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Car Buffing


Masking the vehicle to protet plastic and trim.

After buffing with the blue pad and 1020 we were almost satisfied as the paintwork which now had depth and shine, but there were holograms which needed removing. I used the black finishing pad and a cutting wax.
The wax does contain nano abrasives which reduce down to nothing as they are worked. These very fine abrasives will finally reduce the micro scratches as small as they will go, while the speed and heat generated by the buffing pad will finally smooth over the peaks.

I believe that to remove holograms caused by a rotary buffer, you need to use a rotary buffer. And only a rotary buffer with 8" pads can cause the friction needed to let the polishes and compounds work at their optimum temperature. With the larger diameter pad, the outside is traveling much faster than a 6" buffing pad at the same RPM.

To test this I took 8", 6" and 4" black finishing pads made by the same company and tested them on a Makita rotary, a Porter-Cable and a Cyclone.

I then buffed a section of bonnet with each of the machines. The Porter-Cable with 6" (150mm)pad performed badly and actually put scratches back into the paintwork, meaning that it wasn't as good as the rotary with the blue pad. This is partly because it is a random orbital, it has a smaller pad size and this means that it cannot generate any heat. And partly because the machine is designed as a grinder and is poorly balanced - good technique and a light even touch is essential to get the best results. But it is very difficult to do this with the porter cable.

Masking out the roof

The Cyclone with twin 4"(100mm) pads performed better as it was easier to handle, especially as it was a lightweight plastic version of the machine. But it still actually put more holograms in rather than taking them out.

Neither could compare to a rotary, at 2000rpm it creates the heat needed to give the best final result and remove holograms. It's always true that you should let the machine do the work, the higher the speed and larger the pad, the more friction is generated, meaning less pressure and less holograms. In these final stages of buffing I am actually lifting weight off the buffing pad so that it has only the most gentle touch on the surface of the clear coat. This is the only way to create a deep shine and true mirror finish so the paint really is as smooth as glass.

A mirror finish.



This page was last updated on Tue, 3 November, 2009
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