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Machine Polishing Newb - What am I doing wrong?


K5/TBSS
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I was very excited to try out my new Porter Cable on my TBSS. I had already done a mild paint correction a few months ago with the hand applicators. After a few passes of all 3 polishes, I'm still finding quite a few scratches in the clearcoat. I taped off a place for a comparison. Sucky iPhone pic, I agree, but it's all I have...

 

IMG_1664_zpscda88d7c.jpg

 

The "taped" section is about the width of the reflection of the light... Hopefully you all can see it. I had no luck photographing the scratches still there. So my question is...

 

What am I doing wrong? Do I need to go over it a few more times with the 3 polishes? Am I not spending enough time on each section? Have I reached the limit of what the PC can do? Am I being too picky?

 

I did clean my pads about halfway through the truck with the pad cleaning brush (over the trash can). I'm not sure how clean they actually came - in the video, Dylan uses a Flex. On speed 1 with the PC, it hardly vibrates enough for any noticeable debris, and definitely doesn't spin at all.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Hard to tell from the picture what exactly you're dealing with. Can see a distinct improvement from the taped area, but the blur from the light is obscuring everything else.

 

try taking a picture using only the flash on your camera... no additional light. That will generally highlight paint issues much better.

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One piece of advice is that I wouldn't go through all 3 (or 4) polishing steps if you weren't happy with the correction. In other words, get the 2X2 section to your satisfaction with varying number of passes of SHR (for example) before applying FMP, etc. You will save a lot of product and time doing it this way.

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When starting out with a PC, some of the best tips I can give are

 

1) always do a test spot. When you can make your test spot perfect, rinse and repeat your technique over the rest of the car.

 

2) You really have to move your arm insanely slow. To make you understand how slow I go consider this: most times I have to add more polish after three to four section passes because all of the polish is broken down. Move your arm slow and when you think you have that, move it slower.

 

3) this is two tips in one: mark the backing plate with a Sharpie. When polishing, you can see how fast the Piaf is spinning by the black line. Don't be afraid to put some pressure behind the pad. While this is a general guideline, I try to have the pad rotate once per second. I can tell this by the black line.

 

Hope this helps!

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Ok Here is the question for all:

 

After you strip wash and clay and get your paint ready for polishing, and I am talking the average size car. Lets say a Camaro. Newer one.. How long would it take you to do just the hood and front qtr panels if the car was swirled up and you wanted it swirl free.... I know depends on your skill set. Also Machine of choice,, So lets say you are using a PC since most might not have a Flex. But looking for the big hitters on this one, the cats that get it done right.

I see the work of The Shine Crew, Big D, Sir Mook A lot and the Chase Master and others lot. Those are some work of art. Everyone chime in.

 

 

 

Just trying to gauge on where I stand, if I am moving to fast or where I might be wrong. Thinking it might help a lot of others starting out. Would like to get to where I am getting those results. :pc::pc:

Edited by GaryW
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All depends on a lot of factors... the clear on Adam's ZL1 was obscenely soft so it corrected easily, but it also marred up badly. The magic process I found to fix his light defects fast was a red glazing pad, fine machine polish, and the PE14-2 rotary in 1 pass.

 

But there again it was rarely more than ultra light swirls... if it were more average condition on the same car it would take a 3401 with both SHR and FMP backing the speed down some on the FMP pass.

 

Working with the PC... probably about the same, maybe add a pass of SSR to the process.

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I think part of my issue is the speed at which I polished. I did make 4-5 passes over the same area, but they weren't ultra slow passes. Perhaps I'll go back and do it more slowly next time.

 

I pulled the SS out into the sun when I was home for lunch. This is the rear hatch. It kind of looks like this all over... Not horrible, but far from perfect.

 

IMG_1674_zps959a37a3.jpg

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Haha... I watched the videos - and I think I had the pressure about right. The pad was rotating at ~ 1 rpm. I didn't find anywhere in the videos the speed at which to move the machine. What can I say... "I wanna go fast!"

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Haha... I watched the videos - and I think I had the pressure about right. The pad was rotating at ~ 1 rpm. I didn't find anywhere in the videos the speed at which to move the machine. What can I say... "I wanna go fast!"

 

1 inch per second is good rule of thumb, and here's a couple of them :2thumbs:

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Haha... I watched the videos - and I think I had the pressure about right. The pad was rotating at ~ 1 rpm. I didn't find anywhere in the videos the speed at which to move the machine. What can I say... "I wanna go fast!"

Everyone wants to go fast, I have to remind myself from time to time......

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Roshan nailed it. You must go gut wrenchingly slow during the cutting step with a PC. Roshan may have the slowest arm movement I've ever seen (except Junkman of course), I don't go quite as slow but you can't argue with their results. Work slower and also make sure you don't overwork the polish...let us know how it goes.

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Roshan nailed it. You must go gut wrenchingly slow during the cutting step with a PC. Roshan may have the slowest arm movement I've ever seen (except Junkman of course), I don't go quite as slow but you can't argue with their results. Work slower and also make sure you don't overwork the polish...let us know how it goes.

 

:glasses:

 

And if you do find the polish is gone, add some more. But remember, the more polish you add, the more often you should clean your pad.

 

With something like a microfiber pad, I actually clean after almost every 2 by 2 section.

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I think I might be to fast on the cutting,, I will try slowing down on the SSR. On the Flex I was at 5 and 6. Same with the SHR. When I got to the FMP I was on 6.

I will redo the hood this weekend and slow down on the Green and Orange, and keep FLex at a 5 on the FMP. Think that will work out? :2thumbs:

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I think I might be to fast on the cutting,, I will try slowing down on the SSR. On the Flex I was at 5 and 6. Same with the SHR. When I got to the FMP I was on 6.

I will redo the hood this weekend and slow down on the Green and Orange, and keep FLex at a 5 on the FMP. Think that will work out? :2thumbs:

 

I can't say if it will work out or not, but your attack plan sounds good for sure :cheers:

 

If for whatever reason, you're not getting the results you want, try slowing the speed of the flex down.

 

5 with ssr/shr

3-4 with fmp

 

I'm not sure if you're doing a honda from your avatar, but if you are, normally hondas have soft paint. If you can, you might be able to skip the compound, and go straight to shr for your major correction, and then fmp to clean up and bring out the gloss.

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I can't say if it will work out or not, but your attack plan sounds good for sure :cheers:

 

If for whatever reason, you're not getting the results you want, try slowing the speed of the flex down.

 

5 with ssr/shr

3-4 with fmp

 

I'm not sure if you're doing a honda from your avatar, but if you are, normally hondas have soft paint. If you can, you might be able to skip the compound, and go straight to shr for your major correction, and then fmp to clean up and bring out the gloss.

 

Will try it out.. It is a Hyundai Sonata. Will hit it this weekend. My daughter has a 08 Pontiac G6. work on that some also. let you know. :cheers:

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Roshan nailed it. You must go gut wrenchingly slow during the cutting step with a PC. Roshan may have the slowest arm movement I've ever seen (except Junkman of course), I don't go quite as slow but you can't argue with their results. Work slower and also make sure you don't overwork the polish...let us know how it goes.

 

Kind of sounds like a fine line between going slow enough to be effective, and not overworking the polish. I have a difficult time deciphering when the polish is actually "worked".

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Yep... those small chop marks point to an issue with work time or work speed.

 

On your SHR pass slow your arm movement down.

 

On the FMP pass what speed were you working at (machine speed?)

 

 

I'm doing speed 5 on all 3 polishes...

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Guest Gone & Forgotten

Pad contact.

 

I use focus pads on the PC when the Flex 3401 isn't making full contact. On the wife's 300, that was half the car... Polished with the PC and focus pads.

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Kind of sounds like a fine line between going slow enough to be effective, and not overworking the polish. I have a difficult time deciphering when the polish is actually "worked".

 

Sometimes when I use a polish that I haven't in a while, I feel I have to "relearn" it, because all polishes work differently.

 

I haven't had a chance to play with some of the polishes at Adam's yet, but I find with the polishes I use that when things start to dust, the polish might have been overworked.

 

But just as you said there is a fine line... because if you add too much polish, then you will get dust automatically.

 

Hence why you "learn" the behavior of the polish you use over time.

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