The garage has played an integral role in the development of my detailing skills
When I inherited my first car, a 1982 Plymouth Horizon, I was adamant about keeping it looking as pristine as possible. And, ever since then, I have been obsessed with keeping my vehicles in showroom condition. Things have come a long way from washing my car on my parents' driveway with dishwashing soap. I occasionally extend my services to friends and family, but my detailing skills are pretty much reserved for my own car. Detailing is my hobby and I have no plans of "going pro". That said, my wife owes me about ten grand in past due detailing charges. While I may not be in the detailing business, my garage is equipped with virtually everything you would expect to see in a professional shop. My passion for detailing is evident in everything from the design of my space to the storage systems I have developed. It truly is my own personal detailing theatre.
As with most things garage-related, my collection of detailing products has evolved. In 2008, when my wife and I returned from many years of overseas life, my love for detailing began to intensify. For years, I had dreamed of having my own garage space to pamper my car. I bought a 2006 Cadillac STS-V and scoured the shelves of every automotive store in the city in search of precuts that would keep her in showroom shape. From there, I began to research new products and I quickly found myself making regular purchases through Auto Obsessed's online store.
Auto Obsessed introduced me to Griot's Garage and I quickly amassed a comprehensive collection of their easy-to-use products. Then, I began branching out to other products with more specific uses. As with most obsessions, things did get a little out of hand. I found I had multiple products from various companies that performed the same basic function. I have been trying to thin things out, but it is not easy to get rid of a perfectly fine product whose only flaw is that I have a similar product. The struggle is real.
Last year, I was approached by the team at Jay Leno's Garage to sample some of their products. I was flattered they would want to ship me some of their stuff in return for my feedback. I have become increasingly impressed with the performance of each new product they have developed and I can now say the JLG products are at the top of my list. As their product line expands, I anticipate the continued consolidation of my collection. Until then, I still use a few products from Griot's Garage, Chemical Guys, CarPro, Menzerna (Jescar), Einszett and Rupes. At some point, I plan to inventory my collection of products, but I still need to do a bit more experimenting.
In addition to the pursuit of the perfect detailing product, I am always on the hunt for tools that will help me perfect my craft. I have a considerable collection of detailing tools and equipment that help me get satisfying results. I have accumulated many brushes for many different uses and I keep them at the ready on hooks below my bank of cabinets.
I have a comprehensive arsenal of polishers as well. I started out using 6" and 3" Griot's Garage random orbitals but I have since upgraded to various Flex and Rupes units. I went a bit crazy with pads and I now stock a plethora (yes, a plethora) of foam and microfibre pads to combat swirls and light scratches that inevitably invade a car's clear coat.
I have a Makita MAC5200 compressor that powers various pneumatic Tornador guns. Compressed air also allows me to effectively dislodge stubborn buildup and debris from the engine bay, dash, and other hard-to-reach areas. I have an extensive collection of microfiber towel that serve a number of specific uses. I have two vacuums, a car dryer, numerous foam guns and cannons along with other tools that are more at home in a detailing shop than in a suburban garage, but that was the dream and I'm feeling like the dream has been realized.
Pretty much ever facet of the space is dedicated to organizing my collection of products and tools. Most of my equipment stows away nicely in my Craftsman MD cabinets, but I keep my most commonly used tools at the ready. Whatever isn't on shelves, hooks, or bars is stowed in my Craftsman cabinets. I'm quite particular about the organization in my garage, so things are always evolving. One rule I always follow, is to only store things I use. If something doesn't get regular use, it doesn't stay in the garage.
Prepping and Detailing my 2018 SQ5 Technik
Previous Detailing Work
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