[Although there is no such thing as perfection; if we work towards perfection hopefully we can achieve excellence] - Vince Lombardi
Allow me introduce myself; my style of detailing is Science meets Aesthetics. Science - includes such elements as chemicals, equipment, and knowledge of vehicle surfaces, industry standards, and customer requirements.
Aesthetics - is the activity of combining these elements into the proper application methodologies that produce an aesthetically pleasing outcome for each specific situation. My involvement with aesthetics comes from my degree in Architectural Engineering, however I was given the opportunity to study Chemical Engineering, which became my chosen (thirty year) profession (not just a dumb Architect then)
A little science is useful to understand both the How and Why of detailing and 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 detailing clay, micro fibre technologies and finely milled micro diminishing abrasives, suitable for ceramic nanotechnology paints are 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, hence all of the in-depth articles will be up-dated and revised on a regular basis
Always be willing to learn; because the more you learn, the more you’ll realize what you don’t know. You should never stop learning, and your quest for information should be part of your everyday process. It is said that knowledge is power, with the caveat that it includes access to a reliable information sources. I would like to think that these articles become an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to professional’s alike, as well as industry experts who seek to advance their knowledge.
I detailed my first vehicle at the age of fourteen (1958) forty plus years later I started to write detailing articles to share my experiences. For about fifteen years or so I started to contribute to various detailing forums answering questions posted by neophyte’s, enthusiasts and professionals alike. My mantra has always been Experience Unshared Knowledge Wasted.
I began detailing Mercedes-Benz / BMW helping out at my Father’s dealership in 1958, 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, which back in the late 50's he used to enter in Concours d’élégance events 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”.
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 commercially 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.
As a semi-professional detailer with vast knowledge and experience (five plus decades) of detailing to Concours d’élégance level as both entrant and senior judge.
First started detailing in 1958, established a detailing writing / publishing company TOGWT 1980, Autopia Detailing Forum contributor since 2003 and was allocated a section within the forum to post my articles
I believe that knowledge is a fundamental right. What is needed is an open, accessible, public space to access knowledge online. TOGWT Q & A is such a space. To provide Knowledge and share Experience, by a detailer with more than five decade of experience and an advanced degree in Chemical Engineer who is prepared to share his unbiased knowledge to help detailers understand the products that are available and how best to use them
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 and the EU for about twelve or so years
In the interest of full disclosure, I am in no way affiliated with, employed by, have any vested interest, or in any way receive compensation from the sale or distribution of any of the product lines reviewed or the company that manufactures or markets it. No endorsement of companies or their products mentioned is intended, nor is criticism implied of similar companies or their products if they are omitted.
I have tested and / or used all the products, so the recommendation comes from first-hand knowledge of their use and / or its application methodologies. Any product endorsement is entirely unbiased and means that the product “Does what it says on the tin” A close relationship with readers and a thorough command of the technical and chemical developments that affect detailing have been at the core of my philosophy since 1980.
With a background in the physical and chemical sciences earned a Ph.D. (Professional doctorate) and Master's degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology from Imperial College London and graduated from an MBA program with an MSc Business Administration and Strategy from the London School of Economics. He also attended Royal Air Force College (RAFC) Cranwell, graduating with the rank of Flight Lieutenant and also holds a Bachelor's of Science degrees in Architecture and Building Services from London University, England. With more than four decades in polymer R&D and the chemical and performance coatings industry for both the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) utilizing polymer technologies radar scattering materials (RSM)
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 detailing clay, microfiber technologies and finely milled micro diminishing abrasives, suitable for ceramic nano-technology paints and nano coatings are 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.
Commercially 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 website that can be revised and updated as and when needed, these articles are updated and / or revised on an as-needed basis. There is also a facility to seek clarification or ask questions in 'real time'.
The more I learn, the more I realize what I don’t know. Then at some point, I hope to have learned enough to realize, that I know nothing at all. I’ve always tried to find out not just “How it works", but also “Why it works" and “What chemicals are safe to use". With that in mind I probably respond with more detail than some think is necessary.
If you’ve read any of my forum posts or Facebook page, 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
I then considered how I could simplify things; however, the only way to accomplish this would be to omit necessary information and that didn’t feel right to me. Improperly used chemicals can cause damage to the person using them and to surface they are applied to (sometimes irreparably) because the detailer did not have sufficient information of the possible adverse effect of the chemicals in the products they use.
My garage - Jaguar XFR V8 Stratus Grey ‘15, Audi S8 4.2 Night Blue Pearl '08, Mercedes 380SL '84 Beige
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.
Recognized as one of the detailing industry's leading experts, having authored Automotive Detailing, Inside and Out”, a knowledge base for the perfectionist and a series of 250 “Detailing Technical Papers, college level Ph.(Detailing).
Chances are you'll learn something and advance your knowledge of detailing if you read any of these. But reading 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.
Footnote: Focusing on one person’s methodologies or the products or tools they use will seriously limit your detailing experience and knowledge. Most importantly - choose carefully whose advice you listen to, and more importantly what advice you act upon