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Gjones
11-12-2011, 11:49 AM
Looking into doing some minor gelcoat repairs (scratches/nicks) over the winter and thought while I was at it I would buff some areas on the deck where the previous owner had decals and registration numbers. Any recommendations on what type of buffer and/or polisher to purchase to do the job?
Thanks in advance.
G

LaRue
11-12-2011, 12:19 PM
http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=34409

thatsmrmastercraft
11-12-2011, 12:21 PM
That should take you through all you could want to read. I actually bought the cheap variable speed unit from Harbor Freight and it worked like a champ.

Patrick Hardy
11-12-2011, 01:47 PM
My first question is are you experienced with a rotary polisher? If you are not, then IMHO you should learn with a dual action or random orbital polisher. The D/A or R/O polishers that I have used and seem to be the top sellers are the Porter Cable 7424 series D/A, Meguiars D/A, Griots R/O and Flex D/A polisher. All are very good and easy to learn with. I like the Flex the most, but it is twice the cost of the others.
If you are experienced with a rotary, then look at or test out the Dewalt 849, Makita series and the Flex 3403. Again all are very good and will be able to do any job you might have.

Gjones
11-13-2011, 12:11 PM
I appreciate the responses and info. Looks like the Porter Cable will do the job I am looking to do. Maybe once I get familiar with it I'll look into a rotary type.

FrankSchwab
11-13-2011, 12:27 PM
Purely my opinion, as a rank amateur, but...

Get the rotary. I did my boat a couple of years ago, to deal with some serious oxidation and two PO's worth of scratches, and the rotary was the right choice.

A rotary is a poor choice in the hands of an amateur when working on paint. However, gelcoat is not only much, much harder than paint, it's also much, much thicker. You really need the circular to make much impact on scratches and dings in gelcoat.

I bought the cheap Harbor Freight circular, and it worked fine - but I had to get some better accessories (pads, etc) to make it work out. If you're into buying quality tools, there are better choices.

This (http://www.premiumboatcare.com/boat-polishing.html)is a good link.

thatsmrmastercraft
11-13-2011, 12:33 PM
Purely my opinion, as a rank amateur, but...

Get the rotary. I did my boat a couple of years ago, to deal with some serious oxidation and two PO's worth of scratches, and the rotary was the right choice.

A rotary is a poor choice in the hands of an amateur when working on paint. However, gelcoat is not only much, much harder than paint, it's also much, much thicker. You really need the circular to make much impact on scratches and dings in gelcoat.

I bought the cheap Harbor Freight circular, and it worked fine - but I had to get some better accessories (pads, etc) to make it work out. If you're into buying quality tools, there are better choices.

This (http://www.premiumboatcare.com/boat-polishing.html)is a good link.

Very well said.

Kyle
11-13-2011, 10:47 PM
This is what I use on my boat and truck. I have used other styles of buffers and this one is the best one I've ever used hands down. It has many different pads for different objectives. I used it after I wet sanded my buddies mobius then used the buffer to compound, polish, then wax it. Boat looks brand new now but looked like crap before. Lots of scratches and scrapes were removed.

http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?P65=yes&tool=all&item_ID=88536&group_ID=928&store=snapon-store&dir=catalog

thatsmrmastercraft
11-14-2011, 12:36 AM
This is definitely an item where you get what you pay for. The cheap ones will get the job done, but the quality polisher will make a nicer job of it. Whichever unit used, quality pads make all the difference in the world.