Proper Auto Detailing

Monday, December 15, 2008
A Primer about Circular Car Polishers
About circular polishers:

Many enthusiasts are nervous about using a circular car polisher.
They are afraid of creating swirls or worse, burning through the paint.
Circular polishers like the Makita 9227 , Dewalt 849 and Flex 603 require a little more experience than dual-action polishers,
but if the speed is kept in the 1000 to 1200 rpm range they are as safe to use as orbital and dual-action machines.

Some users prefer to apply product directly to the pad while others prefer to apply product to the car's surface.
Either method will work. What is important is to coat both the pad and the paint surface with product before polishing.

While some manufacturers recommend buffing with their pads flat on the surface, we've found that tilting the polisher just a little gives me much more control over the pad. Lake Country Manufacturing , the manufacturer of our advanced, variable contour foam polishing pads recommend tilting the polisher slightly, putting just a little more pressure on the pad's edge.

Many car care professionals prefer to grip the front of the machine rather than use the side handle.
This gives you more control over the pad's contact area and allows you to polish easily in a figure-8 pattern.
(Figure-8 movements are more difficult if you use the side handle.)

Some detailing professionals prefer to polish the surface first in a side-to-side motion and then in an up-and-down motion.
Try both motions and stick with the method comfortable for you.

Many car polish manufacturers suggest a speed range of 1200 to 1800 rpm for optimum polishing results.
We always recommend to start at 1000 rpm and increase the speed if needed to remove scratches or paint defects.

There are basic guidelines, but no one "right" way to polish with a circular car polisher.
How the machine is held, the motions used and the speed selected will vary from person to person and will likely change as the person gains more experience.
If you keep the speed in the 1000 rpm range, you can feel free to develop your own technique without fear of burning the paint.

Other tips for using a circular car polisher are:

* Work in areas of 18 by 20 inches (3 sq. ft.).
* Always start at a lower speed (1000 rpm)
* Apply compounds and polishes directly to the paint.
* Lightly mist pads with water (or a quick-detail spray) before compounding and polishing.
* With the machine off, use the pad to spread product over the paint.
* Always place the pad on the paint before turning the machine on.
* Inspect your progress often to determine when you are done.
* Use a circular polisher for compounding and polishing, not for finishing or applying wax or paint sealants.

So, no need to be tentative about using a circular polisher. With a proper amount of practice and proper care, you'll be detailing like a professional in no time.

Check out these and other polishers at
posted by The Detailing Guru @ 12/15/2008 11:51:00 AM  
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