Shawn F.

Buffer Pads!

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I have a question or questions that I have about buffers and the pads people use with them. First off I will start with this... I learned to buff and polish about 4 or 5 years ago and worked in a paint/body shop doing restorations on high end hot rods and some every day drivers. I was taught a lot of things by an old timer which IMO is the best and sometimes doing this is good but brings on a few bad habbits or "old school" ways as some like to call it. I have worked around people that are up to date on things and use power tools and are more "new school". I have messed with both ways of doing things, found what worked for me and stuck with it. I am ALWAYS open to new ideas and try anything and everything I possibly can and usually will stick with my original method but tweak it a bit after I find that the new way has a few good sides to it. Anyways, as for buffing and polishing a vehicle this is how I've always done it... DeWalt or Makita buffer with wool pad for cutting and grey 3M waffle foam pad for polishing and swirl removal along with compound, swirl eliminator, glaze/polish. That's IT! I like to keep things very basic and minimal but use high end products and get a high end looking job.

Here is where my question comes into play...

I see lots of people on detailing forums saying they use Orbital polishers, rotory buffers and cyclo's and then they have an Orange pad, green pad, yellow pad, white pad, 6 different compounds, polishes, swirl removers, sealers, etc... What is the use of using all of this and are Lake Country pads the best?

Like I said I am always willing to try new things out and wanting to know if I am missing something here and if this way that I am seeing will speed up my buffing process compaired to the old wool pad and grey waffle polish pad? I've always said that if something works for you and it gets the job done then stick with it but I feel like maybe there is something else out there that will work for me, get the job done correctly and do it QUICKER.

 

Any oppinions and information would be greatly appreciated!

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Shawn

 

There is no best way of doing anything, just what is best for you. As you mentioned there is a trend in some circles to use a vast array of products, and techniques to polish a car, with some, the mantra is use the most, and others it's keep it simple, I subscribe to the second line of thought.

 

We use 2 compounds and 1 polish with 3 pads. By varing the pad/product combination I can achieve the level of agressivness I need, and the level of simplicity that make us profitable.

 

On any given car we rarely go more than 2 steps, but the first step is the one that counts, chosing the mildest combo that will do the job. I use Optimum compounds and polishes combined with LC pads. I prefer the tufted foam pads, but again it's just personal preference.

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Thank you Yvan. I will be purchasing these Lake Country pads and see how they do since I need some new ones. Do you use all foam pads for cutting and polishing? If so then this is something I am willing to try again because in the past I have used them and did not care too much for them. I did use a Meguires (maroon colored) one before and it did a great job but I always fell back on my wool pad. Only thing I do not like about the wool is the dust and hairs or dust balls they give off, especially when new. I already quit using 3M for detailing because of dusting and Optimum compound and polish helped with that part but now I just have the dusting issue of the wool pad so switching to a foam and getting used to it would be great.

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Yvan puts it very well and the only thing I can add is try the Lake Country foam wool pads, their white polishing pads and blue finishing pad.

 

I use these pads the most, many times in that order. Now paints vary and some Japanese paints caqn get grabby with certain pads so you may need to get creative in your pad/product choice to offset this.

 

Anthony

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Yes the foamed wool pad is our go to pad for the worst case cars, with the Hyper compound it's a force to be reconned with. Be sure to get the LC backing pad as well, it fits in the pads perfectly, and is flexible.

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Ok well it looks like I need to get these then. I will need to learn which ones to use and which works best for me. Usually for a basic compounding to get rid of light scratches and hard water spots which pad and compound do I use? I am guessing regular compound and NOT Hyper correct?

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Depends on the paint type. On 911's I would never use the Hyper with a wool pad but on the Cayenne it might be an option if the paint is wrecked enough because the paint is uber hard.

 

Optimum has a re-worked compound and finishing polish in the works but for now if the Hyper doesn't work well then try the Extra Cut from 3M. It's very pricey but it works great. I have found that the new Optimum Polish covers a wide range of uses when fitted with various pads, everything from foamed wool to 100ppi finishing pads.

 

Anthony

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Sounds good Anthony. I have 3M Extra Cut Compound so I am covered there. :beerchug[1]: 3M's Ultrafina Swirl Eliminator is great too.

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If you don't already have one remember to get the Lake Country pad washing System 2000, this little bucket will keep your pads longer, and allow you to clean them at any time during the paint correction process, also when working with Optimum compounds I find they work best with a damp pad, the System 2000 makes them so.

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Sounds good Yvan, I will look into getting that as well. I like to keep my pads as clean as possible and last as long as possible. Pads alone add up to a lot of money. People dont realize how much money one has in just a buffer bag such as pads, backing plates, buffer, compounds, polishes, swirl remover, etc etc.

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I am going to get ready to buy some Lake Country pads to try out and here is my list...

Wool/Foam pad, White and Blue pad. Now this will be my process so please tell me if this sounds correct... I will use the wool/foam blend pad for compound, white for polishing to remove swirls with the poli-seal and then white to finish one last time with poli-seal?

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I would use the wool with the polish or the compound then polish with the white pad and the polish. After this step you can go with Poli-Seal and the blue pad or pick up a bottle of ultra fina from 3M and do another finer polish mainly for the darker finishes. Then seal.

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I thought Poli-Seal is supposed to eliminate polishing by being a polish itself and actually removing swirls and not just filling them? Is this not true or am I doing something wrong then?

Here is what I do now... I have 2 or 3 pads. One wool pad and one waffled grey 3M polishing pad. That is it. I use the wool with compound, get out the scratches, then the swirls are there from wool and compound so I use Poli-Seal with the waffle polish foam pad and eliminate the swirls with that and it seals at the same time. I then go over with opti-seal twice and then spray wax and am done. That is pretty much my process and it works for me but like I said before, I am open to other options or oppinions and do not mind trying something else that might work better or quicker...

What do you guys think then? When I first learned to buff a car and remove swirls I was first compounding with heavier compound, then wipe down the car, go over with a light compound, wipe the car, going over with swirl eliminator, then swirl remover/glaze and then waxing. Now that is a LOT of steps which I eliminated or dropped down to just compounding, poli-seal, opti-seal and then wax. I hope I am doing it correctly here.

Thanks again for anymore oppinions! Also if you dont mind posting your guys' ways of buffing a vehicle.

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I would use the wool with the polish or the compound then polish with the white pad and the polish. After this step you can go with Poli-Seal and the blue pad or pick up a bottle of ultra fina from 3M and do another finer polish mainly for the darker finishes. Then seal.

BTW Ron, I am not questioning your oppinion here or doubting you, I am just trying to clear up the poli-seal thing mostly and getting others oppinions on how they buff a car too. I am always trying different ways of doing things and trying different products. I have down my own way of doing things now but still have small things here and there I dont like in my process and some of my products I use but I have narrowed it all down and am very close to a perfect process that works great for me.

Also, where is the best place to order these pads? I see AutoGeek sells them along with Detail City and some other places. I have always bought products straight from companies and have not really used a detail website. Which website has the best prices and service for buying all sorts of detailing equipment and materials?

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Ok Shawn this is top secrete so don't tell any one. :spoton[1]:

 

Here is how anthony approach it.

After we wash and clay we evaluate the finish. Not every job will need a wool step.

Not every customer is going to pay for the wool step. Lastly not every customer is concerned with total correction.

All this considered.

When we use wool pad we will polish to remove wns swirls from the wool with polish. The poliseal dose hide imperfections and will correct the smaller ones.

 

Now some of the new compounds like the Meguiars 105 or the 3M you might be able to do this but only if you use a green or white foam pad with the compound.

The Optimum compound (not the Hyper compound) will work with foam like this as well. And you may be able to finish with the Poli-Seal.

I personally like to be sure that the paint is corrected prior to sealing so we take the extra needed steps to insure that when the wax or sealant wears off the customers car they don't see swirls.

 

Poli-Seal is a good product but you really need to be sure that you have corrected the finish.

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