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  1. #1
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    Forced Rotation Polisher Question (New User)

    Forced Rotation Polisher Question (New User)


    I have been using conventional rotation type buffers since the 1970's and am trying to determine if it's possible to get a roughly similar result with a Flex forced rotation polisher.

    Specifically, I'm rubbing out scratches on aircraft interior woodwork typically coated with different iterations of Acrylic Enamel, Polyurethane, or Polyester mixed with fireblock.

    I use the 3M 3-part Perfect-it/Finesse-it compounds following a 2000 grit final preparation and wool pads. Occasionally a panel that is too time consuming to be removed and rubbed out on the bench must be done in place and this involves hours of masking off the interior in order to buff on for a few minutes.

    I'd like a way if possible, to eliminate most of the masking by using a DA type polisher at a slower speed but have no experience with them at all having always used conventional buffers.

    Can anyone give me some input on whether or not a forced rotation polisher is capable of removing a 2000-4000 grit scratch pattern in a situation like I've described or if there is available something else that might do the job.

    One more bit of information that may be pertinent is that I am currently using a Makita variable speed buffer typically between the 900-1500 rpm settings, the more modern the clearcoat the slower I must run.

    Thank you.



  2. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Forced Rotation Polisher Question (New User)

    First....

    This is your first post so welcome to AutogeekOnline! :welcome

    I found your thread in the Moderator's Queue before leaving for the day so I approved it and below I will do my best to help.





    Quote Originally Posted by PeterF View Post

    Forced Rotation Polisher Question (New User)


    I have been using conventional rotation type buffers since the 1970's and am trying to determine if it's possible to get a roughly similar result with a Flex forced rotation polisher.

    Not being nitpicky at all but just to point out to everyone that will read this thread into the future.

    A FLEX forced rotation polisher would be their PE14 Rotary Polisher.


    Now the FLEX XC 3401 is a forced rotation AND OCILLATION polisher - 2 actions not just one. Really not trying to major on minors but when I go on Facebook all the guys on Facebook say the same thing, they describe the FLEX 3401 as a

    Forced Rotation Polisher

    And they don't even realize they are describing a rotary buffer, not the BEAST.




    Quote Originally Posted by PeterF View Post

    Specifically, I'm rubbing out scratches on aircraft interior woodwork typically coated with different iterations of Acrylic Enamel, Polyurethane, or Polyester mixed with fireblock.

    I use the 3M 3-part Perfect-it/Finesse-it compounds following a 2000 grit final preparation and wool pads. Occasionally a panel that is too time consuming to be removed and rubbed out on the bench must be done in place and this involves hours of masking off the interior in order to buff on for a few minutes.

    I'd like a way if possible, to eliminate most of the masking by using a DA type polisher at a slower speed but have no experience with them at all having always used conventional buffers.

    Can anyone give me some input on whether or not a forced rotation polisher is capable of removing a 2000-4000 grit scratch pattern in a situation like I've described or if there is available something else that might do the job.

    One more bit of information that may be pertinent is that I am currently using a Makita variable speed buffer typically between the 900-1500 rpm settings, the more modern the clearcoat the slower I must run.

    Thank you.



    My guess is these are thin panels? Not huge or big flat squarish panels?


    If so - maybe the PE14 with a small buffing pad would be easier to use? See this thread,

    Surgical Precision Buffing Tools

    And the FLEX PE14 is a smaller, more compact rotary than your Makita, also much quieter.


    About the smallest pad you can easily get on a FLEX 3401 is a 5" pad. If that would work then "yes" the 3401 with the right compound and pad can remove #2000, #3000, #4000 and #5000 grit sanding marks. Of course, topcoat hardness is a huge factor.


    Another option would be,

    How to put a 3" FLEX backing plate on Makita PO5000C

    3" backing plate on Makita PO5000C









    Mike Phillips
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  3. #3
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    Re: Forced Rotation Polisher Question (New User)

    This is your first post so welcome to AutogeekOnline! :welcome
    Thank you!

    found your thread in the Moderator's Queue before leaving for the day so I approved it and below I will do my best to help.
    Mike, thank you so much for the fast reply!


    Not being nitpicky at all but just to point out to everyone that will read this thread into the future.

    A FLEX forced rotation polisher would be their PE14 Rotary Polisher.


    Now the FLEX XC 3401 is a forced rotation AND OCILLATION polisher - 2 actions not just one. Really not trying to major on minors but when I go on Facebook all the guys on Facebook say the same thing, they describe the FLEX 3401 as a

    Forced Rotation Polisher

    And they don't even realize they are describing a rotary buffer, not the BEAST.


    I appreciate the exactness. Yes, I'm referring to the DA style fixed rotation polisher, I hope I'm describing it correctly. I remember when a similar pneumatic sander came out when automotive panels started being "high tensile, (basically thin))" sheet metal, that's how old I am, and a slow speed DA grinder was introduced so we wouldn't "sand" through the thin sheet metal.



    My guess is these are thin panels? Not huge or big flat squarish panels?
    They are thin indeed and unlike automotive sheet metal, more subject to indentation, and is on occasion, correctable by heating up the coating and "moving it to where it's needed" (old school style), not a proposition for the faint of heart.. They can be quite large though, to me anyway, as they are the bulkhead panels or parts that are not easily removed. The doors, drawer fronts, etc. are taken to my shop and done on the bench. The panels I need to do in situ can be the size of an automotive hood or bonnet, 6' x 2-3' is would be a common panel size.


    If so - maybe the PE14 with a small buffing pad would be easier to use? See this thread,

    Surgical Precision Buffing Tools

    And the FLEX PE14 is a smaller, more compact rotary than your Makita, also much quieter.


    About the smallest pad you can easily get on a FLEX 3401 is a 5" pad. If that would work then "yes" the 3401 with the right compound and pad can remove #2000, #3000, #4000 and #5000 grit sanding marks. Of course, topcoat hardness is a huge factor.
    I can deal with a 5" pad no problem, my greatest apprehension is getting up to date on the machine, pads, and compounds. The only foam pad I've ever used is the blue 3M one meant to be used with their 06068 Ultrafine Machine Polish/swirl remover which is my final operation. I'm needing to match the polish left by the factory, on panels that may be surrounded by 5 or 10 other factory polished panels, and my current system leaves them nearly indistinguishable (maybe slightly nicer).

    Topcoat hardness is wildly variable dependent on the era of the original coating and the formulation, current ones being softer than older/conventional ones, and the fireblock adds a additional variable. To me this is much more variable and difficult than any of the automotive coatings I've dealt with in the past, but I'm clearly not familiar with the current trend in automotive coatings..

    I have watched a few videos since my posting, demonstrating that the 3401, and it can indeed remove 2000, and even 1500 grit scratch patterns on automotive coatings and frankly, I was shocked by what I saw! I did not however, learn the specifics of the foam pads or compounds used and would very much appreciate guidance on the specifics of current materials and techniques, I've just done what I've known to do for many years and have sadly, not kept up on advancements that can help me do my work more effectively. Is there a possible source for equivalent foam pad/compounds for my current 3M/wool pad procedure so I need not spend too much time in experimentation? I believe by what I've seen, that I could do what I need to do with more modern techniques if I could locate some kind of a material equivalence guide for pads and compounds.

    Thank you so much again for your response, I'm very grateful for your Website and forum!

    Peter

    Another option would be,

    How to put a 3" FLEX backing plate on Makita PO5000C

    3" backing plate on Makita PO5000C






    [/QUOTE]

  4. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Forced Rotation Polisher Question (New User)

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterF View Post

    They are thin indeed and unlike automotive sheet metal, more subject to indentation, and is on occasion, correctable by heating up the coating and "moving it to where it's needed" (old school style), not a proposition for the faint of heart.. They can be quite large though, to me anyway, as they are the bulkhead panels or parts that are not easily removed. The doors, drawer fronts, etc. are taken to my shop and done on the bench. The panels I need to do in situ can be the size of an automotive hood or bonnet, 6' x 2-3' is would be a common panel size.
    I would like to see some pictures. If you have some, I'll e-mail you my cell phone and you can simply text me a few and I'll share them in this thread.



    Quote Originally Posted by PeterF View Post


    I can deal with a 5" pad no problem, my greatest apprehension is getting up to date on the machine, pads, and compounds.
    Where do you live?

    I would highly recommend attending one of my detailing classes, they are ALL HANDS-ON and you'll get to use a LOT of different tools, pads and products. You can try before you buy.

    I keep a list of upcoming classes on the bottom of the forum homepage. The price for the 2-day class is $895.00 and if you sign-up 30 days before the date of the class you get a $100.00 store credit.

    Also - we are working with our vendors to put together a SWAG BAG for everyone that attends a class that is no longer a bag - more of a huge box. Nice take-away of great stuff.





    Link to info on all my classes



    Quote Originally Posted by PeterF View Post

    The only foam pad I've ever used is the blue 3M one meant to be used with their 06068 Ultrafine Machine Polish/swirl remover which is my final operation. I'm needing to match the polish left by the factory, on panels that may be surrounded by 5 or 10 other factory polished panels, and my current system leaves them nearly indistinguishable (maybe slightly nicer).
    Sounds like you know your stuff as that would be challenging.

    I have a similar pad to the 3M convoluted pad in my office only it's FLAT - I think this would be an easier pad to use and control sling or splatter.



    Quote Originally Posted by PeterF View Post


    Topcoat hardness is wildly variable dependent on the era of the original coating and the formulation, current ones being softer than older/conventional ones, and the fireblock adds a additional variable. To me this is much more variable and difficult than any of the automotive coatings I've dealt with in the past, but I'm clearly not familiar with the current trend in automotive coatings..
    Yep - topcoat hardness the always unknown variable. A true experience professional and test and diagnose this unknown factor and then alter their process to accommodate or know when to walk away.



    Quote Originally Posted by PeterF View Post


    I have watched a few videos since my posting, demonstrating that the 3401, and it can indeed remove 2000, and even 1500 grit scratch patterns on automotive coatings and frankly, I was shocked by what I saw!

    I did not however, learn the specifics of the foam pads or compounds used and would very much appreciate guidance on the specifics of current materials and techniques, I've just done what I've known to do for many years and have sadly, not kept up on advancements that can help me do my work more effectively.
    You would learn all of this in my class. I'm not trying to sell you - just share an option to learning on your own.


    Quote Originally Posted by PeterF View Post

    Is there a possible source for equivalent foam pad/compounds for my current 3M/wool pad procedure so I need not spend too much time in experimentation? I believe by what I've seen, that I could do what I need to do with more modern techniques if I could locate some kind of a material equivalence guide for pads and compounds.

    I can help you via this form. I have to shoot videos today and tomorrow and I have 2 Corvettes to detail in the same time frame - so I won't be on the forum much until next week. Also have a brand new Ford Raptor (black) to install a ceramic paint coating on and a wicked bad 1969 Dodge Coronet numbers matching 426 Hemi 4-speed car to wetsand, cut and coat. A tick busy.


    Quote Originally Posted by PeterF View Post


    Thank you so much again for your response, I'm very grateful for your Website and forum!

    Peter

    Thanks for joining and thanks for taking the first post in the way it was intended. Because I'm a detailer and also a WRITER that means I'm a "Word Guy" so word are important. Can't count how many times I see people on Facebook call the 3401 a "forced rotation polisher" - that's a rotary buffer, not FLEX 3401.. I know they mean well, they just don't realize what they are saying from a technical standard.

    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
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    Sign-up for Mike's Tips & Techniques Newsletter


  5. #5
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    Re: Forced Rotation Polisher Question (New User)

    Mike Phillips;1624462]I would like to see some pictures. If you have some, I'll e-mail you my cell phone and you can simply text me a few and I'll share them in this thread.
    Sure, I can send you some pictures..

    Where do you live?
    I'm in Utah

    I would highly recommend attending one of my detailing classes, they are ALL HANDS-ON and you'll get to use a LOT of different tools, pads and products. You can try before you buy.

    I keep a list of upcoming classes on the bottom of the forum homepage. The price for the 2-day class is $895.00 and if you sign-up 30 days before the date of the class you get a $100.00 store credit.

    Also - we are working with our vendors to put together a SWAG BAG for everyone that attends a class that is no longer a bag - more of a huge box. Nice take-away of great stuff.
    Having the attention span of a 3 year old, I'm one of those that doesn't really learn too well at workshops. I do better by reading the supplier's spec sheets and charts, and then burning through a few corners in order to establish exactly where the point of maximum acceptable plasticity lies ;-) Seriously though, that's not too far from the truth and I'm certain you know exactly what I mean..





    Link to info on all my classes

    I have a similar pad to the 3M convoluted pad in my office only it's FLAT - I think this would be an easier pad to use and control sling or splatter.
    Flat pads then are less prone to sling compound? That's exactly the kind of information I'm after, thank you.

    Yep - topcoat hardness the always unknown variable. A true experience professional and test and diagnose this unknown factor and then alter their process to accommodate or know when to walk away.
    See plasticity threshold comment above

    I can help you via this form. I have to shoot videos today and tomorrow and I have 2 Corvettes to detail in the same time frame - so I won't be on the forum much until next week. Also have a brand new Ford Raptor (black) to install a ceramic paint coating on and a wicked bad 1969 Dodge Coronet numbers matching 426 Hemi 4-speed car to wetsand, cut and coat. A tick busy.
    Some guys have all the fun!

    Thanks for joining and thanks for taking the first post in the way it was intended. Because I'm a detailer and also a WRITER that means I'm a "Word Guy" so word are important. Can't count how many times I see people on Facebook call the 3401 a "forced rotation polisher" - that's a rotary buffer, not FLEX 3401.. I know they mean well, they just don't realize what they are saying from a technical standard.


    Yes of course, I like to use the correct terminology also. How then do we refer to the FLEX 3401, constant rotation DA maybe?


    Thanks again Mike, I already feel like I can add this tool to my bag and improve my procedures.

  6. #6
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Forced Rotation Polisher Question (New User)

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterF View Post

    Yes of course, I like to use the correct terminology also. How then do we refer to the FLEX 3401, constant rotation DA maybe?

    8mm gear-driven orbital polisher


    Quote Originally Posted by PeterF View Post

    Thanks again Mike, I already feel like I can add this tool to my bag and improve my procedures.

    It's a BEAST!


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
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    Sign-up for Mike's Tips & Techniques Newsletter


  7. #7
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    Re: Forced Rotation Polisher Question (New User)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    8mm gear-driven orbital polisher





    It's a BEAST!


    My son said he knows a couple of local high-end detailers, he's going to see if he can locate one for me to test drive. Thanks again Mike.

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