autogeekonline car wax, car care and auto detailing forum Autogeek on TV
car wax, car care and auto detailing forumAutogeekonline autogeekonline car wax, car care and auto detailing forum HomeForumBlogAutogeek.net StoreDetailing Classes with Mike PhillipsGalleryDetailing How To's
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20
Like Tree1Likes

Thread: DA Polisher Articles - Help for Newbies to Machine Polishing

  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stuart, Florida
    Posts
    37,275

    DA Polisher Articles - Help for Newbies to Machine Polishing

    DA Polisher Articles - Help for Newbies to Machine Polishing


    If you're new to machine polishing and starting with a DA Polisher like one of these,

    • Porter Cable 7424XP, 7424, 7336
    • Meguiar's G110v2, G110, G100, G100a G220
    • Griot's Garage 6" Random Orbital Polisher

    Or any other version of the above like the Shurhold, etc. then below are a list of different articles from my main article list that share tips and techniques for using these tools to remove swirls and create a show car finish.


    Big picture...
    Buffing out any car by machine is just a matter of dividing each panel up into smaller sections and then buff out your car section by section. Each time you start a new section, overlap a little into the previous section to ensure you thoroughly remove the swirls, scratches and water spots over the entire panel.

    Note: The tape is just to help you better visualize how to divide a panel up into smaller sections. (You don't actually tape each panel off into sections to buff out your car)






    SECTION PASS
    You need to learn how to do a section pass

    Video: How-To do a "Section Pass" when Machine Polishing with a DA Polisher

    The short how-to guide for using a DA Polisher
    How to maximize the ability of the 1st Generation Porter Cable Dual Action Polishers

    The long and in-depth guide for using a DA Polisher
    The Definitive How-To Article for Removing Swirls, Scratches and Water Spots Using a Porter Cable 7424XP, G110v2 or Griot's Garage Polisher - Includes Videos

    How to prime a foam pad when using a DA Polisher

    How much product do I use with my DA Polisher?

    How-to Machine Apply Wax using a DA Polisher

    How to Apply Dodo Pastes Waxes by Machine

    How To Apply Mothers California Gold Carnauba Paste Wax by Machine

    How to use a microfiber bonnet to remove dried wax by machine

    The Free Floating Spindle Assembly - The Story Behind The Story...

    Handle? Or No Handle? - Using DA Polishers Without the Handle




    Tricks, Tips and Techniques

    Kissing the Finish

    Knock out painted roofs first, then tackle the rest of the car...

    Here's a tip... don't lift the pad off the paint till you've turned the polisher off and the spinning pad has slowed down...

    Tips for working in warm/hot weather or direct sunlight



    Pads and Backing Plates

    5 1/2 inch and 6 inch Buffing Pads on Autogeek's Online Store

    5 Inch Backing Plates for DA Polishers - Pictures and Links

    Thin is in... New Lake Country Hydro-Tech Low Profile 5 1/2 x 7/8 Inch Foam Pads

    5" and 6" Backing Plates on 6.5" pads (Pictures to show safety margin)

    The different types of foam formulas in the CCS Smart Foam Pad Line




    Pad Cleaning

    Why it's important to clean your pads often...

    How to clean your foam pad on the fly

    How to dry a foam pad after hand washing

    Video: How to use the Grit Guard Universal Pad Washer




    Microfiber Polishing Towels and Microfiber Gloves

    Increase Your Grip Strength with Microfiber Gloves

    How to correctly fold and use a Microfiber Towel

    The Final Wipe – Tips for creating a streak-free, show car finish





    Water Spots


    How To Remove Sprinkler Water Spots




    Misc Topics

    Miscible and Immiscible - Wax and Paint Sealant Bonding

    How to Mix IPA for Inspecting Correction Results


    Factors that affect how aggressive or non-aggressive a product is...

    "Use the least aggressive product to get the job done"


    The Beach Towel Tip

    The difference between Rotary Buffer Swirls, Cobweb Swirls and Micro-Marring




    Problems?
    If you run into any problems, post your questions or ask for help by posting a thread to our forum and also read through this to make sure you're not making any of the common mistakes...

    DA Polisher Trouble Shooting Guide




    Making the transition from Lurker to Forum Member
    If you're reading this and you're not a member of our forum, (you're a lurker), then consider joining our forum and participating with a really great group of people.

    Click here to register with the Autogeek Online Discussion Forum


    And if you've never posted to a forum before, here's a few articles to help you out...

    How to start a new thread & How to reply to an existing thread

    How to write a good title for your thread

    A tip to help yourself get great answers when you start a thread




    Posting Pictures to your threads...

    How to resize your photos before uploading to a photo gallery - Using Easy Thumbnails

    How to upload a photo into your Autogeek Photo Gallery

    How to insert an image from your photo gallery into your message

    How-To capture swirls, scratches, etchings and other surface defects with your camera

    New - Handiest little picture viewer tool I've been using for years now...




    Khara Cavaness likes this.
    Mike Phillips
    Host - Competition Ready on Velocity Channel
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member
    CD-SV, RT
    Competition Ready Facebook Page
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
    Twitter
    Instagram

    Click on a book to get your own copy.



  2. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stuart, Florida
    Posts
    37,275

    Re: DA Polisher Articles - Help for Newbies to Machine Polishing

    The normal process would look like this,

    1. Wash and dry car - Normal Wash, Waterless Wash, Rinseless Wash or wipe clean using a spray detailer

    2. Inspect paint - Check for above surface bonded contaminants and for swirls and scratches. If the paint is rough feeling the clay the paint. If you discover swirls and scratches then you'll need to remove these by machine.

    3. Clay paint if needed
    The Baggie Test - How to inspect for above surface bonded contaminants

    The 3 primary benefits of using detailing clay to clay paint

    Tips and Tricks for using detailing clay

    Do I need to wash my car after I use detailing clay to clay the paint?

    How often do I need to clay my car?

    New - Video: How detailing clay works and how to use detailing clay to remove above surface bonded contaminants


    4. Remove swirls and scratches by machine
    5. Polish paint to a high gloss
    6. Seal paint with your choice of a wax, paint sealant or coating



    Removing swirls and polishing to a high gloss

    Typical speeds for most procedures using most DA Polishers
    5-6 Speed setting for removing swirls
    4-5 Speed setting for polishing after swirls are removed
    3-4 Speed setting for machine applying a wax.
    For your test spot I always recommend using a Tape-Line when doing your testing as it will make it very easy for your eyes to detect changes, which usually mean improvements in the test area and gauge how effectively your pads, products, tool and techniques are working on this particular paint system.






    Also, mark the back of your backing plate with a black felt marker like you see below as this will help you to see when the pad is rotating or just vibrating. When you're trying to remove swirls you need the pad rotating.





    When doing your TEST SPOT, you want to do what's called a Section Pass.

    Here's how to do a "Section Pass" when trying to remove swirls, scratches and other below surface paint defects.

    How to do a Section Pass




    Evaluating your Test Spot
    After you do your section pass, wipe off the residue and then inspect the results. If you want to make sure 100% you're removing all the swirls and scratches then chemically strip the paint before inspection.

    How to Mix IPA for Inspecting Correction Results



    You can inspect after just the compound or after the compounding and the polishing, since the process of correction is both steps I would inspect after both steps as the compounding can leave some micro-marring that will be removed in the polishing step.

    Once you dial in your process then duplicate it over the rest of the car working section by section. If you have problems, come back to this thread and tell us what you're seeing and we'll do our best to see you through to success.


    Working section by section
    Buffing out a car with a DA Polisher or ANY machine is a matter of doing sections at a time, so slice each panel up into smaller sections and after finishing one section move onto a new section and OVERLAP a little into the previous section. Here's an example of slicing a panel, (a car hood), up into smaller sections.






    Here's some tips...

    First, always work on a cool surface in the shade.

    Second, prime clean, dry pads before starting.

    Priming a clean, dry pad is considered the best approach for using a DA Polisher because it ensures that 100% of the working surface of the pad is wet with product and working at maximum efficiency when you turn the polisher on. I originally learned of this technique from my friend Kevin Brown.

    Priming the pad also ensures that you don't have any dry portion of the pad working over the paint un-lubricated. This really isn't a risk because since you're just starting out you're going to be removing defects a lot more serious than would be caused by any portion of the pad that is dry and spinning against the paint.

    Plus, after just a few passes, the product you apply to specific areas of the face of the pad will migrate over the entire face of the pad and it will do this rather quickly when you're on the higher speed settings.



    Priming the Pad - For clean, dry pads
    Start with a clean, dry pad and add some fresh product to be spread out to the face of the pad. Using your finger, spread the product out over the pad and then using your finger work it into the pores of the pad. Don't saturate the pad, just use enough product to make sure that 100% of the working face of the pad has product coverage.






    Work the product around the face of the pad and into the pores





    Any extra, take and apply to the outer edge until 100% of the working face of the pad is primed with product.




    As an option you can also prime the outer edge. This helps if you're buffing around convex curves or around panels that the edge of your buffing pad may come into contact with, like spoilers, side mirror housings, curved panels etc.






    Primed and ready to add "Working Product" to.







    Adding "Working Product" to the primed pad
    Some people will recommend 3 to 4 pea size drops of product as the proper amount of product to use and this can be correct for concentrated products or working small sections and if you follow this advice make sure you are not under-lubricating the surface being worked.

    Pea size drops of product






    For some products and paint conditions, you may want more product on the surface working for you. Here's an example of dime size drops of product.

    Dime size drops of product






    How much product to use after priming

    Ample
    You want an AMPLE amount of product when first starting out because you pad is dry and some of the product is going to seep into the pad leaving less on the surface to LUBRICATE and ABRADE the paint

    Cut down on the amount of product AFTER pad is broken-in...
    After your pad is broken in with product, clean your pad after each section pass and when you apply fresh product you can cut down on the amount of product you actually apply to the face of your pad.


    Too Little Product
    Under-using product reduces lubricity and will make it more difficult for your pad to rotate efficiently.

    Too Much Product
    Using too much product will hyper-lubricate or over-lubricate the pad and will interfere with the abrasives ability to abrade the paint.





    Keep in mind that you want enough product on the surface so you have,
    • Abrasives working for you.

    • A lubricating film between the paint and the pad.
    Often times if you don't have enough product to work with you'll end up buffing to a dry buff. When you lose lubrication, friction increase and this can lead to micro-marring or hazing.

    Mike Phillips
    Host - Competition Ready on Velocity Channel
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member
    CD-SV, RT
    Competition Ready Facebook Page
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
    Twitter
    Instagram

    Click on a book to get your own copy.



  3. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stuart, Florida
    Posts
    37,275

    Re: DA Polisher Articles - Help for Newbies to Machine Polishing

    Continued...


    How to use a DA Polisher to remove swirls and scratches and create a show car finish!
    Note; these techniques apply to your doing your Test Spot as well as all the sections you're going to break the panels of your car up into as you work around it.

    Correction work Ė Using the PC7424XP to remove below surface defects
    • Work small sections at a time
    • Make overlapping passes as you work the panel
    • Use a slow arm speed
    • Use the 5.0 to 6.0 Speed setting when removing below surface defects
    • Apply firm downward pressure
    • Don't over use or under use your choice of compound or polish
    • Hold the pad flat to the surface
    • Clean your pad often
    • Remove spent residue before adding fresh product
    Work small sections at a time
    Dual action polishers that use a free floating spindle assembly, like this PC 7424XP are popular because they're safe. The reason theyíre safe is because if you push down too hard on the head of the polisher the buffing pad will stop rotating. This will prevent you from burning through the paint and/or instilling swirls into the paint. Compared to a direct drive tool like a Rotary Buffer, this tool is dramatically safer in its manner of operation.

    For this same reason that people love this style of polisher, (Itís safe and easy to use), you'll find out right away that it also limits you to only working small sections at a time in order to remove enough paint to level out the surface and remove the defects. In most cases you're only going to tackle a section about 16" to 18" inches square or so; usually a 2' section is too large and a 1' foot section is too small, so you'll want to find a balance between working too small an area and working too large of an area at one time.

    Since you can only work small sections at a time, this means youíll need to break each panel up into small sections kind of like Checkerboard or Patchwork Quilt.


    That is youíll take each panel of the car, (a panel would be a door or fender or the hood), and in your mindís eye slice it up into dedicated sections approximately 16" to 18Ē squarish or so. Because not all panels are perfect squares youíll need to let the panel be your guide and break-up each panel into these smaller sections no matter what the shape may be. Whatís important is to only work a small section at a time while using overlapping passes to work your product.



    The average size hood will be broken up into either 4 sections for a small hood, (Mini Cooper), or 6 sections, (Honda Pilot), or 9 sections, (Ford F150).


    This isn't a hard and fast rule as softer or more workable a paint means you can tackle a larger section at a time and conversely, with harder paints, or less workable paints you'll want to shrink the size of your work area down.

    The idea being to match the size of the section you're working to the workability of the paint, which you should discover when you do your Test Spot, which is addressed in this article. Experience helps a lot with judging work size area but the only way to get experience is to put some hours behind the polisher on multiple cars.


    Spread your product out first
    To start, place the face of the buffing pad with the product on it, flat against the paint. Then turn the polisher on and quickly spread the product out over the entire section you're going to work. You can do this rather quickly because at this point you're not trying to remove defects; youíre just trying to spread the product out over the paint so that you have a uniform film of product spread out over the section.


    Overlap your passes by 50%
    After you spread the product out, now it's time to slow your Arm Speed down and begin making overlapping passes usually in a crosshatch or back and forth, side-to-side pattern.

    The goal is UMR, that is Uniform Material Removal.

    The reason for this is so that you remove an equal amount of paint over each section and in turn over the entire car. In order to do this you need a method that you can control and duplicate and for most people following a back and forth, side-to-side pattern works because itís easy to remember, easy to do and easy to duplicate.


    The definition of a pass
    There are two definitions of the word pass as it relates to machine polishing with any type of machine.


    Single Pass
    A single pass is just that. It's when you move the polisher from one side of the section you're buffing to the other side of the section you're buffing. That's a single pass.


    Section Pass
    A section pass is when you move the polisher back and forth, or front to back with enough single overlapping passes to cover the entire section one time. That's a section pass.

    In most cases if you're removing any substantial below surface defects you're going to make 6-8 section passes to the section youíre working before you either feel comfortable you've removed the defects or you're at the end of the buffing cycle for the product you're using.


    Buffing Cycle
    The buffing cycle is the amount of time you are able to work the product before the abrasives have broken down, (if youíre using a product that uses diminishing abrasives), and/or the product begins to dry and you lose the lubricating features of the product. Different products have different buffing cycles depending upon the type of abrasives used in the formula and the different ingredients used to suspend the abrasives and provide lubrication.

    Factors that affect the buffing cycle include,
    • Ambient temperature
    • Surface temperature
    • Size of work area
    • Type of machine
    • Type of pad material
    • Humidity
    • Wind or air flow surrounding the car
    • Amount of product used
    • Technique
    Wet buffing technique
    Most compounds and polishes should be used so that there is enough product on the surface to maintain a wet film while the product is being worked. The wetness of the product is lubricating the paint as the abrasives abrade the paint and cushion or buffer the abrading action so the abrasives donít simply scour the finish leaving behind swirls and scratches.


    Dry Buffing Technique - Buffing to a dry buff
    There are some products on the market where the manufacture recommends buffing the product until it dries. As the product dries youíll tend to see some dusting as the product residue becomes a powder and the paint will have a hard, dry shine to it.

    Although some manufactures recommend this, itís important to understand whatís taking place at the surface level as you buff to a dry buff. As the product dries, in essence you are losing the lubricating features of the product and as this happens friction and heat will increase. As friction and heat increases, so does the risk of micro-marring the paint or instilling swirls either by the product residue or the pad material and/or a combination of both.

    While we trust that the manufacture knows their products best, when we take a close look at what it means to buff on a delicate surface like an automotive clear coat, it doesnít make sense to run a buffing pad on top of the paint without some kind of wet film to lubricate the paint at the same time. We always recommend that you follow the manufacturer's recommendations and use your own judgment.

    Everyone new to buffing wants to be told some easily identifiable sign that they can use to tell when it's time to stop buffing and it's not that simple, so here's an indicator I've always used and taught to others,

    Wet film behind your path-of-travel
    As you're making a single pass with the polisher, the paint behind the path of travel of the buffer should have a visible wet film on it. If the paint behind the pad is dry and shiny, you've run out of lubrication and you're dry buffing. Turn the polisher off. Wipe the residue off and inspect using a Swirl Finder Light to make sure you didn't dull or mar the paint, you usually won't cause any harm, but pay attention when your running the polisher and don't buff to a dry buff. If you do, you can quickly re-polish that section by cleaning your pad and adding a little fresh product and making a few new section passes.


    Use a slow arm speed
    The speed at which you move the polisher over the paint is called your arm speed, that is how fast or slow you move your arm which is controlling the polisher. When removing below surface defects like swirls and scratches you need to move the polisher slowly over the surface, not quickly. This has to do with the hardness or workability of the paint and when it comes to modern clear coats, generally speaking,

    Modern clear coats will tend to be harder than traditional single stage paints.

    This isnít 100% true all the time as Iíve worked on some very soft clear coat paints, but more often than not this is the norm. Another way of saying this would be,

    The paint on a brand new Mustang will be harder than the original paint that came on a 1965 Mustang.




    This has to do with how modern paints are chemically made, sprayed, baked, and cured onto the carís panels. Modern paints tend to last a long time as compared to paints from the 1950ís, 1960ís and 1970's and part of the reason they are more durable is because they are physically harder than old style solvent-evaporation paints, thus they resist deterioration better than old style paints. And while everyone wants a paint job that will last a long time, it is this hardness factor that makes it more difficult for you and me to remove defects like swirls and scratches out of the paint because itís physically harder to remove small particles of paint off the surface both by hand or machine. This is one of the main reasons so many people get so frustrated trying to remove swirls out of the clearcoat paint on their new cars, trucks and s.u.v.s.

    Itís for this reason you need to move the polisher slowly over the surface, you need to give the buffing pad, the oscillating/rotating action of the polisher and the abrasives in the product under downward pressure time to affect the paint in one area before moving it forward to new territory. If you move the buffer too quickly over the paint you wonít remove any defects because you wonít remove any paint.

    A personal note, maybe you can relate...
    Even though I've been machine buffing cars since the early 1980's, and teaching people how to use machines since 1988, and a part of this is teaching people to move the polisher slowly when removing defects, each time I start a new project I'll find myself instinctively starting out by moving the polisher too fast.

    My theory on why I do this and why so many other people do this is for two reasons.

    1. When you turn the polisher on at the 5.0 and 6.0 speed setting, it sounds like the motor is spinning really fast, (it is), and this sound has a psychological effect that makes us want to move the polisher fast. I find I have to purposefully slow down how fast I'm moving the polisher over the surface.

    2. Buffing out a car from start to finish takes a long time and the biggest chunk of time is the cleaning and polishing step where the defects are being removed. It's easy to think that if you move the polisher faster then you can do the job faster, but this just isn't true. Fact is if you move the polisher fast over the surface you're really not doing anything but wasting time. It's another case of moving slower in order to go faster. (That's what you want to do)


    Speed settings for removing below surface defects
    The variable speed dial on the PC 7424XP offers 6 speed settings from 1 to 6. For most car detailing projects youíll use these speeds.
    • 5.0 to 6.0 to remove defects
    • 3.0 to 4.0 to apply and spread a layer of wax or a paint sealant
    • 5.0 to 6.0 to remove dried wax or paint sealant using a microfiber bonnet
    5.0 to 6.0 to remove defects
    Removing below surface defects means removing a little paint. In order to remove a little paint you need the pad rotating against the paint under pressure with an abrasive product. In order to do this you need to use the 5.0 to 6.0 speed setting. This applies to any steps where youíre removing paint. This would include a heavy compounding step, a final polishing step, or working a cleaner/wax over a neglected finish.


    Apply firm downward pressure
    For removing below surface defects you need to apply firm downward pressure to the head of the polisher. As we discussed earlier, removing below surface defects means removing some paint off the surface and this requires applying some pressure to the head of the polisher to engage the abrasive particles with the paint so they can take little bites out of it.



    15 to 20 pounds of pressure
    If you place the face of the polisher on a normal household bathroom scale, it will read around 4-5 pounds, so just the weight of the polisher itself is supplying some downward pressure.

    Now follow me, if you apply just LIGHT pressure to the head of the polisher to keep the pad flat and stable while itís operating, youíll be around 7-8 pounds of downward pressure right from the get-go. If you apply even more pressure to really engage the pad and the abrasives against the paint you can easily reach 15 to 20 pounds of downward pressure.

    I know when some people read this it sounds excessive but itís really not when you consider the pressure by just the weight of the machine already is around 7 pounds of pressure, and with just light pressure youíre already at 10 pounds of pressure.

    Take my word for it, when trying to remove a little paint from some cars itís going to take some downward pressure to engage the abrasives into the paint and do any serious correction work. The key is to remember that polishing paint is an art form and anytime you have to use an aggressive approach to remove a little paint chances are good youíre going to have to do a follow-up step to refine the finish even further using a less aggressive pad and product. So the results from an aggressive product with downward pressures of 15 to 20 pounds wonít always leave a pristine finish but thatís okay, youíre not finished yet. (No pun intended)

    As a general rule of thumb, when working on seriously neglected paint, you'll want to apply firm pressure but never so much that the pad stops rotating. This is the purpose of the black lines on the back of your backing plate and/or foam buffing pads, itís so you can easily see if your pad is rotating or simply vibrating against the paint. Paint is removed best when the pad is rotating, not simply vibrating.

    Keep in mind you need to balance how much pressure you apply to the condition of the paint and what youíre trying to accomplish. If the paint is in good condition and only in need of light correction, (shallow defects), then you wonít need to apply as much pressure. If the paint you're working on looks like it's seen a Destruction Derby, then increase your pressure to anywhere from 15 to 20 pounds of pressure.


    Hold the pad flat to the surface
    It's vital that you hold the buffer in such a way as to keep the pad flat against the surface while you're buffing. With a completely flat panel like the hood of most large cars and trucks, for example a 80's era Suburban, it's pretty easy to keep the pad rotating by holding the buffer evenly as you buff.

    With panels that slope or curve, you need to rotate or adjust how you hold the body of the polisher to match the curve of the panel as you move it over the paint.


    If you hold the polisher in a way that there is more pressure on only an edge of the buffing pad, this increased pressure to one section of the face of the buffing pad is enough to stop the pad from rotating. This will be easy to see from the marks on your backing plate and paying attention to how youíre holding the polisher in relationship to the shape of the panel. Watching your pad will help you to perfect your technique.

    It's not as difficult as it sounds and most people new to using a DA Polisher will learn how to hold the polisher while adjusting for the curves and slopes of the car after buffing out just the front clip of their car, (hood and front fenders). The learning curve for a DA Polisher is pretty flat, that means it's pretty easy to learn how to use.



    Use an ample amount of product
    When we say use an ample amount of product this means donít use too much product and donít use to little product.


    Too much product

    If you use too much you can hyper-lubricate the surface and this will make it more difficult for the abrasives to abrade the surface as theyíll tend to want to glide or slip over the surface instead of bite into the surface.


    To little product
    If you use too little product there wonít be enough lubrication to enable the buffing pad to rotate and thus engage the abrasives against the surface so they can bite into and remove small particles of paint.

    Learning how much product to use varies with manufactures products as thereís a lot of variables involved. The best teacher is experience coupled with any hands-on training you can find. Watching a video or asking questions on a detailing discussion forum like the Autogeek Online Detailing Forum is a great resource for this kind of information.

    Also, when youíre first starting out with a dry pad, (doesnít matter so much if itís new or used as long as itís clean), the pad will tend to absorb some of the initial product applied to it or picked up off the surface. As you continue to buff and the pad becomes more wet or saturated with product a couple of things will take place:

    Youíll find youíll need less product to work a section. As the pad becomes wet with product, the combination of liquid and foam will tend to absorb and dissipate the power provided by the motor. This will show up as a reduction in the ability of the tool to keep the pad rotating under pressure. Then if you apply more pressure the free floating spindle assembly will do it's job and the pad will stop rotating. The fix for this is to clean your pad often, which we will address below and/or switch to a fresh, clean, dry pad and continue switching to clean dry pads as you work around the car and your products become wet with product.

    Of course the ability to swap out pads means having a collection of pads in your arsenal to start with depending upon your budget and how much you value your time. Simply put, dry pads rotate against the paint better than wet pads, so itís faster to buff out an entire car by swapping out wet pads for dry pads versus trying to buff the entire car out with only a few pads.

    New generation DA Polishers like the PC 7424XP and the Meguiarís G110 offer more power than their predecessors and this is their strong point because itís this extra power that will keep your pads rotating better even after they become wet with product. This one feature alone makes them worth choosing over earlier dual action polishers and/or upgrading.



    Clean your pad often
    Anytime youíre buffing with an abrasive product, whether an aggressive compound or a light polish, you have two things building up on the face of your buffing pad,
    • Spent or used-up product
    • Removed paint
    You need to remove these residues often by cleaning your pad either with a,
    • Pad washer
    • Pad cleaning brush
    • Terry cloth towel using a technique called cleaning your pad on the fly.
    Again, we cannot stress enough the importance of working clean and in this case it means wiping any spent product off the paint after each section pass and removing any spent product and paint residue off the face of your buffing pad with one of the three methods listed above.

    If you donít clean your pad often then usually youíll find that your product will become gummy on the surface of the paint and wipe-off will become more difficult. Not only that, but as product residue builds-up on your paint you increase the risk of instilling swirls back into the paint.

    Adding fresh product to used-up product dilutes and pollutes the fresh product, making it less effective. So make it a best practice to clean your pad often and always wipe off spent product before adding fresh product.


    How often to clean your pads?

    Car body panels
    At a minimum, wipe all spent product and paint residue off the car after you finish each section and always wipe the paint clean before re-polishing that section a second or third time with fresh product.

    Buffing pads
    This is personal preference and hereís what I do, for the average condition paint I will tend to clean my pad on the fly every other application of product. This means if I were buffing out the hood of a car I would apply my product to the face of the pad and buff out a section of paint about 20Ē square or so. If Iím done with that section I would wipe the residue off and then buff out the next section and be sure to overlap a little into the previous section. Now, after Iíve buffed these two sections I would clean my pad on the fly and then start on a new section and repeat this method as I work around the car.

    If the paint is severely neglected and I have to really get aggressive with the paint then I would clean my pad after each application. Also, if the temperatures are hot then I would clean my pad after each application as this will make buffing easier and more effective with less problems associated to the product trying to dry and/or become gummy on the surface.

    If you have a pad washer then you can follow this same routine. The most effective way to clean a pad while working on a car is by placing the pad on a rotary buffer, (even if youíre not using a rotary buffer to do the buffing work), and use the direct drive rotating action the rotary buffer offers to spin the pad in the pad washer at high speed and under pulsating pressure to really get the pad clean. Then lift the pad up a few inches and bring the rpmís up to the bufferís highest speed and spin out all the water via inertia. Now your pad will be clean and ready to get back to work.


    Mike Phillips
    Host - Competition Ready on Velocity Channel
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member
    CD-SV, RT
    Competition Ready Facebook Page
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
    Twitter
    Instagram

    Click on a book to get your own copy.



  4. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stuart, Florida
    Posts
    37,275

    Re: DA Polisher Articles - Help for Newbies to Machine Polishing

    How to clean your foam pad on the fly



    When using a dual action polisher to remove below surface defects with any type of abrasive product youíre going to have two things building up on the face of the foam pad that you need to clean off.
    • Spent residue - From the product youíre using.
    • Paint - Small particles of paint that are coming off the car as you abrade the surface
    If youíre working on a clear coat finish then keep in mind you wonít see the paint residue building up on the pad because the clear coat paint is clear.

    Make sense?


    If youíre working on a clearcoat finish, all you're going to see is the color of the product that youíre using. For example if youíre using a white colored polish youíll see white residue building-up on the pad.

    Now if youíre working on as single stage paint then youíll see the color of the paint on the car on the face of your foam pad,. For example if youíre working on a single stage yellow paint system then youíll see yellow paint on the face of your foam pad.

    The important thing to understand is that as you work on the car with your polisher youíre going to be removing a little paint and thereís going to be used-up product and paint building-up on the face of the foam pad. It's important to clean this gunk off your pad often.

    So the question is, how to you clean this gunk off the pad?


    The answer is thereís a number of ways to clean your foam pad, the three most common are,
    • Pad Washer
    • Nylon Brush or Pad Cleaning Brush
    • Terry Cloth Towel
    Out of the 3 options listed above, cleaning your pad on the fly is probably the most popular because itís fast, and most people have a terry cloth towel in the linen closet that they can use to clean the pad.

    The best way to clean a pad is with a pad washer but before you can use a pad washer you must first own one. Pad washers are worth their weight in gold if you buff cars out with any kind of regularity. If however youíre just buffing out your own personal cars, then chances are you donít own a pad washer but chances are very good you do own a terry cloth towel or two that you can use to clean your pads on the fly.

    Brushes work good if youíre using a rotary buffer but the only way you can use one with DA Polisher is to turn the polisher off, hold the polisher and pad in such a way that the pad wonít spin and then rub the brush over the face of the pad to scrape off the residue.

    While this works, it means turning the polisher off, (now you're not buffing out the car, remember the time issue?) and grabbing your brush and then brushing the pad. Nothing wrong with this but when you consider how long it already takes to do the cleaning step, (about 4-6 hours for an average size car and thatís if your good at this and if you work fast and donít take any breaks. So stopping the polisher and using a brush to clean the pad works but itís not as fast or effective as using a terry cloth towel.

    The whole idea and success behind the cleaning your pad on the fly technique is in that it allows you to clean your pad quickly, (thatís the on the fly part), and then quickly get back to work.

    Again, buffing out an entire car using a dual action polisher from start to finish is an all day job. There is no time for lollygagging. If you lollygag or take long breaks, you either wonít get the job done in one day or youíll sacrifice doing a quality job during the cleaning step in order to get to the waxing step so you can put the car back into service.



    So letís take a look at how-to clean your pad on the fly

    Cleaning your pad on the fly is where you take a terry cloth towel, usually a medium size hand towel works best, you fold it in two and then simply hold the towel against the face of the pad and then turn the polisher on and use your hand thatís holding the towel to push the towel into the foam. This will act to draw any excess liquid out of the foam and any excess residue off of the face of the pad.


    This is me using the Clean your Pad on the Fly Technique to clean my pad on the fly as we removed the oxidation off this Neon.












    Mike Phillips
    Host - Competition Ready on Velocity Channel
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member
    CD-SV, RT
    Competition Ready Facebook Page
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
    Twitter
    Instagram

    Click on a book to get your own copy.



  5. #5
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stuart, Florida
    Posts
    37,275

    Re: DA Polisher Articles - Help for Newbies to Machine Polishing

    Continued...

    Tips and Techniques for using the PC 7424XP Dual Action Polisher to apply a wax or paint sealant.

    Applying a wax or paint sealant is much different than removing below surface defects because when you're applying a wax or paint sealant you're not trying to remove paint but instead just trying to spread a layer of wax or sealant over the paint and to whatever degree possible, work the product into the paint.

    At this point of the project all the residues from the previously applied products should be removed and the surface should be dust free.

    For applying a finishing wax or paint sealant you'll want to use a soft foam finishing pad and set the speed setting on the polisher to the 3.0 to 4.0 speed setting. Liquids work best for machine application but paste waxes can also be used by simply applying the paste wax onto the face of the pad then spreading it around just like you would a liquid.

    Set the speed setting to 3.0 to 4.0 for applying waxes and paint sealants


    Use a soft foam finishing pad like the Lake Country Charcoal Gray Finishing Pads to apply waxes and paint sealants.





    No limit to how big a size to work
    When you apply a wax or paint sealant by machine you are not limited to only applying to a small section and in fact you can apply the product to as large of a section you like; the important thing is to make 2-3 passes over each square inch.

    The reason you work small section at a time when removing swirls goes back to the hardness of the piant.

    When you're applying a wax or sealant you're not trying to remove or abrade small particles of paint, you're simply trying to spread out an uniform layer of product.

    Make sense?




    Methods of applying a wax or paint sealant by machine
    There are a couple of ways to actually apply the wax to the paint. One method is to place the product directly onto the face of the pad, then place the face of the pad onto the surface of the paint and then turn the polisher on and start spreading the wax. Most people that do this place an ample amount of wax on the face of the pad to cover a large section since you are not limited to how large of an area you can work at one time. While this works, it also tend to load your pad up with product.


    Question: Think about it. When you place the face of the foam pad onto the surface of the paint and for a brief moment the polisher is still turned off... at this point, where is the liquid going?

    Answer: Because the foam is soft and absorbent the wax goes into the pad and after some time the pad can become wet with product that may end up just being wasted.

    A variation of this is to only place small pea-sized drops of wax onto the pad and then spreading these pea-sized drop of wax over the paint. Most people aren't disciplined enough to use this method and it means adding product often to the pad.

    A variation of applying a pea-sized drop of product to the face of the pad is to place pea-sized drops of product onto the paint and then as you're running out of wax under your pad come up to the pea-sized drop and tilt the polisher just for a brief moment in order to capture the drop of wax or paint sealant under the pad and then quickly lay the pad flat and continue spreading the wax around.


    Kissing the Finish
    Kissing the finish is kind of the lazy man's method of applying wax to a car by machine, (it's the method I like to use and the term I came up with to try to explain what to do). To do this you place a strip or bead of product onto the face of your foam finishing pad and then instead of laying the pad against the paint where pressure will force most of the wax into the inside of the pad, you just dab the pad down onto the surface at an angle and deposit a little bit of the wax onto that section of the paint. In other words you use the pad to lightly kiss the finish. Continue this until you've deposited most/all of the wax that was on the face of the pad to the car panels.

    Now with the pad flat against the paint, turn the polisher on and begin spreading the wax still on the pad over the car's panels. When you come up to a small dab of wax on the paint, simply tilt the polisher a little and snag the wax and pull it under the pad. Then lay the pad flat and continue spreading the wax over the paint and working your way around the car. Not a perfect system but the fast, lazy man's method.


    Kissing the Finish by Mike Phillips


    Kissing the Finish is a technique you can use to apply a liquid wax and help keep the wax spreading out over the paint instead of loading up inside your pad.


    I use the "Kissing the Finish" technique when machine applying a liquid wax or paint sealant, that is instead of taking the wax you see on the face of the pad and simply squishing it up into the foam by placing the foam pad flat against the paint, I'll first "kiss the finish" or in other words, touch the face of the foam pad with wax on it down onto your panel at an angle thus depositing only a portion of the wax on the pad to one area on the paint.

    The effect is to have a bunch of dabs of wax on the paint deposited off the face of the pad. You're car's panel will look like it has spots, or arcs of product on it...


    It's really the lazy man's way to machine wax a car because there are similar methods that will do the same thing. This technique works well for two reasons,

    1) If you're already use a DA Polisher then you're already use to applying product to the face of the pad.

    2) If you're working on vertical panels it can be a challenge to sling a small amount of product onto the vertical panel directly out of the bottle so applying to the face of the pad is faster, easier and uses less product. For horizontal panels you could simply squirt a little wax randomly over the surface and then pick up the product under the face of your buffing pad on the fly, but if you're a creature of habit you might find yourself just applying to the face of the pad via reason 1 above.



    First, shake shake shake... always shake liquid car care products up thoroughly before applying.

    Next, apply a small circle of product onto the face of the pad... you can also use an x-pattern or even make a smiley face... whatever makes you happy...




    Next, touch down just an edge of the face of the foam pad and deposit a little of the wax to a portion of the panel you're working on.

    Then after you've Kissed the Finish in a few places, take what's left and place the face of the foam pad against the paint and THEN turn the polisher on and begin making overlapping passes over the paint.

    UNLIKE removing swirls with a DA Polisher where you only want to work a small section at a time, (about 20" squarish or so), if you've removed all the below surface defects and now you're just applying a wax or paint sealant, you can work a section as far as you can reach as long as you have ample product to spread out.

    For the hood of this El Camino I can easily reach and work on half of the hood at one time, so I use enough wax to coat over half of the hood and move the pad over each square inch at least 2-3 passes to sufficiently work the sealant over and into, (to whatever level possible), the paint.




    As I come up to a dab of wax from where I "Kissed the Finish" with my pad, I tilt the polisher, lifting the leading edge of the pad but maintaining constant contact with the trailing edge of the pad and then run the pad over the dab of wax and then immediately lay the pad flat again and then work new territory with this new dab of wax.







    Tilt the polisher a little to lift the leading edge of the pad...



    Then move the tilted leading edge over the wax to draw and trap the wax between the paint and the pad...






    Then lay the pad flat and begin working the wax or in this case a synthetic paint sealant over the paint.



    Continue doing this as you work around the car and all panels are coated with an application of wax or paint sealant.


    This is called, Kissing the Finish...

    Note: This technique works well with basecoat/clearcoat finishes because clear coat paints don't absorb liquids very well. Be careful if you use this technique on a single stage paint, especially a metallic single stage finish as portions of ANY liquid paint care product if left to stand for too long of a time on single stage paint can act to stain the paint. This is usually not a problem and simply picking up the excess with your pad and working it into the paint will even out the appearance by equally coating the entire surface.

    I just want to point out that older single stage paints can and do absorb some types of liquids, so pay attention and either avoid this technique on single stage paints, or work quickly to spread the dabs of product out before any concentrated dabs of product soak into the paint.

    Again, it's not really a problem, just want to make you aware because single stage paints are not very common and a lot of people have never worked on these types of paints.



    From bottle directly to the car
    Another method is to dab a small amount of wax or paint sealant onto the car's paint right out of the can or bottle. Again, just like the kissing the finish technique, as you move around the car spreading the wax, when you come up to one of these a little dabs of wax, tilt the polisher to lift one edge of the pad off the surface and then after snagging the product under the pad lay the pad flat and continue working the wax over the panels.


    Apply wax or paint sealant to entire car at one time
    Unlike working with compounds, swirl removers and polishes, which you only work a small section at a time and then immediately wipe off the leftover residue,you generally apply a wax or paint sealant to the entire car and then after it fully dries you remove it. Oftentimes there's a space of time to enjoy a cold beverage or do some other detailing function like dress the tires or clean the glass.


    Allow the wax or paint sealant to dry
    Unlike compounds, swirl mark removers and polishes, with most waxes and paint sealants you want to apply a thin coating and then allow enough time to pass to let the coating fully dry before removing it. The idea behind applying a wax or paint sealant to your car's paint is to create and leave behind a barrier-coating of protection.

    Part of how the protection ingredients bond or stick to the paint is through the drying process. If you remove the wax or paint sealant before it fully dries you will in essence be wiping some of the protection ingredients off the surface. Read the directions for specific instructions by the manufacture as to how long to leave the product on and use that as your guide.


    The Swipe Test
    The directions on most labels for the various waxes and paint sealants on the market will state to allow the product to dry for 15 to 20 minutes or allow the product to dry to a haze. These are general indicators. A more specific indicator is called the Swipe Test.

    The Swipe Test is where you take your clean finger and give a waxed panel a brisk swipe with your clean fingertip. Then you inspect the swiped area to see if it's clear and glossy or if it looks smeary. If it's clear and glossy then this indicates the wax or paint sealant is ready to remove. If the swiped area looks smeary then this indicates wax or paint sealant is still wet and it needs more time to dry. Simple and accurate.


    Removing the dried wax or paint sealant
    When the Swipe Test indicates the wax or paint sealant is ready to remove, you can remove it the traditional way by hand or you can use a microfiber bonnet on a foam cutting pad on your DA Polisher.


    Removing Wax by Hand
    Removing wax by hand is pretty basic but here's a few tips to help ensure you remove the wax in a gentle manner so as not to instill any swirls or scratches in the process.

    First, fold a plush microfiber polishing cloth 4-ways to provide you with a thick, plush wiping cloth with 8 dedicated sides you can use to remove and hold wax. This will also create plenty of cushion to help spread out the pressure from your hand.









    Next, and this is key, place the microfiber onto a panel and then place your hand on top of the microfiber polishing cloth and then gently twist the microfiber a few times like this,




    This is called breaking the wax or breaking the wax open.


    Once you have a shiny spot, turn the microfiber over to a clean side and place it back onto the shiny spot. Now from here, take your hand and do the Pac Man, which means start taking little bites out of the wax coating using overlapping circular motions.

    Re-fold your microfiber to a new, clean side often and also shake your microfiber polishing cloth before re-folding to allow dried wax to fall off of it.

    The idea is to break open the continuous layer of wax and then once you've broke open a spot, start to creep-out. No, I don't mean get weird on us, I mean move-out from the shiny spot by taking little bites out of the dried wax. This is a very gentle way to remove wax and there are two key things to keep in mind,
    1. Always use your best, softest microfiber polishing cloths.
    2. Taking little bites, not big bites.
    A 16" microfiber folded 4-ways gives you a surface area for your hand that is 8" square with plenty of cushion to spread out the pressure from your hand.

    As long as you're only taking off little bites or swipes, the microfiber cloth will have more leverage over the bond the wax has on the paint and thus the wax will wipe off easy. This assumes you have a stronger arm than my elderly Grandma bless her soul.

    Continue this method and work your way around the car. Have plenty of premium quality microfiber polishing cloths on hand and switch to a new, clean microfiber as the current one loads up with dried residue. I like to have a cloth in each hand as often times I'll use one hand to support myself while I'm removing wax from off lower panels. This way I don't get dirt or finger oils on the freshly wiped-off paint

    After you've worked your way around the car and removed the majority of all the dried residue then give the paint a final wipe using the technique outlined here,

    The Final Wipe


    The only time this technique doesn't work is if you've applied too thick of a coating of a wax like the Meguiarís M16 Professional Paste Wax which should never be applied thick but all to often is by Newbies thinking more is better.

    Here in the U.S. and probably the rest of the world people think like this,

    "If a little is good, more is better"

    When it comes to car care products that's rarely true and usually the opposite is more accurate and that is, less is best.

    The only time a little is good but more is better is when it comes to my gas tank or my bank account.



    Removing wax using the PC 7424XP
    Some people like to remove dried wax by hand and some people like to use the dual action polisher to do this job. It really comes down to personal preference. I can also make a case for using the machine but not in this article. So for now, here's a few tips and techniques for using the PC 7424XP to remove dried wax or paint sealant.

    First and foremost, the layer of wax MUST be a thin coat that is completely dried. If the layer is thick and still wet, (and if it's thick then that means it will take longer to dry so it's possible it's still wet), then you won't get very far trying to remove the wax or paint sealant by machine as your microfiber will load up with wax very quickly and reach a saturation point that it will stop removing the product, or at least stop removing it completely.

    After reading this article you should be practicing the art of applying a thin coating and allowing the coating to fully dry as proven by your Swipe Test. If you have all your ducks in a row then the dried wax or paint sealant will remove off the paint as easy as a summer breeze.


    How to use a microfiber bonnet to remove dried wax by machine

    Indigo on Hydro







    If you own a DA Polisher, like a Porter Cable, Meguiarís or Griotís Garage DA Polisher, then hereís how you can use your polisher to remove dried wax.

    Removing dried wax by machine works best when you apply a thin coat to start with and the best way to apply a thin coat of wax is by machine. Of course if you already own a DA Polisher than you probably already know this and already apply your waxes by machine. So letís take a look at removing dried wax by machine.

    Waxes that dry to a haze
    The first thing I want to point out is removing wax works best if youíre using a wax that is supposed to dry to a haze, this is because once itís grip is loosened from the paint because itís dry it doesnít try to stick to the paint. Waxes that dry to a haze also wonít dampen the microfiber bonnet and the nap wonít load up as easily or quickly as will happen when removing a wipe on, wipe off wax.

    Wipe On, Wipe Off Waxes
    First, if youíre removing a wax that is still wet it wonít take very long for the wetness of the product to dampen the nap of the microfiber bonnet and tend to load up until the nap is coated with wet wax. At this point it will more or less stop removing the wax efficiently until you change to a dry microfiber. So while it can be done, removing wax by machine works best when used to remove waxes that have dried to a haze.

    Firm, Dense Pads
    The key to removing dried wax using a DA Polisher is a firm pad like a foam cutting pad or a Lambswool pad. My personal preference has always been to use a foam pad because it provides a level of cushion due to the nature of the foam cell wall structure, the Lambswool has no foam cushion, it is simply a soft lambswools skin with a Hook-n-Loop backing glued to the skin side of the Lambswool. The foam cushioning feature also enables the pad to conform to a curves and body lines better than the hard, flat feature provided by the lambswool pad with a microfiber bonnet over it.

    Any of these foam pads work well for removing dried wax,

    5.5Ē Lake Country Flat Yellow Cutting Pad
    5.5Ē Lake country Flat Orange Light Cutting Pad
    5.5Ē Lake Country CCS Yellow Cutting Pad
    5.5Ē Lake country CCS Orange Light Cutting Pad
    6Ē Lake Country Purple Kompressor Pad
    6Ē Lake Country Orange Kompressor Pad


    Dedicated Pad
    Now this is important, when using microfiber bonnets to remove dried wax you only want to use,
    • Dry pads

    • Clean pads
    [B]Dry Pads

    If the pad is wet, it will transfer its liquid to the microfiber and get it wet; this will dramatically reduce its ability to remove wax. So donít try to use a pad thatís either wet with product or wet after being washed clean.


    Clean pads
    If your pad has been previously used to apply some kind of paint care product and itís dry, the dried residue in the pores of the foam pad will shake loose and accumulate inside the bonnet. This will contaminate that side of the bonnet making it unusable.

    The best thing to do is to dedicate a pad to go with your bonnets and donít ever use that pad for any machine cleaning or polishing work. If possible, you can mark the back with Sharpie permanent marker.


    Reversible Bonnets
    Microfiber bonnets are pretty much all reversible so you can use one side till it loads up with dried wax and then remove it, turn it inside out, give it a shake and put back onto your buffing pad and get back to work with the other side. Iíll show you my technique for cleaning your bonnet on the fly and often times you can remove all the wax off an average size car with just one side of bonnet.


    Swipe Test
    The first thing you want to do is to test the wax to make sure itís dry and ready to remove and you do this with whatís called the Swipe Test. Once the swipe test shows the wax is ready to remove, you can begin removing the wax by machine.


    Removing the Wax
    It doesnít matter much where you start but the normal protocol would be to start where you started when you applied the wax and then follow your path of travel. Another way is to just start at the top and work your way down.


    Work Area Size
    Basically as far as you can reach and manage comfortably. When removing defects you only want to work a small section at at time. When applying a liquid wax by machine and when removing dried wax by machine you can basically tackle as large an area as you like.


    Speed Setting
    You need a fast speed setting to remove the wax, I tend to use the 5.0 Speed Setting as itís not as violent as the 6.0 speed setting but you need to at least be on the 5.0 speed setting.


    Downward Pressure
    You want to use firm downward pressure when removing the wax. The reason for this is you want the nap of the microfiber slicing into the coating of wax and then breaking it up and this cannot be accomplished with light pressure.


    VERY IMPORTANT
    Donít lift the face of the buffing pad off the car at any time when operating the polisher at high speeds, if you do the pad rotation will quickly speed up and chances are very good your buffing pad will fly off the backing plate and land on the ground somewhere where it will become contaminated with dirt and unusable.

    A technique for how to move the polisher from panel to panel without having the pad fly off even though you donít turn the polisher off is to at the same time you lift the pad off the surface, quickly place your clean hand against the pad, this won't hurt you and will keep the pad from flying off the polisher till you touch it down again on a new panel, for example going from the roof to the hood, or from the hood to a side mirror, etc.


    Benefits to machine removal of wax
    First of all, removing wax by machine is personal preference; some people like this technique while others prefer to simply wipe-off waxes by hand.

    Using a microfiber bonnet over a foam cutting pad provides equal pressure over the entire face of the pad and removes any pressure points created typically by your fingertips when wiping off by hand.

    For some people, letting the machine do the work might be a physical advantage than using their arms and shoulders to wipe the wax off, just depends upon the physical limitations of the person.


    Variation on the bonnetSome people will simply place a microfiber flat onto the paint and then place a clean, dry buffing pad against the microfiber and remove wax using the microfiber trapped between the pad and the paint. Iím not a big fan of this method because the microfiber towel can easily work its way out from under the pad, especially if you try this on a vertical panel.




    Cleaning the bonnet on the fly
    Another option is to clean the bonnet on the fly. With the polisher still running, tilt the polisher so there's always an edge of the bonnet-covered pad touching the paint so the pad doesn't go flying off.

    Now take your fingertips and place them against the face of the pad that's raised off the surface in the air and transfer the pressure from the car panel to your fingertips, more precisely, to your fingernails. With pressure against the face of the pad with your fingertips/fingernails carefully move the pad into the air to the side of the car, the pressure from your fingers will keep the pad from flying off.

    Now carefully lessen the pressure of your fingernails against the face of the pad and let the pad rotate freely in the air but controlled all the while by you and your pressure against the bonnet.

    Now move your fingernails from the inside to the outer edge of the bonnet somewhat like a wood chisel against a piece of wood on a lathe. What you're doing is letting your fingernails lift the fibers of the nap and loosen the stuck-on wax allowing it to fall off the bonnet and onto the floor. After you've made a few passes like this move the polisher back over to the area you left off at and touch an edge of the pad/bonnet back onto the paint. Quickly remove your fingers while at the same time laying the pad back against the panel so that it's flat against the paint. Continue moving the buffer over the paint allowing the bonnet to remove the wax.

    Repeat often as you work around the car. Basically you're using your fingernails to lift and separate the microfiber nap so the dried residue will fly off leaving your a mostly clean and ready to use bonnet to continue removing wax with.


    Using this technique you can usually remove all the wax with just one side of the bonnet but feel free to reverse the bonnet of switch to a new/clean bonnet as you feel necessary.

    After you go around the car and remove the majority of the wax then use the The Final Wipe to make the final wipe.


    Warning: Don't lift the bonnet/pad off the surface as it will spin up to maximum speed and in most cases the pad will tear loose from the backing plate and go flying across the room usually landing someplace really dirty like the corner of the floor.


    Note: Only use a clean, never-before-used foam cutting pad for the backing underneath of your microfiber polishing bonnet. Using a used bonnet with dried residue can introduce contaminants to the inner side of the bonnet and then you risk inflicting swirls or marring.

    Only use a dry pad under your bonnet. If you use a pad that is wet with product the bonnet will absorb the liquid and become wet. A wet bonnet won't work to remove wax and may cause a smeary mess.

    If you want to use this technique then dedicate a pad solely for use under your microfiber bonnet by marking it with a permanent marker and then store it in a clean, dry place.


    Mike Phillips
    Host - Competition Ready on Velocity Channel
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member
    CD-SV, RT
    Competition Ready Facebook Page
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
    Twitter
    Instagram

    Click on a book to get your own copy.



  6. #6
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stuart, Florida
    Posts
    37,275

    Re: DA Polisher Articles - Help for Newbies to Machine Polishing

    DA Polisher Trouble Shooting Guide


    When you're first starting out machine polishing and learning to use a DA Polisher it's common to have questions about your results and your results are directly tied to your technique.

    Here's a list of the most common problems,

    1. Trying to work too large of an area at one time.

    2. Moving the polisher too fast over the surface.

    3. Using too low of speed setting for removing swirls.

    4. Using too little downward pressure on the head of the polisher.

    5. Using too much downward pressure on the head of the polisher so the pad quits rotating.

    6. Not holding the polisher in a way to keep the pad flat while working your compound or polish.

    7. Using too much product or using too little product.

    8. Not cleaning the pad often enough.
    Here's a list of the solutions in matching order,

    1. Trying to work too large of an area at one time.
    Shrink the size of your work area down. You can't tackle to large of an area at one time. The average size work area should be around 20" by 20". Most generic recommendations say to work an area 2' by 2' but for the correction step, that's too large. You have to do some experimenting, (called a Test Spot), to find out how easy or how hard the defects are coming out of your car's paint system and then adjust your work area to the results of your Test Spot. The harder the paint the smaller the area you want to work.


    2. Moving the polisher too fast over the surface.
    For removing defects out of the paint you want to use what we call a Slow Arm Speed. It's easy and actually natural for most people new to machine polishing to move the polisher quickly over the paint but that's the wrong technique. One reason I think people move the polisher too quickly over the paint is because they hear the sound of the motor spinning fast and this has psychological effect which causes them to match their arm movement to the perceived fast speed of the polisher's motor.

    Another reason people move the polisher too quickly over the paint is because they think like this,

    "If I move the polisher quickly, I'll get done faster"

    But it doesn't work that way. Anytime you're trying to remove swirls, scratches, water spots or oxidation using a DA Polisher you need to move the polisher s-l-o-w-l-y over the paint.



    3. Using too low of speed setting for removing swirls.
    When first starting out many people are scared of burning or swirling their paint, so they take the safe route of running the polisher at too low of a speed setting but this won't work. The action of the polisher is already g-e-n-t-l-e, you need the speed and specifically the pad oscillating and rotating over the paint as well as the combination of time, (slow arm speed), together with the abrasives, the pad aggressiveness, and the downward pressure to remove small particles of paint which is how your remove below surface defects like swirls or scratches.

    Removing below surface defects is a leveling process where you need the abrasives to take little bites out of the paint and to get the abrasives to take these little bites with a tool that uses a Free Floating Spindle Bearing Assembly you need all of the above factors working for you including a high speed setting.



    4. Using too little downward pressure on the head of the polisher.
    For the same reason as stated in #3, people are scared, or perhaps a better word is apprehensive, to apply too much downward pressure to the polisher and the result of too little pressure is no paint is removed thus no swirls are removed.



    5. Using too much downward pressure on the head of the polisher so the pad quits rotating.
    If you push too hard you will slow down the rotating movement of the pad and the abrasives won't be effectively worked against the paint. You need to apply firm pressure to engage the abrasives against the paint but no so much that the pad is barely rotating. This is where it's a good idea to use a permanent black marker to make a mark on the back of your backing plate so your eyes can easily see if the pad is rotating or not and this will help you to adjust your downward pressure accordingly.

    Correct technique means finding a balance of applying enough downward pressure to remove defects but not too much downward pressure as to stop the rotating movement of the pad.

    This balance is affected by a lot of factors like the lubricity of the product you're using, some compounds and polishes provide more lubrication than others and this makes it easier to maintain pad rotation under pressure.

    Another factor that can affect pad rotation are raised body lines, edges and curved surfaces as anytime you have uneven pressure on just a portion of the face of the pad it can slow or stop pad rotation. This is where experience comes into play and experience comes from time spent behind the polisher.



    6. Not holding the polisher in a way to keep the pad flat while working your compound or polish.
    Applying pressure in such a way as to put too much pressure to one edge of the pad will cause it to stop rotating and thus decrease abrading ability.



    7. Using too much product or using too little product.
    Too much product hyper-lubricates the surface and the result is that abrasives won't effectively bite into the paint but instead will tend to skim over the surface. Overusing product will also accelerate pad saturation as well increase the potential for slinging splatter onto adjacent panels.

    Too little product will means too little lubrication and this can interfere with pad rotation.

    Again there needs to be a balance between too much product and too little product and finding this balance comes from reading articles like this one, watching videos an most important, going out into the garage and putting in time behind the polisher and as you're buffing with specific product and pad combinations, pay attention to pad rotation.



    8. Not cleaning the pad often enough.
    Most people simply don't clean their pad often enough to maximize the effectiveness of their DA Polisher. Anytime you're abrading the paint you have two things building up on the face of your buffing pad,
    • Removed paint

    • Spent product

    As these to things build up on the face of the pad they become gummy and this has a negative affect on pad rotating plus makes wiping the leftover residue on the paint more difficult. To maintain good pad rotation you want to clean your pad often and always wipe-off any leftover product residue off the paint after working a section. Never add fresh product to your pad and work a section that still has leftover product residue on it.
    Mike Phillips
    Host - Competition Ready on Velocity Channel
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member
    CD-SV, RT
    Competition Ready Facebook Page
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
    Twitter
    Instagram

    Click on a book to get your own copy.



  7. #7
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stuart, Florida
    Posts
    37,275

    Re: DA Polisher Articles - Help for Newbies to Machine Polishing

    Wet Buffing Technique


    The Wet Buffing Technique
    Most compounds and polishes should be used so that there is enough product on the surface to maintain a wet film while the product is being worked. The wetness of the product is lubricating the paint as the abrasives abrade the paint and cushion or buffer the abrading action so the abrasives donít simply scour the finish leaving behind what we call micro-marring or hazing the paint.

    Micro-marring, Hazing or Tick Marks





    Tip: Wet film behind your path-of-travel
    Everyone new to buffing wants to be told some easily identifiable sign that they can use to tell when it's time to stop buffing and it's not that simple, so here's an indicator I've always used and share in our detailing classes.


    As you're making a single pass with the polisher, the paint behind the path-of-travel should have a visible wet film on it. If the paint behind the pad is dry and shiny, you've run out of lubrication and you're dry buffing.

    Turn the polisher off. Wipe the residue off and inspect using a Swirl Finder Light to make sure you didn't dull or micro-mar the paint, you usually won't cause any harm, but pay attention when your running the polisher and don't buff to a dry buff. If you do, you can quickly re-polish that section by cleaning your pad and adding a little fresh product and making a few new section passes.

    Wet film behind your path-of-travel




    Mike Phillips
    Host - Competition Ready on Velocity Channel
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member
    CD-SV, RT
    Competition Ready Facebook Page
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
    Twitter
    Instagram

    Click on a book to get your own copy.



  8. #8
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stuart, Florida
    Posts
    37,275

    Re: DA Polisher Articles - Help for Newbies to Machine Polishing

    How to correctly fold and use a Microfiber Towel


    People Watching
    Most of my life and even just recently while working on an expensive car with a nice finish, I observe people and the techniques they use for any and all aspects of detailing cars. The goal is to help them tweak their technique if anything they're doing could use some improvement. Most pros would agree, when it comes to taking a car's finish to it's maximum potential, that even more important than pad, product and tool selection is technique.


    Technique is everything...


    Basic Technique but Vitally Important
    One common procedure that is as basic as you can get is also one of the most important procedures involved with creating a true show car shine and that's correctly folding and using a microfiber towel to remove a coating of polish, wax, paint sealant, spray-on-wax or spray detailer.


    • Good Technique - Used correctly, your hand and a microfiber towel will create and eye-dazzling finish that that will hold up under intense scrutiny under bright light conditions like full overhead sunlight or while on display at an indoor car show.

    • Wrong Technique - Used in-correctly and you can easily instill swirls and scratches into the paint not only ruining the finish but requiring machine polishing to remove them and then you're back to wiping the polish off without instilling swirls all over again... catch 22

    How To Fold and Use a Microfiber Towel
    Here's the basics on how to correctly use a microfiber towel.

    Start with a clean, microfiber towel. If the towel has been washed and dried, I will usually inspect each side to make sure there are no contaminants on the towel. Microfiber acts like a magnet and can easily attract and hold all kinds of things to itself that you don't want to rub against your car's paint... so take a moment to visually inspect your polishing towels.

    If you're working on a show car finish, even if the show car finish is on your daily driver, make it a "Best Practice" to visually inspect the face of each towel before folding and using.

    Clean, laundered Cobra Indigo Microfiber Towel



    Fold the microfiber towel in half...



    Then in half again...





    Control over the towel
    By folding your microfiber towels into quarters, you will now have 8, dedicated sides to wipe with and you have control over all 8 sides of the entire microfiber towel. When you simply lay a microfiber towel flat or scrunch it up into a wad, you don't have any control over the towel because it's too hard to gauge and remember how much of the towel has already been used.


    Cushion to spread out the pressure from your hand
    Folding your microfiber towel like shown above provides cushion to spread out the pressure from your hand, this provide two benefits,
    1) Helps reduce the potential for fingermarks caused by excess pressure from your fingertips.
    2) Helps to maintain even contact between the working face of the folded microfiber towel and the surface of the paint. This is important at all time but especially whenever you're working on any panel that is not flat.
    Folding your microfiber towel provides cushion to spread out the pressure of your hand plus gives you 8 dedicated sides to wipe with.



    Not folding means less cushion and only two sides to wipe with...




    Correct Technique
    Folded towels provide cushion, cushion enables you to work more carefully on your pride and joy plus even contact of a folded, flat microfiber towel against the paint helps you to remove product residues more effectively...





    Incorrect Technique - Unfolded Microfiber Towel
    Simply laying the towel flat against the paint increases the potential for swirls and scratches due to pressure points against the towel. Using a towel flat and unfolded offers little to no cushion and reduces even pressure between the cloth and the paint. I cringe when I see someone wiping a nice finish by simply placing the towel down flat on the paint and then placing their hand flat on the towel.




    Incorrect Techniques - Scrunched-up Microfiber Towel
    Here's another common method, or actually lack of method, for wiping product residue off paint and that's to simply scrunch up a microfiber towel into a wad of cloth and wipe using this wadded up towel. Not only do you have zero control over the surface of the towel but you now are introducing folds and edges of towel directly to the finish... under pressure!






    Argh!
    There's nothing gentle about wiping paint with a wadded up towel...




    Inspect and Fold
    Make it a "Best Practice" to inspect the working face of your wiping cloths before using and adopt another "Best Practice" and that is to fold your microfiber towels 4-ways to give you 8 dedicated sides to wipe with and plenty of cushion to spread out the pressure from you hand while being gentle to your car's finish.

    It should look like this...







    The Final Wipe Ė Tips for creating a streak-free, show car finish


    Note: The final wiping technique is not for the initial wiping-off of the wax or paint sealant, but instead is for after the majority of product has been already been removed and now all youíre doing is giving the finish a final wipe.

    Turning a diamond in the rough into a glistening gemstone
    You started early in the morning by washing the car, then you clayed the paint, then removed all the swirls and scratches, then polished the finish to a super high gloss and after that you applied your favorite wax or paint sealant. Youíve taken a diamond in the rough and turned it into a glistening gemstone. After removing the wax or the paint sealant itís time to give the paint one last final wipe to remove any trace residues and showcase all your hard work.

    Hereís a tip to help you insure there are no streaks or smears left on the paint and a technique that on some hard to work on paints that might be just the ticket for creating the perfect finish in any lighting condition.

    The Final Wipe
    After all the work is done, when itís time to give the paint the final wipe-down before you stand back and say to yourself it is finished, and then you take your pride and joy for a spin around the block or turn the keys back over to the owner, you usually want and need to give the paint a final wipe-down to insure you didnít miss any spots and to remove any trace residues off the paint that can stand out like a sore thumb in the right light at the right angle that will so easily distract everyoneís attention from the work of art youíve created.

    This technique can often times help you to remove any stubborn streaks or uneven looking areas on the paint, and itís exactly opposite of what Iíve often seen enthusiasts and detailers do my entire car detailing life.


    The Technique
    The technique is to wipe the paint down slowly using your best, premium quality microfiber polishing cloth using gentle, even pressure. Fold your polishing cloth 4-ways to provide plenty of cushion to help spread out the pressure from your hand as best as you can over the face of the folded microfiber.

    Fold your microfiber polishing cloth to create plenty of cushion to help spread out the pressure from your hand and to give you 8 dedicated wiping sides.









    The secret to this technique is purposefully moving your hand and wiping cloth s-l-o-w-l-y over the paint, not like a spastic crazy guy moving his hand at light-speed over the surface.



    How it works
    The way this works is really quite simple but let me break it down for you into simple terms so everyone can understand. When making the final wipe, your job is to remove all trace residues from the previously applied wax or paint sealant; thatís your job. While to the human eye the surface of your carís paint looks smooth and flat, under a microscope itís actually a landscape of hills and valleys, (which is high spots and low spots), as well as pits and pores and interstices. (Interstices = microscopic gaps and cracks in the paint)

    Trace residues remain in the lower imperfections on the surface and when you move a polishing cloth over the surface the fiberís of the polishing cloth grab onto and removes residues off the high points the easiest. Again, your job is to remove all the trace residues and do it in such a way that you do no harm to the highly polished surface at the same time, thus you need to use a premium quality microfiber, folded 4-ways to help spread out the pressure of your hand.

    Now think about it, if youíre moving the microfiber quickly over the surface how much time do the residues on the surface have to transfer to the cloth? Seconds? Milliseconds? Thatís not very long.

    Thatís why wiping like a mad man wonít remove streaks or residues and could possibly inflict swirls and scratches back into the finish.

    Slow down to speed up
    Instead, how about moving the polishing cloth slowly over the surface and enabling the microscopic sized fibers to get into the low portions where once they make contact with any remaining wax or polymers, the residue will have time to transfer from the paint to the cloth?

    This is called the final wiping technique and most people would agree it makes sense. It also works most of the time for stubborn streaks that sometimes show up on dark colored paints but itís also just a good technique when working on highly polished surfaces where your or your customerís expectations are high.


    If youíve ever spent upwards of 8 hours and/or longer polishing out the paint to perfection on your car, or a customerís car then you know how much work goes into,
    • Washing the car.
    • Evaluating the surface.
    • Claying the paint.
    • Taping off trim, body lines, emblems and badges as well as hard, thin edges.
    • Removing swirls, scratches and other paint imperfections.
    • Polishing the paint to a high gloss.
    • Applying the wax or paint sealant.
    • Removing the tape and carefully wiping off any left-over residues around body lines and trim.
    • Removing the first and subsequent coats of wax or paint sealant.
    Now itís time for the final wipe and the last thing you want is to do anything that could potentially instill any new swirls or scratches into the now pristine finish.

    Thatís why as you progress through the process, after each step you have to be more and more careful when wiping off any compounds or polishes and usually as you progress through the process the quality of your wiping cloth increases along with your carefulness as thatís how show car finishes are achieved. You canít just wipe with any old towel and do it in any old way. Show car work demands focusing on the task at hand and using your best skills and your best tools to reach the goal of a flawless show car finish.

    Rushing at the very end doesnít make sense and if you instill swirls and scratches because youíre wiping off the car like a lunatic or not using your best quality polishing cloths, then thatís working backwards in the process.

    Simply put, sometimes you have to slow down to speed up.

    That is, sometimes using a slow wiping motion, or slow rate of travel, will be more effective at removing all trace residues and enable to reach your goal versus moving your hand and polishing cloth quickly over the paint. Sure at the end of the process youíre tired and ready to clean-up and be done with the car but the technique you use for your final wipe-down of the paint needs to be calculated, methodical and precise. And after you make the final pass and you lift your hand and polishing cloth off the paint you can stand back and admire your work and then say, ďIt is finishedĒ.


    Mike Phillips
    Host - Competition Ready on Velocity Channel
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member
    CD-SV, RT
    Competition Ready Facebook Page
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
    Twitter
    Instagram

    Click on a book to get your own copy.



  9. #9
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stuart, Florida
    Posts
    37,275

    Re: DA Polisher Articles - Help for Newbies to Machine Polishing

    ***placeholder***


    Mike Phillips
    Host - Competition Ready on Velocity Channel
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member
    CD-SV, RT
    Competition Ready Facebook Page
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
    Twitter
    Instagram

    Click on a book to get your own copy.



  10. #10
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stuart, Florida
    Posts
    37,275

    Re: DA Polisher Articles - Help for Newbies to Machine Polishing

    ***Placeholder***


    Mike Phillips
    Host - Competition Ready on Velocity Channel
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member
    CD-SV, RT
    Competition Ready Facebook Page
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
    Twitter
    Instagram

    Click on a book to get your own copy.



Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Show Car Garage Video: How-To do a "Section Pass" when Machine Polishing with a DA Polisher
    By Mike Phillips in forum 2009 to 2016 - How to articles by Mike Phillips
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 04-17-2017, 09:25 PM
  2. What is your favorite type of machine polisher?
    By poyo150 in forum Auto Detailing Tools and Accessories
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-07-2016, 08:52 PM
  3. First time machine polisher, tips?
    By brentech in forum Auto Detailing 101
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 05-03-2012, 08:25 PM
  4. How-to Machine Apply Wax using a DA Polisher
    By Mike Phillips in forum Pinnacle Wax
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 11-21-2011, 02:50 PM
  5. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-08-2009, 05:53 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

» September 2017

2728293031 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30