Edging is the practice of polishing around the edges before polishing the rest of the panel. This means that you take the time to polish these relative sensitive areas first before working on the complete panel.This minimizes the risk of a strike through or burn through on the edge of the paintwork.
What is edging
When polishing a panel you can divide the panel into sections. The most popular way is to “cut” the panel in pieces of roughly 40cm by 40cm. But another way of dividing sections can be to use “edge” or “center”. The edge is the first 10cm of the panel, looking from the edges. The center is obviously the center of the panel, the part that is not within 10cm of the edge. Some detailer prefer to see a sharp corner/bend as an “edge”. By polishing the edges first, you can focus on working carefully on this relative sensitive area first before working on the larger center section of the panel. This technique was popular with wetsanding practices, as the edges are normally not, or only slightly, wetsanded. By putting more focus on these areas, the detailer can prevent going to fast and polishing through the clear coat or colored coat.
Why do edging?
Corners, edges and sharp bends often have a less thick layer of paint, which means that polishing this area increases the risk of burning through the paintwork. Polishing and perfecting this area requires more attention and care then most other areas. Using the practice of edging will help to prevent causing damage on these sensitive areas. Some detailers prefer to use 1 pad, and do the entire panel with this pad. Its quicker and easier. When the luxury of having enough time is present, one could opt to put more effort, attention and care into working on these areas by using the edging technique. However, this would require the use of a smaller pad and possible a second polishing machine.
The advantage of edging?
Although the technique itself doesn’t have a particular benefit, the mindset of the detailer is different. Instead of polishing an entire area, the detailers mind is focused on perfecting this particular, delicate area. Basically, the technique itself is not as much the advantage, but the mindset and approach is different, helping to keep the focus on working on a delicate area.