Author Topic: machine polishing and other general noob questions from a wannabee detailer  (Read 1781 times)

Offline samjac68

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hallo everybody :smiley:

reet basically i dont have a golf yet but i wanna master the art of detailing (or getting it relatively mint) on me grandads car so i know what im doing as everything i seem to do doesnt work right :sad:

first off, i have a bosch orbital sander, but it does a random triangular motion aswell as circular, halfords sell polishing cloths to just fot straight onto them so im wondering if these would be ok for polishing... as i figure they do the same thing as the rather expensive porta cable thingy mabobba's

last time i polished it i ran out after doing the bonnet but theres some deepish scuffs on the bonnet, but not deep enough to get to the base coat, and i ended up with loads of sh!tty dust all over it (from the turtlewax polish) aswell as swirls and light scuffing

went to halfrauds the other day for some car cleaning stuff, and got a lambswool mitt as i heard these are the dogs danglies for not getting scuffs, a microfibre mitt and stared at the 200 odd different types of polish and just went for 'the ultimate car polish' called 'mer'

also i went to bnq and bought 2 buckets at £1 each to use the 2 bucket method :smiley:

washed the car with some poundland car shampoo and the lambswool mitt, rinsed it in clean water, rinsed it all off and dried it with a microfibre cloth, then applied some mer polish to the bonnet, left it 10 minutes as it says on the back and started polishing it off with the microfibre mitt

and it left random watermarks :sad: so i wanna know what im doing wrong, oh yeah it was a hot day so might have had something to do with it :sad:

cheers for ya advice all


Not got a golf yet! did have a 1.6 driver plan to have another project car soon ;)

Offline Guy

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yo.. Sam

reet... there's a lot here so I am not gonna be able to answer this in full in one hit as it were...

have a look in here...

i like the idea of you fcukign up your grandads car before yours!!  :wink: seriously though, sounds like you're making a good start but there are some fundamental errors there

first off... I don't trust this sander thing... is the speed variable? the polishing bonnets from halfords will probably do more damage than good... you need to be looking at stuff like this

get yourself an old bonnet, door panel or something like that from a scrappy and practice on that before you knacker your grandads car... it takes practice to get the technique correct and you will be able to see if the sander thing makes an improvement or just burns through the clearcoat!! which I am worried that it might! :shocked:  in short... I would err on the side of caution!

well done on the lambswool mitt... if you only shop in halfords go for the meguiars range in future... it is the only stuff halfords sell, apart from maybe autoglym that provides any real value for money... the meguiars gold class shampoop is ok - ditch the poundland shampoo ffs!!

the best advance that you can make is to clay your car... there is a description in the link at the top of this reply... but remember you need to at least polish & wax the paint afterwards to get the best results and durability

random watermarks... how are you drying the car? chamois leather? get a waffle weave to dry the car with

if it is a sunny day then either get up early, or move the car into shade. washing and trying to dry the car in one hit while it is sunny ain't gonna be pretty... if you have no other option... do a panel at a time and work from the top of the car down... i.e. roof (wash and dry), windows (wash and dry), bonnet (wash and dry), tops of doors (wash and dry), sills, bumpers and door bottoms (wash and dry)

wrt the polish that was going dusty... sounds like you used too much... less is sometimes more and just getting a light even coating is perhaps better... try using a foam applicator pad and something like the megs gold class wax... this kit here might be a good start for you

sam, this isn't a particularly cheap hobby... but if you want results you'll have to start using quality kit or you will just be wasting your hard earned and I don't want to see that happen.

have a look at some of the online retailers listed in the sticky and don't be afraid to ask an opinion of a product before you go ahead and purchase

« Last Edit: 05 August 2008, 23:38 by Guy »

Offline boneybradley

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can i advise to use this place listed here.....
10% forum discount above £35 and free delivery...that makes a g220 polisher £135 delievered!!  :cool:
Moderator of The Dub-Tug Squad!! (What some call the MK3 section!)

Full range of quality parts for your Volkswagen available at

Offline samjac68

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cheers for ya reply, i did do a bit of a write up as i wanted to get it all in one go :smiley:

i do detail my grandads car to practice, but also im insured on it and drive it pretty much every day so its gotta be shiney :cool:

im not using a chamois, i always stick to microfibre cloths as theyre cheap, when cleaning his old car after drying it came up pretty shiney. although my previous attempts to clean it do include the first time i cleaned a car when i was 7, i used washing up liquid and water, didnt realise i needed to rinse it, it dried (or should i say baked?) in the sun and i then used turtlewax polish to try and get rid of the water marks, oh and i didnt touch the roof as i wasnt tall enough :grin: so did f**k that up a wee bit

ill stick to hand polishing until i get my car then lol, the leccy sander doesnt have an ajustable speed control, its either off or warp speed 9 :grin:

so basically wash it with the 2 bucket method and a lambswool mitt, using some menguars cleaner stuff (i thought the car shampoo had nothing to do with it but after reading about ph balance and all that ive had second thoughts!)

rinse car well and dry with microfibre mitt

get some clay bar, spray on detailer spray or lube or whatever its called, rub clay all over and this makes the paint glass smooth and gets rid of grit and sh!te completely 100%

get some menguars polish, polish the car by applying the polish with a damp microfibre cloth and buff up with a dry microfibre mitt, then get some wax, apply that as directed and you should have a car that doubles up as a mirror :smiley:

i think thats it anyway :smiley:

Not got a golf yet! did have a 1.6 driver plan to have another project car soon ;)

Offline Guy

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what is this microfibre mitt you're talking about?

this is a waffle weave... dry your jam jar with one of these

i think that clay bar kit i listed comes with an applicator pad for the megs wax... if not they are only about £1 each and are far less messy than applying and screwing up a microfibre... just keep your microfibres nice for taking off polishing (you can wash them but only at 40 degrees in a liquid fabric wash with no conditioner)  :wink:

you should be able to get a halfway decent shine by doing what you said... its a learning process... I've been cleaning cars since I was 7 too and I am still learning now!  :laugh:

now... where did I put my pipe and slippers  :laugh:

Offline Dan J

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spot on advise there guy :wink:

sam!! practise practise practise dude, ive been doing this professionaly for 14yrs now and im learning still, and as guy said get the highest quality chemicals and equipment and dont throw your money away on cheap crap,better in the long run seriously,as they say you have to pay for quality and in this sort of game you gotta spend the dosh to get the best results from your chemicals etc coupled with good technique.

BE WARNED!!!!!!  once you start you cannot stop and if your like guy and myself nothing but perfection is acceptable :wink: have fun mate