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How many pads?


Erictski
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Typically use between 2 - 4 pads for each step, depending upon initial paint condition, and the desired results.

 

Clean as frequently as needed to ensure best results without allowing polish to build up in the pads being used at the time.

Edited by rkj4243
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How do you clean them while polishing, wether it's microfiber or a foam pad.

A popular method is to blow out the pad with compressed air. But most of us don't have air compressors to accomplish this. I wash my pads by hand, but once that's done, they can't be used until they are dried (normally about two days). So I too have often wondered how to clean pads while polishing so they can continuously be used.

Edited by Jason S.
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Quote from Dylan:

 

 

Coming from a background in professional detailing and now working for a company that is engaged entirely in surface restoration theres just a couple of things to consider:

The more aggressive the operation the more stress is placed on the pad - heavy correction work beats up pads, so your compounding phases will eat up pads rather quickly, so if you have some pretty serious defects to work on have lots of spare pads.

 

The more aggressive the operation the more residue management you have to contend with - as you are doing heavy correction work your pad is being loaded up not only with compound, but the byproduct of abrasive actions (clear coat and paint). To remove deep defects you need to remove more material, the more material you remove the more your pad loads up, the more your pad is loaded the less effective it is. Its considered best practices to replace those pads more frequently during the heavy cutting phases.

 

Keep those 2 things in mind as you decide how many pads to have on hand. At a MINIMUM no one should have fewer than 2 of every pad just out of common sense. If you drop a pad or a pad comes apart you need to have a backup at a minimum to keep going. If you are planning heavy correction work (i.e. - our first full paint correction) I recommend at least 4 pads for your cutting phases so you can at least divide the car into 1/4 chunks and work it that way.

For your finishing work you are doing much less aggressive work, and removing far less material, so 2 pads for your finishing is generally enough. Also consider though - you will do fine polishing work more often as a touchup exercise (at least you should) so if thats the case then having a couple of spares on hand isn't a bad idea either.

The one place I think you can generally get away with 1 or 2 pads is your LSP steps (glazes, waxes, sealants) - its not cutting any material so you have no residue management to deal with, the action is low stress on the pad so no issues there, and in the worst case you can jump to hand application if you lose a pad in the process (not an option in the cutting and finishing phases).

 

My 2 pennies worth - that and $6 will get you a latte at Starbucks. Cheers!

 

 

-DvK

 

 

Edited by hamilton2400
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Can ya tell its been asked a few times. 

 

The simple answer is, look at your budget. 

 

The slightly deeper is at least 2 but possibly more depending on how often you will be polishing and cleaning the pads as well as how heavy you are on them and the damage you can cause. 

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...So I too have often wondered how to clean pads while polishing so they can continuously be used.

 

You can use a pad cleaning brush to help remove the residue build up on the pads.  A terry cloth towel could also be used on the pad face to remove some of the residue.

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I don't bother cleaning pads during any step. I have enough of each type (6 of each) to simply set the used ones aside and grab a fresh one. Of course this depends on a variety of factors. Not everyone compounds and corrects the same way or on the same budget.

 

I began using the "multi-pad method" for three main reasons:

 

  1. It's faster! Fresh pads always cut faster than saturated ones. Even if you brush, blow, or terry cloth them. Fresh pad = better.
  2. I get more consistent results.
  3. My pads last longer. The more saturated the pad, the more pressure you'll need, the more product you'll need, and the more your pad gets beat up. If you swap pads right as the current pad is beginning to get saturated, your pad takes less abuse.

On a sedan or hatchback, I'll use 3-5 pads per stage. On a van or truck I'll use 4-6 pads per stage.

 

Now, I detail on the side to pay for my Adam's addiction. This allows me to justify the rather large collection of pads I own. It may not be right for you.

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Aaron's (PHOKUS) post reminded me of a tip from a write-up I did last year - 'Civic detail -kinda of a tutorial'

 

"Tip #4

As this is a daily driver, I used old, beatup orange foam pads to polish below the beltline and both bumpers.  No need to spend a lot of time on this area, and since these are my least favorite areas to polish, I did them first to get it out of the way."

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