Newbie going in at the deepend
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  1. #1
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    Question Newbie going in at the deepend

    Hi,

    I'm new here and I was hoping you talented people would pass on some advise to a newbie who's probably bitten of more than he can chew.

    Background: I'm on my 3rd metalic black car in a row (a 2004 new shape model Volvo S40 T5 SE), and cleaning has become an obsession - the wife's told me the neighbours comment that I spend more time cleaning the car than they do cleaning their houses. Anyway, after noticing more and more little scratches (RDS and swirl marks I believe) that hand polishing just won't remove I decided after many hours of watching videos online, reading reviews and some of the great advice on here to bite the bullet and go straight to a rotary - skipping the PC route as I just love going in at the deepend (with a little toe dipping first).

    So I've gone and ordered a rotary, not a Makita I'm afraid, just had our first kid and cash is a little tight, it is a Silverline soft-start variable speed (900~4000 RPM 6 speed I think) but I didn't skimp on the pads/polish so I've ordered 3 Meguiar's pads (cutting/polish/finishing), soft backing plate and the 105 and 205 compound/polish set (as well as Final Inspection to prime the new pads) - wife's gonna be pissed when she see's my bank balance but hey - its cheaper than paying a body shop in the long run I guess. Her car set us back £95 this month getting 2 scratches done alone, but I managed to beg some spare color-coded paint from the guy for tiny jobs ;-). I also managed to get a killer deal on some wax, not Meguiars on this occasion because someone on eBay had 5ltr of Autoglym going for a steal, and it was before I came across this site - will put me on for a few more paydays I guess.

    I've briefly read the Dave KG guide in rotaries, as many as I can get through here so far (have book marked a few so I can go back an reffer, will be doing a week or 2 studying them before the pads even get fitted) but I was hoping some body could give me a few pointers on how not to royally screw my paint up, and how a newbie can pull this off?

    In the past I've been into art and design so I have a pretty steady hand and an eye for detail, have limited experience of power tools, but, I've got 2 or 3 victims who have said I can practice on their cars as their paint is already complete screwed (wife's father car has creasote all down 1 side and only been cleaned once in last 2 years - sounds like a project to me).

    Sorry for the long post, and I know I need to do a lot more research, but as a tired new dad of a 7 1/2 week old boy with colic who's already hit the checkout cart button on £200 worth of potential pride/pain, please don't let this newbie destroy his 2nd baby!

    Thanks guys.

    P.S. I'll take some snaps on the DSLR showing my progress - will get the before shots done at the weekend (weather is **** in UK at the moment).

  2. #2
    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie going in at the deepend

    Since this was your first post to our forum,

    Welcome to Meguiar's Online!


    Here's some free advice, if you want to learn how to use a rotary buffer, learn on a junker car that no one will care about if you make a mistake.

    If you're going to be buffing out cars with clear coats, then practice on a junker car with a clear coat. I once took 2-3 extension cords and asked the owner of a local wrecking yard if I could go out and buff on one of his cars for practice and he let me and I buffed on dozens of cars that day.

    So think outside the box and get good at using the rotary buffer on something that's no important before you work on something important.


    Mike Phillips
    Office: 800-869-3011 x206
    Mike.Phillips@Autogeek.net
    "Find something you like and use it often"

  3. #3
    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie going in at the deepend

    We've written a few articls on this topic, hang tight while I go to the Hot Topics forum and grab the links for you.


    Mike Phillips
    Office: 800-869-3011 x206
    Mike.Phillips@Autogeek.net
    "Find something you like and use it often"

  4. #4
    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie going in at the deepend

    Start here as it shows techniques,

    5 Video segments on wet-sanding and using a rotary buffer


    This article does a good job of explaining the big picture, sorry the pictures are missing but the information is still relavant...
    (Server change and we lost all the pictures)

    Learning to use the Rotary Buffer


    Here's a few more,
    Buffer Swirls, Holograms and the Rotary Buffer
    Please explain Pros/Cons between Rotary and Orbital Buffers - Good thread
    Holograms - Is it possible to 100% remove them with the rotary buffer?
    How to avoid swirls and holograms?
    Rotary vs DA Polisher vs Traditional Orbital Buffer
    My Hatred of Clear Coats
    Using a wetting-agent with M105 and M205
    Rotary Buffers versus Random Orbital Polishers
    Can a Rotary Buffer like a Makita or DeWalt be as Idiot-proof as a PC?
    Avoiding Swirls with a Rotary buffer
    Need HELP! - How to avoid holograms?
    Working in the sun? How HOT does your car's paint get?


    Couple other tips off the top of my head...

    Don't use a rotary buffer with any loose clothing, tie, chain around your neck, draw ties for a hooded sweater, or anything that can get caught in the spindle.

    Don't tackle too large an area at one time when removing sanding marks or below surface defects. You should never be buffing an area wider than your shoulders, a 2' by 2' area is as large as you should ever go and depending upon the shape of the panel probably even smaller.

    Practice positioning yourself as close to the panel your buffing as as possible, this will allow you to hold the buffer closer to your body and the importance of this is because it gives you more powerful leverage and control over the rotary buffer. IF you hold the rotary buffer with outreached arms it will be real easy for the rotary buffer to have leverage and control over you.

    Look at these pictures of how Paul and Shawn are standing close to the panel they are working on, they have stable footing and thus are able to firmly hold the buffer close to themselves where their arms, shoulders and back muscles can take command of the tool not visa-versa.







    When you're first starting out don't try to tackle an entire car in one day, pace yourself by successfully buffing out a single panel from beginning to end. Keep in mind that besides your first step process with the rotary buffer you're still going to need to go over the panel with 2, 3, maybe more procedures and each process takes time as well as the time you'll spend carefully wiping the panel clean of spent residue and also at some point applying a wax or paint sealant, allowing time for drying and then wiping the dried wax off.


    Even if your rotary buffer is quiet, hours of buffing can strain your ears so have some ear plugs handy, keep a handful of earplugs in the garage so you don't end up buffing for hours with no protection.

    Wear safety glasses, rotary buffers are direct drive tools and can throw splatter or anything that comes into contact with the buffing pad with great force and speed.

    Eat a large breakfast before starting any job that requires you to use rotary buffer.

    Have plenty of liquids on hand so you don't get dehydrated.

    Have plenty of clean polishing cloths on hand for removing spent material.

    Have a Spur handy for cleaning wool pads and a stiff nylon brush for cleaning foam buffing pads.



    Taken from this thread,

    Advanced Class #2

    In this picture Mike shows off by cleaning the pad with his eyes closed, don't try this at home kids.




    After cleaning the pad in the pad washer, Mike then shows how to use a tool called a Spur to clean the pad again. The pad doesn't really need to be cleaned as it has not been used yet but spurring the pad will lift and loosen up the fibers perfectly preparing it for use. We're also teaching our students the proper way to clean the pad and we strongly emphasize the importance of cleaning your pads often whether they're wool or foam.



    Note how Mike runs the pad cleaning spur from the center of the ad while placing some pressure on the handle with his foot while the back of the rotary buffer is resting on the floor.







    Mike Phillips
    Office: 800-869-3011 x206
    Mike.Phillips@Autogeek.net
    "Find something you like and use it often"

  5. #5
    Armed w/105 and dangerous InfiniteDetail's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie going in at the deepend

    Welcome

    I started out alot like you a little over a year ago. I've been taking money for detailing work so I guess that makes me "pro" LOL. I've detailed about a dozen cars or so for pay.

    I use the DA as much as possible, and only resort to the rotary when absolutely necessary. Often times, I find that to get the perfect finish I have to use the DA as the rotary tends to leave holograms on some types of paints no matter how mild of a product and pad. Plus, the DA is so much easier to use; it's lighter and smaller.

    Since you purchased the rotary already, do what Mike suggested and practice on old cars or panels from a junkyard car. Make sure to study up on rotary technique before you attempt to work on a valued car. I'd also suggest using soft pads and mild products to start as it is much safer.

    Good luck with your adventures and keep us posted

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    'Pearly Gates' Eddie6th's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie going in at the deepend

    hi vidgiyuk,and welcome. There's plenty of good info here so enjoy.

    I've got a question for you though. Do you know of any oulets in the UK,even where you are,where you can get a hold of the G110? I see Halfords do a decent range of Meg's,but i'm not sure if they do meg's DA's.

    Cheers

  7. #7
    aka: 23jam J. A. Michaels's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie going in at the deepend

    hello and welcome to mol.

    The only advice I camn give you is practice, practice, practice on junk panels. Good luck to you.
    quality creates its own demand

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    Smile Re: Newbie going in at the deepend

    Wow, thats a lot of great advice, thanks guys! And the videos will make for some very informative reading (inbetween chaning nappies).

    I'm not going near my car until I've taken a couple of practice sessions on my families cars, theirs a good range (most are less than 10 years old, and my father in-laws is only 3 years old and looks like its been through barbed wire fence - pitty its silver as it would be a perfect starter project).

    My cars paint is in pretty good order at the moment considering its about 5 years old, I've always been extra carefull when cleaning, but I really want to get the best out of it, your advice will be studied carefully and I'll follow your advice - especially the big breakfast part ;-).

    The parts are still on the way out to me so its probably going to be a few weeks before I go anywhere near mine, will work on my dads car (heavy oxidisation on 15yr old green car) then my father in-laws 3 year old silver VW polo (lots of bug scratches to work on, including a nice big section of creasote to remove - nice). My wife's having a work with her friends mum who owns another 10 year old VW polo in black that has some huge scraches, and very very dull paint - she obviously doesn't care for the car so if I make a mistake I can't see her complaining too much.

    Just one last set of questions if you don't mind:


    1. Is it advisable to try remove scratches via polish alone if they don't look too deep? The last time I hand polished a lot came out that I thought were never going to shift, suppose a rotary is going to make the last few tiny if not invisible.
    2. Priming: I read that priming the pad so that the surface area is covered and the product has been absorbed under the immediate surface should then allow only 3-4 drops off product on the pad. If I'm using 105 cutting compound, do I need to add any water/Final Inspection spray to the pad too? I suppose this also goes for 205 polish, any water needed?
    3. As I mentioned, my cars paint isn't too bad, so as the rotary and pads were less than £100 all in, would I be best leaving this for the parts of the car that need it (deep scratches) and getting a DA for the usual very light scratches/swirls, using the 105 for cutting when needed?

    Once again, thanks guys - great forum!

    Eddie6th: I bought everything except the rotary from this store online: http://www.cleanyourcar.co.uk/polish...es/cat_68.html
    They have the G220

  9. #9
    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie going in at the deepend

    Quote Originally Posted by vidguyuk View Post
    Just one last set of questions if you don't mind:

    1. Is it advisable to try remove scratches via polish alone if they don't look too deep? The last time I hand polished a lot came out that I thought were never going to shift, suppose a rotary is going to make the last few tiny if not invisible.
    That's perfectly fine, in fact that's the norm. One of the best ways to find all the deeper scratches is to first buff the paint with a compound or cleaner/polish and remove all the shallow scratches, after you do this the deeper scratches will show up like a sore thumb because now there's not a zillion shallow scratches surrounding them and acting to mask them.


    Quote Originally Posted by vidguyuk View Post
    2. Priming: I read that priming the pad so that the surface area is covered and the product has been absorbed under the immediate surface should then allow only 3-4 drops off product on the pad. If I'm using 105 cutting compound, do I need to add any water/Final Inspection spray to the pad too? I suppose this also goes for 205 polish, any water needed?
    See this thread in Hot Topics for more information,

    Using a wetting-agent with M105 and M205


    Quote Originally Posted by vidguyuk View Post
    3. As I mentioned, my cars paint isn't too bad, so as the rotary and pads were less than £100 all in, would I be best leaving this for the parts of the car that need it (deep scratches) and getting a DA for the usual very light scratches/swirls, using the 105 for cutting when needed?
    Either way you want to go, it can be very challenging to get a 100% swirl free finish using only a rotary buffer. Most people do a DA Polisher step after the rotary work to insure any swirls have been removed. By changing the action of the tool, (switching to a DA), you are able to remove any RB swirls or holograms.


    Mike Phillips
    Office: 800-869-3011 x206
    Mike.Phillips@Autogeek.net
    "Find something you like and use it often"

  10. #10
    Armed w/105 and dangerous InfiniteDetail's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie going in at the deepend

    Eddie, sounds like you have a good plan of attack. Just to reiterate what Mike said, try a cleaner/polish like M83 first and see if that doesn't do the job for you. If a couple of passes of M83 doesn't get it, then try M105 on a polishing pad. If that doesn't get it, try M105 on a cutting pad, then a wool pad, etc. going from least aggressive to most aggressive.

    Also - use painter's tape to create "test areas" for each combination you are testing. A good high power flourescent or halogen light is good for inspecting the results, but the sun is best.

    Be sure to post plenty of pictures

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