Using a Machine Polisher
Looking for a bit of advice, I still haven't gotten around to using the machine polisher I got for Christmas, but I'm determined to have a go this weekend.
Does anyone have any advice for me - basically I have the handheld machine polisher with finishing pads (a Meguiars G220 orbital polisher), a bottle of Meguiars Speed Glaze #80 and a bottle of Meguiars Machine Polishing Compound #83, plus some lovely Race Glaze 55 signature wax which smells good enough to eat.
It all looks great but I'm not sure what to do with it all :) or which bits I should apply by hand and which with the machine polisher. Basically I haven't a clue.
I think I'll try it out on the wife's Range Rover first, before moving on to anything in the garage, but I'd appreciate any and all advice on how to use it all properly and to best effect.
Strakes, ports, stay away from: I suggest doing those areas by hand...otherwise if a good, orbital one, you should be ok.
if you have not done it, you should clay your car first. I have never put the machine on the fcar since it is hand painted. However, I use it on my other cars. Once you have clayed the car and cleaned it off really good. You may want to start with a paint cleaner. You start by pudding a little dab, about the size of a quarter, then start on low and work your way up to a higher speed until the cleaner has worked its way onto the surface. Then you need to wipe it off with a microfiber towel. Do the whole car, then do it again with a polish of your choice, Then do it again with the wax of your choice, but I prefer to put the wax on by hand, yes, by hand without a pad. Trust me, it works great, a bit messy, but you can get every little section of the car.
If you really want to do it right, you should know that the pads come in different colors for a reason. They are used for specific applications by color. You should read up on what you have and make sure you use the right product (e.g., cleaner, polish, wax) with the right pad.
There is an art and science to buffing/polishing using a machine---Be careful if you do not know what your doing.... Orbital buffers are much more forgiving then a regular buffer, but be careful.....
:yikes: Wait till someone you know is getting ready to donate a car to charity and practice on it first! I used to paint cars and all my experience is with the high speed buffers and I have not tried the one you have but be careful!!!
Keep the pads clean! Stay away from the edges of the panels and any sharp outside curves and keep moving it at all times. When you go back and forth you most likely stop when you are changing directions even though you don't think you are. After you burn the paint a few times you will learn not to do this. You can burn through an edge or a ridge in the panels in an instant, stay away from them. If you are near an edge angle the buffer so the pad is spinning parallel to the edge.
Thanks for the advice guys.
So I'm formulating a plan as follows... (bear in mind the test mule will be the family Range Rover not the Ferrari or Aston).
Wash and dry car.
Clay the car.
Apply Meguiars Machine Polishing compound #83 (with machine polisher and finishing pad)
Remove compound #83 (by hand with micro fibre cloth)
Apply Meguiars Speed Glaze #80 (with machine polisher and finishing pad)
Remove Speed Glaze #80 (by hand with micro fibre cloth)
Apply Race Glaze 55 wax (by hand)
Remove wax (by hand with micro fibre cloth)
Note to self - dont apply any of the above to sharp edges/curves - do this by hand only.
Q to all - should I only use the machine polisher to apply the polishes and not to remove them?
Please feel free to tell me where I am going wrong with the above plan!!! :)
Picures please Barry! Sounds like you've got a great plan. I want to see that F-car with a mile deep shine.
Most of the time you don't really want to let the polishes dry like wax. You can pretty much buff most of it off and even if there is some residue it will come off with the wax. In fact it will come off much easier with the wax.
Periodically clean the buffer pads with a metal object. Most painters carry a blow gun attachment in thier pocket and will use the end to fluff up the pad by running it across the pad while the pad is spinning. Make sure you have whatever object you are using dragging on the pad so it does catch the edge and launch it across the garage. I am assuming you are using some type of lambs wool type of pad?
You'll want to do this before you start if there is any crusty old wax or polish on the pad. You shouldn't have to wash them before each use. They fluff up real nice doing this.
Most everybody here has given fantastic advice! I have been detailing cars for a very long time and I would suggest a few tricks to also help out.
First the clay deal- fantastic idea- I use it with the Meguiars spray wax with the clay
Micro fiber rags- I live by these things. You don't have to go expensive with them, here in the states I pick them up in bulk at target.
I use a dewalt variable speed buffer. I use cotton pads and the foam pads. I keep the speed at its lowest setting unless I'm trying to heat up an area to get rid of scratches I'm too lazy to wet sand. The cotton pad works best for me on an initial buff.
The products I have been the happiest with have been the 3M line.Finesse it and perfect it. I have never tried anything else.
As far as the buffing, I suggest that you place a hunk of cardboard over the cowel of the vehicle and if the vehicle has any black or exposed trim that is rubber- use blue tape to cover them. These is the easiest areas to quickly burn through.
The deal is to go slow and be consistent- I do a panel at a time.
If the vehicle is heavily oxidized- take a spray bottle and keep the surface wet as you buff, not my favorite method but sometimes the paint calls for it, mostly on older non clear coated cars. It makes a huge mess either way.
I normally keep the buffer flat but as you get comfortable with the machine and understand what is going on, you will get a feel for using the pad on a bevel.
Stay away from the crisp edges and or panel changes, first time out- you run the risk of burning the paint.
Not knowing your skill set- I will go into it a bit more. Do your roof first and move down from there. I do the hood last as it always seems like I have to start and move the car after washing. You want to stay away from a hot surface. I do the sides next and then the trunk and then the hood.
I do it in this way whether I clay the car or not. Not every buff requires a clay.
Another point is that if the car has any black areas where you are going to apply any silicone type of material or if you spray the tires and wheel wells, do all of this before you hand wax the car. The wax will get rid of any LIGHT overspray.
I then hand wax the car starting with all the jambs first and them move from the top to the hood and trunk.
I don't normally put any of this information out there because there is always someone who knows better- Like I said before I have been detailing cars as a hobby and professionally for the better part of 15 years, this system is what works for me and my very select clients. Are there other ways of doing it....yes, but this is how I do it and I hope it helps.:wall:
Excellent advice and I appreciate everybodies input. Any more gems of wisdom please put them up.
I'll take a few pics and report back as soon as I've had a go on the jeep. (fingers crossed for a bit of dry weather - can't fit it in the garage and work on it at the same time!)
Barry, sorry to not have replied sooner, had a very hectic couple of weeks. You are right regarding the order of your process.
Apply Meg's 83 (use the polishing pad- yellow pad)
You may need to do a couple of passes with this stage to remove deeper scratches.
Remove 83 with microfibre (fold M/F in half, then half again. This will act as a cushion, ensuring you don't apply too much pressure. turn the M/F frequently, using a clean side after re-folding.
Apply Meg's 80 (use a new polishing pad- yellow pad) if your happy with the finish you may goto straight to the Finishing pad (Oatmeal Colour)
Remove 80 with M/F
Wax (Do one panel at a time. Most wax's need 10 minutes to cure, but RG55 only takes 5 mins, any longer it will set like concrete, and be a nightmare to get off. Use the yellow applicator supplied, don't plaster the wax on, a very thin coat is only required, you should hardly see the wax on the surface. After removal, wait at least an hour before re-applying another coat, 24 hrs is perfect. 2 coats will be optimum for performance and durability.
To apply the polish, put 4 small blobs on the pad, one in each corner approx 1" away from the edge of the pad. dab the pad onto panel in several area's. Split panels into smaller area's, eg doors, top/bottom, roof, into quarters, bonnet in quarters aswell. place polisher onto panel, and turn on, using speed 1, spread the polish around your working area, when you have acheived this turn speed upto 4/5 and "work" polish in using "passes" up and down movements, overlapping the previous one, then left to right movements, again overlapping. You will see the polish start to turn from a white liquid into a clear liquid, this is when the polish has done it's work, and after another pass or two you can stop, and remove the polish residue. Barry, i have a fantastic tutorial DVD from Meg's if you would like to borrow it until you are happy with your work. Please PM me with details on where to send it. Looking forward to seeing the pics. Any help, please ask, you know i'm here to help. :thumbsup:
It seems like a lot of American garages too are being built assuming we are all driving a Smart for Two.
Well just after spending nearly 10 hours on the Aston. Story so far...
Car was manky, last serious cleaning was in Oct and I've been driving it through rain and snow every day since. Started with a good power hosing, wash and then on to the clay bar. Never used clay before and I can't believe how good this stuff is. The bodywork is like glass again! I'm definitely converted.
Then broke out the machine polisher (after testing on the MX5!), entire car machine polished, panel by panel first with Megs 83 polish with a polishing pad, then same process all over again with Megs 80 speed glaze and a finishing pad.
I can hardly walk now! Got to dark to keep going, but tomorrow a.m. plan is to apply the wax (Race Glaze 55) to protect my hard work, then de-tar the alloys, shampoo the carpets and polish the inside. Probably another few hours work!
Have to say it though - I enjoyed my day :crowngrin:. Once the Aston is done (and my confidence boosted!) I'll move on to the Ferrari.
Will post a couple of pics of the Aston tomorrow when its completed (and I know I should have taken before and after pics but I forgot!).
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