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The Importance of Ongoing Training: Three AAP Blog Authors Travel to Irvine, CA!

by

NXT 3, iNtense eXtreme Training, 9-22-2012

A little over a year ago now, three of your fellow Detailed Image AAP blog authors traveled to Meguiar’s Headquarters in Irvine, CA to attend the 3rd ever NXT iNtense eXtreme Training class. Not only did Greg Nichols, Addison Good, and myself attend this advanced training, but there were several other of the nations top detailers in attendance as well. Now you may be thinking, “why would the AAP blog guys and other top pros need training??? They are already pro detailers, right???” The answer is simple; Automotive paint and the detailing industry are constantly changing and it’s important to stay current with the latest polishing tools, products, and techniques. Staying on top of the newest technology and products is also one of the many reasons we attend events like SEMA. On top of that, no matter how much you think you may know, there is always someone that knows more, at least in some aspect of the profession. Get a bunch of knowledgeable guys in a room and you’d be surprised what new things you can learn from each other. With the above in mind I would like to add one piece of advice; stay humble! Don’t get stuck in your way or grow an ego which can keep you from learning new things.

What is NXti?

So what is NXTi and what did it offer to a bunch of the nations top detailers? well, To quote the advertisement from Kevin Brown:

“Is NXT for beginners, or experts?” It’s for BOTH!

While it is probably best that a person planning to attend NXT have at least some experience in the realm of sanding or polishing automotive paint, by no means is it a requirement. The teaching format of NXT blends classroom-style information sharing with a hands-on approach. In short, learning is easy! You’ll leave the class with an understanding of why things work the way they do, and retain the information longer.

Throughout the day, our instructors will discuss the theory behind proper sanding and polishing techniques. While the information is still fresh, you’ll immediately spend time working under the watchful eye of some of the best in the industry! We’ll guide you through various sanding and polishing processes, all the while making adjustments to your technique, and explain why these adjustment must be made.

Additionally, you’ll watch us guide your classmates along their learning path, making needed recommendations & adjustments along the way. This four-prong approach to learning is very effective, and loads of fun (1. Discuss the process; 2. Observe the process; 3. Implement the process; 4. Summarize what you’ve learned.)

It is in this segment that beginners and weekend warriors will observe the various expert-level attendees work their magic. Keep a keen-eye open, because you’ll learn the finer points of high-level paint restoration as our instructors fine-tune the techniques of some of the BEST paint restoration guys in the USA. This promises to be a real BLAST to SEE!

“What subject matter will NXT encompass?”
We will discuss a wide variety of topics, some of which are listed below.

First and foremost, NXT will focus on teaching you the basics of sanding and polishing automotive paint.

We’ll discuss, demonstrate, and instruct you on the basics of Paint Sanding via hand and machine, which will allow you to safely and confidently:

Minimize or eliminate paint surface imperfections (such as embedded dirt nibs, fisheye craters, paint sags and runs)
Minimize or eliminate below-surface paint defects (such as scratches)
Minimize or eliminate paint texture (such as orange peel)

We’ll discuss, demonstrate, and instruct you on the basics of Machine Polishing, using the following categories of machines:

Rotary
•Random Orbital
•Forced Rotation Orbital
•Dual Mode (various combinations of the above listed machines)

This segment of the class promises to be very exciting, as it is critical that you understand what is happening during the polishing process so that you are able to quickly and efficiently make adjustments to your technique while you work. You’ll learn how parameters such as machine speed, backing plate rotation, and applied pressure can change the dynamics of what is taking place between the buffing pad and paint surface.

We’ll delve into the subject of buffing pads and discs, explaining the features and benefits of the various materials used to make them. You’ll also learn how a pad’s design can affect its overall performance. Did you realize that increasing the diameter of a pad from 3″ to 4″ increases the measured surface area of the pad by over 75%? If you answered yes to that question, did you also realize that depending upon a pad’s design, a 3″ diameter pad of one design could actually plant more of its material against the paint surface, compared to a 4″ diameter pad of a mildly different design? Do you understand what I’m getting at? There’s a lot more to pad design than meets the eye.

The information shared in this segment will teach you to quickly analyze pads and discs, enabling you to get a very good sense of what to expect prior to polishing. For me, this is one of the most interesting and misunderstood areas of paint polishing, so we’ll work hard to clear things up.

The list of topics goes on, and we’re prepared to discuss them at length.

Consider The Quality Of Your Trainers

While there are several place throughout the US where one can attend detailing training, not all are created equal. Knowledge comes from experience and the one key thing that attracted so many top pros to NXTi was the sheer amount of knowledge that it brought to the table! Just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, let me share with you the Bio from each our trainers.

Kevin Brown:

Ever since Kevin inadvertently stripped the zinc from the spokes of his bike using an acid-based bathroom cleaner (and then having to constantly polish them to keep rust at bay), he’s been “hooked” on the cleaning and detailing of all sorts of transportation vehicles.   With training that began at the legendary Steve’s Detailing in Newport Beach, CA, Kevin spent a dozen years detailing full-time, eventually deciding to pick and choose his detail-gigs on a case by base basis.  In total, Kevin says he’s got nearly 30 years of cleaning experience under his belt.  Projects with companies such as Meguiar’s Inc. and Alpine Electronics of America are not uncommon, and Kevin says he’s spent up to 83 hours non-stop to complete a project car for a deadline.

Kevin added: “I thought that was a pretty impressive, until one late night I shared this fantastic feat with none other than Chip Foose.  Chip listened and nonchalantly replied, ‘My record is 11 days.’  You could almost hear the balloon-deflating shriveling sound emanating from my ego.”

Now that Kevin’s gearing up his buffdaddy.com website, he stays plenty busy selling, shipping, and chatting about all things related to paint sanding & polishing, high-end detailing, and life in general. “It is quite a treat to be able to converse with so many interesting guys, all of them hoping to improve upon their skills and the finish of whichever vehicle they are working on that day.”

Kevin plans? “I will continue to grow my Buff Daddy site, and look forward to opening a storefront of sorts.  This will allow me to more efficiently sell, house, and ship products, offer various training classes, and detail whichever ride I deem interesting.”

Jason Rose:

Jason began his career in high school washing and waxing cars for side money.  (Although his parents would say it began in the crib, the baby crib…where, if it wasn’t a toy car, it got tossed out.)  That evolved into a strong 6 year part time business while going to college.  Post graduation, the business went full time and thrived with several different business partners over an additional 6 years.  In 1993, Jason moved from Southern California to Dallas, Texas, to advance his career into detail supply distribution.  Putting his extensive detailing knowledge to work training and selling the Meguiar’s line of products with Wash Solutions, a large detail supply company with a long history in Dallas, he grew route sales by 45% in 2 years.

Then, in 1995, Jason moved back to the Los Angeles, California, area to join the PBE Warehouse team in Downey, CA, as their first Detailing Specialist focusing on the Meguiar’s product line.  Once again, Jason generated dramatic sales performance by applying his detailing knowledge to train and educate other professional detailers.  PBE Warehouse is an automotive paint and equipment supply company to the paint refinish industry, so it was during his short time with these paint experts, that Jason learned a tremendous amount about paint technology.

So, in 1996, after 12 years experience as a successful mobile detailer, hands-on experience in both detail & auto paint distribution, Jason joined Meguiar’s, Inc. in an entry level sales position. Jason already knew Barry Meguiar and the management team at Meguiar’s because they were customers of his several years earlier.  Jason had an honor and privilege awarded to very few individuals since then…he was the only detailer allowed to come by the Meguiar’s corporate office on a weekly basis and detail cars for the most car crazy people in the world.  Eventually, Jason was welcomed in on the sales/training team.  He advanced in performance and was promoted several times within the first few years ultimately achieving the highest regional sales position responsible for a five state territory and three other sales reps.

From a platform of consistently being a top sales representative and trainer on the Meguiar’s team, Jason was promoted out of sales and into the marketing team in 2005 where his focus was on product development for professional products. He immediately jumped into some rather enormous projects.  In 2006, Meguiar’s launched its largest polishing system initiative in 10 years, the Solo One Liquid System (M86).  This new Super-Micro Abrasive Technology gained instant recognition globally and began the dramatic progression of new products and systems launched since 2006.  Jason worked on other subsequent home-run products such as M105 Ultra Cut Compound (2007), M205 Ultra Finishing Polish (2008), and the revolutionary D.A. Microfiber Correction System (2010.)

Meguiar’s currently utilizes Jason’s vast detailing knowledge, skills, and product development experience for high level professional projects spanning the globe.  He travels extensively internationally working on locally specific products and training-the-trainer workshops.

Jason Rose has 35 plus years experience in the detailing industry.  He currently is the Global Technical Services & Training Manager: Professional Automotive and Marine Products for Meguiar’s, Inc., Irvine, California, USA.  To contact him: 949-752-3801 or email jrose@meguiars.com

Michael Stoops:

An enthusiast detailer for years, Mike joined Meguiar’s in 2008 after being a regular at our Thursday Night Open Garage sessions, being part of the Meguiar’s/Ford SEMA Team, participating in the Alpine Electronics custom boat project for CES, and helping buff out a Meguiar’s big rig damaged during a storm at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, AZ.  He joined Meguiar’s in the role of Surface Care Specialist and has moved on to become Administrator of our detailing forum, meguiarsonline.com.  This includes teaching our Saturday Detailing 101 classes, Saturday Advanced Paint Care Classes, and hosting our Thursday Night Open Garage sessions.  Mike has also been called on to conduct detailing seminars at the various Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auctions around the country, for the Rolls Royce Owners Club National Meet, MG-TC Guild, the Ferrari Owner’s Club of America, and at RM Auctions in Monterey, as well as for several car enthusiast magazines and websites.

Others

On top of having these three amazing instructors we also had the pleasure of a Q&A session with one of Meguiar’s chemists, Brent Dunning, and the great Joe Fernandez of Superior Shine helped out with keeping things running smoothly and provided some great comedy for all. :)

Pictures From The Event

So hopefully you’ve stayed with me throughout this rather long article and now I’d like to share some pics of the great time we had. :)

Meguiar’s had set up a group rate at the Orange County Double Tree Hotel and arranged for a little a meet & greet the night before the event.

Arriving at Meguiar’s before the start of the day

Classroom

Learning…

Hands on areas with various hoods and panels for sanding and polishing…we also took advantage of Bryan’s black rental car. ;)

Applying our newly learned knowledge

Our own Addison Good spinning the rotary along with Jeff McGoveran (Immaculate Reflections) and Michael Murphy

The bald spot on the right is Greg Nichols carefully wet sanding all the way to the edge. :D

Here I am DA sanding with a 3M palm sander

Greg running the rotary

Hand sanding with 3″ sanding discs on Meguiars 3″ hand pads…these things were great!!!

Detailing celebrity, Eric Witt (Tru-Shine), trying to maintain his concentration on polishing with my camera in his face. :)

Greg working the G110v2 with some D300 and MF pads

Bryan Burnworth (Peachstate Detail) making “gloth” with the rotary. ;)

Alexis Borda (High Performance Detail) removing sanding marks with ease on the Rupes LHR75 air powered DA.

The man himself, Joe Fernandez…for those of you who don’t know Joe, his shirt says a LOT about him. ;)

Kevin, the “Poobah of Polish” himself, was demonstrating the right and wrong way to “buff off an edge.” On the right, Richard Lin (Show Car Detailing) was also in attendance.

Better than just some stinking gloss meter! ;)

After hours, Kevin busted out some more tools…specifically the new Rupes and Mirka tools, which most of us spent some time with. The Rupes LHR21E can be seen in use here.

The trio of AAP Blog Authors before we headed out.

Another, but with Jason Rose and Kevin Brown this time. Take notice of the custom G110v2 I’m holding! Every detailer in attendance was given $500 worth of products, including a brand new G110v2 DA polisher with custom, smaller diameter, stainless steel housing, which was even laser etched! Props to Kevin Brown for getting these made!

The goods!

Conclusion

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed hearing about our experience at the NXTi training. The AAP guys had an amazing time hanging out with everyone and we all agreed that we definitely walked away with a greater understanding of polishing and sanding paint, the dynamics behind it, as well as applying that new knowledge to better handle difficult polishing situations when they should arise. While I did my best to document my time at training, it is very hard to do when you become so involved with what’s going on. If you wish to see some excellent pictures from the event, Meguiar’s actually has several more which you can view here.

Chad Rskovich Rasky's Auto Detailing
Chad Raskovich
Rasky's Auto Detailing
Minneapolis, MN
RaskyAutoDetailing.com

6 comments on The Importance of Ongoing Training: Three AAP Blog Authors Travel to Irvine, CA!

  1. Jean-Claude Corcoran Jean-Claude says:

    Great job documenting the event and sharing, Chad.
    Looks like you guys had a blast and learned a ton.

  2. Mark Flego M Detail says:

    Great Article,
    It must of been an unforgettable day, very inspiring.

  3. Thanks guys! I’m actually looking forward to the NXTi event should they decide to hold another. :)

  4. Greg Nichols Greg says:

    I loved the article, even though you are still making fun of my bald head! I’m just trying really really hard to be like Kevin Brown!

    Cheers,
    Greg

    • LOL! Sorry Greg, I couldn’t help myself on that one. :D

      For anyone interested in attending NXti, rumor has it that there will be more NXTi classes coming up in the near future so I’ll update this article with the info once I get it. :)

      Rasky

  5. Looking into this, have to be here….Excited

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