 16" by 24" inches so the folded cloth you see on the hood is 16" by 12".

    This is about as big a section you want to work at one time. You can tackle a 16Ē by 16Ē section or any size around these dimensions but you really donít want to work a section any larger than this. The reason why is because you wonít be able to focus enough energy to do a thorough job of evenly removing the swirls. As a result the paint will still be all swirled out when youíre finished.

    Now on this Lincoln, the hood has a raised thin panel down the middle with two hard body lines to be careful around. The sides of the hood also have thinner panels separated from the major section between the middle of the hood with a hard body line running most of the length of the hood..

    As you can see the thinner panels are broken up into two thin sections. The thin panel of paint on the side is too long to work all at one time so I broke it into two sections.

    Then there's a section in front of the driver's side A-Pillar that need to be it's own section as itís joined to the major section in front of the windshield. (If that all makes sense)

    Every hood, door, roof, trunk lid etc, is going to be different, so you have to do your best to figure out how to slice-up each panel. The important thing to understand is anytime you're removing swirls out of a modern clear coat you must only work a small section at a time. You cannot physically rub-out a huge section by hand and do a great job.

    This is how I would slice-up the hood of this Lincoln

    Now that I've shown you how I sliced-up this particular hood, it's time to remove the Supreme Shine Microfiber and the tape. Remember, I only placed the tape on the car as a visual tool to help show you how approach the defect removal step by hand.

    Note: You actually slice-up each panel of a car in a similar fashion whether you're working by hand or with a dual action polisher for the same reasons. And the reason for this is because modern clear coats tend to be harder than old fashioned single stage paints like the paint that would have came on a 1965 Mustang.

    Even if youíre using one of the popular dual action polishers like the Porter Cable polishers, the Meguiarís polishers, and/or the Griotís Garage polisher, because these tools have a clutch which stops the pad from rotating if you apply to much pressure, you can only work a small section at a time when doing any kind of defect removal step.

    Here's a safety tip that's a best practice to develop anytime you're using Painter's tape on automotive paints. When you remove the tape, pull it back at and angle, not straight up, off the paint.

    First we're going to use Meguiar's Ultimate Compound for our first step process with both the orange and the white CCS Euro Foam Hand Polish Applicators. That's right, we're going to rub-out the paint using two different levels of aggressiveness in our foam applicators because we want the driver's side of the hood to look as good as the machine buffed side.

    We'll start with the aggressive orange pad and put quite a bit of passion behind the pad and then follow this with the white foam applicator pad and lessen our pressure. After the compounding step weíll do the polishing step, so this half of the hood is going to get 6 cleaning steps before applying the wax.

    With a new, dry pad it's important to add an ample amount of product to start with, as your pad becomes wet with product you can cut down a little on the amount of product you apply. Because you're going to be applying firm pressure with a quick hand movement, you need enough product to provide good lubrication.

    Start by spreading the product out over the area you're going to work so you have a uniform layer of product over this section. Sometimes youíll see a film of product or patches of product on the paint, this is normal and nothing to worry about.

    After spreading the product out, begin to work it over and against the paint. Below is a somewhat thick looking layer of product, that's okay because there are a lot of swirls and scratches in this hood and they're going to need some convincing to leave.

    Work the product over and against the paint with firm pressure. You can work the product in circles or straight-lines. If your products of choice are non-abrasive in that they won't leave deeper scratches behind in the paint than they're removing then you can move your hand in whatever direction you fancy, either overlapping circular motions or back and forth in overlapping straight line motions.

    Here's something seasoned old-timers know about working by hand. It's easier to spread a product out using a circular motion than straight-line motions. FWIW.

    Personally I use both directions. I start out using a circular motion to spread the product out and then switch to straight-line motions to really work the product against the paint hard and fast. As I do this, excess product will accumulate at the end of my throw. As I see the product build-up, I'll take a moment to switch to circular motions to grab this perfectly good product and bring it back into the center of the area being worked so I can continue to work it. This also saves product. Iím not a cheapskate, but I am a spendthrift and I want to get the most bang for my buck.

    Keep your hand moving at a fast pace and as you apply pressure to the pad you'll see the product on the surface go from a whitish, opaque film or layer of product to a clear, oily residue that almost looks and feels like you're applying mineral oil or Vaseline over the paint. This is normal and this is what you should see if you're working the product carefully and correctly.

    I started at approximately 12:47pm and after this first section I've already used about 10 minutes just to rub-out this first section with two applications of Ultimate Compound.

    After a few sections youíll get a build-up of spent product on the face of your pad. This is normal for ANY compound or paint cleaner. You want to clean this build-up of spent product off the face of the pad before applying fresh product.

    Here's I'm using The Edge Foam Pad Conditioning Brush but you could also use a firm bristle toothbrush.

    Continue working a section at a time and be sure to overlap a little into the previous section for good UMR

    UMR = Uniform Material Removal

    Circular motions

    Straight-line motions and after working in straight-lines I shmoo the area over by going back to circular motions.

    Itís hard sometimes to use circular motions on thin, narrow panels, for this Iíll use straight-line motions and at the end try to do some circular motions to insure evenness of UMR.

    Front portion of the narrow panel.

    Rear portion of the narrow panel

    Itís 2:30pm and Iíve rubbed out each section 3 times with the Ultimate Compound with the last section pass for each section using less pressure and less product. Polishing paint is an art form, not a grinding process.

    If you have an upcoming project that you're going to rub-out by hand, spend a few weeks in the gym first and do plenty of Tricep Pushdowns.

  4. #4
    Mike Phillips

    Re: Man versus Machine


    Next up weíll switch to the less aggressive white applicator pad and re-polish each section using SwirlX and then do a final pass with the softer, red applicator pad also with the SwirlX.

    The idea being to gently and methodically refine the finish to a very clear, smooth surface perfect for applying a wax or paint sealant.

    There are no pictures of the SwirlX being applied twice to each section, you just have to trust that I really did this step. I actually rubbed each section out twice with SwirlX, the first pass over each section was with firm pressure, not hard pressure, and the second pass over each section I lightened up my pressure.

    Key point about applying the SwirlX is that it won't take as much passion behind the pad for these steps as the defects were removed with the compounding step and thus will go faster.

    The SwirlX step is to remove any hazing and/or dullness after the heavy compounding step. Again, polishing paint is an art form, especially by hand with each step moving you forward towards the goal of a swirl-free finish with a deep, wet shine. (That is the goal right?)

    Here's a tip, turn your applicator pads over often and inspect for any dirt or abrasive particles that may have somehow entered into the process and if discovered remove them or switch to a known clean pad.

    In this picture, I've finished using the white polishing pad to apply the SwirlX to the entire half of the hood and now I'm going to re-peat this step again only switch to the much softer red applicator pad.

    This style of foam is close to softness as the average foam applicator pad that comes with most car care product on the market. Because its very soft you have to be careful not to push to hard with just your fingers or you'll exert more pressure to just your fingertips and this can cause fingermarks.

    Because the foam is very soft and pliable it's also harder to hold and work a product against the finish. It's probably better suited just for spreading out a wax but because this was a black car I wanted to do everything I could to make sure I got the best finish possible. So I took the time to go ahead and do a final polishing step with this much softer foam. Most people would skip this step but I want to duplicate what the machine is capable of regardless of the time required.

    We're finished with the SwirlX polishing step and as you can see this step and all the steps after the compounding step will go much faster and thatís because at this point youíre no longer trying to remove the defects in the paint, thatís all supposed to be done in the first step. This is true of machine buffing too.

    The entire driver's side of the hood has now been compounded and polished. All the polish residue has been wiped-off and the paint is now squeaky clean. It is very smooth and clear and perfect for the application of wax. Time now is about 3:06pm

    Issues with the wax application and drying
    The hood has been waxed using NXT Paste Wax. I want to be upfront and state that I had a hard time applying a thin even coat of wax. Iím not sure what the problem was as I'm pretty good at laying down a thin even coat of paste wax. After applying the paste wax to the hood it looked too thick and I knew it was going to look like that in the picture so I wiped it off and tried again and still had a hard time getting a thin layer laid down. So I just did the best I could do and figured I would just be honest about it in this write-up as the pictures will clearly show what looks like too thick of a coating of wax. Sorry.

    When I started applying the wax it was approximately 3:06pm and when I finished it was 3:15pm and itís pretty easy to understand it wouldnít take me 9 minutes to apply a paste wax to half a hood, but now that you know I wiped off the first application, (while it was wet), and then took another stab at applying a thin coat a second time that explains the time from start to finish.

    Since moving to Florida, one thing I've noticed is that it takes longer for ANY wax I've used to dry. This kind of skews the results and to help out I've placed a fan in front of the hood on a cart and since this project have purchased a couple of tall fans just to help dry waxes and paint sealants during future projects. A little air current usually helps a coat of wax to dry.

    How long does it take to do the Surface Prep Step
    The purpose of this project was not to show the total time from start to wax wipe-off, it was to show the difference in how long it takes to do what I like to call the work step, also referred to as the surface prep step.

    That is, the purpose of this how-to article is to show how long will it take when working by hand to remove swirls and scratches versus removing swirls and scratches by machine.

    In the real world, when youíre working on your car in your garage the waxing step goes pretty quickly, it's the defect removal steps that take up all the time and that's where we're going to put the focus as far as comparing the two different process.

    How long it takes to apply and wipe off the wax whether liquid or paste wasn't the focus of this project. I know people are going to probably have questions about the waxing steps but for the record, this article is about how long it takes to do the work step.

    On the topic of the multiple compounding steps by hand
    Also note that I could have just applied the compound one time to each section and produced a very dramatic difference but what I did was take the mindset of the person trying to get the swirls and scratches out of the paint so that it looks GREAT, not just good.

    And it's for this reason I applied the Ultimate Compound 3 TIMES to each section. This was the step that took the longest but that's what it takes to go from a swirled-out, scratched up mess to something you can be proud of if you don't own a polisher and are going to do the work by hand.

    In simple words, what I did with the compounding step is what I would personally do to my own car if I had to work by hand and I wanted to take my car's finish to it's maximum potential.

    Real life experience
    For example, if I were a young guy and I just bought a car with the money I saved up and because it's a used car the finish is a wreck and in my youthful excitement to fix up my car this is what I would do if as a youth I knew what I was doing.

    I did something just like this as a youth except I didn't know what I was doing and I didn't have experienced people on a discussion forum to guide me, so I made a lot of mistakes. That's another story for another day but would be happy to post it should someone ask. It had to do with this car, my first car that actually ran and drove back when I was in high school in 1977

    Okay, with all the above said, here's the breakdown for the side we worked by hand taking only the time from start to ready to wax.

    Ultimate Compound by hand, 3 well worked applications to each small section.
    Start the compounding step: 12:45pm
    Finish the compounding step: 2:30pm
    Minus a 15 minute lunch and Rock Star break: -15 minutes

    Total time for the compounding step: 1 hour and 45 minutes

    SwirlX Cleaner/Polish applied by hand, 2 well worked applications to each small section.
    Start the polishing step: 2:30pm
    Finish the polishing step: 3:05pm

    Total time for the polishing step: 35 minutes

    Total time for the surface prep steps to work the finish up to where itís ready to apply wax:

    2 hours and 30 minutes

  5. #5
    Mike Phillips

    Re: Man versus Machine


    Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

    Today we're going to do the other half by machine and time ourselves and then compare the difference in time between working by hand and working by machine for the surface prep steps only.

    For the machine side we're going to use the same chemicals only switch over to the Meguiarís G110 Dual Action Polisher with the W-67DA Flexible Rubber Backing Plate and the 3 new washable foam pads, W7207 Foam Cutting Pad, W8207 Foam Polishing Pad and the W9207 Foam Finishing Pad.

    Note: At this time Meguiar's does not recommend using any of their foam cutting pads with dual action polishers as the foam is aggressive enough that on some paint systems it's possible to micro-mar the paint. So if you decide to use their foam cutting pad with a dual action polisher you should always test first and make sure you're getting the results you're looking for and hoping for and if not then seek help on our forum or substitute a less aggressive pad.

    No problems on this Lincolnís paint system
    I tested the W-7207 foam cutting pad on this Lincolnís paint and on this basecoat/clearcoat finish it worked great with no visible hazing or micro-marring. So with confidence based upon my testing I will use their foam cutting pad on a dual action polisher for this project.

    Also just to note, I already planned on following the foam cutting pad and the Ultimate Compound using the polishing pad with the SwirlX which in most cases if there is any hazing from the cutting pad the less aggressive foam polishing pad and SwirlX will easily remove it in most cases.

    Pictured: Ultimate Compound, SwirlX, NXT Tech Wax, G110, W-67DA, W-7207, W-8207, W-9207

    Whenever youíre removing defects out of a clear coat paint system you only want to work a small section at a time. These sections are a little larger than I would normally work but the G110 had plenty of power to keep the W-7207 foam cutting pad rotating even with around 15 to 20 pounds of downward pressure, so I sliced this half of the hood up into 4 sections as 6 sections actually would have made for too small of sections.

    Remember, whatever youíre working on, youíll need to assess the size, shape and design of each panel and use your own judgment as to how to slice it up into workable sections. The tape on the passengerís side of the hood is only to visibly show you how I sliced-up this half of the hood. After taking this picture I removed the tape before compounding the paint.

    Ready to start and itís approximately 11:50pm

    Normally you always wipe each section off after working the product, I left the product on hoping to take a shot and highlight the product on the finish to show the sections by the pattern of the product still on the paint but couldnít get the flash on the camera to properly get the effect I was looking for.

    Since starting my job here at Autogeek Iíve actually struggled using the very nice Nikon D200 camera to get my shots so Max has generously allowed me to purchase the camera Iím already experienced with and comfortable with, the Canon Digital Rebel X. It will be here tomorrow! With almost 4000 photos processed and uploaded on the 3rd MOL Gallery and at least that many on the previous galleries, while not a professional photographer, I have learned how to get the shot that tells the story using the Canon Digital Rebel T1i.

    After this Friday Iím confident Iíll be more successful at getting the pictures that more accurately tell a story for use here on

    Itís now approximately 12:10pm and Iíve compounded each section aggressively using the W-7207 Foam Cutting pad on the 6.0 speed setting. Thatís approximate 5 minutes of compounding by machine to each section using overlapping passes in which I did 2 section passes with fresh product for each section for good UMR.

    Overlap your passes by 50%
    After you spread the product out, now it's time to slow your Arm Speed down and begin making overlapping passes usually in a crosshatch or back and forth, side-to-side pattern.

    The goal is UMR, that is Uniform Material Removal.

    The reason for this is so that you remove an equal amount of paint over each section and in turn over the entire car. In order to do this you need a method that you can control and duplicate and for most people following a back and forth, side-to-side pattern works because itís easy to remember, easy to do and easy to duplicate.

    The definition of the word pass
    There are two definitions of the word pass as it relates to machine polishing with any type of machine.

    Single Pass
    A single pass is just that, it's when you move the polisher from one side of the section you're buffing to the other side of the section you're buffing. That's a single pass.[/indent]Section Pass
    A section pass is when you move the polisher back and forth, or front to back with enough single overlapping passes to cover the entire section one time. That's a section pass.[/indent]

    The above is an excerpt from this article
    Tips and Techniques for using the PC 7424XP Dual Action Polisher to remove Below Surface Defects

    Itís approximately 12:11pm and Iím ready to start the polishing step using a W-8207 with SwirlX on the 5.0 speed setting. This time Iím going to only buff each section one time using good technique.

    The compounding step removed the defects so all I need the polishing step to do is refine the results from the compounding step and maximize the clarity and smoothness of the clearcoat finish.

    Note that gloss comes from smoothness and while you donít ever want to rush this step, as long as you do a great job with the compounding step then using good technique for the polishing step shouldnít take more than one application. And keep in mind some paints polish better than others, from experience this Lincolnís paint system is very polishable or workable.

    The time now is 12:20pm and all of the SwirlX polish residue has been wiped off and the paint is incredibly glossy, much more so than the results I achieved by hand. If youíve never used a dual action polisher to machine polish paint you really donít know what youíre missing out on.

    The truth is the human hand cannot produce as good as results as a machine. You can get close and everyone here at work that looked at the hand-rubbed side after it was finished couldnít tell which side was machine polished and which side was hand polished but thatís because the wax will take your results to a higher level. But after the polishing steps to each side, the machine side did look better.

    Itís approximately 12:22 and weíre ready to apply the NXT Tech Wax using the soft W-9207 foam finishing pad on the 4.0 speed setting.

    That took only a couple of minutes to cover each square inch with 2-3 passes

    Itís approximately 12:51 and weíre ready to remove the wax using a clean Supreme Shine Microfiber folded 4-ways for plenty of cushion to spread out the pressure from our hand.

    Wiped off easy like a summer breezeÖ

    The machine side is now finished. Here's the breakdown for the Surface Prep Steps only.

    Ultimate Compound by machine, 2 well worked section passes to each small section.
    Start the compounding step: 11:50am
    Finish the compounding step: 12:10pm

    Total time for the compounding step: 20 minutes

    SwirlX Cleaner/Polish applied by machine, 1 well worked section pass to each small section.
    Start the polishing step: 12:10pm
    Finish the polishing step: 12:20pm

    Total time for the polishing step: 10 minutes

    Total time for the surface prep steps to work the finish up to where itís ready to apply wax:

    30 minutes

    Final Results.

    • The surface prep steps by Hand: 1 hour and 45 minutes
    • The surface prep steps Machine: 30 minutes.

    That's a difference of 1 hour and 15 minutes for one half of a hood done by hand versus machine.

    Factor in that if you're working by hand, as you work around your car there's a good chance you'll start getting tired and thus work even slower than when you started.

    The G110 Dual Action Polisher dramatically cuts down on the time, labor and sweat required to get a swirl-free finish with a deep wet shine.

    If youíre still doing all your paint polishing work by hand, maybe consider stepping up to machine cleaning, polishing and waxing.

    With tools like the Meguiarís G110, the Porter Cable 7424XP, and the Griotís Garage Professional Random Orbital Polisher, you can get professional results faster and easier than working by hand. These types of machines are safe in that they wonít burn-through your carís paint and correctly used they wonít instill any swirls into the paint.

    Plus, here at you have a team of forum members always willing to help out should you need some guidance the first time you use one of these tools. We also offer hands-on training at all of our detailing classes to show you exactly how to use one of these tools for perfect results the first time and every time.

    This was a fun project to do and I feel a little stronger now that it's over.

  6. #6
    Mike Phillips

    Re: Black Lincoln Swirl Removal by Hand with Meguiar's Consumer Line


    Thursday, August 27th, 2009

    A big thank you to Bill for letting us use his black Lincoln for this comparison project.

    As a way of saying thank you we re-cleaned and polished the paint and then applied a coat of wax over the entire car. All three days it was here at the Autogeek Garage it was clouding and rainy so no sun shots outside, but here’s a few parting shots.

    Featured Meguiar's Products
    Smooth Surface Clay Kit
    Ultimate Compound
    NXT Tech Wax
    Supreme Shine Microfiber Polishing Cloths
    Meguiar’s G110 Dual Action Polisher
    W-67DA Flexible Rubber Backing Plate
    W7207 Foam Cutting Pad
    W8207 Foam Polishing Pad
    W9207 Foam Finishing Pad

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  7. #7
    Mike Phillips

    Re: Man versus Machine

    If you listen closely you can hear the UC making a sound as you rub it. As you continue to work it you'll notice the sound goes away, which is interesting because it's as though it's working like a diminishing abrasive where the abrasive starts out aggressive and then as you work it the abrasives break-down or pulverize into nothingness and as such you would expect the sound to go away also.

    The interesting thing though is Ultimate Compound doesn't use diminishing abrasives, it uses SMAT abrasive technology, that means, Super Micro Abrasive Technology and Meguiar's states these new types of abrasives don't break down like their diminishing abrasive technology.

    It sounds like they're breaking-down and going away but from my understanding of the way Meguiar's explains how they work it would seem as though you would hear them all the way through the process... that is if they're not breaking down?

    It's a mystery, but what's more important is the performance of the product.

  8. #8
    Super Member GMC83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Man versus Machine

    Nice writeup Mike, thank you for taking the time to do it. I did have a couple questions though.

    I noticed in this writeup and on another one from a couple years back that when using a cleaner/polish by machine you do not wipe it off until you have worked it in on the entire car, or the hood in this case.
    Any tips for how to do this succesfully?

    And I wasnt sure but will the 6.0 speed on the G110 do any damage to the pad?

  9. #9
    Mike Phillips

    Re: Man versus Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by GMC83 View Post

    I noticed in this writeup and on another one from a couple years back that when using a cleaner/polish by machine you do not wipe it off until you have worked it in on the entire car, or the hood in this case.

    Any tips for how to do this successfully?
    Generally speaking, the only paint care product you let dry are waxes and paint sealants. If you go back and read what I wrote, I left the residue on for the machine side because I made a pattern with the residue to show the area worked and the I TRIED to capture it with flash from the camera but couldn't get it. Thus I typed out an explanation.

    The good news is my new Cannon Rebel T1i will be here tomorrow and as I also posted in this thread I should be back to getting much better photos as I've really not had any luck with the company Nikon D200

    The Nikon is a great camera, but I have 5 years of experience with the Cannon Rebel.

    Also, I've never typed on any forum to let compound, paint cleaner, cleaner/polish or pure polish dry. That would be incorrect technique as there's no benefit from letting these types of products dry. It only makes wipe-off more difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by GMC83 View Post
    And I wasnt sure but will the 6.0 speed on the G110 do any damage to the pad?
    Maybe over time, but if you'll note, I didn't spend much time buffing out half the hood. One thing for sure, the G110 didn't have any problem rotating the pad as long as the pad was held flat to the surface.

    Just to note, Meguiar's doesn't recommend using their pads or their polisher on the 6.0 setting, that was my personal preference for tackling this hood for this particular project. Most of the time I always use the 5.0 setting. Since the 2.0 pads are 7" in diameter, I chose, (personal preference), to up the speed a little. Always follow the manufactures recommendations.

  10. #10
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Man versus Machine

    Hehe good writeup. I went to Lowes and got my PC 7424 after having to hand rub in some compound. Im glad that new members wont have to experience my agony. It was a chevy 3500 dually. *groan*

    Id love to see some rotary love. I have my FLEX VVB Rotary and am comfortable with it but I dont want to use it on customer's cars until Im 100% satisfied in the work I put out with it. ROtary tips / tricks / vids are welcome
    Autogeek OG. Attended detail fest I/II. Still detailing!

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