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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a few projects coming up, one being a bigger $$ situation.

The current set up i use is with a rotary buffer, but my pads are just crap. It's okay for the eco jobs i do, and even with the polishing compound and my least aggressive pad... VERY faint swirl marks are still present in direct sunlight of blacks/dark colors. Not noticeable on lighter colors.

Still though, it bothers me knowing i am putting something subpar simply because of materials being used.

I need some assistance on an entire new set up either with a new rotary, or random, along with pads and compound/polishes etc etc.

I use SPI clear, nason, and chromaclear depending on what the customer wants. I use a rotary buffer, and just crap pads, along with the mothers compounds, polishes, and glaze. (dont have part #s on hand but its in the red bottles)

I would like help as stated above from start to finish of new products. To get swirless/perfect buff jobs on dark colors, and in general.
 

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I have a few projects coming up, one being a bigger $$ situation.

The current set up i use is with a rotary buffer, but my pads are just crap. It's okay for the eco jobs i do, and even with the polishing compound and my least aggressive pad... VERY faint swirl marks are still present in direct sunlight of blacks/dark colors. Not noticeable on lighter colors.

Still though, it bothers me knowing i am putting something subpar simply because of materials being used.

I need some assistance on an entire new set up either with a new rotary, or random, along with pads and compound/polishes etc etc.

I use SPI clear, nason, and chromaclear depending on what the customer wants. I use a rotary buffer, and just crap pads, along with the mothers compounds, polishes, and glaze. (dont have part #s on hand but its in the red bottles)

I would like help as stated above from start to finish of new products. To get swirless/perfect buff jobs on dark colors, and in general.
to not have swirls in my opinion comes down to product line AND cleanliness, as well as technique. I'd say technique is most important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
to not have swirls in my opinion comes down to product line AND cleanliness, as well as technique. I'd say technique is most important.
--- I promise you... The pads im using are probably on the level of harbor freight pads lol. My least aggressive pad, i could easily use to cut with compound...

I'm not opposed to stick with this mothers line of mine... but still wont mind what people are recommending.
 

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as far as compounds i use 3m products, i have been using there perfect it system and there pads i get all the 3m mainly because my local Auto body stores carries those products and it nice to use something that always in stock so mid through if i run out i don't have to change to another product.
 

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I run Meguiar's pads and compounds, so far I'm pleased. Usually I wetsand with 1500 and go over it with 2000, Meguiar's Ultimate compound, finish it off with Meguiar's Swirl remover and I'm done.
Perhaps you're not sanding out scratches with finer grit sandpaper like you're supposed to do. Instead of that you're trying to polish those scratches out.
You're better off sanding with next finer grit of sandpaper than trying to cut those scratches out with compound imo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I run Meguiar's pads and compounds, so far I'm pleased. Usually I wetsand with 1500 and go over it with 2000, Meguiar's Ultimate compound, finish it off with Meguiar's Swirl remover and I'm done.
Perhaps you're not sanding out scratches with finer grit sandpaper like you're supposed to do. Instead of that you're trying to polish those scratches out.
You're better off sanding with next finer grit of sandpaper than trying to cut those scratches out with compound imo.
--- My clear coat lays very smooth. So when i wetsand, it's to get little nibs out or just something small.

I normally start with 1500, 2000, and 2500 if i feel like its needed. I keep all my sand paper in separate containers with their corresponding grit, the car is washed and dried before the wet sanding is done. I also keep a designated pad for each type of compound/polish etc being used. They are kept covered and clean until next use.

I'm very meticulous.


I am in Bethlehem, PA and i tend to go to Klines, and or Jabobs for my paint needs. Klines sells mothers, and m3 products, and jacobs is m3 and meguiars product.


As i stated above, i think its 90% pad choice that is causing my problem. The swirl marks were never complained about, and are really really faint when in direct sunlight and on a dark car.


A few of my painter friends recommended i get a random buffer, but that will change my available pad choices also. Currently im using hook and loop large diameter pads.


What im asking is... not just the system name you are using but... What kind of pad are you using for what specific compound, what specific pad with what specific polish etc.

thanks for all the replies so far also.
 

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when i wet sand and buff depending how bad and how much material i have to play with 800-1200 grit and i step it up to 2500 by the time i get 2500 i already have a low gloss and sometimes i even step it up to 3000 depending how time i have and i use the 3m rubbing compound and there step 2 polish and there perfect it machine polish with a foam pad on all the steps and i get nice brilliant gloss. i cant say the way i do it is the right way but hey my stuff comes out looking good maybe some one here a bit more experienced than i can chime in and let us both know if this is a correct way of doing it
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
when i wet sand and buff depending how bad and how much material i have to play with 800-1200 grit and i step it up to 2500 by the time i get 2500 i already have a low gloss and sometimes i even step it up to 3000 depending how time i have and i use the 3m rubbing compound and there step 2 polish and there perfect it machine polish with a foam pad on all the steps and i get nice brilliant gloss. i cant say the way i do it is the right way but hey my stuff comes out looking good maybe some one here a bit more experienced than i can chime in and let us both know if this is a correct way of doing it
--- This is a quick picture i have at my disposal of something i wet sanded and buffed.



by all means, my stuff doesn't look bad... im just very anal with my work. Perfect or not happy at all.
 

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i personally do not get swirl marks the way i have been doing, i have done some black, cars for friends in the past but also one thing i always keep with me is a flash light if you shine a light and still see scratches in the clear that are a little deeper than what is supposed at that given stage you aint done with stage yet and you would be surprised what you will find when you shine your flashlight on a car while wet sanding. let me ask you does the car have a slight gloss before you start buffing or is it still real dull?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i personally do not get swirl marks the way i have been doing, i have done some black, cars for friends in the past but also one thing i always keep with me is a flash light if you shine a light and still see scratches in the clear that are a little deeper than what is supposed at that given stage you aint done with stage yet and you would be surprised what you will find when you shine your flashlight on a car while wet sanding. let me ask you does the car have a slight gloss before you start buffing or is it still real dull?
- after sanding its always matte or a bit worse than matte.
 

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what pads do you use when you buff the cars are you using a wool pad throughout, cotton, micro fiber, foam because to coarse of a pad will cause fine swirl marks on you last stage of buffing hopefully one of these more experienced guys will chime in and help you out because swirl marks are very annoying especially when you have pride in what you do and want every thing you do to come out perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
what pads do you use when you buff the cars are you using a wool pad throughout, cotton, micro fiber, foam because to coarse of a pad will cause fine swirl marks on you last stage of buffing hopefully one of these more experienced guys will chime in and help you out because swirl marks are very annoying especially when you have pride in what you do and want every thing you do to come out perfect.
--- I only have 2 type of pads with 1 course and 1 finer... and when i say fine... i could use it for cutting lol.

My buddy gets them from his work... they do the job for free pads... but like i said above... The customer is paying me good money and i just need some product #'s combinations. But yeah... the pads are harbor freight quality and are just trash.

I know it's my pads causing the problem. I never purchased quality pads before, so thats what im trying to figure out. I am not against buying 4-5 pads for all the different stages of compounding, polishing etc.
 

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Try going you local auto body store and buying some qaility pads and post up your results when i paint my mustang ill do the same i have a feeling your pads could be causing your issue if your finer pad is as coarse as you say
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Try going you local auto body store and buying some qaility pads and post up your results when i paint my mustang ill do the same i have a feeling your pads could be causing your issue if your finer pad is as coarse as you say
--- That's what i was going to do last resort.

This is from their supplier at my local jobber.

Car Foam Pads, Wool Buffing Pads, Double Sided, Lambswool & Dual Head Polishing Pads ? Buff and Shine

Those are the pads i would be purchasing.
 

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--- I promise you... The pads im using are probably on the level of harbor freight pads lol. My least aggressive pad, i could easily use to cut with compound...

I'm not opposed to stick with this mothers line of mine... but still wont mind what people are recommending.
you want real wood pads and a dedicated pad system for what you're using. Even wiping with a micro fiber can create swirls on black. So even for something as minor as wiping it with a towel, I'll count my passes so I know it's roughly done so I wipe less. never let compound dry on your car, pads clean and conditioned properly, and the right pressure and rpm. Even your hands...nothing can touch any part of the pad, car, towel. You have to be really anal about it. A good light will help locate dry areas that need buffing. As the compoud dries you want less pressure. When you're doing final passes you want so little pressure you're holding it up and barely touching. The biggest key for me is to be as thorough as can be with the wool, and to then go back over it with compound on foam. If you do those two steps very thoroughly then it's a cakewalk, in my opinion. Before you go to polish wash the car with Dawn to get off any polymers/afro sheen to reveal anything you missed and go back over it. Wash again and polish. You should also have dedicated microfibers for compound and polish and kept in clean zip locks.

As for me, I'm a dirty body tech but I can buff like a champ. The car and pads will be clean but my shirt will be full of compound. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
you want real wood pads and a dedicated pad system for what you're using. Even wiping with a micro fiber can create swirls on black. So even for something as minor as wiping it with a towel, I'll count my passes so I know it's roughly done so I wipe less. never let compound dry on your car, pads clean and conditioned properly, and the right pressure and rpm. Even your hands...nothing can touch any part of the pad, car, towel. You have to be really anal about it. A good light will help locate dry areas that need buffing. As the compoud dries you want less pressure. When you're doing final passes you want so little pressure you're holding it up and barely touching. The biggest key for me is to be as thorough as can be with the wool, and to then go back over it with compound on foam. If you do those two steps very thoroughly then it's a cakewalk, in my opinion. Before you go to polish wash the car with Dawn to get off any polymers/afro sheen to reveal anything you missed and go back over it. Wash again and polish. You should also have dedicated microfibers for compound and polish and kept in clean zip locks.

As for me, I'm a dirty body tech but I can buff like a champ. The car and pads will be clean but my shirt will be full of compound. :D
--- Wool pads in my opinion would be way too aggressive for the little amount of sanding i do. I might own heavy duty compound that good to 1200g i think it said... but i never use it.

I stated earlier, 1500 is the lowest i have to go. When sanding is done, it's not for orange peel or runs, its 90% of the time just dust. I totally agree though with being meticulous... which i am. I also do wash the car with dawn soap after compounding and after the polishing step. Cross contamination is no good :/

I did some research on the buff and shine pads that my local brick and mortar store carries... and nothing but good reviews on meguiars website.

If someone has a pad part # with the corresponding compound material used... please list what you use.
 

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we use meguiars 8.5 I think it is, But our pads are burgandy,off white, and yellow. no texture on the pads. I guess if it's a pad for the compound you're using can't really go wrong.

Also, I'd like to state an opinion that wool pads being bad is a misconnception as long as you spend time compounding with a pad afterwards. The reason I say so is because isn't the very first scratch you put on the paint more aggressive than the wool and compound? Then what's the problem as long as you take gradual steps to erase each last step? There is no problem otherwise we wouldn't be sanding with things much more aggressive than wool and compound. It saves a lot of time in my opinion even though you've added an extra step by using wool.
 

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I like my wool pads kind of like Tech69's method. I have cutting wool pads and gentler more polishing oriented wool pads. I also have a couple 3M black pads for final polis and glaze then hand glaze with Meguiars swirl remover, finishing with meguiars HiTech yellow wax.
 
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