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First time cut and buff

This is a discussion on First time cut and buff within the Showcar and Detailing forums, part of the General Help category; I have wash/wax my car plenty of times since 07 when I bought it. Now I a want to give ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    First time cut and buff

    I have wash/wax my car plenty of times since 07 when I bought it. Now I a want to give her the treatment and dont wanna pay someone else to do it. I have payee for a detail in the past and just want to try it on my own now. Actually my friend and I are going to try and detail vehicles on the side to make some extra cash. My wife has a 2011 Maxima that I want to do the same to her car.

    Here is the issue, me or my boy have never cut/buff or used a buffer before. All either of us have done is wash/wax. Is there any certain methods to doing this? What are the tricks and what should we NOT do? What equipment do we need. We want to do this on our own so please leave out the "Pay to have it done" comments. I have read through the stickies and cannot find a thread answering my above questions. Please help in any way possible.

    Thanks in advance.
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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    Or if there is another process other than cut/buff, please let me know.

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    Senior Member cpop98ws6's Avatar
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    I would start with a orbital (DA) polisher, you can get most paints clean and scratch free with the right pads and compound. The orbital is really easy to use and you can't really screw anythign up with it.

    It takes some practice to get the feel for a rotary buffer, you have to make sure you keep the buffer moving at all times so you dont burn through the clear or even the paint. You also have to watch so you dont leave swirls in the paint. Stay away from wool pads, they leave the worst swirls.

    As far as equipment goes - orbital I use the Porter Cable 7424 XP Variable Speed Polisher with CCS Foam Pads, Rotary I use the DeWalt 849 Variable Speed Polisher with lakewood foam pads. There are so many compounds, cleaners, polishes, sealers and waxs out there its crazy. I use alot of differnt brands depending on the color of the paint and condition. Do a search and you will find alot of sites that sell some good stuff.
    Last edited by cpop98ws6; 11-12-2011 at 01:24 PM.

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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    Ok. Thanks

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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    So if i am using a buffer, then i should go slow and not stop to avoid messing up the clear coat? I think i am gonna use a clay bar and wax this time to see how it goes.

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    Senior Member cpop98ws6's Avatar
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    Yes, keep the rpm around 1000 to 1200 and keep the buffer moving. I like to work in a 2x2 area at a time.

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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    Do you know the prices of the porter cable and dewalt off the top of your head?

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Do you want a rotary buffer or an orbital?

    I prefer a rotary, but that's after years of using them. Most good brands have an adjustable speed dial.

    You don't need to necessarily cut the paint on yours, unless it has excessive orange peel. You are probably aware that "cutting" refers to wet sanding the finish, usually down to a 2,000 or 2500 grit, before the buffing process. On your factory finish it shouldn't be necessary. In most cases I only wet sand after a fresh paint job, or when filling in chips on an old paint job.

    If you decide to buff it, use a very mild compound. I like to use a #2 swirl remover on old paint jobs. It removes the fine scratches caused by wiping with a dry cloth, and brings back the shine. It will not remove orange peel, and doesn't take the paint off extremely fast. Best to start light and work your way up on compounds when dealing with original paint cars. You never know how much material is left, and chances are good it's been done before in the cars past. I like to start with mild compounds and a slow speed on the buffer. But that's just my experience dealing with 40 year old original paint cars.

    I'd practice on a car you don't much care about if you are uncertain. It definately takes practice to develop a certain feel.

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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    Thanks. I dont really know the difference in the two buffers so I cant say either way which one i prefer. As of now, i am gonna use the clay bar and wax after that and see what i get on my car. As far as doing this as a side job, i do not know what way to take it. Meaning what buffer or what grit or any of that. Maybe i should stick to clay bars and wash and wax. Haha

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    The orbital buffers are more of a vibrating type of buffer, they spin very little. That's how the one that I have works.

    I find they are okay for applying or removing wax, some mild polishing etc....but they don't really get deep down into the surface and remove those deeper scratches. They don't do a great job of removing the oxidation on older paint jobs either without alot of work.

    They both have good and bad points. Honestly I haven't used the orbital in years. I find I can do most anything with the rotary in a more timely fassion with an assortment of different compounds to accomplish what I want.

    Not sure if any of that helps your decision or not.....but there is only one way to know. Spend some money up front for a good quality rotary and orbital, spend some time with both and get comfortable with them. Practice on a car not so important, see what you like better.

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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    I dont have a car that i dont really care about messing it up. So I guess Im screwed on that part. What you said did help a lot. As far as compounds go, they just make em different grits right?

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Yes they are made with different grits to accomplish different things depending on how bad the paint is. Generally swirl removers are some of the mildest, cleaners are a little more abrasive,, then there are thicker compounds with a paste consistency for buffing after wetsanding with a 2,000 grit+
    Some painters use a 2 or 3 or even a 5 step process for buffing with different compounds for each step. I generally use a 3 step process after wetsanding a fresh paintjob.

    I like to use 3M products that any good paint store should carry. Talking to a paint guy behind the counter might help to lead you in the right direction if you tell them what you want to accomplish.

    Without a car to practice on, I'd hit the local pick-a-part and pull a fender off of a car, bring it home and practice on that. A fender would have a flat area to practice, as well as a sharp body line to practice around. The body lines are where you have to be carefull, very easy to burn through on even rounded edges, not to mention sharp ones. Try different compounds and get an idea what they do.

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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    Ok sounds good. With my car i have wash and clayed it. Gotta go to the mall for some cartoon thing for my lil boys then come back and wax it. It was amazing what the clay did for the paint. I have pictures that i hope came out good enough to post. Still gotta take the final product pictures then post em all.

    That being said, i still want to get some type of buffet cause my wifes car is rand new and i want to hook that paint up. Thanks for the input and look for the pictures later today on this thread.

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    Senior Member cpop98ws6's Avatar
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    This is the orbital that I use, when you have something with nice paint like your camaro or your wifes new car this is really all you need. Go on autogeek.net and watch the videos on how to use it, you will be surprised what you can do with an orbital and some good compound. I used to use my rotary buffer for everything that i was detaling. Now with the orbital, if the cars paint is in good shape i will use the porter cable and and it cuts my detaling time in half and there is less clean up.

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    Senior Member cpop98ws6's Avatar
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    On my Trans Am I will use Wolfgang Paintwork Polish Enhancer with the porter cable and a polish pad follwed by Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0 with a soft red pad on the porter cable. The results are amazing, I will do these steps 2 or 3 times during the summer.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenro23 View Post
    Ok sounds good. With my car i have wash and clayed it. Gotta go to the mall for some cartoon thing for my lil boys then come back and wax it. It was amazing what the clay did for the paint. I have pictures that i hope came out good enough to post. Still gotta take the final product pictures then post em all.

    That being said, i still want to get some type of buffet cause my wifes car is rand new and i want to hook that paint up. Thanks for the input and look for the pictures later today on this thread.
    Yeah clay bar is great for getting the dirt and grime out of the paint. Something that washing doesn't do. As long as the paint doesn't have fine scratches (clay bar doesn't remove that) it should turn out fine.

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    Detailing + Design third_shift|studios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenro23 View Post
    I have wash/wax my car plenty of times since 07 when I bought it. Now I a want to give her the treatment and dont wanna pay someone else to do it. I have payee for a detail in the past and just want to try it on my own now. Actually my friend and I are going to try and detail vehicles on the side to make some extra cash. My wife has a 2011 Maxima that I want to do the same to her car.

    Here is the issue, me or my boy have never cut/buff or used a buffer before. All either of us have done is wash/wax. Is there any certain methods to doing this? What are the tricks and what should we NOT do? What equipment do we need. We want to do this on our own so please leave out the "Pay to have it done" comments. I have read through the stickies and cannot find a thread answering my above questions. Please help in any way possible.

    Thanks in advance.
    First thing you have to realize is that every paint system is different, what works on your car might not work or could be overkill on another car. Different cars have different paint thickness, hardness levels and some might not even have clear coat. I highly suggest you do some research on dedicated detailing forums before jumping into the weekend warrior effort so that you will provide customers with the best outcome.

    To answer your question, when I'm correcting GM cars, I use a Flex 3401 with Purple Foam wool pad/meguiars 105 then follow up with a tangerine pad and meguiars 205. M105 is very dusty and will stain trim, so I suggest taping up the car's plastic/rubber pieces so they aren't killed in the process. If you are looking for Moderate correction and to shine up the paint, I suggest an "all in one" type product (aka, a cleaner wax like meguiars D301) and a green pad. This will give you marginal correction and lay down a coat of sealant at the same time.

    I really could go on and on about different products and their outcomes but I would urge you to really investigate the world of professional detailing for yourself so you can get many points of view from other pros.

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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Yeah clay bar is great for getting the dirt and grime out of the paint. Something that washing doesn't do. As long as the paint doesn't have fine scratches (clay bar doesn't remove that) it should turn out fine.
    There is some fine scratches. Buffing will get those out?

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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by third_shift|studios View Post
    First thing you have to realize is that every paint system is different, what works on your car might not work or could be overkill on another car. Different cars have different paint thickness, hardness levels and some might not even have clear coat. I highly suggest you do some research on dedicated detailing forums before jumping into the weekend warrior effort so that you will provide customers with the best outcome.

    To answer your question, when I'm correcting GM cars, I use a Flex 3401 with Purple Foam wool pad/meguiars 105 then follow up with a tangerine pad and meguiars 205. M105 is very dusty and will stain trim, so I suggest taping up the car's plastic/rubber pieces so they aren't killed in the process. If you are looking for Moderate correction and to shine up the paint, I suggest an "all in one" type product (aka, a cleaner wax like meguiars D301) and a green pad. This will give you marginal correction and lay down a coat of sealant at the same time.

    I really could go on and on about different products and their outcomes but I would urge you to really investigate the world of professional detailing for yourself so you can get many points of view from other pros.
    Where are some good places to look?

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