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Old 12-22-2019, 05:34 PM
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How Much Sanding

First of all, I'm not an experienced paint guy but I want the '67 Fairlane I'm doing now to look good inside of 20 ft. The body work is pretty good and the car is straight. It's base coat/clear coat and I've sanded the clear with 1000, 1500 and 2000. I have 3000 paper but I'm wondering if there's any reason to go that high. Can I move on to a wool pad and then a foam pad at this point or should I sand again with the 3000? I'm getting concerned I'm going to start breaking through the clear coat.

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Old 12-22-2019, 08:03 PM
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You shouldn't need to go further with the hand papers, providing you don't have any deep scratches from trash in the paint etc. I don't use the wool pads myself, but I know many that do. What compounds are you intending to use (brand and numbers). If you have a trizact sander you could hit it with 3000, 4000, up to 5,000 and now up to 8000, but if you don't have one, start out polishing after the 2000. Compounds and clean pads make the difference from here on.
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:55 PM
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I painted for a couple years full time. If you put two coats of urethane clear on like regular usual paint jobs, and sand away all the texture like on a show car, that won't leave enough clear for it to last as intended. That being said, after 2000 by hand, 3000 by machine (DA sander) makes for pretty easy buffing. If the question is whether to 3000 by hand, hell try it if you have some. Not going to do much more thinning out with 3000. Finishing with 2000 by hand and starting with a wool pad sounds good. I don't know that starting with a foam pad is any more risky but you'll probably finish compounding and start polishing sooner if you can wield a wool pad skillfully. Edges of a foam pad, to me, offset the damage potential difference with more agressive wool. Getting the products to work is really just kind of a getting a feel for the thermal dynamics of the surface and the pad. In any case where thorough sanding or complete removal of peel texture is anticipated, three coats is the rule.

Without knowing any more about the paint job and your comfort zone, thats about all the general guidance I can think of. Best of luck and results!
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:59 PM
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I have a bottle of 3M Exact-it EX buffing compound, some Maguires polish #85 (?), a knotted wool pad, an orange and blue foam pads and a shiny new DeWalt 7" buffer. I've been strongly advised against using the 3M buffing compound for multiple reasons.

The paint is perfectly flat and smooth at this point with no junk or scratches in it. You can't see any remnants of the 1000 or 1500 scratches. I don't have a Trizact sander but the 3000 disks I have are Trizact. Haven't tried them yet.
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Old 12-22-2019, 10:11 PM
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Hey Junk,

Are you saying the orange pad is less likely to cause damage in the hands of a rookie vs. a wool pad? Who makes good pads? By the way, there's three pretty wet coats of SPI Universal Clear on the car.
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Old 12-22-2019, 10:35 PM
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You're going to find as many opinions as there are people who do it. I believe it pays to stay with one brand right though the different processes.

3M has an iffy reputation from a lot of guys, as it is apparently has a lot of fillers and it does splatter a lot. If you use their system, you need to start with their #1, then on to #2 and finally #3 Ultra fina. Most guys find what works for them and they develop the method of using the system they've chosen with experience. I've tried the Meguiars and the 3M and both do the job to a degree, but I prefer Menzurna products now. I start with their #1000 if I need a fairly aggresive start, otherwise I start with 2500 and finish with 3800. Chemical Guys also has a good system starting with #32, I skip the 34, go to 36 and finish with 38. Nice stuff and doesn't splatter. Both Menzurna and Chemical Guys stay wet for a long time and use much less material.

A good place to get opions on polishing is on the SPI (Soiuthern Polyurethane Industries) forum.Wetsanding /Polishing / Detailing | Southern Polyurethanes Forum There is waaaaay too much to try to detail in a few paragraphs, but compounds and pads are critical. I polish on a slow speed on my rotary buffer, usually between #1 and #2 speed setting. I now use a Flex buffer, which is both rotary and da, Flex XC3401VRG Positive-Drive Rotary-Orbital Polisher. It's the best I've found for me, but you can work with your polisher, just be careful.
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Old 12-22-2019, 10:37 PM
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3 coats? Good. Relaxing now.

I gotta tell ya, on specific product info or choices... I am badly out of date. But it just so happens that as far as sanding goes, on my current personal rod type car, back in 2002 (but still shining like ever from the initial buff job) I nibbed with 1200 by hand, worked the whole car down with 1500 DA with soft backing pad then sanded with Meguiars 2000 on a hand pad... then used the 3000 Trizact along with the accompanying paste intended for use with it at the time. That went real well and thorough work with the 3000 was rewarding in the buffing strain on body department. If I remember right, I may have used super duty and wool to start, but sparingly.

So about pads and liquids... better, more current advice from others. For a beginner, probably any properly selected foam pad with radiused edges would be the safest choice.

When I did it, there was a velcro "soft interface pad" you stuck on your velcro DA pad then stuck the Trizact on that. Any work done with that and the paste seemed to pretty much swap for reduced effort with the polisher, meaning do your work with the 3000 as much as possible.

I think since its a dark color or black, final machine sanding will give a slicker looking result too. Thats my opinion, throw it on the pile. Buzz thoroughly with 3000, use pads and polishes of your choice.
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