Buffer

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Buffer

Postby Barry Daniels » Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:10 pm

My pneumatic ROS/ buffer finally bit the dust. Probably loaning it to my son to buff his car was too much for it.

So I did a bunch of research and bought a new tool. I decided to go electric this time because the air driven tool worked my air compressor excessively. I ended up getting this one:

https://adamspolishes.com/collections/exterior-polishing-machines/products/adam-s-swirl-killer-mini-12mm-lt-polisher

It has a long throw orbit (12 mm) and is a geared random orbital style. Really heavy duty and uses 3" or 4" diameter pads.
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Re: Buffer

Postby Barry Daniels » Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:14 pm

I am very happy with the results.
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Re: Buffer

Postby David King » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:37 pm

Can is sand as well? It looks like it has dust ports on the pad. That's a fab looking guitar there for sure.
The price certainly puts Mirka and Festool to shame.
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Re: Buffer

Postby Barry Daniels » Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:57 pm

It can sand, but the machine doesn't actually have dust collection.

I used some Abralon pads to do some wet sanding but I actually prefer to use them by hand.

That guitar was built by a friend of mine and I re-did the finish for him. Beautiful zircote for sure.

By the way, the pad I am using on the buffer is a maroon, beveled, 4" dia., firm cutting pad by Meguiars. It fit the buffer great. The beveled edge of the pad went across the waist of this dreadnaught, polishing it well. Never been able to do that with this style of buffer before.
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Re: Buffer

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:27 pm

Nice!
It looks like it will work much better than the 5 inch R.O. sander I am using. I'll have to start saving my pennies...
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Re: Buffer

Postby Barry Daniels » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:23 pm

The geared mechanism makes this a very different machine from the normal RO sander or buffer. The orbits don't depend on the pressure you place on it, but are driven by gears so they are regular and unchanging. It makes the machine much more aggressive. Yet it is smooth enough to give you a fine polish. It even has a soft start feature. The tool is pretty large and heavy, but I was still able to use it with one hand while I held the guitar with the other. I am very pleased with it so far.
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Re: Buffer

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:01 pm

The smaller pads (3" and 4") would probably work much better on the sides than the 5" pad I'm using now.
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Re: Buffer

Postby Mark Wybierala » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:12 pm

I need a polisher and have been putting it off for years. I've read your links and there is no mention of construction features related to durability. I think I'll be in the position to buy/need a polisher in about 2 months and I'd like to get back to you on how well the tool is holding up. For the price, maybe I shouldn't be asking muching much about durability but I hate disposable tools. This seems like such a perfect thing for my shop.
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Re: Buffer

Postby Barry Daniels » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:41 pm

It seems to be very well built for a Chinese tool. But time will tell.

I paid $159 for the tool but now they have reduced it to $129. It's a lot of tool for that price. I ran it all day and it didn't even get warm. (I swear that I am not getting a kick back from them)
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Re: Buffer

Postby Andrew Jerman » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:45 pm

What compounds are you using with it? I've been looking for a new process and this looks promising.
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Re: Buffer

Postby Aaron Helt » Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:57 pm

Hi Barry, I got one of the buffers in and need to get some pads for it. I can’t seem to find Meguiars pads in 4”. Do you know the item or part number for those pads? Or a link to where you got them? Thanks
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Re: Buffer

Postby Barry Daniels » Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:53 am

I like to do buffing in two stages.

1) First stage is Meguiar's Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound 105 buffed with Meguiar's G3507 DA Power Pads for Step 1 Compound (4" maroon firm pad).

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009OBVXC0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

2) Second or final buffing is done with 3M Perfect-It Ultrafine Machine Polish (39062) using a 3M Ultrafine Polishing Pad (4" baby blue soft pad).

https://www.autobodytoolmart.com/3m-perfect-it-ultrafine-foam-polishing-4-inch-pad-30043-p-48295.aspx
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Re: Buffer

Postby Barry Daniels » Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:57 am

You can also use 3" diameter pads with the Adams machine but I like the 4" because it gives you a little extra pad to prevent the hook and loop disk from running into your finish around the curves of the guitar.

Also, these are certainly not the only compounds and pads that will work. There are a lot of other options out there that would probably give equal results. These are just the ones that I have had success with and will stick with until I find something better.
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Re: Buffer

Postby Aaron Helt » Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:01 am

Thanks Barry, I’m ordering the same setup. I get good results from my stewmac buffer but darn that finish is a cut above. I also have other uses for the buffer so it’s dual purpose.
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Re: Buffer

Postby Barry Daniels » Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:43 pm

A little more detail on my final sanding process because it is the foundation that allows for successful buffing. I use Cardinal nitrocellulose lacquer. I sand twice during spraying to pre-level the finish. I wait a month after the last coat, then sand with P800 dry, CAMI 600 wet, 1000 wet, 1500 wet, 2000 Abralon pad wet, and 4000 Abralon wet. The Abralon is really important. It evens out the surface and makes it quick and easy to get to gloss when buffing. I know this is a lot of steps but it is what I have found necessary for getting a defect free, high gloss. Takes me a full day to sand and buff a guitar.

On this guitar I also used a new product from StewMac for touching up areas where scratches showed up during final buffing. It is called Kovax Tolecut Finish Repair System. It has tiny 1" square pieces of sandpaper up to 3000 grit that you use dry. You stick them on a hard rubber block they provide in the kit. It works really well and is very quick to fix the problem areas.
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Re: Buffer

Postby Aaron Helt » Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:50 pm

I started using Cardinal on my last build and didn’t realize how much I was suffering with the other nitro I had always used. The other stuff was like rubber compared to Cardinal. I have a similar schedule, but don’t go quite as high on the grits. I may start to. Appreciate the tips .
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Re: Buffer

Postby Barry Daniels » Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:18 pm

Yeah, Cardinal seems to dry harder than any other lacquers that I have used, and there have been a few. It sure requires less care to prevent scratches when you are doing post finish setup stuff. And yet is sands and buffs really well.
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Re: Buffer

Postby Barry Daniels » Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:24 am

There is one very important thing to know when using a random orbital buffer. I didn't know this and struggled for years trying to get a consistent high gloss. My son stumbled on this technique when he came into my shop to put together a kit. Going back to review online videos I have found the pros talking about it so it is not really a secret.

Here it is: When you start running the buffer on the compound cutting stage, you should apply quite a bit of pressure to compress the buffing pad to about 50% of its normal height. (The Adams buffer doesn't bog down like other buffers do when doing this so it handles the pressure fine). Keep applying pressure during the first three of four complete passes over your designated buffing area, which should be no larger than about 12" x 12". Watch the compound that is left on the surface and you will see it turn from its original color to clear. At this point the compound is a bit spent so you can lighten the pressure and just let the weight of the tool work the compound to achieve a higher level of gloss. Do another 3 or 4 passes and stop. Take a slightly damp, very soft microfiber cloth and remove the compound residue.

Hopefully you will see a high gloss over the surface, but you will also see areas where sanding scratches were not removed. You can look at the scratches under magnification to estimate what grit caused them. Then go back a few levels (maybe to 1500 or 1000 grit) and sand those areas and re-buff. This is where the Kovax papers really help. They work fast and keep the touch up to a minimal sized area. I normally have to redo areas around edges because I don't sand there as much to prevent sand throughs. After you get the whole panel (or whole guitar) compounded, go back and do the ultra fine polishing step. It will even out the redo areas and take the whole finish to a deep gloss.
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Re: Buffer

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:40 pm

Thanks Barry- that is all great info.
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