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Old 11-06-2006, 09:16 PM
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Issues cutting / polishing new clear

What a job...need some help from the pros.

Brief Intro:
Ok, short and sweet. I've been doing all the body work and sanding on my car myself for the last year or so. I shot the 2K primer and block sanding myself also. The only thing I didnt do was shoot the base and clear. I worked with a painter and worked by his advice and tips. It was finally ready and he shot the base and clear (black I might add) with all sherwin williams products. Being on a budget (only because im poor, not a cheapo) I wanted to do all the work myself including the cutting and polishing of the new paint. He did put 3 coats of clear knowing I was attemping the cut and polish myself. Otherwise my painter wanted to charge 400.00 to do it and rightfully so. The paint came out awsome...but as usual with a little orange peel...but now I wish I would have left it alone. I cut and polished half the car (in case I really screwed up)

This is my problem:
I have spend countless hours cutting and polishing and I still seem to have a slight haze on it and little sand marks and spider webs. I looks good in pictures from a distance but is very noticable in the light.

See all the pics at www.houseofdula.com/home1.html
Although I do not have pics of the haze im getting.

SO I borrowed a variable speed polisher/buffer from the shop 8" I believe with the velcro backing. I didnt skimp on the products to polish and cut it. I used the 3M products. Here is what I used and the steps I took.

1st Cutting:
Paper used was wet 3M 1200# (I was told to cut the whole car with this and the 6062 compound would get it out no problem) Paint had cured for a week. After very long hours I was able to sand out the orange peel with a even very dull sheen (that was hard to bear after a new paint job and years of work) See pics on www.houseofdula.com/home1.html

Then buffed with:
3M Perfect-It 3000 Compound 6062
with a superbuff III 05704 hook-it Pad

Then 2nd buff and polish with:3M Perfect-It 3000 swirl mark remover
with a Perfect-It foam polishing pad hook-it 05725

I didnt even bother to use the dark car foam machine glaze because of the scrathes and haze still in it.

Im missing something...what am I doing wrong. I at first was so scared to really "use" the compound and equipment I went slow with the polished and took my time with very little results. I then started using heavier pressure and about half 3/4 to 1/2 throttle on the buffer and started getting results. II feel like im missing a step....I know my painter with 30+ years of experience would pull this off no problem, but im really struggling and Im about to just pay to get it done right....which might be worth it.

all pics at http://www.houseofdula.com/home1.html
The pics of it at the car show is after I cut and polished the rear fenders, roof and truck. The dont show the hazr but its bad...I'll take some pics soon

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Old 11-06-2006, 09:37 PM
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If you're still seeing some sandscratches that's the whole problem, these need to be removed. I'd wash the car with a good strong detergent like dishsoap to remove all the glaze etc..., then lightly sand the surface with 2500 grit and use the compound again. Do only one panel at a time and buff untill all the scratches are completely gone. Then wash the car good and go over it with Finesse-it II, then wash and use your 3000 swirl mark remover.

Bottom line is the sandscratches need to be completely gone after the buffing stage and before the final polishing. Make sure to keep the surface clean-sand and buff indoors only! Use plenty of water. Don't try t hide any defects with glaze-the imperfections must be removed if you want it to look good. Have your painter stop by for 15 minutes to show you how to properly run the buffer.
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:16 PM
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I will add to Bobs already outstanding advice.. mix up some regular ole rubbing alcohol 50% of it mixed 50% water... put it in a spray bottle... once you have buffed the panel with the compound and think you have finally gotten it for good, take the 50/50 mix and spray it down and wipe it off.. This will remove any glaze that is in any scratches left from the compound... It will tell you if the panel is ready to have the next step of Finesse it or not... you can also use wax and grease remover to check your work.. This keeps you from having to push it out and wash it off everytime, and it will remove the glazes and show you just what is there..

Also you need to make sure you are cleaning between each step.. meaning when you switch from compound to polish, you need to either wash the whole car or if doing one panel at a time, use the 50/50 mix to clean it off, then and only then after the compound residue is gone do u move onto the next step.. Otherwise you are grinding in the compound dust from the previous step and will be chasing your tail all day long...

I think taking Bob's advice and sanding with 2500 will help tremendously too.. 1200 grit scratches for a first time buffer can be a big challenge.. and the clear you use also makes a difference.. Not all clears buff the same, and some after just a few days are next to impossible to buff, while others remain easy to buff for over 30 days.. Hang in there, you will get it
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:57 PM
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This sounds exactly like whats going on. I didnt think to wash the car between coats, I was just wiping or buffing off the residue. And I believe your right about using a finer gradeto remove the scratches. Basically I will just try this new method on the cowl and see how she goes.

I want to "start" over and sand with 2000 then back to the compound, then swirl remover, then glaze. My only worry is, am I just wasting layers of clear by going back to sanding, if I sand and re-buff am I running out of clear and risk an easy burn?
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:09 PM
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IT all depends on the thickness of the clear and how it was applied.. Under normal circumstances, I would think you have enough clear for a 1200 cut and 2000 cut on top of that before buffing.. It is normal to remove 1/2 of a coat with the color sanding process.. No big deal.. its a good thing you put on 3 coats too.. If your painter put on 3 wet coats, I think you will be just fine.. Take your time, this is not a race and be careful around edges.. You may wish to tape them so you dont risk burning thru
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Old 11-07-2006, 05:17 AM
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you can not buff out scratches anymore. you must sand down to 3000 then polish. i use clean cut compond. the 3m just does not get it done for me. spend your time sanding , not buffing.
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Old 11-07-2006, 12:06 PM
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What they said.
I'll tell you for certian that the III will NOT remove a 1200 scratch. That junk won't even do 1500 without a wool pad and a LOT of buffing.
The 2000 sand will do wonders and if you want to stay with 3M compounds,Go with the older II series. Regular or Fine cut will do.
I've use the II regular cut with a wool pad and had no problem cutting even 1200 scratch but wool is IMO for experienced buffers as it WILL cut thru quick on edges & lines so "if" you use wool,be EXTREAMLY carefull.
Chances are good that the III and white waffle pad will shine it up after the 2000 sand but if it dosen't,Go for some II.
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Old 11-07-2006, 06:05 PM
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Who told you to try to buff out 1200 grit scratches?

Sand more to buff less! I usually sand with 1000, then 1500, and then 2000. Then buff! You'll get a much better result.

p.s. Smack whoever told you to buff 1200 scratches!
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