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View Full Version : Getting used to using a Porter Cable buffer (aka newbie fears)


RSPDiver
12-16-2004, 07:36 PM
So, I'm looking to get a PC RO buffer soon, but I'm a nervous newbie (as many are their first time, I'm sure) and don't want to totally F up the paint. Is there any step in the entire process from polish to wax buffing that you guys would suggest to practice with to get used to using it? I would guess wax and buff would be the best, since it's nonabrasive and the final layer. But I was wrong once before, and could be again, in theory at least. :p

Thanks guys.

xspeedy
12-16-2004, 08:06 PM
So, I'm looking to get a PC RO buffer soon, but I'm a nervous newbie (as many are their first time, I'm sure) and don't want to totally F up the paint. Is there any step in the entire process from polish to wax buffing that you guys would suggest to practice with to get used to using it? I would guess wax and buff would be the best, since it's nonabrasive and the final layer. But I was wrong once before, and could be again, in theory at least. :p

Thanks guys.


I wouldn't worry about it too much. It is a random orbital buffer, and so it won't easily burn through paint like a circular polisher. Just start at the lowest speed setting (1). You can begin by using a cleaner wax, like Klasse AIO. Get yourself a pad that is appropriate for use with one-step products.

Make sure the backing plate is tightly screwed onto the PC. You don't want it to accidentally unscrew and fall off the unit.

Don't stay over any ridges for too long, and use light pressure over them. These areas of the body have the thinnest paint and will also see more "wear" from the buffing pad. Try to keep the surface of the pad on the flat surfaces of the paint.

Test_Engineer
12-17-2004, 09:07 AM
practice on your wife's car :rofl:

johnnygraphic
12-24-2004, 10:14 PM
I just got finished 'practicing' on the wifes car (my old 4-Runner). It is almost 5 years old and has been quite neglected-sitting outside, getting pooped on (by birds) and the paint is in pretty bad shape. I used the PC 7424-Q and the Menzerna Intensive Polish (just kidding about the Q part). Using an orange polishing pad, it seemed to take out most of the bad stuff and I switched to the lambswool pad for some worser scratches. The PC makes for an easy time of detailing. I just hate having to go near all of the trim and black plastic pieces with it. So, I'll see how it turns out on her car. So far, I've only done this step. I still need to use the Final polish and then the Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion and then the final coat of Souveran wax.

So far, the PC has been real easy to work with and I don't think I've done anything really bad with it.

Johnny

RSPDiver
12-24-2004, 10:46 PM
Good to hear, Johnny! Did you go with a pad set, like Sonus etc? I was thinking about getting a lambswool bonnet at Pep Boys and see how it goes, but not sure. For a good kit, I'm still torn between the Sonus kit and the one from Proper Auto Care (.com)

Thanks for the info, guys!

citation650
12-25-2004, 02:34 AM
http://www.properautocare.com/usporcabpol.html

johnnygraphic
12-25-2004, 10:32 PM
The pad set I got was from properautocare. I have 3 white wax/polish pads. A grey wax pad. A yellow and an orange pad. Oh, and the lambswool pad.

I used the orange with the Intensive polish. I used the lambswool pad when a few deeper scratches didn't come out with the orange pad. My black car was looking pretty beat up. When my daughter asked if it was a metallic black or just black, I replied that it was metallic black because of all of the reflections that the paint had (it was from all of the scratches before I polished it). After I finished the Final Polish with the white pads (I went thru 3 of them), the paint was looking much, much better-and plain black to boot! After buffing off all of the residue, the smoothness of the paint was starting to show. I was getting excited!!! Then, a coat of the Pinnacle Intensive Paint Lotion and it was looking maaah-vel-uoussss! However, I noticed quite a few places that could have used more attention with the Intensive polish and the lambswool pad. Theses had quite a bit of the deeper scratches and swirls that didn't come out. However, on some of the larger door panels, I spent some time on those and you can really tell how smooth the paint is.

After hand applying the Souveran Paste wax and buffing off-it was ready for prime time. I finished off the windows and the interior, got most of the residue out of the cracks and crevices and used Black Again on the Trim Pieces. Its really slippery so I have to be very very careful when I get in and out on the running boards. I know, I know, don't use it on the running boards right? But, they're grey!!!! EEEKKKK! I'd rather slip, fall and sue the Black Again company for not making the idiot disclosure in neon lights than have grey running boards when they should be black. Hmmm....Black Again...Maybe send a bottle or two to that goofy singer/dancer/entertainer of young boys...

Anyway, I digress...My 5 year old once beat up black 4-Runner is looking great once again. Wouldn't you know, it's going to rain tomorrow.

Oh, the PC was very easy to use. My only complaint is be careful on the vertical panels as your arms fatigue quite quickly...at least mine did. Good thing I had my lovely assistant helping me over the last 2 days.

As for pad kits, I'd stick with one of the better pad kits-properautocare or sonus, when it comes to quality-buy once and cry once.

Using an inferior quality pad can cause swirls, cause heat build up and make hair grown on your palms. O.k. not really. But, you get the point.

Johnny

johnnygraphic
12-25-2004, 10:46 PM
Oh, I should probably add that in May, I bought a cheap $30 RO buffer and used the cheapo fuzzy pad that came with it (not sure if it was lambswool or what) on said 4-Runner with horrible results. Looked somewhat milky. Yes, it was better than before, but, it didn't look much better after a few washes.

I used Meguiars clay bar, polish and liquid wax (can't remember exactly)-I gave it away and convinced myself to purchase a PC and better quality pads, polishes etc. I was mostly impressed with the clay. The white clay looked like it was used to wipe up grease. I started to clay the car this time, but, there wasn't much coming off, so i skipped that step.

Johnny

BahnBaum
12-26-2004, 07:03 AM
I'm very happy with the Menzerna Intensive and Final polishes.

Alex

JetBlack330i
12-26-2004, 07:17 AM
I just got finished 'practicing' on the wifes car (my old 4-Runner). It is almost 5 years old and has been quite neglected-sitting outside, getting pooped on (by birds) and the paint is in pretty bad shape. I used the PC 7424-Q and the Menzerna Intensive Polish (just kidding about the Q part). Using an orange polishing pad, it seemed to take out most of the bad stuff and I switched to the lambswool pad for some worser scratches. The PC makes for an easy time of detailing. I just hate having to go near all of the trim and black plastic pieces with it. So, I'll see how it turns out on her car. So far, I've only done this step. I still need to use the Final polish and then the Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion and then the final coat of Souveran wax.

So far, the PC has been real easy to work with and I don't think I've done anything really bad with it.

Johnny :thumbup:
Don't forget to post pictures when you're done.

johnnygraphic
12-27-2004, 02:51 AM
O.K. I've tried several times to post pics...unsuccessfully. I've tried resizing the photos but, they're still too large. Anyway, I posted it to my gallery.

So, check out my gallery for a pic of the 4-Runner...Sorry about that!

Johnny

Oh yes, if you have some severe swirls or scratches, prepare yourself to spend a bit of time on those areas if you're using the Menzerna polishes. They work great & are very user friendly, but, don't quite act like a compounding polish. If your car is in decent shape, the Menzerna stuff is quite good!

JetBlack330i
12-27-2004, 07:54 AM
Gallery is the correct way to post pics that are bigger than 1.5MB.
You just need to post a link to it, like your_gallery_url and voila!

johnnygraphic
12-27-2004, 07:35 PM
Thanks!

Test_Engineer
12-30-2004, 10:35 AM
I just hate having to go near all of the trim and black plastic pieces with it.


Quick solution to this is buy some 3M blue painters tape and mask off the trim. A roll is about $4 and it actually saves time, because you don't have to be so careful when using the PC.

Spectre
12-30-2004, 03:46 PM
Quick solution to this is buy some 3M blue painters tape and mask off the trim. A roll is about $4 and it actually saves time, because you don't have to be so careful when using the PC.Agreed. That's what we did during RKT BMR's clinic. Much easier than trying to be careful.
:D

johnnygraphic
01-01-2005, 12:29 AM
So, what do you guys do around the vent thingy on the hood where the windshield washer nozzles are??? Do you cover that up and then do that part by hand? And what about around all of the rubber trim bits-like around the windshield and door handles etc? And what about the gutter/roof rack cover thingy on the roof? Or emblems? Cover with blue painters tape again?

After detailing my wifes 4-Runner, there was quite a bit of white residue in all of the nooks and crannies that showed up after about 1 week. I should have done the painters tape trick, but, I got a little lazy and quite a bit self conscious about what the neighbors would think...

Spectre
01-04-2005, 05:53 PM
So, what do you guys do around the vent thingy on the hood where the windshield washer nozzles are??? Do you cover that up and then do that part by hand? And what about around all of the rubber trim bits-like around the windshield and door handles etc? And what about the gutter/roof rack cover thingy on the roof? Or emblems? Cover with blue painters tape again?Let's see. I believe we covered the vent thingy as you put it to prevent polish and wax dust from getting in there. I don't recall that we really did much work to the vent, but then again there aren't a lot of large flat surfaces there where you can really tell. Protected the rubber trim around the windshields, I think, but not around the door handles -- the rubber trim around the door handles doesn't get a lot of action from the PC anyhow. The gutter on my car is painted (not the black stripe on older models), so we didn't need to do anything there. Emblems can be polished and waxed.

jonw440
01-05-2005, 05:37 AM
Heres a good article on using the PC. It sounds like you are getting the hang of it!! :thumbup:
How to use the PC 7424 (http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?autopia+yc5RwM+inf-pc7424.html)

johnnygraphic
01-08-2005, 10:20 AM
Let's see. I believe we covered the vent thingy as you put it to prevent polish and wax dust from getting in there. I don't recall that we really did much work to the vent, but then again there aren't a lot of large flat surfaces there where you can really tell. Protected the rubber trim around the windshields, I think, but not around the door handles -- the rubber trim around the door handles doesn't get a lot of action from the PC anyhow. The gutter on my car is painted (not the black stripe on older models), so we didn't need to do anything there. Emblems can be polished and waxed.

Thanks for the info. I guess the vent would have to be done by hand. Also, the gutter on my car is painted too, so I was going to go over it with the PC. However, wasn't sure if residue would get in the crevices and be a total pain to get out.

Thanks again!

Johnny

johnnygraphic
01-08-2005, 10:49 AM
Heres a good article on using the PC. It sounds like you are getting the hang of it!! :thumbup:
How to use the PC 7424 (http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?autopia+yc5RwM+inf-pc7424.html)

Thanks for the link! Very informative! Now, just waiting for a nice clear weekend to baby the baby!

Johnny

RSPDiver
01-08-2005, 02:42 PM
We picked up a little detailing tool at the local PepBoys, that may help on the rain gutters. I has a pointed/angled rubber stylus (for lack of a better term) on one end, and a somewhat course synthetic brush on the other. The brush is probably only good for getting in vents and stuff, but the little "stylus" may be excellent for getting in body panel gaps and crevices like the rain channels. If I get off my butt, I may take a pic and post it.

Okay, here's that tool: