thanks for the compliments guys
K9, i'll bring some kit with me on Sunday for you to have a look at, polishes etc.
156_2.4 - the process i use would work for th same for solids or metallic colours, i did the same on my '96 spider.
First wash the car using two buckets, one with car shampoo and the other with clean water, i use a lambswool mitt as well.
dry the car and then Clay it, this gets rid of all the small contaminants and leave the paint really smooth and slippery to the touch
then on to polishing, i work in small areas, the largest i will work is an area 18''x18'', it allows me to keep the compounds warm so they can do their work
I have a rotary polisher i start at 1100rpm and in a uniform motion cover the area in a left to right, right to left motion slowly so as to start 'working' the compound. Once i have done a 'pass' of left to right i then go forward, backward - backward, forward in a sweeping motion, all of this is done at 1100 rpm and takes about 2 minutes.
the process is repeated at 1300, 1500, 1700 1900 and 2100 rpm, all the time taking great care not to 'breakthrough' the paint. The idea with doing it in stages is to allow the compound to break down and do its work, by doing it in steps means you have a gradual process rather than attacking the paint too violently.
Once you have gone through the previous steps you then have to do the entire opposite, going through all the speeds mentioned and doing left - right, forward - backward, until you are back at 1100 rpm, and all of this was with one application of compound.
This is why it take such a long time to do a panel, i took 4 hours to do the roof, another 4 to do the bonnet and about an hour on each of the doors and wings.
once i finish a panel i then give it a coat of wax to protect it, once the whole car is done then i will go round again and wax all the panels again.
time consuming it is, but very worthwhile, if you were really interested i would strongly suggest having a look at A world for detailers...
if it was machine polishing then look at this, there is a lot to look at but it is considered to be a polishers bible
Machine Polishing by Rotary Polisher - Full Guide - Detailing World