The final part of the trip for a wee Sassenach like myself was with Chris Kennedy of Mint Detailing in Denny. My previous visits up till now with Crystal Clear and Pro-Valet were fantastic for a mobile guy spending time with other mobile guys. However, this final part of the trip was to take a trip down memory lane by working with a unit based outfit.
Already having made acquaintance having a Douwe Egberts caramel coffee over with Johnnie Hamill a couple of days before, as well as our extensive Facebook correspondence in the year running up to the visit, there was no introduction needed as Chris started work pretty sharpish on the Kia Sportage that was awaiting some Winter Protection.
The preparation featured none less than the industry standard of pre-wash, snow foam, two bucket wash method, iron fallout treatment, tar spot removal and clay barring. Chris' advice here was to carry out the prep work as thoroughly and efficiently as possible, ensuring the job gets done properly and also leave as much time as possible for the polishing and protection aspect of the job. We aren't paid to drink tea you know! Even though, this did not stop me walking to the Co-op two doors down to get us some Irn Bru.
Once indoors the Kia was dried thoroughly, as we then set about pampering the paintwork with a micro-fine machine polish using CarPro Essence as a primer polish ready for our layers of protection. Chris told me that his initial experience with machine polishing was in a bodyshop capacity, and back then you would have to get the job of giving that extra bit of finesse to fresh paint with a single speed rotary polisher - a far cry to the advancements of the wide and wonderful world of various polishing machines that we have today. Even so, this was a great opportunity for me to receive some extra guidance on rotary polishing at higher speeds. In the wrong hands they can indeed do damage as they cut very quickly, but once over that barrier, turning the rotary up to higher operating speeds put me at just as much ease as the forced rotation DA that I have made an extension of my hand over the years.
After the machine polishing process was completed, we protected the vehicle with products from Chris' brand of choice - IGL. On the job we used IGL Ecocoat Wax, which contains trace amounts of Si02 as found in Ceramic Coatings, followed by IGL Ecocoat Premier hydrophobic coating spray.
Needless to say, the customer was delighted with her car, noticing how silky smooth the paintwork was, with assurance that the water repellent behaviour now evident on the paintwork would protect it over the harsh Scottish winter.
The feeling of making genuine friends throughout this trip was undeniable. Johnnie Hamill, his partner Mel and Chris so kindly taken me for an amazing meal at Canada Wood on the final evening, and I was treated to a visit to Stirling Castle on the morning that I had to leave, a sight to behold with plenty of history to see.
A write-up on the whole trip featured in the Pro Detailer magazine issue 6 brings us to an end of this great journey working with fellows of the trade, broadening horizons and learning just that little bit more. It is however, not the last time I will meet these great friends that I have also made, and who knows, perhaps another trip may be in order for the not too distant future... Thanks for reading! - Andrew