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The dos and dont's of Buffing

 
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Old 14 Oct 2004, 09:20 am
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Default The dos and dont's of Buffing

Recently I started my first advanced auto detailing clinic because I felt people wanted more information on car care. On all of things I get feedback from in my shop and classes, people seem to be most interested in buffing. One myth is that every professional detail job requires a finish to be buffed. Essentially there are three different types of buffers. The problem with using these machines is that experience and skill dictate how the end result turns out. If a finish were in excellent or better than average condition for example, you wouldn’t hit it with a high-speed buffer. Here is a brief overview what each buffer does, and how they work.
1. Dual-action Porter Cable (DAPC) buffer. This is the easiest machine to use, it is the modern version of the old sears dinosaur that everyone has in his or her garage. The term dual action refers to the movement of the disc. It rotates and oscillates at the same time. This type of movement doesn’t create heat when buffing. That means it is safer to use, but also due to the fact it doesn’t create heat, it can’t do any serious paint correcting. Professionals use this buffer mostly to apply different types of polishes, cleaners, glazes, sealants and waxes. It has a variable speed, but in most cases since I use it to apply product, I stay at the lower to med setting. The advantage in using this buffer is that is makes the job go quicker, and spreads product around evenly. For non-abrasive polishes and sealants, nothing works better.
2. Dual-action cyclo buffer. This is my lifesaver. If I use a yellow cutting pad, and a swirl remover, it will cut through lightly on the top surface and eliminate most swirls. The machine is much heavier and more durable than the DAPC and with light pressure the machine will not bog down. It spins at one speed, (high) and its purpose is for correcting paint imperfections and defects. The advantage over the high speed is that because of its DA, it can’t create more swirls. Since the discs are half the size of the DAPC, and the machine spins so fast, using a compound or cutting glaze will work into the finish just enough smooth out most defects.
3. High-speed buffer. This is the machine most details shops use, but one that I use seldom. The reason high volume shops and dealers grab the high speed is because it cuts right through the finish, fast. Problem is it also takes more of the clear coat off than I like. Using the high speed can also create more defects or swirls than you started out with. I rarely use the High speed on an entire car. I will spot buff on sections that have more serious problems. The inexperienced user can quickly damage his or her finish beyond repair short of repainting. The high speed rotates and creates heat build up fast, cutting quickly through the finish. I like to use it to level out scratches, and defects on one spot. Quality detailing requires time, and the proper steps to ensure a brilliant finish. Using the right machine for the right purpose will give you the results you are looking for. Gary
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Old 14 Oct 2004, 01:29 pm
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Gary , I really wish you would make instruction CD or tape.
I would be the first in line.Maybe free with 100 dollar
purchase.
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Old 14 Oct 2004, 05:34 pm
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Jimbo, I have a person seriously interested in helping me do just that. Problem is right now I have so many cars being dropped off at my shop I just can't find the time. I had one guy drop his car off even though I said I was booked for two weeks, he just handed me the keys and said just do it when you have time. Its crazy. When it starts to snow I will slow down, then I will try to put something together. Thanks for the encouragement. Gary
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Old 17 Oct 2004, 10:57 am
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Gary. where can I get a dual action cyclo buffer???
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Old 17 Oct 2004, 11:38 pm
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Send me a PM through my web site, I'll send you the info. Gary
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