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JeremyG
post 3rd March 2019 11:58
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... Clay Bar, Clay Bar!"

With apologies to Electric Six, has anyone tried a clay bar for detailing their paintwork?

If so, are they any good? Or is this just another fad thing?
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dante giacosa
post 3rd March 2019 17:22
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That's funny

Yes- I do the clay-bar thing on my 'fleet'- but it's quite a mission

You should maybe watch this-

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fhTOUG3hWyI


Oh- sorry; I associate Polished-Bliss with clay-barring gear; it's where I source my polishing compounds and such- but I don't think it actually 'features' in what they have included of that video...
Although it was undoubtedly part of the process. You have to remove the surface contaminants, before polishing anything...



This post has been edited by dante giacosa: 3rd March 2019 17:30
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mrmarkyt
post 3rd March 2019 19:39
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QUOTE(dante giacosa @ 3rd March 2019 17:22) *
That's funny

Yes- I do the clay-bar thing on my 'fleet'- but it's quite a mission

You should maybe watch this-

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fhTOUG3hWyI
Oh- sorry; I associate Polished-Bliss with clay-barring gear; it's where I source my polishing compounds and such- but I don't think it actually 'features' in what they have included of that video...
Although it was undoubtedly part of the process. You have to remove the surface contaminants, before polishing anything...


Definitely worth it. Removes all sorts of bits from what you thought was clean paintwork. I do this once a year and its surprising the amount of stuff if it picks up. It also ensures that the paint is nice and smooth under the touch!

Cheers
Mark..
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dante giacosa
post 3rd March 2019 19:52
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here are a couple of post-claying, post polishing shots...


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Dave Brand
post 7th March 2019 17:31
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A quick test. Run your fingers over your nice clean, polished surface & feel how smooth it is. Now put your hand in something thin like a freezer bag & repeat. . .

. . . feels rough now, doesn't it? If so, time for clay!
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dante giacosa
post 7th March 2019 21:56
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Wow- that's some technique, Dave;

I've never heard of that; but I can see the benefit I think...
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VROOM
post 7th March 2019 23:29
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QUOTE(JeremyG @ 3rd March 2019 11:58) *
... Clay Bar, Clay Bar!"

With apologies to Electric Six, has anyone tried a clay bar for detailing their paintwork?

If so, are they any good? Or is this just another fad thing?


Oh dear, I've now got visions of the Electric Six video with Abraham Lincoln clay baring an Alfa roflmao.gif
I've got a bilthamber one that I've used a couple of times. It's interesting to see the "invisible" dirt that comes off onto the clay.
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JeremyG
post 8th March 2019 15:20
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QUOTE(VROOM @ 7th March 2019 23:29) *
Oh dear, I've now got visions of the Electric Six video with Abraham Lincoln clay baring an Alfa roflmao.gif
I've got a bilthamber one that I've used a couple of times. It's interesting to see the "invisible" dirt that comes off onto the clay.


Ha!

Well, I'm going to give it a try - got myself a Meguiars kit and will have a go over the weekend...
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dante giacosa
post 8th March 2019 22:43
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Nice-one, Jeremy-

Please report back with pictures!

Claying is usually stage-2, in an elaborate full-on polishing process.

Stage-1 is the get the car washed (a world in itself), Stage-3 is to use a cutting-compound to take back the micro-swirling from the paint, and Stage-4 would be a polish-up (again; a world in itself)

The purpose of claying; is to remove surface containments to allow polishing to work without picking anything up off the surface and making things worse.

Good prep leads to a good result!
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dante giacosa
post 10th March 2019 11:40
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couldn't resist digging out some clay-bar shots from last summer, when I put 10 hours (over a few days) into cleaning up a mates Abarth EVO.

The amount that came off, through claying, was unreal. I never got to actual machine-polishing on this; or using any cutting compounds; it was just wax & polish by hand.

I meant to say (Jeremy); don't believe the marketing; you can refill the lubricant bottle with just water, once depleted. It doesn't HAVE to be that special stuff.

This post has been edited by dante giacosa: 10th March 2019 11:43
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JeremyG
post 17th March 2019 14:40
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Thanks for the tips, team!

I just tried the clay on the 145 and I get what it does now - you can feel it shifting dirt and smoothing the surface of the paintwork.

A question, though... what do you do with it when the surface of your clay is covered in debris (like Dante's shot above) - can you knead it to get a clean surface again and keep using it? At what point do you have to discard your clay???

This post has been edited by JeremyG: 17th March 2019 22:31
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JeremyG
post 17th March 2019 22:31
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Also - what products do you use for polishing?

I've been using Autoglym, but not for any particular reason - in fact, the shine never seems to last all that long with their stuff.

Also - anyone use a machine for polishing?
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dante giacosa
post 18th March 2019 13:57
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Yeah-

I used machine polishing on the FIAT. You could spend hours on each panel. Starting with the cutting compound and then moving to the polishing compound, before ultimately the wax.

But you've got to think about the purpose of the car. It all comes back to how you wash and keep it.

The FIAT used to live in a rented garage under a dust cover, seeing little use; when it came out it had a pretty easy time with the best kind of washing-routine possible before going away. As such it is / was gleaming.

The 146 lives outdoors under a car cover, and whilst this keeps back a lot of the dust and UV, it has it's own drawbacks in term of micro-scratching. Personally I trade off the 'ultimate finish' on the 146, for the 'ultimate protection' of the car cover.
It would be easy to keep it reasonably pristine; but the washing is the thing that brings back the paintwork swirls.

As for claying; here's my tip- you can literally 'hear' the stuff scoring-away on the paintwork; and when it goes quiet; you know you're cleaned that spot. That and touch also. Whatever happens- NEVER re-use a piece of clay that you've allowed to drop to the ground.
When is a piece of clay finished?

When it goes dark grey and might be doing 'damage' through re-use. It's always worse the first time round- you can easily 'use up' a complete claying kit giving the car the first once over of it's life.

wax?

Where do you draw the line. Apparently 70 is the watershed figure for something 'decent'

https://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/auto-finesse-illusion


personally I have yet to get beyond this kind of expense- but I'm very happy with the results

https://www.halfords.com/motoring/car-clean...-paste-wax-200g


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VROOM
post 18th March 2019 14:58
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I've been tempted by a machine polish to get rid of the lacquer scratches, but I'm a little scared as I've heard you can burn through if you don't know what you're doing. I settled recently for going over the worst areas with Farecla G3 manually with a waffle pad. It's certainly helped, but is by no means anywhere near as good as a skilled machine polish.
As for polishes, I've bought so many over the years and can't really tell a lot of difference. I've used Autoglym super resin polish followed by their extra gloss protection on the brera. I've then got colour magic for the Giulietta and 145 (red and grey). I honestly can't tell any different between them all.
And then there's waxes which I didn't realise were different to polishes.
I think that unless the car is brand new or worth a great deal and immaculate to start with, most brands of polish will do the job.

Another product which I'm quite a fan of are waterless wash and wax cleaners. My 145 hasn't seen water since I bought it in June 17! It hasn't been out in the rain, is SORN over winter and therefore only gets dusty when outside or in the garage. Rather than wash with water I use the Williams Waterless stuff and it cleans and polishes up well - even the plastics and rubber. When used with a good microfibre cloth, it doesn't seem to scratch or leave swirl marks either. It's also good for spot cleaning e.g. removing splattered flies and bird poo.

This post has been edited by VROOM: 18th March 2019 15:01
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JeremyG
post 20th March 2019 13:07
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QUOTE(VROOM @ 18th March 2019 14:58) *
And then there's waxes which I didn't realise were different to polishes.


Me neither!

When I started polishing cars (which is not something I enjoy doing) there was Turtle Wax and that was it. (Maybe some T-Cut if your paint had gone flat.)

So do we really need polish then wax - or just wax for ongoing maintenance of the shiny surface?

(Now I'm not even sure I understand what polish is for if wax is something different... unsure.gif )

Anyway - here's what the 145 looks like now. It has been washed, clayed and polished (with Autoglym Super Resin Polish) and is awaiting a going over with Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection (which isn't a wax either!!!)

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This post has been edited by JeremyG: 20th March 2019 13:13
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dante giacosa
post 21st March 2019 09:15
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ok, sorry-

I can see what's happened here-

Let's try and move away from the ABSOLUTE nomenclature of products



Broadly speaking, a 'paint restoration process' would include the following steps;

a wash

a claying session

perhaps a session with a rubbing-compound (formerly that terrible stuff T-cut), perhaps in a succession of graded-steps of abrasion (hard to light)

and then finally a top layer to give a shine




exactly which one of these falls into 'polish' or 'wax' depends largely on marketing- but I personally have always thought of polishes as being associated with the rubbing-compound stage, and waxes as being associated with the top layer final coat.

P.S.- that is a terrific result! you could have a shave in that (as a mirror)!

This post has been edited by dante giacosa: 21st March 2019 09:17
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JeremyG
post 23rd March 2019 09:11
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OK, that makes much more sense - then I guess what's happened since the wash-and-turtle-wax days is the the separation of the "polish" and "protect" stages. That polishedbliss site is a real treasure trove of product, isn't it?

Anyhow - thanks for the compliment on the 145 - from that distance, it does look good - however close up it becomes clear that there are plenty of small scratches on the roof (from boxes being piled on it when it was in storage) and some larger ones on the cars flanks. Bonnet, tailgate and front wings are all AOK, however...

This post has been edited by JeremyG: 23rd March 2019 09:12
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dante giacosa
post 23rd March 2019 13:24
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yes, Polished Bliss is an absolute resource- if you can dial down to the videos; it's quite educational!

The car really looks ace, Jeremy- I'm sure you can see now that the longer you take; the better it gets.

The minor marks and swirls you describe can all be taken out; by hand it can be quite tough, but not impossible- but with machine polishing you can get further.

A Polished Bliss trick, which I'm sure is known to all detailers, is to use a point-source light, to observe the paintwork- you see the light (and yourself) reflected, and see a halo of micro-swirling around the light source. To go all-the-way, is to continue 'cutting' or using polishing-compound; until there are no more micro-swirls.


It transforms the paint on a car actually. You then realise that that is the subtle difference between 'new' car paint, and 'old' car paint, is the level of hazing in the top layer caused by micro scratching.
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Ganz
post 23rd March 2019 22:17
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Clay is good isn't it? worshippy.gif


--------------------
G A N Z 145

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ganz145_alfa



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dante giacosa
post 23rd March 2019 23:27
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I've found some more pictures!

This is a quick shot of machine polishing the boot, and then the terrible flat paint that the 146 has on the bonnet & front wings from a complete front-end panel replacement in the past.
I didn't continue polishing / cutting the bonnet (yet), but with reference to the above description of point-source light-trick, a cursory session on the bonnet revealed the following results.
Which sort of illustrates the start of the effects of the cutting process.

Then, finally a couple of shots of the OS front door ((the side panels came up very well), and the boot of the FIAT, upon which I've lavished much more cosmetic attention, but nowhere near as much longevity-protection...

(Pictures have all loaded backwards relative to my description here)

This post has been edited by dante giacosa: 23rd March 2019 23:30
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