Saturday, 30 October 2010

The Art and Science of Detailing
The Art and Science of Detailing, as far as I know the first detailer to use this description was a detailer from Texas, Anthony Orosco. I decided to adopt it as the title for my book and detailing articles as I feel it aptly describes today’s detailing industry 

Science meets Aesthetics.

Science - includes such elements as chemicals, equipment, and knowledge of vehicle surfaces, industry standards, and customer requirements.

Art - many detailers can polish; but only a few have sufficient talent to polish like Rembrandt can paint. Presentation is also a very important part of detailing and their art is shown by their photographic composition and the backdrops chosen

Aesthetics - is the activity of combining these elements into the proper application methodologies that produce an aesthetically pleasing outcome for each specific situation

Our growth is unique because the series of detailing articles have no commercial bias and it has all come from word of mouth, passed on by creditable people who have nothing to gain except the enjoyment and gratification of gaining knowledge and technical insights into detailing. My only agenda is the dissemination of accurate, unbiased information; I've always believed that Knowledge and Understanding unshared is Experience wasted.

I have posted some extracts from these articles on   TOGWT® Autopia Detailing Wiki

It is my intent to educate, based on five plus decades of experience; “Experience is said to be the best teacher” so I'm passing on to my readers the dynamics that take place; the cause and effect, as well as an explanation of the scientific terminology and chemicals involved with detailing products. I hope to be an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to both the professionals and hobbyist detailer’s who seek to advance their knowledge of detailing; Knowledge Management - Treating experience as a shared asset

These articles are college level  material that is and a wealth of factual discussion that is easily understood and very informative. These articles vary in length and range from 5 to 60 (web) pages, with an average of 10 (web) pages. I have included some short extracts (see index) from the series of in-depth technical articles that make up the Art and Science of Detailing, and some do not include the reference source listing; if this is required please advice and I will forward it

 If these articles cover some things you are already aware of through experience, deductive reasoning or your own research, my apologies, but perhaps they will refresh your knowledge or challenge you to seek alternative answers

The information in these articles is factual rather than subjective; detailing science meets art. . It is not intended to be a source of opinion but rather knowledge attained by verifiable means, based on tried and proven techniques, methodologies and facts about detailing and the chemicals and products used. The misinformation and myths that are so prevalent on the Internet and in the detailing industry is the reason that detailers need to do research on their own. I would strongly suggest that you verify any information that I or anyone else shares with you.

As a semi-professional detailer with five plus decades of knowledge and experience of detailing to Concours d’élégance level as both entrant and senior judge, I’ve been providing unbiased opinions that professionals, experienced, enthusiast and neophyte detailer’s use and trust on various leading detailing forums in the United States, UK, Canada, South America, Australia, South Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Scandinavia and the EU for about twelve or so years

I began detailing Mercedes-Benz / BMW helping out at my Father’s dealership where we would spend three or four days or more detailing vehicles, this included paint renovation, leather repair and restoration on both classic automobiles and Concours level vehicles. As well as his Jag collection back in the late 50's, which he used to enter in Concours d’élégance events (detailing to another level) and as such I’m used to a large number of high-end new and used cars. The one thing I learned (and still have that last 98% to learn, mind you) way back then still holds true today “ It’s the surface preparation that makes the difference, not the product”.

I try to write in a way that helps the reader to understand not only "How" to do something, but "Why" they are doing it, along with the technical, scientific facts and any chemical and other relevant information. I am also a regular contributor to Wikipedia encyclopaedia and a ‘ghost’ writer for various automotive publications. If you’ve read any of my forum posts / threads you'll already understand just what I mean. I only attempt to share well researched, validated information, not conjecture or opinion, but it is up to the individual as to what they choose to do with it. In the final analysis; it’s your vehicle, your hard earned money and ultimately - your choice

It was through these early interactions with car forum members that I began to see the same questions asked over and over again. To relieve myself of the repetition, I decided to create a series of articles covering the most frequently asked questions, which would help detailers reach an intelligent and logical understanding of the many chemicals, products and their application methodologies used in detailing and in a way that makes it relevant to them.

To be of real practical use; a subject like automotive detailing requires a great deal of research, and updating as new products become available. The advent of materials like neutralised acids for paint decontamination, the advances in polymer technologies and the use of vinyl wraps for automobile paint, finely milled micro abrasives suitable for the newer dense paints like CeramiClear® and the new nano-technology coatings are just a few examples of why it’s so important to monitor the industries new products, chemical technologies and ideas that are constantly being introduced, as are the techniques for applying them.

Unbiased information written by a detailer with extensive experience allied with a chemical technical background, without the need to meet corporate goals or sales quotas, requires a dynamic learning tool like a web based articles that can be revised, updated and re-issued on an as-needed basis. There is also a need for the ability to seek clarification or ask questions in 'real time'. Research others opinions and products, test them and then make an objective decision based upon factual information not marketing hype or brand loyalty.

I have always thought that the more facts and information you have at hand the easier it is to judge what information you are being given. After all, how can you fully understand and properly use any product unless you have all the facts?

With detailing advice you should always consider its source; the most valuable information comes from experienced detailers offering unbiased advice, a product vendor will of course recommend their own products, some detailers are vendor affiliates that are paid for product recommendations and some detailers work directly for product vendors.

This type of commercialism brings with it concerns of honesty and true representation. In other words, it’s difficult to know what is true when someone is motivated by income, i.e. directly targeted at product sales, more so than an unbiased opinion. Marketing has little if anything to do with the truth or what was really in the products

Professional or Neophyte detailer or even a Concours d’élégance entrant, or just someone who likes a well maintained and cared for automobile not only looks good but has a higher resale value when the time comes to sell it. Regardless of how neglected or soiled the vehicle has become you will find the methodology and products in these articles to restore that ‘as-new’ look again.

Always keep an open mind and I would also strongly suggest that you verify any information that I or anyone else shares with you. No one is trying to persuade you to use anything you don’t want; to if you found something that works for you use it. I’m only offering advice on what the manufacture claims for their product and what the contained chemicals are capable of. In the final analysis; it’s your vehicle, your hard earned money and ultimately - your choice

Having been involved in detailing some of the world’s finest classic and high-end exotic and luxury automobiles for five decades TOGWT® is the first place both Professional and Enthusiast detailer’s look to for an uncompromising level of unbiased technical and scientific knowledge. Working closely with the industry’s leading-edge product manufacturers from around the world means the best technology and product advice is available to enable you to care for your automobile.

Chances are you own a fine automobile, maybe even an expensive one and you want to give it the best care. Our harsh environment isn’t concerned with how fine an automobile you own, but these tips are mythologies are written for those who do. A well maintained and cared for automobile not only looks good, but it also has a higher resale value when the time comes to sell it. Regardless of how neglected or soiled the vehicle has become you will find the methodology and products in these articles to restore that ‘as-new’ look again.

Every week-end you’ll find people washing and cleaning their vehicles, some doing the bare minimum and some who find it therapeutic; washing away the stress of daily life (some have even called it their ‘golf’, in my case it a good job I can detail better than I play golf)

By using the right tools, methods and products, a simple car wash can be achieved in very little time; using very little water Optimum No Rinse (ONR) or Optimum Waterless Wash and a just detailed look with Quick Detailing (QD) For the person who wants a more thorough cleaning or the perfectionist you’ll find a range of products and methodologies to produce an ‘optically perfect shine’.

A detailer combines chemicals, equipment as well as a knowledge of 'vehicle surfaces, ‘chemicals’, refers to the cleaning and protection products used, ‘equipment,’ refers to the tools used, for example, random orbital polishers, high-speed rotary polishers, extractors and power washers, to name a few. ‘vehicle surfaces’, requires a basic understanding of chemistry and how to rejuvenate and protect each of the many and varied material surfaces, regardless of its specific surface composition making objectives observations based upon the results obtained, and adjusting the techniques used as necessary

You'll learn something about detailing if you read any of these; although these articles will not improve your detailing skills, lead to a successful business or change your life. Applying what you learn from it, however, will. That's where your commitment comes in - you need to make a commitment to yourself right now that you will take action on what you learn. If you learn something from these articles, please pass it along and "pay it forward".

Suggested reading -

Neophyte  detailer –“Detailing 101, the basics” and “Orbital Buffer or Rotary Polisher”

Concours d’élégance entrant – “Concours d’élégance Vehicle Preparation” "Automotive Leather Repair and Renovation", "Finessing the Finish"

Automotive Renovation and Restoration-  “Renovation and Restoration Automotive Headlights”, “Automotive Carpets Renovation and Restoration”, “Automotive Leather Upholstery Repair” and  “Renovation and Restoration and Wheel Surface Repair”
Hobbyist detailer – “Detailer’s Automotive Clay”, “Detailing Tips”, “Waterless and Rinseless Car washing”, “Foam Pads, Selection and Use”, “Orbital Buffer or Rotary Polisher” and “Environmental Pollutants” and “Using the Flex XC3401VRG Dual-Action Polisher”

Professional detailer – “Business Marketing”, Essentials for Starting a Business, “Becoming a Professional Detailer”, “Wet-Sanding (Colour Sanding)”, “Wool Pads”, “Rotary polisher usage tips” and "Using a Metabo® PE12-175 Rotary Polisher", "Automotive Leather Repair and Renovation"
Specialised subjects –“Detailing for the Physically Challenged”, “Exercises to Minimize or Prevent Back Pain”, “Personal Protective Equipment”, “The Health Risks of Detailing” and “Vehicle Condition and Resale Price”, Aircraft Detailing
Classic Car Renovation – Aluminium Surface Re-finishing and Painting”, “Automotive Leather 1 – Repair and Renovation”, “Interior Detailing”, “Odour, Smoke and Mould Removal”, “Paint Surface Problems-Correction”, “Polishing Paint (Surface Correction / Renovation)”, Polishing / Renovation of Various Metal Surfaces”, “Repairing / Renovation of Scratched or Curbed Wheels”, “Long Term (Winter) Vehicle Storage”
Specific material cleaning and care –I am asked questions on these subjects more than any of the others- “Automotive Leather Upholstery Care”, “Carpet Cleaning and Care”, Glass Cleaning Process”, Paint Surface Problems and Correction”, “Stain Identification and Removal”, "Automotive Leather Repair" and Renovation", “Removing Water Marks”and "Winter Vehicle Preparation / Driving", "Corrosion Prevention"
What should you use to protect your vehicle - “Polymers and Carnauba wax differences?” Crystalline Nanotechnology Coatings”, “Carnauba (Brasilia) Wax” or a “Car Covers-Selection, Care and Maintenance”

And there are many other subjects covered or perhaps an informative page overview like “Automotive Detailing; Inside and Out”, a knowledge base for the perfectionist, a 400 page A-Z encyclopaedia of detailing

In-depth Articles

[: extensive, thorough, or profound: an in-depth analysis of the subject]
The following series of articles will soon be available on Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore and Google eBooks electronic reader systems and represent the most comprehensive, in-depth information on detailing available anywhere. I know there is a lot of great information already on some forums; and I hope these articles will keep these detailing resources growing

These in-depth articles cover the specifics of the subject to enable a better understanding; I try to write in a way that helps the reader to understand not only "How" to do something, but "Why" they are doing it, along with the technical, scientific facts along with any relevant chemical information, as well as some recommended products. with that in mind I probably respond with more detail than some think is necessary, but if you’ve read any of my forum posts / threads you'll already understand just what I mean. They range from between five (5) to sixty (60) pages, the average being fifteen (15)

The purpose of these articles is to show you various ways, utilizing various skills and experience levels, on how to retrieve the original or better appearance / finish to your vehicles bodywork and its interior and how to preserve and maintain it, along with product recommendations and there correct application methods. With constant advances in products and procedures, a standard published book would be out of date very quickly due to the publishing procedures and printing requirements.
List of Articles Available

1. A B C of UV Radiation

2. A Brief History of Automotive Detailing -

3. A Brief History of the GT Automobile

4. Acid, pH and Alkalinity -

5. Allow me to introduce myself

6. Aluminium Surface Re-finishing and Painting

7. Automotive Leather Repair and Renovation

8. Automotive Leather Upholstery Care / Maintenance

9. Automotive Paint Systems

10. Basic Soap and Detergent Chemistry

11. Becoming a Professional Detailer

12. Bird Excrement (Safe removal) -

13. Boat Detailing -

14. Business Marketing –

15. Car Care Product Vendors

16. Car Covers -

17. Carnauba (Brasília) Wax -

18. Carpet Cleaning - Carpet Cleaning

19. Clear Coat BC_CC Paint Systems

20. Complete Vehicle Valeting

21. Concours d’ elegance Vehicle Preparation Part 1 -

22. Connolly™ Leather

23. Convertible Top Detailing -

24. Copyright Intellectual Property -

25. Cross linking (Monocular) Bonds

26. Crystalline Nanotechnology Coatings

27. Detailer’s Automotive Clay -

28. Detailing 101 Basics - Detailing 101; Basics

29. Detailing Bay Lighting -

30. Detailing Chemical Identification

31. Detailing Defined -

32. Detailing Training Courses -

33. Detailing Chemicals Identification -

34. Detailing for the Physically Challenged –

35. Detailing Forums

36. Detailing Myth Buster (Lies, damn lies and folklore)

37. Detailing Tips -

38. Detailing Tools – Choosing an Air Compressor

39. Detailing Tools – Miscellaneous small tools

40. Detailing Tools – Miscellaneous large items

41. Detailing Training Courses

42. Diminishing Abrasives

43. Drying a Vehicles Paint Surface

44. Durability and Paint Beading

45. Eco Friendly(Green) Detailing - Eco Friendly Detailing

46. Emblem, Trim Moulding and Window Tint Removal-

47. Engine Bay Detailing -

48. Environmental Pollutants -

49. Exercises to Minimize or Prevent Back Pain -

50. Essentials for Starting a New Business -

51. Foam Pads, Selection and Use -

52. Frequently Asked Questions

53. Glass Cleaning Process –

54. Hard and Soft Paints –

55. Health Hazards of Detailing

56. How to make your vehicle worth more when you sell it

57. Industry Terms & Acronyms Definitions

58. Information Resources

59. Interior Detailing –

60. Isocyanate Clear Coat Paint

61. Klasse Acrylic Polymer System

62. Layering Wax and ‘Spit’ Shining

63. Leather Manufacture

64. Leather Tanning Process –

65. Light Reflectance

66. Menzerna Polishes - Menzerna Polishes

67. Micro fibre (Micofiber) Towels - Micro fibre Towels

68. Most Common Causes of Paint Surface Scratches

69. Motorcycle Detailing - Motorcycle Detailing

70. New Vehicle Care

71. Odour, Smoke and Mould Removal

72. Optically Perfect Shine

73. Orbital Buffer or Rotary Polisher –

74. Organic Solvents - Solvents used in detailing products

75. Organic Wax- It’s Origins – Waxes

76. Paint Chip Repair -

77. Paint Decontamination

78. Paint Film Thickness –

79. Paint Film Protection PPF

80. Paint Surface Preparation

81. Paint Surface Problems / Correction

82. Paint Surface Scratches (Cause & Effect) and Repair

83. Paint Thickness Gauge (PTG) –

84. Personal Protection (PPE) Equipment

85. Petroleum Distillates -

86. Polish and Compounds

87. Polishing Glass

88. Polishing Paint (Surface Correction / Renovation)

89. Polishing Various Metal Surfaces -

90. Pollen- Micro gametophutes -

91. Polymer – Polymerisation -Polymer:

92. Polymer - Carnauba wax differences –

93. Porter-Cable 7424 XP Random Orbital Buffer - Random Orbital Buffer

94. Potential of Hydrogen (pH) -

95. Product Directional Application Methods

96. Profile of a Professional Detailing

97. Professional Detailing

98. Questions & Answers

99. Quick Detailer (QD) - Quick Detailers (QD)

100. Removing Oxidation from Vehicle Headlights –

101. Removing ‘Water Marks' –

102. Repairing Scratched Alloy Wheels (Curb Rash) -

103. Rotary Usage Tips

104. Sacrificial (Paint) Protection

105. Selecting a Steam Vapour Cleaner –

106. Silicone - polymerized siloxanes –

107. Solvents Used in Detailing Products

108. Stain Identification and Removal

109. Science of Detailing, Technical Article Series Extracts

110. Timeline_ Automotive Paint Finishes

111. 'Touch less' Car Wash

112. Terms Used and their Meaning –

113. Tyre Cleaning and Care -

114. Using a Cyclo Rotary Polisher –

115. Using the Flex XC3401VRG Dual-Action Polisher

116. Using a Metabo PE12-175 Rotary Polisher

117. Using Acids for Cleaning - Using Acid Cleaners

118. Using Detailing Products

119. Vehicle Condition and its Resale Value

120. Vehicle Long Term Storage -

121. Vehicle Upholstery Cleaning and Care -

122. Vinyl-Plastic and Rubber Care

123. Washing a Vehicle Paint Surface -

124. Water (Purification) Filters

125. Waterless and Rinseless Car washing

126. Wax Application

127. Wet-Sanding (Colour-Sanding)

128. What Detailer’s should know and the Skills Required

129. Wheel Surface Cleaning

130. Wheel Wells and Undercarriage Cleaning

131. White and Light Colour Paint Detailing and Care

132. Winter Vehicle Preparation - Winterize your car

133. Wool Pads

134. Writing a Detailing Article

135. Zanio Show Car Products Application

136. Automotive Carpet Dyeing and Colour Restoration

137. Automotive Leather Repair and Renovation

138. Detailing Newly painted Vehicle

139. Prepare your Vehicle for Spring / Summer

140. Corrosion Prevention (Removing Road Salt)

141. Aircraft detailing

This list is constantly being added to and the aricles up-dated...

Other Publications

“Automotive Detailing; Inside and Out”, a knowledge base for the perfectionist, a 400 page A-Z encyclopaedia of detailing

Copyright © 2002-2011, TOGWT® (Established 1980) all rights reserved)

I have included some short extracts from the series of in-depth technical articles that make up the Art and Science of Detailing, these extracts don't  include the reference source listing that is included in the main articles; if this is required please advice and I will forward it

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