Athens advanced detailing workshop
Very recently I participated in a rather unique seminar, first of its kind, held in Athens, Greece regarding the most advanced techniques of wet sanding and top surface paint correction.
First of all let me justify why I am using the word “unique”. The reason for it is actually two-fold. Industry’s most experienced Master Detailer, Chris Larson, was the seminar’s agenda director and also the main trainer, visiting Greece for the very first time. Having been involved in numerous concours level restorations and with substantial training courses in his arsenal, Mr Larson was extremely competent in leading this seminar and passing on his 30 years expertise on specialist paint correction subjects and techniques. Lately, you can often see in internet media individuals that are “self baptized” experts sanding a bonnet for show off, but this seminar was the real deal. It covered so many different but equally important aspects of detailing in the highest level possible.
The other reason was that there was no official brand sponsor for this event. Major brands in the detailing business like Menzerna, Mequiars, Festool, Lake Country, Flex, CarPro etc were all there in a support role in order to give the participants the opportunity to choose, try and form their own personal opinion on products. And all these under the strict guidance of the trainer’s special advanced techniques. In plain words this was all about knowledge from a master detailer to fellow detailers with absolutely no product promotion. Difficult to embrace this idea, eh? I know. Well there is certain company that has to take the credit for this and this is no other than Dazzle Show Car Promotions.
As with any craft a true professional stands out when he has the mentality that there is always room for evolution and for learning something new.
The concept of the seminar was quite straight forward. Wet sand, fully correct and protect the paint of a beautiful 911 using low temperature techniques. Chris started off the seminar by getting a feeling of the current status of polishing techniques within the group. Then he moved on to explaining and presenting certain angle cutting techniques with a rotary machine for the lowest possible temperature levels.
And this is where the real fun has started. In order to practice these techniques there were a few really badly painted bonnets with serious defects that we had to correct before we could be “cleared” for working on the 911. Such defects included clear coat drops
Clear coat over spray runs
Extreme orange peel
and so on.
While correcting these defects we had a variety of tools at hand. This is where we practiced out various sanding techniques using different sanding blocks
followed by compounding techniques
But these defects were only half the story. The other half was all the theory we were introduced for making a real concours level paint rectification and the necessary skills and techniques needed for this. A really sound example for this was the edge work carried out in the seminar which truly incomparable to anything else. This is where the 30 years expertise of Chris really shined out.
And I personally believe this is where this specific workshop excelled when compared to anything else organized here in Greece. On one hand an extremely experienced master detailer tutoring a group of already experienced individuals that came together in the most selfless and respectful way with the only concern to learn and become better. As with any craft a true professional stands out when he has the mentality that there is always room for evolution and for learning something new. And after this seminar every single body managed to gain knowledge regardless of the participants own level of expertise which was truly amazing.
Now, having finished the first training section we moved onto the 911 where first step was to properly flatten the surface. Chris explained again the use of different size and shape blocks depending on the shape and size of the surface to be sanded.
And off we go
Once we made sure the clearcoat layer was properly flattened the sanding had to be removed. Various techniques using different tools, pads and polish compound were utilized in order to achieve perfection. This was the only clause Chris had put before we can leave the room.
And believe you me not even the slightest little detail could pass unattended.
But it was so much worth it for a job well done.
Final step was to protect the car. For that one of industry’s top ceramic coats was used.
Which was properly baked.
I should now leave the final result speak for itself.
For me, however, one extra bonus I gained was to meet Chris in person where after four days of working together I came to appreciate and respect him even more than before. Thanks for everything mate.