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Mike Phillips
Jun 2nd, 2005, 08:13 AM
Circles or Straight Lines? (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6442)



Originally posted by MattN03
I attempted a search because I'm sure this has been covered, but I couldn't find anything. When applying Speed Glaze, then DC#2, and finally NXT, how should I apply these products by hand?

I'm using Meguiar’s foam applicators and will remove with a quality microfiber. How does everyone rub the products on?



* Do you rub in straight lines?


* Do you rub in circle motions?

In my younger (less educated) days, I would just put some wax on a pad & rub it on in a swirling motion, but now I'm wondering if that’s the best way to do it. I just want to improve my technique! Thanks everyone.

Hi MattNO3,

Thank your for your questions. Meguiar’s official response to this question is this,

If you’re using a non-abrasive product with a high quality, clean, soft foam applicator pad, and you’re working on a clean surface, then it shouldn't’t matter which direction you move the applicator pad over the finish because nothing you’re using will be instilling any scratches or swirls into the finish.


Let the panel be your guide
The above being true, then some panels lend themselves better to straight line motions, while other panels lend themselves better to circular motions.



Examples:

Circular Motions
Most people find it’s easier to apply products in circular motions to large panels like the hood of a car. The reason for this is because circular motions act to help you spread your product out over large areas for more even, and thorough coverage. Some people also feel that circular motions help you to better work products into the finish. One thing for sure, moving your applicator pad in a circular motion tends to feel natural, and appears to come natural to most people. (Hand a wax applicator to 10 people and ask them to apply some wax to the hood of a car and stand back and watch how they apply the wax).

Straight Line Motions
Without good technique, applying products using straight-line motions is more difficult on larger panels. Straight-line motions are just as easy to use as circular motions, (and sometimes easier), on small panels and panels or sections that are longer in one direction while narrow in the other direction. Some times the panel itself will determine which direction you will apply your product.

An example would be the painted pillar on the side of the windshield on my Blazer.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2TruckPillar1.jpg

Common sense tells you, (as well as the actual application of a product), that it will be easier and more efficient to use straight-line motions versus circular motions to apply a polish or wax to this thin, narrow painted section, than it will be to use circular motions.

The key thing to remember is this,

If you’re applying non-abrasive products, i.e. products that do not scratch or scour the finish, and your applying them with a soft, clean applicator and using good technique, then you should not be instilling any scratches or swirls no matter what direction you’re moving your hand.

Hope this helps…

:)

WestDK
Nov 2nd, 2006, 04:38 AM
I've read that if you use one method one a panel you must not stop because it can be seen.. The best result is to use the same technique for the whole car because else it can be seen.. I personally can't see it but some experts in a car magasine I've read said that's the way it works..

cwcad
Nov 2nd, 2006, 09:52 AM
Excellent information< Mike.

You are absolutely correct about the circular motion if one ask someone to apply a wax, It is the way that I used an applicator for many years.

Now with the addition of both a rotary and PC to my arsenal all of my hand LSP applications are in a strait line in the direction the wind blows over the paint. There are exceptions to this personal rule of mine. You pointed out in your post that pillars are narrow. There I follow the easiest path using long strokes.

Mike Phillips
Nov 2nd, 2006, 10:27 AM
I personally can't see it but some experts in a car magasine I've read said that's the way it works..

We always welcome magazine experts to make their case here on our forum for all of our benefit. :D :D :D

Kevin Doe
Nov 2nd, 2006, 10:37 AM
Here is a question I have. With an abrasive product like ScratchX, what do you recommned? Straight lines or circles?

Mike Phillips
Nov 2nd, 2006, 10:44 AM
Here is a question I have. With an abrasive product like ScratchX, what do you recommend? Straight lines or circles?

Hi Kevin,

First, read this article,

http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6442

Especially the last paragraph...

The key thing to remember is this, if you’re applying non-abrasive products, i.e. products that do not scratch or scour the finish, and your applying them with a soft, clean applicator and using good technique, then you should not be instilling any scratches or swirls no matter what direction you’re moving your hand.


Second, have you ever felt ScratchX between your fingers? The reason I ask is when you ask a question the way you did, it would appear you've never actually felt the product as it's smooth and creamy like hand lotion and it's non-abrasive in that it won't scratch paint.

It does contain microscopic diminishing abrasives, and it will remove paint if you work it correctly, but it's certainly not abrasive like most people would think when they read or hear the term/word abrasive.

This is why you are able to get great results using it on a scratch-sensitive paint like a clear coat.

Kevin Doe
Nov 2nd, 2006, 10:55 AM
Yes, and I've just recently used ScratchX, I know its creamy, but I also know that there has to be abrasives in it for it to work. Thats the reason I asked. Thanks. So, that we're established that it truely is abrasive in nature what is the best way to work it? Straight lines, or the circles that I've been using?

Mike Phillips
Nov 2nd, 2006, 11:04 AM
Yes, and I've just recently used ScratchX, I know its creamy, but I also know that there has to be abrasives in it for it to work. Thats the reason I asked. Thanks.

Yes, the only way to remove a defect below the surface of the paint is to remove the paint surrounding the defect until the upper surface of the paint is level with the lowest depths of the defects.

This is a commonly misunderstood process and asked so often in our detailing classes and on this forum it led us to write this article to explain the idea for not only how to remove a below surface defect out of paint, but actually what it means to remove a below surface defect out of any material or surface coating and the problems or issues involved because some materials and/or surface coatings don't lend themselves well to being abraded with the end result or goal to have the material or surface coating look good or the same as it did when you started.

Here's the article in it's entirety, of course like so many informative articles it can be found,

Information Station (http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=82)

--> Hot Topics (http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=80)

(On this date the below article is on the bottom of the second page of threads)



What it means to remove a scratch out of anything... (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=7228)


In order to remove a scratch out of anything, metal, plastic glass, paint, etc. You must remove material around the scratch until the surface is level or equal to the lowest depths of the scratch or scratches.

The below diagram if for paint, the the same thing applies to just about an surface material or coating.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/gallery/data/500/2scratchesinpaint.jpg

In essences, you don't really remove a scratch, you remove material around a scratch.

Then the big question is, is the material or coating workable, as in can you abrade small particles of it and leave behind an original looking surface. For example, some things you can abrade, (remove the scratch), but you can never completely remove all of your abrading marks, thus you can't really fix the problem, all you can do is exchange one set of scratches of a different set of scratches.

The next questions is, how thick is the surface material you're working on or the coating. You are limited to what you can do by the thickness of these to things, (surface coating or surface material), and whether or not this surface is workable.

Sometimes you don't know what you can so until you try. It's always a good idea to test your choice of products, applicator materials and application process, (By hand or by machine), to an inconspicuous area. If you cannot make a small area look good with your product, applicator and process, you will not be able to make the entire surface look good. It's always a good idea to test first and error on the side of caution, versus make a mistake you cannot undo.

Murr1525
Nov 2nd, 2006, 11:12 AM
Perhaps it should be noted that "diminishing abrasives" means that while there are small 'abrasives' in the ScratchX and other products at the start, as they are worked in properly, you will end up with no abrasives left on the paint as you finish up.

Which is why it ends up not mattering what direction you go in.

classic53
Apr 17th, 2008, 05:05 PM
Sounds like you and I could have been twins. My rule of thumb also.

Nappers
Apr 17th, 2008, 05:44 PM
Good stuff.

I read that Mike In Orange says to go against a scratch with ScratchX and I tried it today and only slight evidence of a scrape in my paint. Glad I read it :D

I go in circles, back and forth, pretend my arm is a PC. :D

Aaron

Michael Stoops
Apr 17th, 2008, 10:11 PM
I think the whole "working in circles causes those circular scratches" is just nonsense. Take a look at the swirls/cobwebs in your paint with a bright light source, even the sun. Yep, you see what looks like a bunch of "concentric circles" around that light source.

Now move a little.

The "concentric circles" move with the light source. How is that possible? If they are truly "concentric circles" they would not move. They are actually a series of fine, short scratches in every conceivable direction, made to look like circles simply by the way the light source is scattering all around its center point and reflecting light back from them in an apparent pattern. And that's how it's possible for the (not really) "concentric circles" to move when you do.

In practice I tend to move my applicators, towels etc in whatever direction seems to work for the task at hand. I should take some direct sunlight shots of my PT Cruiser and post them up - it is almost 100% swirl free and I haven't polished it in 13 months. I've washed it plenty of times, dusted it off with UQD more times than I care to count, and done several wax applications during that time. But using caution has kept me from marring the surface in the process.

vietkangta
Jun 17th, 2008, 11:56 AM
So then if the chemical is abrasive, we rub in a straight line?

Mike Phillips
Jun 17th, 2008, 01:29 PM
So then if the chemical is abrasive, we rub in a straight line?

No

The recommendation in this thread and the idea presented is that if the products you're using are NOT putting scratches into the paint then it doesn't matter which direction you move your hand.

If the products you're using are putting in scratches you don't then want to move your hand in a straight-line, you want to quit using the product and find a substitute that will get the job done without instilling scratches.

Make sense?

Be sure to read my reply to your other thread that is part of the question you're asking here....

Apply #80 and#7 and DC1 by hand using what pressure? (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24699)


It could be you can't fix your car's paint job by hand and if it was repainted by a reputable shop you shouldn't have to be fixing their work.
:)

Murr1525
Jun 17th, 2008, 06:30 PM
Part of it is also the idea that Meguiars products, while "abrasive", like ScratchX, #80/83, etc, can remove swirls... they do not leave swirls/scratches behind. They finish very fine so little or no marring should be left behind, no matter the direction you work.

bush12
Jul 24th, 2008, 10:19 PM
Straight lines circles if we want to create than we have to create 90 degree circles.
______________________________
bush

[Link removed. Please take a look at the MOL Forum Rules, Thanks, Tim]

razo137
Jul 28th, 2008, 07:53 AM
Maybe the circle thing got started w/the Karate Kid?

just a thought.

I myself do both circle and straight depending upon where on the car ...

J. A. Michaels
Jul 28th, 2008, 12:11 PM
I remember in the old days, A lot Porter (thats what they called themselves back then)told me to always apply your wax in cicles. I had to ask why? His answer was, "this way you will not be as likely to miss a spot. As opposed to applying the wax in a straight line." His answer made sense to me. I have been applying my wax that way since.

Mike Phillips
Dec 16th, 2008, 08:03 AM
Related thread...

Cobweb Swirls vs Rotary Buffer Swirls (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21066)



:)

akimel
May 26th, 2009, 08:04 AM
:bump2