Using a Rotary Polisher - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
 
Thread Tools
(Post Link) post #1 of 7 Old 12-07-14 Thread Starter
Status: missing my GTA
AO Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: Lincolnshire
Posts: 1,589
Using a Rotary Polisher

Hi guys n gals,

I don't typically stray over this side of the forum, so a big hello to all the Alfa detailers over here. Its not that I don't love cleaning / detailing my car, as I do and frequently; as my neighbours will often comment on, but I've never had any questions to ask - sorry!

I've got a beautiful white 159 Lusso with red leather but the car I'm interested in discussing today is my wife's red 147, 2001 @ 61k on clock (that's 1k less than my 159!)

The car was a wedding gift to my wife, so we've only had it just over a month now. I only paid £450 for the vehicle and as a result had some mechanical niggles and an MOT to work through - which I've now done. So, now she can legally walk the walk it's time to think about looking the part.

The previous owner had the car for around five years and I suspect he stopped cleaning it when he ran out of bricks to rub the paintwork over with - it was rough!

I've washed / clayed etc etc but I feel it could use a proper polish up, so I bought a polisher - a rotary.

I expect people are going to tell me "you should have got a DA" but I didn't want one, rotary seems a bit more purist to me and in theory the results can be better.

You'll be alarmed to hear I've never actually tried anything like this before too but without wishing to be rude please skip the preaching - I'm well aware of the pros / cons and risks involved in rotary polishing.

So, in for a penny, in for a pound.

It came with a large Velcro plate and I bought a small one too and I've also got a one piece screw on pad for the polisher which I think is about 6in - can't remember sizes.

I've had a go with it this morning and wanted to discuss the results. It was only a brief test down the bonnet as the sun came out and the panel was getting too warm to continue. I don't have a garage but I've got a basic rule - if I'm casting a shadow then sunlight cancels play. I refuse to wash / clean / wax a car in direct sunlight.

The pad I'm using isn't the softest pad I could find, but only one down from it. Theory being is I didn't want anything too harsh a cut on the first go at a risk of trashing paint. The product I'm using is Megs Ultimate Compound - which shouldn't be too scary to use.

I primed the pad with product before setting off too and worked across a small section to test. I'm pleased to say I didn't by any stretch of the imagination trash the paintwork and I can certainly tell where I've been and where I haven't; so I'm happy I've made it better and not worse! I think I'm going to need probably two or three passes before it gets to a level I'm happy with but rather that than go too harsh.

What I was surprised about it how much the machine wanted to pull me about, which I didn't know whether to expect or not really, if that makes sense? I'm 6ft1 and around 17st so I'm not one for being easily moved but the polisher clearly had an idea about where it wanted to go.

I worked in an up / down then left / right pattern across my area with the pad flat on the paintwork.

Is that kind of normal given the tool being used or am I not using enough product or what?

I'm not applying any pressure to the polisher at all, I've more got my left hand (guide hand) on the side of the D ring handle for direction control rather than on top to apply pressure as understand pressure is a no no.

Would welcome any tips / tricks / hints or suggestions you guys have.

thanks for letting me over here!

Previous Alfas:
1999 156 1.8TS Sport Pack 3
2001 166 3.0 V6 24V Super
2003 156 GTA 3.2 V6 24V
2005 156 1.9 JTDM-Jet Sport
2008 159 1.9 JTDM Lusso

Current Alfas:
1997 GTV 2.0TS Lusso
2001 147 1.6TS Lusso
Artermis is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Status: -
AO Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cumbria
Posts: 988

Member car:

156 JTD 20v

My suggestion is to use a finishing polish and pad and ideally a scrap panel. Forget about polishing, the first thing to learn is how to move the polisher around. A rotary is moved by slightly altering the angle of the machine and so if you do not keep the machine at roughly 90 degree's to the panel it will try and move you around. Learn to not fight the machine and polishing will be easier. Also, with most modern pads and polishes there is rarely a need to go over 1500rpm, I spend most time around 1200rpm.

A decent backing plate makes life much easier. What make of pads are you using? By priming the pad, do you mean covering the surface of the pad with the Ultimate Compound?

I am sure I have seen a good guide to using a rotary on Autogeeks, I will try and find it
lowejackson is offline  
(Post Link) post #3 of 7 Old 12-07-14 Thread Starter
Status: missing my GTA
AO Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: Lincolnshire
Posts: 1,589
Hi Lowe - thanks for your reply.

The tip re moving the rotary is useful and something I hadn't really thought of so I will be certain to keep that in mind when I am next attempting this. That should certainly help matters.

My machine has 6 speed settings from 900rpm to 3000rpm.

As you correctly assume, I primed the pad face with U/C yes and then applied 5 blobs to the face of the pad and dabbed this around the area I'd identified to polish. I then turned the machine on it's lowest setting, 1, and used this to move around and distribute the polish across my identified area. I then moved up to setting 2, which is 1200rpm for the polishing process itself, I briefly increased to about 1500rpm, and as I could see the polish turning moved back down to 1200 and worked the surface until the polish went clear / glassy (however you wish to describe it) then buffed off.

The sun has gone for the day but unfortunately been replaced by thunder and lightening for now, so can't do too much haha.

The guide would be interesting too. Sincere thanks for your input.
Artermis is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cumbria
Posts: 988

Member car:

156 JTD 20v

Cannot find the video I was thinking of but these may be useful

Tips for using a Rotary Buffer and the Flex 3401 on vertical panels - YouTube

How To: Remove Swirls & Scratches with High Speed Rotary Polisher - Chemical Guys Epic Detailing - YouTube

Machine Polishing a Door 3 Describing the Technique - YouTube

http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...ypolishing.pdf

The chemical guys video talks about their polishes which work in a slightly different way to the Meguiars but focus on the technique rather than product. The Dave KG pdf document is quite old now in terms of polishes but it is still a really useful document to help you learn the process

With a polish like the Meguiars, the type of pad will have a big impact on the amount of cut. Whilst just working out how to move the machine around keep the speed to about 1000. One of the good things about a DA is they are almost plug and play whereas a rotary really does take much longer to learn so don't expect showroom gloss from the first session. I would tape up all panel edges and any trim. Paint can be thinner at the edges so protect them with a some masking tape.

Not sure why but everybody, including me, tenses up their shoulders when first learning. Try and keep them relaxed. When I first moved from a DA to rotary I asked my wife to watch me polishing and let me know when the machine was not parallel to the paint, this helped me so might be worth trying.
lowejackson is offline  
Status: #keepFightingMichael
AO Gold Member
 
EauRouge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Suriname
County: Brokopondo
Posts: 7,703
Great thread, about 4 yrs ago i went abit mad and bought a rotary polisher and a load of different pads and some Meguires compound and have never had the nutz to use it. Have noticed a few scrapes and fuzzy paint that aqua wax can no longer properly hide. I even have a few scrap panels to practise on and i still havnt had the nutz to give it ago.
EauRouge is offline  
(Post Link) post #6 of 7 Old 13-07-14 Thread Starter
Status: missing my GTA
AO Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: Lincolnshire
Posts: 1,589
Thank you Lowe - I'd been watching the chemical guys videos prior to deciding to commit to a rotary machine and had read the detailing world document to some extent as well - both very useful.

As you describe the Megs does seem very pad dependent, hence going for not the softest but just one down from that, as for a first attempt I didn't want to go over the top. It is my version of playing it safe with a compound that is fairly 'friendly' to use and not massively harsh cutting and a soft pad meant to me I wasn't likely to blow through the paint in a rapid fashion. I'd far rather polish each panel 10 times than polish it once and trash it. I've got the time and I like cleaning my cars so patience isn't an issue.

I remember it being one of the things the chemical guys video made a big point about relaxing particularly the shoulders.

Eau Rouge - I can see how people would cause serious damage with these things if they hadn't checked it out properly first but honestly - it isn't as scary as it looks. I'm one of the most nervous / anxious people you will find when it comes to stuff like this. I'm one of those measure 30 times cut one but make sure you cut it too big so you can trim it down just in case type of people; and I managed it just fine.

Just start off with something good and soft and a lighter compound and if you keep the polisher moving and the speeds low you'll struggle to do damage. Admittedly you will not achieve mega results being light and slow but just in the bits I've done I can see improvement; so I'm confident after 3 or 4 passes I'll be somewhere close to where I want to be.
Artermis is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cumbria
Posts: 988

Member car:

156 JTD 20v

Quote:
Originally Posted by EauRouge View Post
Great thread, about 4 yrs ago i went abit mad and bought a rotary polisher and a load of different pads and some Meguires compound and have never had the nutz to use it. Have noticed a few scrapes and fuzzy paint that aqua wax can no longer properly hide. I even have a few scrap panels to practise on and i still havnt had the nutz to give it ago.
Try whatever you want on the scrap panel. The worst that can happen is you burn through the paint, not a big deal on a scrap panel. I would not start with a compound, get a finishing pad and polish as I as suggested above, just get used to moving the machine around
lowejackson is offline  
Reply

Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Supported Alfa Romeo Models > Technical & Vehicle Assistance > Car Detailing

Tags
polisher , rotary

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome