View Full Version : Got a Buffer... How the [email protected]#% do I use it??

03-22-2012, 10:54 AM
Seriously guys... I decided to bite the bullet and bought a buffer for the first time. I know there are probably hundrends of threads on here about it... but what is the best way to use it? Suggestions on Waxes?

I bought a Craftsman and have the high end wool pads, but I REALLY don't want to screw up the Hull!!!

03-22-2012, 10:58 AM
Are you trying to wax, polish, compound, etc? Need more info on goal

03-22-2012, 10:59 AM
Just need to wax the booger.... she is a 2010 who is always covered and looks great... just want a great shine before I put her back on the lake

03-22-2012, 11:09 AM
Good video with info :

http://www.adamspolishes.com/t-Detailing_Video_Vol_7_Chapter_15_Porter_Cable_Poli shing.aspx

03-22-2012, 11:54 AM
I'd suggest a polish.

03-22-2012, 11:56 AM
then wax...sorry...if you want. Depends on the polish. I always start the year with a Strbrite polish with PTEF. Then i use a weekly spray on wax just to make her smell good and keep shiney.

I was very hesitant to go to polish rather than wax but once I did I was sold. Some will tell you that polishes dont protect and while that may be true for some polishes it is not for others.

Patrick Hardy
03-22-2012, 12:13 PM
Start off your learning curve real slow and easy, you do not want to burn your boats gel coat. A good wash, polish and then wax using your buffer and the boat will look good. Be careful though, the detailing world is a lot like your average MC owners on this site, a very expensive and OCD forming habit. Good luck!

Good video with info :

http://www.adamspolishes.com/t-Detailing_Video_Vol_7_Chapter_15_Porter_Cable_Poli shing.aspx

+1 on the Adams call. I have been using his products for years. He makes awesome products, great customer service and fast delivery.

Here is his website link -http://www.adamspolishes.com/default.aspx

And his link to his great product usage videos - http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=EBDEE23BA74E253F

03-22-2012, 03:59 PM
what about compound / finish? i have already done the 3,m heavy compound. Now onto the 3m finish but the directions seem to suggest applying and buffing off in one go. Perhaps my wool pad is too damp, but so far that is just not happening.

Suggestions / instructions?


03-22-2012, 04:04 PM
by the way.... I fried the Craftsman this afternoon. Porter Cable 7424XP is on its way tomorrow. Pick her up at 10:30am

03-22-2012, 04:12 PM
You're only using one compound per pad, right?

You should have one pad for the heavy compound, one for the light cutting, one for the polish, etc. You never want to mix them.

The autogeek videos are VERY good tutorials on the 7424. Check them out here:


03-22-2012, 05:02 PM
Rinsed and then used the same pad. I have extras so can dedicate one per. I will try that this weekend. i am using the harbor freight 7" with dewalt pads and spindle. I am unsure if the tutorials on the 7424 are a good resource for me since that is an orbital and the HF is a rotary.

03-22-2012, 08:09 PM
Light pressure is the best with a buffer especially if it is a high speed unit. The high speed units also will leave swirl marks. Meguiar's #9 Swirl remover will clear that up and then put a good coat of wax on it for protection. I've used Meguiar's products for 25+ years on show cars with excellent results. Same products are working very well on the PS 200.

03-23-2012, 04:36 PM
I just buffed mine for the first time two weekends ago, bought a polisher from harbor freight. I would look up my last thread on this that has some extensive researching on buffing that was provided by other TT members. Here's the link.


I agree with going slow to get a feel for things initially and I also would recommend that you get a really good 100% wool buff pad. They are hard to find in a store, best to get via web. Very important.

I have a mainly white 95 205' that wasnt in that bad of condition, i just wanted a bit more of a shine. Used 3M Imperial Compound and Finishing material. Its not very gritty so it may be something to consider for a first time buffer.

If you decided to polish, I am not the one to ask on this. I chose to skip and go right to wax. I'm happy with the results.

03-23-2012, 04:45 PM
wow...after reading this thread I am definitely sticking to hand polishing...fast, slow, light, heavy...I would never take the chance. Took me less than two hours to do my entire boat inside and out with polish by hand. On with application pad, off with microfiber towel...looked awesome!

06-03-2014, 06:11 PM
Just went back and reread this thread... anyone have tips on using a buffer with Flake?

06-04-2014, 10:21 AM
If you use a random orbital buffer and the 3-m colored pads, if would be very hard to screw anything up but it will take a long time to remove deep oxidation and restore the shine. A rotary buffer with a wool pad is very aggressive and you have to be more careful but it will be much faster. Which you select depends on how much gel coat you have to remove to restore the color and shine.