I am assuming the answer to my question is no, there are no different speeds for foam vs wool. I did not see any specific speeds listed in the detailed instructions.
The speeds for novices, which is where you are at this point, is SLOW!!!! 600-1200 max..
The Perfect-It III listed 1850 rpm as optimal. What do you think?
That is an optimal speed for a pro, 3M's market for "body shop safe" products is Pro's not your average DIY. That speed also aids in the breakdown & to heat up the grit enough to break it down into a diminishingly finer grit.
As a novice if you use 1850 rpm you will be burning pads and compounds and also at risk for burning and discoloring the gelcoat. Don't do it until you get really good and develop "feel". If you have to ask what "feel" is you're not there yet.
When you get there you'll know it.. I wrote those instructions for DIYers using Pro grade products.
This is why I recommend a dedicated compound vs. a "compound that turns into a polish". The only diminishing grit products I really like and recommend are Presta Ultra Cutting Creme & Presta Chroma 1500. You can still run it slow and it still diminishes but one is till a compound that diminishes to offer a low grade polish and the other is a polish that diminishes to a low grade glaze. Presta is hard to find but simply one of the best products in it's class. You will only find it at autobody distributors/wholesalers.
The Perfect-It III is also a diminishing grit type product compound and 3M lists it as their best gelcoat compound (just relating that, don't know whether it is true or not).
I've used it, and it is a decent product, but you still need two steps. It still leaves micro swirls that you'll need a finer polish to remove and does not get as aggressive on the low end as a true compound would. IMHO it's a middle of the road product that neither polishes or compounds all that well.
Contrary to popular belief you can't simultaneously compound and polish with a diminishing grit using a compound grade pad. The compound grade pad is just to aggressive to produce a polish grade shine. On the other hand if you use a lighter grade polishing pad then you can't compound effectively. I know very confusing..
Using that compound with a compound grade pad will give good compounding grade results with perhaps a finer shine than Super Duty Compound but you'd need to really start at a P800 -P1000 grit wet sand and not a P600. Either way you'll still need to follow up with Finesse It II or a product like Presta Chroma 1500. I'd stick with Finesse It II and Super Duty marine rubbing compound.
It is a fairly new product. The shine I got with it and the 3M Superbuff wool pad was very good.
If you used a whitish Superbuff pad the shine was not good enough. Look at it in low light angles and you'll see swirls. A compound grade pad will leave swirls regardless of the product used with it. Swirls attract more UV due to increased surface area of the ridges and valleys..
So the next step is to use Finesse-It polish with a foam pad? What speed (I guess I should say rpm)? Do I also put enough on that there is wet polish to wipe off or should I buff it dry?
Yes Finesse It II and a foam pad #05725. DO NOT buff compound or polish dry! Some Pro's employ some techniques for this with certain products but it should never be done by a novice. I grew up restoring antique show cars with my father, mostly Porsche 356 series, and we never once buffed dry. You just don't do it on 17 coats of nitrocellulose lacquer. Always stop and wipe off the residue with a microfiber rag well before it's dry. If you feel the pad starting to wander, bite or grab at the surface it's getting too dry!
Wax: I live in Oklahoma. VERY hot in summer. The hull is white but I am worried about Carnauba Wax.
I'd still try the Collinite #885 first if you have a white hull. Yes in Florida or the Carib with a dark blue hull NO but with a white hull you should be fine.
Is there a problem with the Meguiar's NXT polymer paste wax? It doesn't say silicone anywhere on it.
I have a can of it if you want it.
Personally I think it is the most over blown and over rated product Meguiars has ever produced. Most ALL commercial waxes have some level of silicone it's a matter of how much. Collinite #885 has less than 2%. This is fine for the wax phase but you would not want it present during the polish or compound phase.
I would almost certainly guarantee, based on day one water beading vs. day 10 of NXT, that it has a LOT more than 2%. Mike Phillips of Meguiars also will not state what level of silicone it has in it and all he'll say is that it is definitely not body shop safe. Silicone in waxes give good initial shine, and this helps to sell product. It is also a cheap filler but also a huge cheat. A fair amount of the silicone oils are washed away during the first wash or rain and you are then left with the meat and bones of the product. With NXT I found very little meat & bones under the "essential" oils.. I tried NXT on my dinghy bottom, I test products there to see how they retard tannin staining, and it lasted all of about two weeks in the ocean before rust and tannins started adhering to the hull. I used in on my wife's car and was not impressed there either. If you want a very good Meguiars wax use #16 Professional Paste Wax. It's a pure carnuba based wax and is comparable to P21S, Collinite Fleet #885 and other true carnuba's.
NXT is a MUCH cheaper consumer grade product for Meguiars to produce and as such they can make more margin. Pure carnuba based waxes are expensive and offer little margin for the manufacturer but they are the most durable of real waxes, but only in paste form.
If you don't want to use a carnuba then my suggestion would be a dirt cheap product called Nu-Finish. It's a polymer that holds up surprisingly well in saltwater marine environment and in my opinion beats the pants off most of the marine rated "liquids" in longevity.
Compounding Grade Pad #05711 (LINK)
Wool Polishing Grade Pad #05713 (LINK)
Foam Polishing Grade Pad #05725 (LINK)