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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    How to buff off an edge when using a rotary buffer

    How to buff off an edge when using a rotary buffer


    Correctly buffing off an edge...




    ***Proactive Preface***


    When I say,

    buff off an edge


    I don't mean remove the paint off the edge but instead how to best hold the polisher when moving a spinning pad over an edge to reduce the risk of causing harm to the edge and to prevent the spinning pad from grabbing the edge and yanking your grip on the rotary buffer potentially causing you, the paint or the car harm.

    I know there's a lot of persnickety fellers out there that like to twist words on purpose for their own nefarious reasons so this first paragraph is to ensure anyone that can read and think understands the context of the title. I never mind helping those that are easily and/or willfully confused.




    Now let's move on to the how-to part...


    How to buff off and edge when using a rotary buffer
    This is kind of tricky to type about but here goes. First it’s always a good best practice to not buff directly on top of an edge. This is because paint tends to be thinner on high points as it flows downward due to gravity plus there’s always the possibility that some other detailer has buffed the car out before you and doesn’t practice the best practice.

    It’s also a good best practice to hold the pad flat to the surface and not hold the pad at an angle so you’re only using a portion of the pad on edge. That said, sooner or later all panels come to an end at the end of the panel is an edge. Your goal is to buff the paint up to the edge but not buff with firm pressure directly on top of the edge.

    When your rotary buffer is turned on and you’re looking down on the back of the buffing pad and backing plate, the pad spins in a clockwise rotation. You need to understand the relationship between the direction the buffing pad is rotating and the way you run the pad next to an edge.

    You want the pad touching down in a way that the pad is rotating over and off the edge, not rotating into the edge. See the pictures below as I think they will do a better job of showing you what to do and what not to do.




    Right Technique
    In these pictures the body of the rotary buffer is held in a way so that when the pad is spinning it is buffing or rotating OFF the edge.







    Wrong Technique
    In these pictures the body of the rotary buffer is held in a way so that when the pad is spinning it is buffing or rotating INTO the edge.






    Make sense?

    A good way to really understand what it means to buff off an edge or to buff into an edge is to get a junker panel or a beater car that no one cares about and PURPOSEFULLY perform both the correct and incorrect technique.

    The technique will make complete sense immediately when you try to buff into and edge.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member Andr3wilson's Avatar
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    Re: How to buff off an edge when using a rotary buffer

    Great tips Mike!

    Quick question here about Rotary pads.

    Now you can use both wool and foam on them, both have there benefits and downfalls.

    But I you dont already, can you do a little segment on the different types of pads work best, and also how wool pads very?

    Thanks!

  3. #3
    Senior Member M0nk3y's Avatar
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    Re: How to buff off an edge when using a rotary buffer

    Good information!

    Do you recommend maintaining same RPM on an edge as say, the hood or door panel? If you want to step it down, how much do you want to step the RPM down by?
    2007 BMW Z4M Coupe

  4. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: How to buff off an edge when using a rotary buffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Andr3wilson View Post

    But I you dont already, can you do a little segment on the different types of pads work best, and also how wool pads very?

    Thanks!
    To do a really fair and in-depth article or video on all the different pads would be a huge undertaking. It's a good idea but pads change so often. The big picture answer is use aggressive wool pads for fast cutting for serious/deep defects or to remove sanding marks after wetsanding.

    Use foam cutting, polishing and finishing pads whenever you can as foam tend to always finish out better than wool pads, at least with a rotary buffer. I should have some good pictures from the AMX wetsanding project to add to this thread showing close-ups of panels being buffed out.



    Quote Originally Posted by M0nk3y View Post
    Good information!

    Do you recommend maintaining same RPM on an edge as say, the hood or door panel? If you want to step it down, how much do you want to step the RPM down by?
    I do a lot of careful or surgical buffing with a range of 400 RPM to 1000 RPM and 1000 RPM to 1500 RPM for tackling major, larger panels.

    A lot of your speed depends upon what you're trying to do.


    Mike Phillips
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  5. #5
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: How to buff off an edge when using a rotary buffer

    Some related articles....


    The 10 @ 10 technique for picking up a bead of product with a rotary buffer

    Rotary Buffer Tip - Prime the side edges of foam cutting pads

    How to use a Rotary Buffer



    And here's a video that shares tips and techniques...



    Tips for using a Rotary Buffer and the Flex 3401 on vertical panels






    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  6. #6
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: How to buff off an edge when using a rotary buffer

    ***Update***


    Video link fixed.

    A couple of years ago when we upgraded the vBulletin forum software all the video codes became jumbled.

    Anytime I find broken video code I try to fix it on the fly...



    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  8. #7
    Senior Member JustJesus's Avatar
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    Re: How to buff off an edge when using a rotary buffer

    Thank you for keeping the info "alive."

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