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shane@detailedreflections last won the day on March 14

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About shane@detailedreflections

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    Master AF Detailer

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  1. Ceramic coat

    With the Adam's coating there is no real benefit to doing a second coat. We had a single coat on a vehicle we did that we stripped off and that coat took two passes of compound (one wool pad, one foam pad), correcting polish and finally finishing polish to get it back where it had to be to do what we had to do. If you're insistent upon a second coat, most coatings are roughly one hour. If you don't do it then, they suggest waiting twelve hours. Adam's doesn't have a guideline since there's little benefit.
  2. Recently while helping a client select a polisher for their needs, it got me thinking that it's not an uncommon question of "what size polisher do I need or want?" I figured since I have some time today, I'd try to write a little bit about the different polishers and their pros and cons since we are fortunate enough to have some experience with various sizes. We've worked through what we thought versus what it really is...sometimes these were the same. Other times...we were way off the mark. So without more intro and babbling, let's get into it. Hopefully the folks at Adam's and the admins don't mind a post like this...If you do, feel free to take it down! There's quite a few options out there for polishers. Rotary, dual action (DA), 12mm, 15mm, 21mm, micro...the list goes on and on. As you're considering making the leap into polishing it can be a bit overwhelming. Everyone who's picked up a polisher for the first time has had multiple thoughts of "can I do this?" or "am I going to ruin my paint?" The good news is that the DA polishers are safer for paint than the rotary polishers. Rotary polishers have unparalleled power, but getting them to finish without noticeable trails is difficult or next to impossible without vast experience. Add in the sizes, and you can't help but question if you're giving yourself a recipe for disaster. We use Rupes polishers in our business with the exception of a single Cyclo we have set up as a powered carpet brush. Actually, Cyclo is now part of Rupes, so you could say we are Rupes exclusive seemingly. The Adam's Polishers are great and VERY similar to the Rupes. For most users, they're a great way to save a few dollars or to even get a second polisher to really round out your abilities. Let's take our polishers (sizes) in the order we use them from most to least... So which polisher do we actually use the most? Our absolute "go-to" polisher when we start a project. It's actually not out biggest and most powerful polisher. Both of us will grab the Rupes 15mkII as our initial tool. The 15mm throw has the absolute best blend of correcting power and maneuverability. The 5.5" pads cover good surface area while not having such a large rigid spot due to the backing plate that we can still work curves and edges with them. The 15 is generally more then enough polisher in terms of power and is very versatile with the types of pads and polishes/compounds. Use a compound on a wool pad and you have some serious cutting horsepower at your fingertips. We constantly play with pad/polish/speed combos based on our goals and what's going to work in terms of time/effort/budget for our clients. If we could have only one single polisher, without a doubt we would pick the 15 every single time. It really is that good. We aren't going to get into speed recommendations as it's largely variable based on the polish/compound/pad/polisher. The variables are endless and an entirely different conversation. Does the next polisher we grab go up or down in size? Surprisingly, it goes down. We grab our Rupes Mini with a 4" pad. This little guy has considerable power for a little machine. You can work the polisher with one hand if you need to, and the small size makes it the great bumper getter. Swirly A-post? No problem. The mini will tackle it with it's correcting power without having a pad that's significantly oversize for the work area. Mirrors are another great spot for the mini, and even inside door sills for those who need to get everything perfect! The smaller machine is more maneuverable and has far better than pushing a bigger polisher with a longer throw and a larger backing plate around where it can find body parts to bang off of potentially causing damage to the vehicle. We have a Rupes Nano in our selection, which brings us to number three. We LOVE our nano since it can be configured a million ways. Soft boars hair brush as a rotary to clean embroidery? Got ya covered. Small DA to a quick spot correction? Say no more. It supports a 1-2" pad. When configured on the 3mm throw with a 1" pad, it's VERY easy to stall the action of the polisher. It's almost not powerful enough to correct in that situation. We do use it for light spot corrections on a scratch removal or similar though with the longer throw and it has adequate power. It won't correct like a full size machine, but we've managed to take out wet sanding marks with ours. Which is another useful component, We will configure it with the 3mm throw and have little 2000/3000 grit sanding disks that stick to a backing plate and we will use to spot wet sand. The DA pattern makes the marks easy to remove, but it's easy to take significant clear coat off. I wouldn't suggest this without a paint thickness gauge. Actually, I'd be hesitant to take sandpaper to any vehicle without it. The Rupes Nano also has a stiff bristle brush for the quick stubborn spot you're trying to scrub. Couple the brush with some cleaners and/or steam, and you'll be surprised at what you can pull out. So how does our Rupes 21mkII end up at the bottom of the list? Well, it's powerful which is great. But it's large. So large it doesn't work curves that well. It's fantastic for larger doors without body lines, hoods, roofs. But bumpers? Might as well put it down and swap your equipment out. It has it's place for correcting large flatter surfaces quickly...but after using it, it's not an ideal polisher by itself. The 21mm throw with a 6.5" pad means you're generating some real power in the correcting area of the polisher. It also means you have a huge backing plate to bump off of body panels and lines and the way it rolls over edges isn't ideal. It's a great tool, but we'd consider this an additional tool rather than primary. We will commonly use it when we are correcting together. One of us on the 21 doing the big flat areas, the other on the 15/Mini hitting the details. It has a place though. So the last polisher...the Cyclo. The Cyclo was actually where I got my start right here through Adam's. I still have that polisher and it's since been converted to a powered carpet brush for floor mats and such. It works great as a correcting tool. You can change the orientation to change the covered surface area and make it versatile. Unfortunately, the body of the tool is still large and you have two pads to maintain and keep up with. It's a great tool, but in favor of some other offerings available now...it's become used less and less as a correcting tool. So what's the ideal setup? A pick two? It really is the 15/mini combo. Between those two polishers you can really do a lot and achieve fantastic results. I'm a firm believer that the weekend detailer can achieve the same results as the pro. The biggest difference between the two is that the pro is usually trying to meet a time deadline (for a client and/or profitability), so the pro generally has more tools at their disposal that would be less likely for a weekend detailer to invest in. Our garage is setup with multiple polishers, a car lift, MBR, sidekick, air compressor, shop-vac, hot water extractor, steamer, etc. The other difference is that a pro does enough work generally to have a pretty set process and order of events for how things go. I'm consistently blown away by the work represented on this forum. Hopefully this thread will help someone make some decisions and take the leap into polishing themselves. If this thread is well received, I'll consider continuing to write about different topics as they strike me or people ask. Enjoy and happy detailing!
  3. New to detailing

    Welcome and nice rides.
  4. All of our latest work

    So instead of making some different threads every time we post work, I figured I'd make one thread that will be a living thread (at least as far as we are concerned) where our latest work will be posted. I saw a thread similar to this a long time ago here and it was a great idea and seemed popular. I don't recall who's it was, so if you're still here...thanks for the idea and hope you don't mind me stealing it! Audi S5 - This thing was pretty hammered when it came in. So it didn't come back to perfect to keep within the budget for the client. But from where we started to where we ended up was a huge improvement and the client was happy. Car was finished in another LSP. This thread will be very photo intensive. You guys are all welcome to ask questions based on anything you see here and I'll be happy to help out. So to kick this off I'm going to post some of our previous work and what we did for LSP on each (to the best of my recollection off the top of my head). Anything finished in other products other than Adam's will be referred to as "other brands" out of respect for who hosts this fine forum for us. If you want to inquire more, please do so privately. We do have some upcoming work scheduled and some fun projects...so this thread should grow nicely. We are wrapping that Indian MC this week, we have a few coatings coming up next month so I'll finally be able to do the write up on how to airbrush wheel coating...and some other fun stuff going on!!! Anyway, hopefully y'all enjoy this thread. Audi S5 - This thing was pretty hammered when it came in. So it didn't come back to perfect to keep within the budget for the client. But from where we started to where we ended up was a huge improvement and the client was happy. Car was finished in another LSP. Dodge Ram MegaCab finished in full ceramic from another manufacturer. This was a huge truck and took quite a few hours despite being brand new when it came to us. Dodge Charge SCAT Pack coated in another ceramic coating. Ford F-150 finished in another ceramic coating while brand new for a client. Ford F-250 finished in ceramic from another manufacturer (I promise I have some Adam's ones in here)... Honda Accord that we aren't sure was ever washed...but turned around. Finally a before and after. Honda HR-V finished with some Adam's Paint Sealant and topped with another brand of spray. Jeep Wrangler Sahara that we removed some graphics from and ceramic coated with Adam's...finally! Subaru Forester finished in Adam's Sealant and Americana Subaru WRX finished in ceramic from another company. Volvo S60 R-Design that's coated in Adam's and maintained by us. That's what we have for now. We have some old, old work I could post. But that's current stuff going on. We are redoing a Lotus Evora we stripped the ceramic off of to guinea-pig a new product...so that will be done and up soon. And we have some other cool stuff going on! Hopefully you guys enjoy this thread!
  5. Great White Drying Towels Streeking

    You can put them in boiling water and that will sometimes get extra life out of them and bring them back. Worth a shot.
  6. Long time Adam’s user. First time posting.

    Nice work. Congrats and welcome!
  7. Trim restorer followed by ceramic trim sealant.

    As long as you haven’t driven it or anything to let it get contaminated, you should be able to use some coating prep and then apply the coating.
  8. Americana Paste Wax vs. Paint Sealant

    You're welcome. The two processes work together, but are separate in function and what they do for deep contamination.
  9. Americana Paste Wax vs. Paint Sealant

    Just want to clarify...an iron decontamination is not a replacement for clay. It's an addition to clay. The clay will pull a lot of the physical contamination out of the paint. There can be embedded iron deposits within your paint that the wheel cleaner will react with and dissolve them out of the paint leaving your clear coat free of iron. Any physical contaminant other than iron will not be affected by iron and will need to be physically removed by clay. The two processes should be used hand in hand. Sealant should be applied to bare paint and then layered from there. Ideally sealant, glaze (optional) and then two thin coats of hand wax to be your sacrificial layer on top that gets reapplied every so often. Sealant should be good for approximately six months.
  10. Rims discolored

    I wouldn’t start as aggressive as a compound. Start least aggressive to most aggressive. Work and see what’s needed. It’s a clear coat, so you can wear it too thin. Although wheels are usually pretty thick...don’t assume though.
  11. What Did You Wash, Shine, and or Polish Today

    Installed a couple of reflections today. Regular client brought their Volvo S60 R design in for coating maintenance. And another client brought his wife’s Honda HR-V in for a one step polish and some protection. Not complete yet, but the reflection is being installed. I’ll post some completed pics when we get it done and in the sun!
  12. Rims discolored

    You can try to polish it out with correcting polish or even finishing polish. That pic doesn’t give a clear look at what happened and we don’t know what product/process was used? Take a little finishing polish to it first and see what happens. Mid-High speed and a white pad.
  13. Wheel Coating

    Exactly! That’s what I get for not proofreading and replying from my phone. Oops.
  14. Wheel Coating

    No problem. You may want to give the wheels a once ocev to confirm that they don’t need polishing. Just because they’re new doesn’t mean perfect. As for the order, it doesn’t really matter either way. Front, wipe, back wipe then wipe it all. Or back, wipe, front, wipe then wipe it all. As long as the whole thing gets covered and buffed you’re good. Twelve to twenty four hours later, apply boost and you’re good to go. The pressure for the brush depends on the brush itself and your connections. The brush says what it should run at when flowing. Test your brush with water to make sure you know how it sprays. Honestly, if you’re not used to working with ceramics and are only doing one set of wheels, you may want to skip the airbrush. It works for us from a time savings point of view, but takes some practice to get it down. If you have the patience and resources though, have at it! Works great for honeycomb trim and such as well.
  15. Wheel Coating

    You can use the Adams sponge type applicator. We use suede 4x4 applicators on a block or even alone for tight spots. The buffing off is the harder part since the towels are thicker. We actually use a Harbor Freight airbrush. They work well since it’s not precision work. They’re also inexpensive so if we trash one by not getting it clean enough, we are only out $10 or so. We also don’t hook it up to an airbrush compressor, we connect it to our big one with the regulator turned down. This allows a constant flow of air without the compressor kicking on and off. And yes, Adams Wheel Coating can be sent through an airbrush. Next time we do a set, I’m going to do a write up on it. Might be a few weeks though before that happens. When airbrushing, there’s less buffing required since it tends to be a more even application, but it is required. You will go through more coating since you’ll lose some to overspray.