By Aaron Krause of Dedication to Detail, Inc.
The Edge 2000 System is a revolutionary, patented buffing pad system that uses a center adapter, rather than a backing plate, to attach the pads to the buffer. This unique system, combined with DuraFoam, has made the Edge 2000 pads a popular choice of D.A. and rotary users, professionals and hobbyists.
Aaron Krause, president and CEO of Dedication to Detail, gave us the history behind the success of his company and their one-of-a-kind pads, in his own words:
"Where to begin……
I guess it all started in High School summer of 1985 when to make extra money I would walk around the neighborhood door to door with a shopping cart full of supplies asking people if they wanted their cars washed. That business was so successful that I had to clear out my parent’s garage, add some lights and continue doing it over the winter on the weekends to meet the demand. I continued this every summer during my breaks from Syracuse University.
At graduation my very professional parents, both of whom are doctors, asked what I thought I would do now with a marketing degree. I answered that I thought I would like to start my own business. They were both very proud until I said that I wanted to start a detailing business. Although my father was not so excited about me not becoming a doctor or lawyer, he did say he would he would loan me as much money as I could save over the summer in order to start the business. So, in Oct of 1992 I opened the door of Dedication To Detail, Inc.
One month later I was picking up a new customers’ car and realized that their house was next to an old friend of mine. I decided to stop in and see what he was up to. It was late morning, and I had been up since 6:00 a.m. cleaning cars, but Saul was still in his boxer shorts when he answered the door and let me know that I had just interrupted his best Nintendo score! After some small talk, Saul told me that his job hunting was not going so well since, in 1992, there was a recession and jobs were hard to find. I invited Saul to spend the day with me and see what I was doing, and later offered for him to join the business.
Within 3 months we had grown so much that we could no longer stay in the two-bay garage we rented and had to move. We custom fit a new location with water, heat, light, electric, drains, and much more and opened our five-bay detailing facility in early 1993. Again, business was booming and we soon had 9 employees plus Saul and I, who now were busy with customers, pick up and delivery, and paperwork. It was a very grueling business with a lot of problems; mainly that good help was hard to find. One day we discovered that some of our employees were pouring out their Coke cans and filling them with booze. All day they were drinking and working, and damaging cars. We of course fired about 5 guys in one day, which left Saul and I to work on the cars again.
Now back then everyone used wool to buff cars, but a new material had just been introduced and we always liked to be on the cutting edge of technology, so we tried it out. It was a foam pad. The first ones were just simple die cut circles with Velcro® on the top. I was buffing an expensive Mercedes one day, trying to do a good job and get all the way under a mirror, when I accidentally hit the plate against the mirror. The grinding sound made me jump and I broke off the whole mirror. It cost about $700.00 to fix. I was so angry and upset, mainly that the pad and plate were not designed for safety and to allow someone to buff all over the car. I was sure that I was buying the wrong pads so I asked around for a pad that had some edges, and one that the backing plate was recessed into the pad, but all the distributors told me they had never seen a pad like that. Saul and I thought that if there was a pad like that we sure would buy it, so we decided to try to have one made.
We first met with a family friend who was a patent lawyer who told us that we could get a patent on the product (which we received one year later). Then we contacted many companies all over the USA that cut foam. They all told us that that kind of a pad could not be made, and if it could it would cost $150,000.00 just to try to make a machine to do it. Even the guys who said that if we paid them for the machine, the cost per pad would be so much that no one would buy them. After about 6 months of traveling and rejections, we almost gave up.
Then I remembered another family friend who was kind of a crackpot engineer. As a last effort I called him and told him what I wanted to do. He said to come down to his shop and we would work on it. About 2 weeks later we emerged with some customized band saws and drill presses and the first prototype Edge pad! I took it back to our detail shop and immediately we knew we had a winner. Our guys loved them. We placed some ads in trade magazines and within a few months were selling all over the USA. At one point Saul and I would run the detail business all day and then, in one of the detailing wash bays, we would make the pad orders all night.
We finally could not keep it up and sold the detailing business in 1995 and began manufacturing buffing pads full time. We outgrew our first location, a 400 sq. ft. store front in 1997, and built some serious custom robotic machines the same year to speed production and make pads more precisely. Then in early 2000, we had the idea to take the Edge concept even further by making the pads double-sided. At the time, there were double sided wool pads but no foam ones so we made some samples of foam screw-on pads, but no one wanted them. We found that with the quickness of Velcro® now, no one wanted to screw the pads on and off. That led us to realize that if the pads were double sided quick connect/disconnect we would have another revolutionary product. We applied for the patent which we received, actually 2 of them, and created the first ones in 2002.
Realizing that our system worked not only for foam pads, we began working on creating a new line of wool pads. At the time there were only really 2 kinds of wool pads and two colors. We created the first 5 colored, textured line of wool pads. Then in 2003 we received another patent on the first indicator wear line in a wool buffing pad.
A few years later we adapted the system to the Porter Cable machines and added 6 inch DA pads to our line. More recently, while giving a tour of the factory to a new customer, we were asked if we could use our soft lamb’s wool to make wash mitts as well as buffing pads. Seeing no reason not to, we began working on prototypes but each one was unacceptable. We found the hairs wound up, and trapped dirt, they laid down flat to quickly, and they felt like wet moldy bags that no one wanted to put on. We thought maybe it was something we were doing so we bought all the other mitts on the market. They all did the same things, so we went out to detail shops to see how they used them, and we found the same things, actually worse. We found dead bugs, small stones, twigs, and all kinds of dirt, wound up in the hairs. After this experience we decided that we did not want to make another wash mitt that was just as bad as all the others and make a commodity product with no unique qualities so we passed on the project. For weeks it bothered me that people were using this type of tool to wash cars and scratch them. I thought there must be a better material for car washing that would act like the fiber type mitts. We began working on a new Wa-Sh–MiTT which became its name in August 2006 and finished both the product and machine to make them the next month.
At the same time, by popular demand, we began working on a 4 inch version of the Edge2000 double-sided pads, which we expect to launch the first of the year. They will not only be a great addition to our line for rotaries and PC’s, but will revolutionize the Cyclo machines as well.
We have made it our mission to always be on the cutting Edge of change and technology, and couple that with world class customer service. By listening to our customers needs and not being afraid to change and adapt, we pledge to continue to develop new and innovative tools for the industry."