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  1. #1
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    New Guy - First Project

    I hired a friend of the family to clay, polish, and apply a ceramic sealant on our 1984 Corvette last fall. He did great work, but I'm a car guy - why can't and shouldn't I learn to do this for myself? It didn't look too difficult and I could see that the tool and supply items weren't prohibitive. I bought a Griot's polishing kit and extra supplies, but I've had a few projects in mind for our vehicles which should occur in sequence before I polish them. Then a new-to-us 2006 Pontiac Solstice came into the fleet. The car has 9,900 miles and for all intents and purposes it looks brand new - but it's small, didn't need much, and I was sure that I could improve on it. It seemed a great car as a first project.

    When I clayed it I must have picked up a few grains of sand because it left two dozen or so deep scratches - so my relatively quick project became a whole lot more labor intensive. I saved it, but there are few scratches that are just too deep into the clear coat to remove entirely. The car looks great, and there were several lessons learned - most important among them is to be careful not to pick up debris from the windshield frame and similar places. I also learned to stop and check my work often - this would have minimized the damage, which wasn't apparent until I rinsed the car off.

    I'm pumped to take on the next project, which will be my wife's 2016 Durango. The paint is real nice, but I'm sure I can improve on it. It also has some overspray on the front end from a trip to the bodyshop wherein they didn't cover the entire truck when they recleared the back hatch. Also on the to-do list is to repolish the granite countertops, but that will involve different equipment and supplies - same basic principals though.

    I've learned a great deal from the forum and from Mike's presentations here on the website and in TV appearances. I really appreciate this kind of resource and I'll add pics when I find the time.

    Terry
    Ramsey, MN

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  3. #2
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    Re: New Guy - First Project

    Welcome to the forum Terry!

    Looking forward to see your projects. The overspray part I would invest in a clay like Meguiars pro clay bar or 3M clay bar (make sure to buy it from here as there are many copies of this that is very poor). And a great dedicated clay lube as Dodo Juice Born Slippy clay lube concentrate or Carpro Immolube or something like that to minimize the clay marring. Fold the clay bar after every little section you clay or at least inspect if you picked up contaminants that you need to be folding away. You feel when you clay a spot and have some resistance when you do this and as it's gets easier sliding over the area you have picked up the contaminants that you had there. A more effective and aggressive clay bar will get you to do less passes or aggitations. No hard pressure and let the clay bar do it's work. And use a good amount of clay lube and you will be fine. A follow up with a polishing is needed though.

    Use a detailing brush and some car soap solution in a spray bottle or some APC. To aggitate and deep clean around the trim and rubber seals and badges and such when you prep for claying and polishing. An iron remover at least to get the claying easier and the iron particals and industrial fallout desolved is good too. If you have tar spots and tree sap you could use a tar remover to desolve that too before the claying. Just a few tips.

    / Tony

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  5. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: New Guy - First Project

    Hi Terry,

    Welcome to AutogeekOnline!


    Quote Originally Posted by TerryOlson2005 View Post

    I hired a friend of the family to clay, polish, and apply a ceramic sealant on our 1984 Corvette last fall. He did great work, but I'm a car guy - why can't and shouldn't I learn to do this for myself?

    It didn't look too difficult and I could see that the tool and supply items weren't prohibitive.
    You are correct. It's not that hard. In fact, I have an article by those words and in the article, ON PURPOSE - I included pictures of kids, girls and seasoned members of our society to SHOW that anyone can do it.

    Machine polishing paint - It's not that hard and with modern dual action polishers it's real safe!

    Note these people are not just "learning" on daily drivers aka new cars, they're learning on someone's "toys" or Special Interest Vehicles. More risk for me, more fun for them...



    In the below live broadcast I show a 15 year old boy how to machine polish

    Live Broadcast Video - 1965 Plymouth Valiant - Extreme Makeover






    And in this one I show a 21 year old girl how to machine polish

    Video & Pictures: 1965 Fastback Mustang - Gtechniq EXO Show Car Makeover!

    Trista working with the rest of the team to machine polish this 1965 Mustang Fastback 2+2



    Trista removing swirls on a show car...





    And in this one I show a 80 year old man how to machine polish for the first time...

    Video and Pictures - Two 1967 Camaro's - Show Car Makeovers!






    And in this shot here's a young couple, probably in their mid-20's learning how to machine polish for the first time.









    Here's the point.



    In this thread you see 5 people ranging from very young to very old and both girls and guys and they all have one thing in common.

    They are MACHINE POLISHING


    And if they can do it on these streetrods and muscle cars YOU can do it on your mundane daily driver. All you have to do is simply put away your fears of burning the paint or putting swirls into the paint because as long as you use the tools, pads and chemicals we sell on Autogeek.com and I show here on the forum you're not going to cause any harm to your car's paint.

    In fact - you're going to get better results FASTER and you're going to kick yourself for not making the change years ago.





    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
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  7. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: New Guy - First Project

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryOlson2005 View Post

    When I clayed it I must have picked up a few grains of sand because it left two dozen or so deep scratches - so my relatively quick project became a whole lot more labor intensive.

    I saved it, but there are few scratches that are just too deep into the clear coat to remove entirely. The car looks great, and there were several lessons learned - most important among them is to be careful not to pick up debris from the windshield frame and similar places. I also learned to stop and check my work often - this would have minimized the damage, which wasn't apparent until I rinsed the car off.

    On this forum. In all my classes. As a personal best practice - I stress....

    Work Clean


    A great detail job starts with a great wash job.

    And the reason for this is to get a car surgically clean for a host of reasons but one such reason is to avoid cross-contamination of clay while claying and causing an ever worse problem - deep scratches.



    Quote Originally Posted by TerryOlson2005 View Post

    I'm pumped to take on the next project, which will be my wife's 2016 Durango. The paint is real nice, but I'm sure I can improve on it. It also has some overspray on the front end from a trip to the bodyshop wherein they didn't cover the entire truck when they recleared the back hatch. Also on the to-do list is to repolish the granite countertops, but that will involve different equipment and supplies - same basic principals though.

    I've learned a great deal from the forum and from Mike's presentations here on the website and in TV appearances. I really appreciate this kind of resource and I'll add pics when I find the time.

    Terry
    Ramsey, MN

    Thank you joining us here on the forum Terry. I'm looking forward to your future posts.



    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
    Twitter
    Instagram
    Mike Phillips Detail Files YouTube Playlist
    Sign-up for Mike's Tips & Techniques Newsletter


  8. #5
    Senior Member Paul A.'s Avatar
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    Re: New Guy - First Project

    Welcome to the group, Terry.

  9. #6
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    Re: New Guy - First Project

    Welcome to the forum!
    That is a true car guy who wants to do as much as he can and continue learning to know how to work on all aspects of your vehicles.

    Somebody named Olson from Minnesota?! Never heard of such a thing

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