View Full Version : Cutting Paint

Jun 6th, 2006, 07:10 AM
Hey, i've gotten a job buffing cars after they have been painted and im looking for some tips/tricks to help me out. I've worked with wet sanding and so on before but never with doing 15-20 cars a day. My question is do these guys wet sad ever car or simply just cut the paint? its an auto aution. any tips on cutting and such will be nice. thanks

the other pc
Jun 6th, 2006, 08:11 AM
I can’t speak from direct experience (and even if I could your organization might be completely different) but my understanding of the high volume auction biz is that “getting ‘em out the door FAST” is the number one overriding objective.

20 cars in an eight hour shift is about a car every 20 minutes. Do they expect that from you, individually or is that an average for a team? That’s certainly not enough time to do much to a car. If that’s the case I would assume you won’t have to be buffing out sanding scratch.

My guess is that they’re using a paint system that doesn’t necessarily “need” a final buff-out to look “acceptable” and that you’ll be correcting minor blemishes like runs or dirt specks and then buffing to a “saleable shine”.

Will you have any control over what products, tool and techniques you’ll be using or will you be tossed into the existing blender?

If you can choose your supplies you’ll find that using Meguiar’s Unigrit sanding blocks and papers instead of standard abrasives will reduce your buffing time substantially, helping you get jobs out the door faster with higher quality.

You’ll need to tune your process and products to the paint system they’re using. There’s no “one size fits all” but once you’re dialed in you won’t have to worry about any major upsets unless they change paint on you.

Good luck, and keep us updated.


Mike Phillips
Jun 6th, 2006, 08:33 AM
Originally posted by lickwicker6bar

I've worked with wet sanding and so on before but never with doing 15-20 cars a day.

In order for your wet-sand, cut and buff 15-20 cars a day, this would mean they have paint facilities to paint 15-20 cars a day. Even if it were possible to paint a car in an hour, (and it's not), a company would have to have 3 full on paint booths being used to spray fresh paint from morning to night.

But again, this scenario is not likely. What's more likely if this is an auction yard is that they are going to ask you to buff out 15-20 cars a day that are used cars and have neglected, abused finishes and they want to you restore the shine and clean and dress the entire car. That would make more sense if it's a car auction you're working for, or a wholesale dealer, or even a used car dealer.

There's no way you an wet-sand, cut and buff 15-20 cars a day and even if you had a team of people doing this it's not going to look pretty.

Check with your new boss again and ask him exactly what are the duties you'll be asked to perform. If you're going to be getting used cars ready for resale, then M66 is going to become you new best friend. :D

Jun 6th, 2006, 01:47 PM
hey guys sorry for not being more specific in my original post. i work for NADE. im sure most of you have heard of this before. They have a 4 booth downdraft facility there for painting, the nicest booth i've seen personally. 15-20 cars a day would be between 2 buffers i believe. not all are full cars. some cars only get a bumper per say done, thats all that would need buffing on that particular car. these are only newer high end cars getting worked on, no junkers getting buffed out for value boost. im pretty sure its simply cutting to improve shine but no actual wet sanding besides runs in paint and such. anys tips on cutting for a job such as this?
anyway thanks for the imput guys!

Mike Phillips
Jun 6th, 2006, 02:23 PM
Okay, now it makes sense... :D

Fresh paint sands and buffs in most cases pretty easy, if it were me and I had to do hand sanding, I would go with Meguiar's Nikken Finishing Papers. I don't just say this because I work for Meguiar's but because as far as I know it's the best finishing paper on the market.

It uses Unigrit particle size control and placement over the papers, what this means it it leaves a uniform sanding mark pattern that will but out easier, leave more paint on the car and actually cut faster.

After you have the area sanded to your satisfaction for fast removal of the sanding marks, you probably ought to go with a wool cutting pad and a product like our M85 Diamond Cut Compound.

If you do a good job of removing the sanding marks and buffing the product till it's almost completely gone you will have a low swirl finish that might be good enough for your boss.

It wouldn't be good enough for the kind of people that post to this forum, but if all you're trying to do is please your boss and Speed is the goal, not a swirl free finish, I'm sad to say that the results M85 gives you might just do the trick.

If you want, or if you boss wants you could do a second pass to remove the swirls left behind by the M85 and the wool pad; this would mean re-buffing each panel using a foam pad and a cleaner/polish like the M80 Speed Glaze.

This would be a pretty good 2-step approach.

A faster 2-step approach would be to merely apply the M80 Speed Glaze by hand or using a dual action polisher to add gloss and shine but not really to remove all of the swirls and then push it out the door.

I personally dislike this kind of Slop & Glop production work but my goal here is to help you please your boss.

the other pc
Jun 6th, 2006, 04:03 PM
Well then, two questions come to mind.

First and most important is basically my previous question; will you have control over what products, tools and techniques you’ll be using or will your management set them for you?

And second, is the final finish quality expected to be roughly equivalent to that of new cars?

A few thoughts:

You will not be detailing these cars. You must not think like a detailer or work like a detailer.

In a very real sense you are not even working in a body shop.

You are working on a production line. Your work is more like a factory in Detroit, Stuttgart or Turin, than a body shop.

Don’t believe me? If your group averages 18 cars a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year you will buff 4500 cars annually. That’s more cars than Ferrari manufactures in a year.

The tools, products and processes that will serve your needs most effectively and efficiently are the same ones used by GM, Ford, Toyota, etc.

I’m envisioning air tools, a variety of different types/sizes from companies like Dynabrade and National Detroit for both buffing and sanding but I’m getting way ahead things. It’s too early to think about tools. Any manufacturing process should be analyzed from the output back to the input, benchmarking the current state and capabilities and assessing available technologies while targeting desired performance.

Meguiar’s is certainly a major player this field. I would presume that you (or your organization) should be dealing with an account rep that specializes in OEM products. These guys can be terrific resources when tuning and optimizing your processes.


Superior Shine
Jun 6th, 2006, 04:46 PM
Don’t believe me? If your group averages 18 cars a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year you will buff 4500 cars annually. That’s more cars than Ferrari manufactures in a year.

I bet the poor guy just went and quit his job!!

Jun 7th, 2006, 03:12 PM
yes its more of a production line process. when i say 20 cars a day alot are just single panels and bumpers. im just trying to get an idea of what kinda cut work they intend me to do on these cars.

btw thanks for all the input!