Prom King

There are a few things in life that can make you feel good for helping out friends. Tuesday 23rd 2019 was one of those days for me. Our friend’s son was due to finish his middle school and they held a prom for the twelve and thirteen year olds. Daniel didn’t have a somewhat different ride to go in, with that my wife volunteered me for his chauffeur service. Any excuse for me to get the car out; I was up for the task! It’s a well known fact that I can get lost going home which is constant source of amusement to those who know me. So the plan was for me to follow the wife in her car to pick up Daniel about twenty minutes away. Daniel’s dad Phil is an amazing professional freelance photographer who was already in the town, waiting with his camera at the ready for his son to arrive. Daniel’s mum Jeanna hitched a lift with the wife so I could follow them to the school.

First the obligatory photos before we set off. Daniel Morley in his very finest- in full support of his Scottish heritage, hence why he was wearing the family MacKenzie tartan. I have to say that this young guy nailed the look.

I said that we needed to have a few pics of Daniel in the car, manual aircon was on full – all the windows down!

We got strapped in the car and the wife took some impromptu pics from her car, which I think came out really well, sort of Bullitt style!

When I realised what was going on – we did the obvious pose.

Then we set off for the prom…

It took around twenty minutes to get to the school and we made a little noise where we could 😉

We parked up out of the way so his proud mum could get to the entrance in order to watch him arrive, also allowing his proud dad to get in position for the photos, all these pics are his handy work from now on.

I made the tiny trip to the school entrance as slow and purposeful as possible, and we arrived fashionably late, almost one of the last to arrive in fact, Perfect timing I would say. 👍

We pulled into the school gates where groups of his friends were waiting, just before I got out to let the star of the show make his entrance, I had to give a little rev up. That provoked a cheer and got the attention as intended. We unbuckled and I walked round to open the door for him. His dad took this great picture of a his smile that really says it all.

Chauffeur duties;

A few minutes later after the car was used for a prom backdrop or two, I reversed out to park out the way. After they had all gone inside to enjoy their evening I parked up and Phil took a proper pic of my car.

Special thanks to Phil for allowing me the use of his photographs, more of his amazing work can be found here, or copy this to your browser:

     https://phil-morley.co.uk/

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Wings & Wheels

Weekend just gone I attended the Stowmarket Carnival which was held over two days with a classic car section on Sunday. The general public was let in from eleven onwards, but the cars had to be in before nine thirty, although they were still being let in at ten thirty. So, I decided to take my photos sooner than later without too many people around, and before more cars arrived. A nice mix of cars and some top quality restorations on show. It was one of the first days this year I could get my show board out without the wind and rain because the sun was out all day, I even had to apply sun cream, twice! There were stalls, a dog shows, live singing, and a fun fair too.

I follow on Instagram a group of ladies called ‘_modifiedgirls’ and they also have a website called ‘https://modifiedgirls.co.uk/’ I mentioned this because I see a FTO being lovingly cleaned by a couple of ladies. Without trying to appear anything other than a genuine car fan I got talking to Tara Ashton who confirmed that she was a member of the Modified Girls scene. We had a chat about cars and I have to say that these ladies do know their stuff. I also think it’s fantastic to see members of the fairer sex enjoying the car show scene along with the guys. Here is her FTO she rocked up in to the show. I said I would give her a shout out on my blog, consider it done.

This Mk1 Ford Escort GT was a preproduction model and was used by the media to review the car. A nice example with some serious provenance.

There was mixture of a few hot rods, kit cars, more modern cars and some restorations to wonderful standards. Did you know the Fiat 500 number was the engine size in CCs? That’s 500 cc’s or half a litre, for our US friends that’s 30.5Ci  Abarth gave the engine a stage 1 modification up to 595cc (36.3Ci) which made 31bhp.

Triumph models were varied, Stag, TR6, Dolomite, Spitfire. I almost bought a Stag when I was looking for a classic car, but when I saw the Mustang, my mind was made up. But I still like the look of those stags. 🙂

Some of the other cars that took my attention, I didn’t bother with the Nissan Skylines, as for the Golf GTI’s, Jags, Vauxhall Corsa etc, I could have gone down the road to the Asda car park and seen as many as I wanted. Is that a harsh thing to say?

From the heading I mentioned wings as well as the wheels. The Saturday they had a fly by of a Spitfire (the classic WW2 plane – not the car being propelled through the air). On Sunday we were treated to a WW2 Lancaster Bomber. If I had of known I would have taken a proper camera not just a cell phone. But I tried my best to capture this incredible plane that did three low(ish) fly overs.

I turned this into a black and white picture, I think it works better than the colour pics. I took a video of he final fly over, the trouble is you just get to hear the fabulous noise.

I took this video of the last fly over, the trouble is that the video didn’t pick up the incredible sound the plane made. 😦

To finish the post I must be going soft in the head or getting sentimental in my old age. I had a guy Andrew who loved my car and was looking all over it. He made a good presentation to me on why he should sit in my car. I let him sit in it after emptying his pockets of keys etc. so as to not to damage the upholstery, I even took a picture of him in my car, just because I said I would. Consider that done as well.

It was a hot day, but I’m not complaining about the weather for a change. 😀 I spoke to lots of people and had a great day. More of the same next time I hope.

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Horses for Courses

There is an English proverb which is “Horses  for courses” which basically means different people are suited to different things. I liked the idea of the heading as this car show was held at Newmarket Race Course. I’m certainly not a horse racing fan, but I do have a lot in common with ponies and horses, the original Ford Pony cars and how many horses I can unleash under the hood that is. Anyway, I have had a little surf of the net and found some history of the Newmarket Race Course:

Racing in Newmarket was recorded in the time of James I. Charles II was known to attend races on Newmarket Heath with his brother, the future James II. The first recorded race was a match for £100 between horses owned by Lord Salisbury and Marquess of Buckingham in 1622. The racecourse itself was founded in 1636. Around 1665, Charles inaugurated the Newmarket Town Plate and in 1671 became the first and only reigning monarch to ride a winner.  Up until 1744, the two most valuable races run at the course were the King’s Plate and the Town Plate. Two more Plate races were added in that year, paid for by local traders, both worth 50 guineas (a coin of approximately one quarter ounce of gold that was minted in Great Britain between 1663 and 1814, worth around £1.05p in modern money). The name came from the Guinea region in West Africa, where much of the gold used to make the coins originated- one was a race for five-year-olds carrying 9 stone, one was an open age race in four mile heats. Another paid for by landowners was a four-year-old race over four miles, each carrying 8 stone 7 lbs. At that time, formal races at Newmarket only took place twice a year – once in April, once in October. Since then many, many more big race meets have been added to the calendar making it Britain’s premier race venue.

Newmarket is hugely influenced by the horse racing set, and all the money and trappings that go with it. Some beautiful houses around the town which are some of the most expensive I have seen in the country side with the land that comes with them. Also without a doubt the horses are looked after properly at the race course with rubberised walk ways where the horses walk, the place is spotlessly clean. There is a huge betting presence there to take your hard earned cash from you with plenty of viewing areas, but not as many as thought there would be.

When I was at Elveden Car Show a few weeks ago, I was handed a flier for this event with a lot of hype for new cars, classic cars, children’s entertainment and stalls. This was the second year for the event and was going to be bigger and better than the previous year. I found out that only a handful of classic cars attended last year.

On arrival I was directed in and told to follow the path round to the main display area. Being greeted by another staff member who decided that I was heavy so I wasn’t allowed on the grass, so I was told to park out the front of the main building just on the corner.

After parking up and cleaning the dust of the car after the drive to Newmarket I had a look around the other cars. There wasn’t a lot to look at all, there was however a lot of new cars from sales rooms around the area selling their stock of brand new and used cars. I believe this was the main purpose of the event and the classic were asked to attend in order to get people into the place and provide some other interest.

And there was a very well dressed older gentleman who was the ‘car expert’ there. He said this was the first AC Cobra made and was worth millions.

He was partly correct as the Original AC (chassis number CSX2000) is indeed is worth tens of millions, it was also in left hand drive and it’s certainly not left unguarded at a Newmarket Race Course. However the pretty lady immaculately dressed and dripping with some expensive jewellery, who was about a quarter of his age I reckon, looked (almost) impressed at his knowledge!

The other side of the main building was where the car dealers from all makes who were selling cars at discounted prices and where the majority of the people were to be honest.

Even a few great looking motorbikes were for sale along with a few couple of classics.

There was one car (I think it was a car) that caught my eye from Renault. I did try and get in the ‘car’ but I failed (very) miserably I might add. I got shoes bigger than this car in fact.

There were a few Mustangs there all be it this first one was a statue and not a Mustang from what I could work out from my very limited horse knowledge.

Almost opposite me was me was an Aston Martin race car that previously one its race the week before. a 740bhp ‘detuned’ to 600bhp to allow it to race.

The entertainment was a generous term unless you wanted to eat burgers, have a go on the racing simulator or play the electronic driving range for the golfers out there. Neither of which were exactly busy should we say.

 

The only stalls was a home made sweet stall, a bloke selling a couple of old workshop manuals and the plod with a Porsche GT4 they use. Now I know where my tax paying money goes, not on the maintenance of the roads, oh no. It’s being spent out for these jobsworths so they can sit in flash cars and eat donuts all day! They just wait on slip roads waiting for a motorist doing a couple of miles over the speed limit instead of catching murders, grooming gangs, knife crime and rapists in third world capital city now called ‘Londonistan’! Rant over. Before you say it; no I’m not jealous – I am not a Porsche fan and never have been. Great cars obviously, but they just don’t do anything for me.

As the day wore slowly on after running out of things to look, I wasn’t feeling to well and just sat in my chair, in the shade and reading a free newspaper I was given on my little walk around. I even asked an official if I could leave early as I wasn’t feeling great, but health and safety guidelines said no, I had to stay until 4.30pm. I thought it was just the sun, but it turned into something a bit more for the next couple of days. But to add to my woes the general consensus of the day was they public could sit in the cars of the dealers. The public thought that this applied to the classic cars as well, I had to stop kids pulling on the handles and I made a point of telling one bloke who opened my drivers door before I even locked it, I was getting my chair out the trunk at the time. He had taken of his back pack, dumped it on the floor and was about to get in my car. I told him to pay some respect and to ‘ruck right off’ should we say, those that know me will know exactly what I said. He just didn’t like the idea of me stopping him. One thing was for sure, when it comes to my car, there was no way he was getting in it. His girlfriend did come over to apologise after he walked away. I was not amused and never moved from my perch watching the car at all times when somebody got near it.

On the plus side, have you noticed that I didn’t mention the rain? Well it didn’t rain and the sun was out all day, at long last my rain jinx had been broken. 😀

As there wasn’t a lot to take photos of I tried a few different ideas for a few shots. Where I had parked the car it was a little slope, so if the car looks as though it leaning to one side, it was.

Newmarket Race Course was a lovely place to be, but I doubt I will go back there again. Such a shame, it could have been so much more, it wasn’t as though they didn’t have the room either. I think this last pic sums it up for me. The day had its ups and downs.

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A New Venue

I know this post is a bit late from the day but I just haven’t had time to get round to it all. So apologies and I have reprimanded myself quite severely. Anyway, the new venue was a generously sized field at Barnham Common in the lovely area of Thetford Forest. The best of which is the drive through that beautiful forest area to get there. Considering the previous shows have been a wash out with rain, this was Father’s Day and the weather apps said only a few percent chance of rain. Awesome I was going. I arrived fairly early and was expecting the Bury Retro Car Club to be there so I could park up with the guys, considering I missed out at the previous show in Elveden. Pullin’ into the field there was not many people there, in fact some of the stall traders also turning up to get ready. I was directed to park pretty much where I liked near the other lines of cars. I found a nice Ford Orion and parked next to him and I was pleased to say that a Ford Granada parked the other side of me. A Ford sandwich with USA muscle for the filler.

Checked app – no rain forcast. I started a wander around before it got to busy.

About twenty minutes later the car club turned up and parked a line down form me.

A good mixture of cars on the day.

UK Fords

USA Muscle

Later on the sky clouded and thought felt it, surely not. A few drops to start with then it stopped, not enough to bead on the car. However, half hour later, nowhere to hide except to sit in the car – it happened.

It only lasted for a few minutes, but it was enough. once it stopped it had to dry the car, the first of a few times that day. then the sun came out as quickly the rain feel. that was the pattern for the day. A rain shower for a couple of minutes then sun. I still manged to get sunburn on my face, don’t know how. But I was pleased with the beading though from my new quick detailer from Chemical Guys which I reviewed here.

Around the field spirits were high still and nobody seemed upset about the rain. The entertainment for the kids was great with bird handling and few live shows even.

But an hour after the start of the show to the public this old lady came in. Next year this traction engine will be a century old. I think this was the favourite of the show for me.

A great day in fact although the rain has been 100% for every show. This time it didn’t seem to bad.

Next time sunshine? We can only hope I guess. 🙂

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Elveden Car Show 2019 (part 2)

Continuing from yesterdays post this is part two where I took more photo’s from the other walled area of clubs stands. By this time we were creeping into the afternoon, there were some clouds in the distance, but it was still warm.

Elveden is an estate where they have local produce for sale, a very nice restaurant, some local craft shops etc. One of those little stalls crept into the main car show area. I had to laugh at this as the men looked totally bored while the wives and girlfriends had a good look around. The situation soon reversed when the men started looking at the cars and the women started playing with their mobile phones! 🙂

In the interests of equality as you have to be now days, I think that all wedding and bridal shows should have a car stands for the men!

Hot Rods;

Some more American muscle;

Small and sporty cars;

For road cars I am more of a Lamborghini fan than I am of Ferrari, but my all time favourite Ferrari has to be the 308 – the Magnum PI TV show car. I had posters of this car on my bedroom wall as a kid. The Ferrari club was well represented, I tried to talk to one guy but he was very up his own a$$ to be honest so I didn’t bother with the rest of them to be honest, a bit of a shame.

Bury Retro Car Club where I should have been.

The rest of the cars that took my eye;

On the way back to the car I felt it, a single drop of liquid falling from the sky. I walked faster back to the car, the faster I walked the faster it started to fall. While putting my show board away the single drop had started to turn into hose-pipe sprinkler.

Within a few seconds it was carnage, not much time to do anything it was that sudden. I just love this photo of improvised damage limitation.

For what seemed like a minute or so it was falling, the for the remaining ten minutes of so the rain slowed to a gentle drizzle. Not enough to wash my sun cream of though!

It stopped as quickly as it started, the sun came out and there was no more rain for the rest of the day. However the rain did enough to make a mess of the cars that were covered in a fine film of pollen and dust.

As it was near the end of the day I thought that I would leave the clean up for when I got home.

While waiting for the gates opening again I took a couple of artistic pics while sitting in my now slightly damp chair. Using the Ford truck’s hub caps to capture an unusual angle of my car.

A couple of hours later when we were allowed to leave I the show and enjoyed the trip back home. I gave the car a quick detail before I put her back in the garage.

So it has been four out of four car shows where it has rained for me, although the Elveden show wasn’t nowhere near as bad as the previous shows. All four apps said no rain as I said in my previous post, I’m even beginning to think there is a conspiracy against me. Either that or the wife has learnt how to do the rain dance so I stay at home and do some jobs around the house! I was supposed to go to a car show yesterday, but the rain was relentless so I didn’t go at all. I had intentions of popping over in the afternoon if the rain held off, which it didn’t. So technically that’s five shows that have been affected by rain. Surely it must improve.

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Elveden Car Show 2019 (part 1)

This was my fourth car show of year and was in a beautiful little village in Suffolk called Elveden, the best bit was that this show was to be held within their Walled Garden. This was my first trip here and wasn’t to sure what to expect. The sun was promised all day and most importantly no rain! Make a note here – that all four apps I use said “No Rain”. I had a beautiful drive to the show some back roads with very picturesque fields and open spaces. Window open, engine throaty burble and countryside. This was going to be a nice day.

I took rather a lot of photos during the day and decided to split them over a couple of days so it’s not photo overload. The main area was for the general public cars, I spotted that the Bury Retro Car Club was there in the club area. I explained to an official walking around that I wanted to join them as I belonged to the club. He said that I had to stay there within the public exhibition area, apparently “Health & Safety wouldn’t allow me to move.” 😦  I couldn’t be bothered to argue with him, which was down to the fact I was enjoying the nice weather and chilling with the cars. The second walled enclosed grass area was similar sized to the main area, but they had more room to spread out due to less cars in there.

Anyway, in no particular order I wondered up and down the rows of some gorgeous cars and chatted to some very nice owners, and few of them ladies which was a pleasant change.

A rare Crayford Cortina took my eye and was great condition.

My car getting a little attention from the public. 🙂

There was a woman just standing behind my car saying “I’m in love.” I heard her as I walked back from the other area and stood next to her. I chatted for a minute or so unaware that I was the owner. She said I want to find the owner and ask if she if she could sit in it. I said to her “I don’t think he would mind”, and I opened the door. She said ‘you can’t do that’ and looked a little worried. I just smiled and said “Don’t worry, it’s mine, and do you still want to sit in it?” With that she handed the reigns for her toddler to her eldest son next to her and sat in my car. She sat there for a minute just staring at the dash. Then she wanted to know what all about the car, so I told her the story. She said that I had made her day, while her children took lots of photo’s of her in the car. I had some as well, but she explained for personal reasons, if I wouldn’t post them on any social media. I agreed of course and she explained to me why. So for that lovely lady, consider your requests granted, but I also have to say it was my favourite part of the day.

Tomorrow I will post ‘part 2’ where we will have the club stands, Hot Rods and some super cars too.

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Strike Three – But Not Out!

Last weekend I went to a car show at the Enfield Pageant of Motoring, and guess what? It rained; OK it wasn’t a bad downpour, but it was still wet stuff from the sky which landed on my car. That’s the first three shows this year that I have attended and rain has appeared, although to be fair it wasn’t until later in the afternoon. This won’t put me off car shows, it just makes me check my useless weather apps more to see what lies they are going to tell me. It seems as though my luck this year with car shows is not going very well at all. I drove to the end of a field and parked up on the Mustang Maniac stand where I meet Adam, Yogi and Paul who were busy getting their priorities right, making the cups of tea. My priority was to start cleaning my car. Simple reason being that the previous day Saturday was a hot day for a change at the show and the entrance car park had dried to a dust bowl. The show cars that were driving into the event were going slowly so as not to kick up much dust and gravel. In other words, showing respect for other people. However some selfish a-hole in a van decided to do mini burnouts every time he moved. Needless to say the dust cloud that enveloped the car park was like cloud of nuclear fallout and just as toxic. Not a great a great start to the show, I wasn’t best pleased.

I have continued to review lots of car cleaning and detailing products as I get a few questions now and again about what products I use on my Mustang as well as the daily driver cars too.

Contrary to popular belief I am not a one brand product devotee, far from it in fact. A big pet hate of mine is where somebody will buy a single product and be brand loyal refusing to admit that some of that brands products are in fact a useless waste of money. Those same people will have blinkered and tunnel vision when it comes to trying other products. My outlook on the matter is simple, I’m still looking for the perfect combination of products for each step I perform whether it be; snow foam, drying, decontamination, cleaners for paint, cleaners for wheels, glass cleaners, polishes, waxes, microfiber cloths, brushes, carpet stain remover, rubber restorer, vinyl cleaner etc. Just about everything I use is in a combination of many products such as Meguiar’s, Auto Finesse, Chemical Guys, Poor Boys World, Mirror Bright, Valet Pro, Dat Wax and so on depending on what is need, and what I intend to do to get the results I want. This time I decided to use a Chemical Guys EcoSmart which is a waterless wash & wax product I have been using for a while now, but just couldn’t get it right to use it properly. The results are amazing (now) which have improved a huge amount since I started to use top quality plush, deep pile microfiber cloths at £5 each and not the 25 cloths for £5 scenario, which aren’t much better than toilet rolls if the truth is to be known. Round two was onto the quick detailer, a brand new product recommended to me which is Chemical Guys – P40. (Yes, I buy ALL my own car cleaning products, and I am unbiased in my reviews.)

The car finished and it looked quite clean again.

The Mustang Maniac stand was starting to get full as I was almost done and was easily the Mustang place to be. There were customers who turned up for a chat, people interested in getting a Mustang, and people who were just happy to be around the cars.

With the car finished some one and half hours later I went for a wonder around the show to look at the cars and stalls.

It was an fairly good show in general, but I think that this show is getting more mainstream rather than car focussed stalls. There were lots of house clearance stalls selling cheap rubbish, stalls that sell plenty of plastic toys and stalls selling a selection of tools (I use that term very loosely), which were aimed at people with an extremely tight budget should we say. For once I didn’t buy anything at all from anybody. The wife says I should take her out for the day with the money I saved, she’s right of course, there is a car show this weekend, I could take her there and maybe get her a burger and buy more stuff for the car.


Classic car owners second worse nightmare? Stone Chips.

The worst nightmare has to be rust, the second has to be the dreaded stone chips. I always drive with an extra spaces between the car in front of me and I back off if somebody pulls into that gap. It seems as though I have been caught out with the hated stone chips. Let’s just say I was pretty pi55ed off and the air was filled with the colourful language that may have slipped out of my mouth on a repeated number of occasions.

I spotted the evil craters from the previous car show and fixed them up before the trip down to Enfield. Although I got another one on the way back from Enfield, I spotted this one when I cleaned the car on Monday. I have done a walkthrough or tutorial guide that works for me under the Menu ‘How To…Projects/Fixing Stone Chips’. Here is just a taster of what I did to fix them. This is only the basic explanation, I fully explain it all here.

Identify the location of the chips by marking with a piece of masking tape.

Thoroughly clean the area with Isopropyl Alcohol (or similar) to remove all waxes and sealants, use lint free panel wipe or similar. Then take a little colour and place into a pot. I had some left from the original paint job so I was lucky in that respect for colour matching.

There are various ways to apply the paint, with a brush, paper, matchstick, toothpick or similar. I use a wooden burger skewer as they are longer, easier to hold and I can sharpen them well without splintering.

The idea is to place a tiny droplet into the centre of the chip so that it sits just proud of the rest of the paint around it. Place the tip of your choice of applicator into the paint and remove it which should now hold a tiny droplet which is held in place by the wood and not running straight off. If you get a big drop you have the chance of it dropping onto places it shouldn’t be, with a lot of recovery work for yourself later.

With the paint drop as small as possible, covering the chip itself and sitting proud of the paint – leave it to dry and cure. Not an hour or two, I’m talking a couple of days, I left mine for a week. This will also allow any waxes to apply to the fresh paint properly.

Next is to get the sanding paper out, I got a wide selection of wet & dry papers starting with coarsest being 1500grit all the way to impossibly fine 8000grit. They are different colours for identification.

I then take my special stone chip tool, a pencil eraser and mark out the width I need on the grades of paper to cut to the size I need. These erasers come in various sizes and shapes for your needs or what suits you.

The idea is to start with the courser grade and work finer to remove the previous sanding marks. I prefer the rubber eraser as it will give slightly to a contour as it’s not rigid, but firm enough to hold the paper flat to the surface. I marked the back of the papers as the cut strips may not show the grit grade itself.

Patience, then use lots more patience.

Wet the area, I use a small travel spray you can get from eBay. Then gently rub the paint drop down keeping the paper flat as possible. A few gentle rubs then check. This will give an idea of how the paint is reacting to the paper and also you don’t want to sand the topcoat or lacquer of the paint if you can help it. You can adjust your technique accordingly.

When you are getting close to the flat paint, swap the papers over to a higher grit. With the sanding the paper may shed and give you a light paste look depending on the type of paper you bought.

The higher the grit number will reduce the previous marks and stop you from rubbing the paint to hard, keep the area wet. Repeat as necessary all the way to the fine grades. When you rub your finger over the chipped area you shouldn’t feel anything at all, it should be glass smooth. If the paint has sunk and you have a pit, stop sanding and add another tiny drop of paint by repeating all the application steps above and let it dry.

Once you are happy with the sanded area then it’s time to bring the car paint back to life. Use a polish that you normally use to remove swirl marks or light scratches. This will remove all the sanding marks, I used Tripple on this occasion as it’s hardly abrasive. Rub into the area using a DA machine or by hand as in my case using the ‘Handipuck’ to get the shine back.

With the area polished it just leaves the protective wax to be applied, this after the hand polish. Pointed out stone chip area with the wooden paint pick tool.

My next step to wax and protect the area. Dat Wax which is show wax and is heavy on oils not the paste style which is ideal for this type of work. Oh, its also blue and smells of beautiful bubble-gum which I reviewed here.

The finished results:

The trouble is, I have to do it all again soon. 😦

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