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post #271 of 348 Old 04-02-2016
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

I'm going to be compound/polishing the deck on my S2 soon. Does anyone have tips for polishing non-skid?
Are wool pads even worth trying, or some kind of brush?

Another question while I'm at it: the birds did some nasty feasting on my deck, and I could not get it all out in the Fall.
Someone suggested bleach/water 50/50. Or should I use On/Off or something like that?

thanks for any ideas.
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post #272 of 348 Old 04-02-2016
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
I've got two buffers : The Makita 9227C, and a Porter Cable random-orbit one. While the Makita is great for doing large, uninterrupted areas of gelcoat like topsides, I found the Porter Cable easier to handle in more complex areas like the cockpit and top of the cabin. Maybe that's partly because I have a smaller boat, a 31-footer.

I bought this set of foam pads for the Porter Cable in 5" diameter, from Griots Garage :

5" Orbital Conversion Kit - Griot's Garage

So these are even smaller than the standard 6" ones that come with the buffer. It does not cut through oxidisation as quickly as the Makita, but the final results were most acceptable. Plus, I've polished two cars with them since.
Thanks MarkSF. Something along those lines is what I'm thinking. I realize that I'll need to some areas by hand, but there are plenty of cockpit sections and cabin side areas that could use a buffer -- just not a 9" pad like on the hull.
Cheers,
J
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post #273 of 348 Old 04-09-2016
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

I'm about to start polishing the deck of my boat and I'd really appreciate some advice about foam buffer pads.

I've read this thread several times and it doesn't answer what follows.

I haven't figured out yet how far down I need to go in grit to start but I suspect 800 then 1000 wet paper will do - 1000 only, if I'm lucky. Then I'll use a white wool pad for the coarse compound. (I have an 8" Snap-On VS sander polisher for this as well as a cheapy 6" VS R/O sander polisher)

After that I have a whole pile of different foam pads I can choose from - I got one of those 20 gallon Rubbermaid tubs full of various hardness foam disks and Velcro pads for next to nothing at a kind of liquidation store a couple of years ago. I have them in sizes to fit both my machines.

I have thick red, white & blue foam disks (like cheese wheels) of differing stiffness, thinner, flat grey waffle pattern foam and thinner, curved grey waffle pattern foam (semi-circular face).

What I need is advice on is which foam to use with which compound/polish/wax.

Are the harder foams for the coarser levels or vice versa?

Have I provided enough info to make any sort of choice?

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #274 of 348 Old 04-09-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

Unless you are buying professional grade foal pads from the likes of Lake Country, Meguiars etc. don't count on the colors identifying anything with any level of "cut" accuracy. Cheapo foam pads are all over the place and the color is often non-specific.

I stick with Lake Country CCS pads when working with Imron or Awlcraft 2000, via RO machine (Flex 3401 VRG). For gelcoat I use orbital and wool pads. The 3M fam pads used to hold up better but they really are quite lousy these days and once you use the CCS the waffle pads seem so stone age..

I'm not a big fan of foam on gelcoat and much prefer white wool then yellow wool or cutting wool and finishing wool.

Unless you have a Flex RO (or comparable), the RO's are pretty poorly suited for buffing gelcoat. I own a few RO machines, a Griot's RO, a Porter Cable RO & a Flex 3401.. There is no comparison between the Porter Cable / Griot's level and the Flex. The Snap-On orbital polisher, if it's the Blue Point variable 600 RPM to 3000 RPM, is almost a direct knock off of the Makita, so stick with that and you'll be good.

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 04-09-2016 at 12:45 PM.
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post #275 of 348 Old 04-09-2016
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

Thanks Maine. I've determined I have to start with 800, then 1200 then on to the compounds. I'm using a pro grade white wool wheel for the coarse cutting compound and a different one for the fine compound - both on the Snap-On.

My basic question about the foam wheels is;

Are the harder foams for coarser compounds and the softer foams for finer finishing like polishing wax or vice versa?

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #276 of 348 Old 04-11-2016
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

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Originally Posted by overbored View Post
this is the Flex machine I have been thinking about getting Chemical Guys - Flex PE8 Kompakt Rotary Polisher With Extra Backing Plate
Has anybody tried using this? It looks like the perfect tool to compound, polish and wax my very neglected cabin and cockpit areas. My large Makita 9227C is great for the topsides, but not practical for the tight curves an spaces on deck.
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post #277 of 348 Old 04-11-2016
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

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Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
Thanks Maine. I've determined I have to start with 800, then 1200 then on to the compounds. I'm using a pro grade white wool wheel for the coarse cutting compound and a different one for the fine compound - both on the Snap-On.

My basic question about the foam wheels is;

Are the harder foams for coarser compounds and the softer foams for finer finishing like polishing wax or vice versa?
Generally yes, but it is hard to tell from the feel. It also has to do with the size of the pores and other things. It gets quite complicated, but with the "good pads" I find there is very little difference between the "cutting" and the "finishing" foam pads. I bought a kit of 6 different Lake County pads, and if I had it to do over again I would just get a cutting pad and finishing pad, I think the between are only useful if you are working on very good condition show cars. Not something I do, but I do like my daily driver to look good, and my boat will be painted so there won't be too much buffing on it, and it won't be for a couple of seasons before I get to that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MY36 View Post
Has anybody tried using this? It looks like the perfect tool to compound, polish and wax my very neglected cabin and cockpit areas. My large Makita 9227C is great for the topsides, but not practical for the tight curves an spaces on deck.
Well Flex it as good as it gets, but it would only be useful for very small sections, I would be tempted to just do it by hand in those areas unless you have other uses. Also I am not sure they offer wool pads for it and that is the best for gel coat. I would consider the same backing plate for your Makita:

Chemical Guys - TORQ R5 Rotary Red Backing Plate with Hyper Flex Technology (3 inch)

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post #278 of 348 Old 05-02-2016
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Do some tests areas.
Ultra Cutting Creme with yellow wool
if that does not cut it
Gelcoat Compound with yellow wool
If that does not cut it
Gelcoat Compound with white wool
I'm starting small, looking to bring back the blue gelcoat sheer-stripe on my 32-footer.

Boat is in the water, will be doing this by hand at the dock. We're talking less than 20 square feet of surface.

I know there is a lot of info in this thread about the best pads to use with a buffer.... are there recommendations about pads to use without a buffer? Would a simple sponge, or a soft-cotton diaper be viable or are there better approaches?

Plan B might be to use a Meguiars "ball" in a cordless, but... would kinda rather do this by hand if I can.

Thanks!
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post #279 of 348 Old 05-02-2016
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

I've used diaper (or cotton similar) on my boat for touch-ups. You should get a very nice job for such a small area. Power tools make it easier and probably will giive you a deeper shine, but for the stripe, you'll get some good results. Depends on your standards, I guess.
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post #280 of 348 Old 05-03-2016
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Re: Tips For Compound, Polish & Wax

For a chalky boot stripe near the waterline with boat in the water I would start with wet sandpaper, 2000-4000 grit. With this, the copious water becomes your friend, not your enemy.

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