Dual action polisher pads and product

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Old 07-13-18, 07:45 PM
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Dual action polisher pads and product

I purchased a 6-inch dual action polisher and have some questions about pads and product. I plan on using the polisher to primarily wax my cars. I also want to remove some scratches and blemishes. I watched several videos on how to use the polisher but I am still confused as to the right combination of pad and product to use. 1. What pad and product would I use to remove scratches? 2. What pad and product would I use to wax the car? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
 
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Old 07-14-18, 12:54 AM
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My DA polisher for waxing uses simple cotton bonnets, I see a lot of foam products out there but have never used.

To remove scratches I use a high speed polisher with wool pad.

The DA polisher is not the right tool for scratch removal, it's too slow!
 
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Old 07-14-18, 10:05 AM
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For someone starting out, use the least abrasive pads and products to start. A high speed polisher with a wool pad can burn right through any paint. Fast and effective for sure, but unrecoverable damage if you are not an experienced detailer.

If you don't achieve the outcome with light abrasive and softer/less abrasive pads, you move up incrementally. Under polishing does no harm. It is all about patience, and learning how the products work through experimentation. Foam pads seem easiest to work with, hold the product without slinging, and the density and abrasion of foam can be engineered for all types of purposes. Just need to make sure they are clean and have not picked up and grit.

I like the Autogeek site for products, and knowledge. Here is a pad kit that will deal with light swirl removal, and general wax buffing, the two needs you have. Lake Country makes very good pads. https://www.autogeek.net/bf100.html

The Griots polishes are pretty good, fairly straightforward to understand the use of each type. https://www.griotsgarage.com/categor...s+compounds.do

If you used the Griots correcting cream, with the Lakes polishing pad noted, and then wax your paint it will look better than new. Scratches might not be removed, but will be minimized. The whole point is these products are not very aggressive. Hard to do damage with these two products, even if you go polish crazy with too much speed or pressure on the pads. Polishing can be a bit addictive!

Put masking tape on seams and ridges on the panels you are working on, these are the areas where newbies burn through surprisingly quickly and get discouraged. Work an area of about a square foot, polish and remove product before it dries, polish again and again if you like. Sometimes a little detailing spray on a microfiber cloth will make the polish removal easier if it had started to dry. Patience is the key, this is not a project to rush.

As for deep scratch removal, sometime the solution is to wet sand with very fine, eg. 2000 grade sandpaper, and then polish out with moderate abrasion pads/compounds graduating to finer compounds. While scratch removal is possible you will thin the paint layer right to the margin of sanding or polishing through. This can be tough to do, even for experts, who would often prefer to respray a badly scratched area. Best to settle for minimizing the scratch appearance in most cases, less aggressive polishing rounds off the scratch edges and can safely improve appearance considerably.


As you are probably noticing, this is an art with a bit of science, so you will get plenty of product and pad recommendations, there is lots of room for personal preference.

But my main advice is go for a good finish outcome, not speed.


By the way, final waxing by hand is still the best, the buffer will just do things faster and be easier on your biceps/shoulder. The polishing is what makes for the spectacular finish outcome.
 
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Old 07-14-18, 12:35 PM
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By the way, final waxing by hand is still the best
Right, I just did 4 of our cars last week, I do not have the time to enjoy hand waxing, that is the purpose of the DA, gets the job done fast.

BTW, if you want a really good once a year wax, get Meguires Poly 20, have been using for close to 30 years, the only wax that really lasts a full year!
 
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Old 07-14-18, 01:31 PM
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Thanks for all the info. I just wanted a faster way to wax my 4 cars and get rid of some shopping cart scratches. Getting too old and too busy to manually wax. WOW! I didnít realize how involved using a polisher could be. In my day when we referred to polishing a car we meant waxing. (manually) I found out it means something else when using a polishing machine. Anyway, I will continue to research. Thanks again..
 
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Old 07-14-18, 06:44 PM
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Marq1

Thanks for the info. I'm still shopping for pads and was wondering if SPTA pads are any good.
 
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Old 07-15-18, 07:43 AM
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speed

With four cars to polish and wax, then yes speed and reducing the physical burden will be helpful. Pick your least favorite car to experiment with!

Modern clear coat car paints are not as hard or thick as the single pack solvent based paints back in the day, Japanese cars in particular have quite a soft paint. Over polishing has more risk than it used to.

Once you do the proper polish, you don't have to do it again for along time to come, you just use a regular wax, with a non abrasive pad. So its really a one time effort to set the stage. Like any paint job, all the important work is in the prep of the surface.

You could indeed just use an old style combined wax and polish and any light polish pad, and you will still get a pretty good outcome without any fuss. It's as complicated an exercise as one wants to make it, but the results of the greater complexity of products can be impressive.

As for pads, the very soft ones are for wax applying/removal, the harder pads for polishing, the harder a pad it is generally more abrasive.

SPTA pads are Chinese made. What you want is the correct density for the purpose, and there are even knockoffs of SPTA pads, the densities are not always consistent with the colour coding they use to identify the pad abrasion level. You also don't want the glue of the Velcro backing pads to separate while you are polishing, you will only understand this problem if it happens to you.

I would stick with 3M, Meguires, or the top of the line Lakes pads noted. Most polishes are water emulsions, so you wash the pads when done, they can be reused for along time. More fuss of course, than just throwing a cheaper pad away after a single use.
 
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Old 07-15-18, 12:53 PM
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Thanks. That’s what I needed to know. I'll buy some of the better pads. And your correct I only intend to compound/polish one entire car. The others I’ll just compound where there are scratches. And probably won’t compound again unless I get more scratches. I’ll mostly be doing a yearly wax. I’m not looking for showroom results. Just an easier way to wax my cars to protect the paint. And since I have the machine I may as well try to buff out some scratches. I have an older car I can experiment with.
 
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Old 07-15-18, 08:59 PM
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I found some pads by Chemical Guys HEX. Seen these used alot on the videos I watched. Are they good? I noticed the pads are 6.5" not 6".
 
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Old 07-16-18, 07:19 PM
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Pads

The Chemical Guys Hex pads are also made in China, I think they changed suppliers a couple of years ago so can't comment on the current offering, not sure they are any better than other Chinese pads probably sold by the same supplier, but I am not sure. A Chinese pad might well be made properly. I suspect they are fine, Chemical guys are a good mid price point supplier, but they are not known for their pads.

I personally think a smooth rather then serrated or waffled pattern is better, you want maximum pad contact and allow the self reducing abrasives in most polish compounds to actually gain surface contact and break down as they are supposed to. The indents will just limit this, but that's just my observations.

6.5 pad on a 6 inch backer would be normal, you want some pad overhang so you don't bump trim accidentally. Its kind of a safety margin. Some use a 7.5 pad on a 6 inch backer for larger jobs, but the a big pad can vibrate more, 6.5 on 6 is pretty much normal. Many 6 inch pads are actually a bit larger, to make sure that the odds of the backer plate hitting the car surface are reduced. 6.5 pretty much gets rid of the risk.
 
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Old 07-16-18, 08:03 PM
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ok. Thanks. Ill look at the ones you suggested.
 
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