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Industry Interview: Dave Patterson of Lake Country Manufacturing, Inc.

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1. Before getting into some questions about Lake Country, can you tell me a little about yourself personally? What are your interests outside of detailing?

My name is David Patterson and I live not far outside Milwaukee. I am married with two kids (2yo and 2 months), and love pretty much anything automotive related. My other hobbies include spending time with my wife and kids, building or modifying cars, snowboarding or skiing, and saltwater aquariums. I officially started getting into the detailing world when I went to school for collision repair and automotive painting in 2002. Working as a mechanic or technician, and as a body tech, I found that my love was really in the finish work of custom painted vehicles or any car in general. After years of detailing cars, I decided to open a detailing and paint correction business in 2009, appropriately named Perfect Shine Detail. In 2013 I was honored with the opportunity to work with Lake Country Manufacturing, and the rest is history. I still detail regularly on weekends and Perfect Shine is still in business today.

2. Where did you work before Lake Country?

Before working with Lake Country Mfg, I was operating my detailing business full time and employed as an automotive technician prior to that. I always was interested in social work, but continued the automotive path in mechanical repair, collision repair, and automotive painting or refinishing.

3. As Product Manager, can you give us an overview of some of the things you handle each day?

As Product Manager, I tend to get involved with a lot of different projects. I attend many events, shows, but also visit customers where I share technical knowledge to help these customers or technicians understand and use our product and get better results. I also aid the sales team and still do some sales on these visits with new or potentially new accounts. During some of these events, I try to take pictures, videos and anything to share through our new YouTube channel, or social media to help educate and inform people about the products we offer. I take part in many R&D projects with endless testing of materials and finished products alike. We always try to continue to test new foams and materials as they arrive in the market to bring our customers the best performing products and be ahead of the market. The detail and refinishing markets change a lot, so trend spotting combined with continued testing helps us innovate and develop new product. Even if we chose not to make a new product from these materials, we are then familiar with many of the materials that are in the marketplace and could potentially come out in the market in the near future. Other duties can be supporting the sales team with technical info, helping production increase quality or improve processes. Being a product manager has been interesting as you get to be involved with many things and can be pulled in many directions at the same time.

4. Are there any misconceptions about Lake Country or Lake Country products that you can educate us about?

I think there are a few misconceptions in the industry about Lake Country. One I have heard and seen over the years is that we are not a true manufacturer and that we are owned or co owned with other companies or brands in the industry. Almost all our products are made in our plant in Oconomowoc Wisconsin, or at our second facility in Ohio. We are a family owned business that just celebrated our 40th anniversary in 2017, and we are not owned, affiliated with, or have vested interests with any other brands in our industry.

5. People often confuse all of the different types of Lake Country pad lines. Can you give us a brief overview of the ones DI carries and what you recommend each for?

Pads can be confusing! What you can see and expect to see from LC in the future is a better understanding of products as we have simplified our overall product offering. We have pad lines designed and geared towards different types of machines both rotary and DA, and the various variants of each.

Our ORIGINAL flat and CCS pads are made from our traditional foams that have been in the market for over a decade. We reduced this line to showcase 6 pads to eliminate unneeded pads, and make sure the user gets the desired result every time. Both the flat and CCS pads are able to be used on all machines and perform very well on standard DA polishes, but also offer significant benefits on a rotary buffer. If you haven’t tried the new yellow foam yet, it’s a must. It provides good cutting ability, but leaves an unmatched finish.

Our Force pads are an updated version of the original HYBRID pads, and feature Hybrid foam technology. These pads were designed for the Flex 3401 and any gear driven or forced rotation polisher, made with robust foam formulas that perform exceptionally well on these types of machines. These pads use foams that have been tested and developed to optimize performance and have become a staple in the detailing world.

Microfiber pads – Whether you are just using the microfiber cutting pad for heavy correction, One Step polishing, or you are using the whole microfiber system, they increase the efficiency and cutting ability of any DA polisher and saves significant time. The LC microfiber pad line is the first in our industry to offer a specific microfiber blend for each pad and are engineered to perform for specific purposes. While they work on all DA machines, these pads can boost the power and effectiveness of lower cost or more economical polishers.

HDO pads are one of our newest pad lines designed to withstand the heat and aggressive nature of long throw polishers. The dual layer design captures the benefits of an exact fit pad, offering even compression and downward pressure on the pad, but also the benefits from a pad that has overhang and protects the backing plate or paint from contact as well. The engineered design and profile also encompasses the features and benefits of a thin pad by reducing the foam movement and keeping the power to the paint, but also the performance of a thick or properly sized pad by keeping the proper balance and weight distribution to get optimal rotation and performance from your machine.

6. We personally love the regular flat Lake Country foam pads, but is there another pad you enjoy? Something you find yourself reaching for more often?

I actually love the flat pads myself, especially in the new profile. Our new and improved yellow foam is fantastic as a foam cutting pad that offers great finishing ability. My go to pads are the HDO, since a majority of time I use a long throw polisher myself. What seems like a basic design, was a lot of testing and developing to what we offer today. The benefits from these pads are being identified and used by some of the greatest detailers in the world. I spent a lot of time developing these pads, so my opinion may be slightly biased. Without a doubt the new low lint wool pads along with the HDO pads can tackle almost any job that comes my way.

7. Any unique tips or tricks that you can share when using any type of Lake Country pad.

Clean your pads more! Whether a blow gun, Tornador air gun, pad washer, or brush, always attempt to clean your pads out regularly. You will get a better cut, a better finish, a cooler pad, and less risk of overheating or damaging a pad. Spent polish and built up residue from polishing embed into the pad, coating the foam, wool or polishing material and blocking it from being as effective as it can. The particles of residue (paint or clear coat that has been removed and, in the pad) typically have a larger size than the abrasive used in your polish. This is how you could explain the double edge sword of dirty pads and the reduced cut and finishing at the same time. Along with actual results, the additional weight of polish absorbed or built up in the pad can add significant weight and change the overall performance of the polisher. Typically, a pad that has excessive build up will over rotate or become very aggressive resulting in the pad failing prematurely or causing heat issues.

Use more pads! It will save you time and money and lower overall cost. From a consumer standpoint, this must sound borderline humorous, but believe me, It will change your process and life when it comes to polishing. I think of a foam pad similar to a spring or a race tire. Race tires for motor cycles typically perform much differently after a certain amount of excessive heat cycles. With foam pads, it is more related to long duration of use when a pad is hot, which decreases durability and effectiveness. When a pad gets overheated, many things are happening before the pad fails. Not only are all the components of the pad hot, the hook from the backing plate can start to be damaged and can actually melt both the pad and plate together. I’m not much different than many detailers, and hate throwing away at any cost. What I found when I increased the number of pads I use per vehicle, is that I was getting better results, and I was getting them faster. A better cut and more consistent result are what I originally saw, but noticed increased finishing ability, with reduced micromarring as well. I was never fighting a pad that is overheated, overloaded with compound, polish, or clear coat residue. I no longer dealt with inconsistent rotation due to over weighted pads or a pad not performing the way it should due to deterioration or overheating. There really wasn’t one negative thing about using them except purchasing more pads than I had typically in the past. But here’s the best part…..Even though I invested in more pads, my pads last and perform like new SO much LONGER. I have some pads that seem like they have been in my shop for over months that are used on a regular basis. I know the saying is “Sometimes less is more”, but in this case it definitely is not.

8. Anything new and exciting coming from Lake Country that you can share with us?

We just launched our new updated Logo, refreshing and updating the original icon with a fresh new look and color. The new logo shows our bird logo now flying faster and moving forward signifying Lake Country and our push into the market with new and innovative product launching in 2018. One of our newest and most exciting things coming is our new catalog in both physical and online form. The new catalog is complete with aggression charts for each pad line, along with a master aggression chart to help guide detailers and users with simple information that sometimes can be extremely confusing. Along with some great new additions to the catalog, we also have used this as an educational tool to help understand the products we offer, how they differ from each other, along with simple things like how to wash and care for your pads.

2 comments on Industry Interview: Dave Patterson of Lake Country Manufacturing, Inc.

  1. Ed Espinosa says:

    David is an awesome person and a great detailer…He is always there for me and willing to help me out. I only use Lake County pads from now on.you don’t know what you are missing if your not using the HDO line of pads and all the other pads they offer.

    • Thanks for the kind words and for your support Ed. Even more, we’re glad you like the products!!!!! We try our best to make the products that you and other detailers want and need!

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