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Sanding and polishing observations

#1
I have been trying different clear coat sanding and polishing techniques following methods I have read about on here. I am currently polishing a big '57 Cadillac in between collision work. It was painted using universal, 4 coats, then hard blocked with 400 wet. Then I sprayed 3 more coats. Car has been sitting 2 weeks, outside when it's nice. I am using Jim's sanding methods (Eagle 1000 dry, Tolex wet, and green bufflex). I am doing one panel at a time trying to learn how long to use each grit. The 1000 dry works great, still learning the Tolex and Bufflex. Did the roof first, and being white, it is hard to see when all the scratches are gone. Polished it with CG v32 and an orange hexlogic pad, then finished with v36 and a white hexlogic pad. It took me longer than I wanted but came out nice. The hood was next and I did the same sanding procedures, but used a wool pad first with v32, then orange pad with v32 real quick, then white with v32. It cut the polishing time almost in half using the wool pad, and I think it looks a little better than the roof. The CG pad conditioner and cleaner are GREAT products and highly recommended. The trunk was next, same procedures but sanded with 3000 abralon disc after green bufflex. Didn't spend as much time with the Tolex or Bufflex as the hood. Started with orange pad and realized I still had some 1000 scratches. Grabbed the wool pad and got them out, but had to work. Needed more time with the Tolex. In the mean time I got some Menzerna 300 and tried it on a black Excursion hood and fender cleared with Euro. Ran over the hood with Tolex dry real quick just to show dirt nibs. Blocked those out with 2000 wet on a little paint stick, then sanded with green bufflex. Used a wool pad with the 300 and holy crap does that stuff cut! Spent maybe 10 minutes on the hood and it was ready for polish. Used the white pad with v36, then just went over it with black pad and v38. Looked great, no scratches, or swirls, and texture matched perfect. It sat out in the sun all day waiting for the customer and looked exactly like it did when I finished it, unlike the 3M garbage I have been using for years would have. The Menzerna cuts fast and will take out much heavier scratches than the v32, but it also makes a lot bigger mess to clean up before polish. The v32 needs more finesse but cleans up so easy and really looks nice after just the first step. Both have their place, but for collision work the Menzerna is quicker and more forgiving. I still have 6 more acres to polish on the Cadillac, and will experiment some more.
 
#2
I have been trying different clear coat sanding and polishing techniques following methods I have read about on here. I am currently polishing a big '57 Cadillac in between collision work. It was painted using universal, 4 coats, then hard blocked with 400 wet. Then I sprayed 3 more coats. Car has been sitting 2 weeks, outside when it's nice. I am using Jim's sanding methods (Eagle 1000 dry, Tolex wet, and green bufflex). I am doing one panel at a time trying to learn how long to use each grit. The 1000 dry works great, still learning the Tolex and Bufflex. Did the roof first, and being white, it is hard to see when all the scratches are gone. Polished it with CG v32 and an orange hexlogic pad, then finished with v36 and a white hexlogic pad. It took me longer than I wanted but came out nice. The hood was next and I did the same sanding procedures, but used a wool pad first with v32, then orange pad with v32 real quick, then white with v32. It cut the polishing time almost in half using the wool pad, and I think it looks a little better than the roof. The CG pad conditioner and cleaner are GREAT products and highly recommended. The trunk was next, same procedures but sanded with 3000 abralon disc after green bufflex. Didn't spend as much time with the Tolex or Bufflex as the hood. Started with orange pad and realized I still had some 1000 scratches. Grabbed the wool pad and got them out, but had to work. Needed more time with the Tolex. In the mean time I got some Menzerna 300 and tried it on a black Excursion hood and fender cleared with Euro. Ran over the hood with Tolex dry real quick just to show dirt nibs. Blocked those out with 2000 wet on a little paint stick, then sanded with green bufflex. Used a wool pad with the 300 and holy crap does that stuff cut! Spent maybe 10 minutes on the hood and it was ready for polish. Used the white pad with v36, then just went over it with black pad and v38. Looked great, no scratches, or swirls, and texture matched perfect. It sat out in the sun all day waiting for the customer and looked exactly like it did when I finished it, unlike the 3M garbage I have been using for years would have. The Menzerna cuts fast and will take out much heavier scratches than the v32, but it also makes a lot bigger mess to clean up before polish. The v32 needs more finesse but cleans up so easy and really looks nice after just the first step. Both have their place, but for collision work the Menzerna is quicker and more forgiving. I still have 6 more acres to polish on the Cadillac, and will experiment some more.
Get a hold of some SONAX CutMax compound and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how good it cuts and how little it dusts, no mess whatsoever compared to Menzerna 300.

Wizard’s Mystic Cut is worth a try when the clear is not very hard, fast cut, shorter working time but better finish than both Sonax and Menzerna. It’s also extremely easy to wipe down and produces almost zero dust, so clean up is very quick.
 

Barry

Paint Fanatic
Staff member
#3
Tex are: comparisons between the foam and wool pads.
Compounds make a lot of difference in first cut and a polyurethane is not going too buff good with a foam pad.
Reason hood looks better than roof the foam left scratches in the first cutting that you can't see.
 
#4
Wool pad recommendations? I've always used the double sided 3M wool pads, but mine is about worn out and I hate these pads when they're new. Anybody tried the Lake Country foamed wool pads?
 
#6
Buffed the back of a cab on an 83 chevy truck today cleared with 4 coats universal. 1000 eagle yellow discs dry, Tolex, and green Bufflex wet . Used orange pad and Menzerna 300. Was thorough with each sanding step, and it shined up really quick, but could still very faintly see some DA scratches, even after going over most of it twice. This truck is dark blue so it is much easier to see what is going on. I think the scratches may be the 1000 grit that did not totally get removed by the tolex, or the foam is just not liking stopping with the green bufflex. Still experimenting.
 
#10
Yep, started out buffing lacquer sanded with 600 and a stick in a bucket of beach sand, wool pad and a 20lb. buffer (seemed like) Really taught you how to buff without burning the paint! This started out with me deciding I'd had enough of the 3M compound problems and was going to find a new system, and I'm confident I'll find the right one for me with everybody's help. Thanks for all the suggestions!
 
#13
I trust Lake Country. 100% twisted wool.
The only way I’d start with orange foam only is if I started with 1500 dry and went all the way to 3000 black buflex.

The way you’re doing it starting from 1000 grit I’d still finish with 3000 buflex black disc and start with wool pad at lower rpms 1400-1500 then you’ll have less haziness/holograms left from the wool pad. The more you sand 1000/Tolex/green/black the less you’ll buff.

Just my humble opinion from the latest buffing jobs I’ve helped body shops with.
 
#14
The only way I’d start with orange foam only is if I started with 1500 dry and went all the way to 3000 black buflex.

The way you’re doing it starting from 1000 grit I’d still finish with 3000 buflex black disc and start with wool pad at lower rpms 1400-1500 then you’ll have less haziness/holograms left from the wool pad. The more you sand 1000/Tolex/green/black the less you’ll buff.

Just my humble opinion from the latest buffing jobs I’ve helped body shops with.
That is the part I'm having trouble understanding. If you finish with 3000, do you really need to start with a wool pad and heavy compound? It seems like you would be going backwards, unless the 1000 scratches are not refined by the next step. I may be overthinking this, but I have never had a problem getting 2000 scratches out with a wool pad with any clear. That is why I think the Tolex may not be refining the 1000 enough to start with a foam pad. I spent quite a bit more time with the Tolex than the 1000 today on the cab, but I think (but not sure) the 1000 scratches were what was showing (VERY faintly). Is it possible the green bufflex scratches were all I was seeing? I will be starting with a wool pad and Menzerna on the next test panel, and maybe finish half with green bufflex and the other half finish with a 3000 abralon pad after the green (don't have any black bufflex) and see if there is any difference. Thanks again for all the feedback.
 
#15
That is the part I'm having trouble understanding. If you finish with 3000, do you really need to start with a wool pad and heavy compound? It seems like you would be going backwards, unless the 1000 scratches are not refined by the next step. I may be overthinking this, but I have never had a problem getting 2000 scratches out with a wool pad with any clear. That is why I think the Tolex may not be refining the 1000 enough to start with a foam pad. I spent quite a bit more time with the Tolex than the 1000 today on the cab, but I think (but not sure) the 1000 scratches were what was showing (VERY faintly). Is it possible the green bufflex scratches were all I was seeing? I will be starting with a wool pad and Menzerna on the next test panel, and maybe finish half with green bufflex and the other half finish with a 3000 abralon pad after the green (don't have any black bufflex) and see if there is any difference. Thanks again for all the feedback.
I do get what you’re saying, the 3000 step would seem overkill when using a wool pad and a decent compound, but sometimes clear cures to a harder finish that at least for me it does save me time over just finishing with green buflex. The other thing is I can go easier on the wool and use lower RPM and less pressure and makes everything easier when I switch to the foam pad. But it’s all dependant on the hardness of the clear so ymmv and all that. Always worth experimenting on a small section and trying to learn what gives the best results. Let us know what steps procedure you end up with, always interesting to read others opinions.
 
#18
hold your DA in your left hand , hold your buffer in your right hand . now which one do you want to hold longer ?
I've read your steps and am sure it works great, but do you ever have problems with the 1000 scratches showing through all those steps? Do you think the jump from 1000 to Tolex is just too big to completely eliminate the original scratch? I tried a small spot of dry guide coat over the 1000 scratch before the Tolex and it works (sort of) but wow what a mess it makes. It just seems like no matter how much I sand I still have scratches that show with a foam pad.
 
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