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Author Topic:   Wax on Wax off..Porter Cable
jameso posted 08-23-2002 08:40 AM ET (US)   Profile for jameso   Send Email to jameso  
I usually don't recommend many things,,but I just bought a Porter Cable variable speed,random orbit, 6 in sander/polisher. WOW! this thing is great so much more than the 'car polisher' thing from Craftsman that I had been using.
On the same level as Southern girls, Boston Whalers and Chevy trucks.
Jim Armstrong
DaveNJ posted 08-23-2002 12:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for DaveNJ  Send Email to DaveNJ     
Jim -
Thanks for the recommendation. I had been thinking I need to get a better random orbit sander and I will check this out.

Are you using yours to buff the gelcoat or just sanding the hull ?


vdbgroup posted 08-25-2002 12:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for vdbgroup  Send Email to vdbgroup     

what is the porter cable model number?
jameso posted 08-25-2002 09:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
Model 7336SP, Variable speed is the key here.
Cost $110 and change at Lowe's and Ho Depot, can be had for a lot less at Porter Cable stores

There is a store in Forest PK GA.

I have used it to wax my Jeep and the 15, compound the LES, and sand an old table, I am one buffing fool!

Jim Armstrong

ShrimpBurrito posted 08-25-2002 11:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
If you're going to do ANYTHING besides polishing, get the 5" Porter Cable sander kit that comes with a dust hood and vacuum hose. Combined with your shop vac, it helps you breath in that warm fresh apple pie instead of some nice carcinogenic paint, varnish, or mahogany dust. It's probably 90-95% dust free, and is well worth it. The smaller pad allows you to sand in tight spots anyway. I've never seen it at Lowe's or Home Depot, but Amazon sells the kit for $150.

ShrimpBurrito posted 08-25-2002 11:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
Oh yea, the kit also comes with a case, a nice plus.
Chesapeake posted 08-26-2002 01:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Agree fully with Shrimp Burrito.

However, one suggestion... Buy Porter Cable from Superior Distributing out of Indianapolis. Prices are about 20% lower than most everyone else. No shipping cost / Indiana sales tax.

keltonkrew posted 08-26-2002 01:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for keltonkrew  Send Email to keltonkrew     
do you have a web address for Superior distributing?
ShrimpBurrito posted 08-26-2002 01:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
Excellent suggestion, Chesapeake. Just got off the phone with them (800-622-4462), and they have the PC kit above for $137 plus free shipping. They don't have a catalog yet, and their website (www.superior-distributing) is still in preparation.
whaleryo posted 08-26-2002 02:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for whaleryo  Send Email to whaleryo     
Just to play devil's advocate. The power tools guy at Home Depot recommended the Makita over the Porter Cable. The Makita has more ventilation holes in the disk, which keeps the polisher/sander cooler, and allows for better removal of dust particles. Has anyone used both of these for comparison?


ShrimpBurrito posted 08-26-2002 02:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
I have not used the Makita, but I just spent several continuous hours using the PC. The sander gets warm, but certainly not hot. It is virtually a dustless system, so you would be hard pressed to remove any more dust. The PC sander in the kit has a hood which extends down around the disc, funneling the vacuum around the edges of the disc as well as through the holes in the disc.
whaleryo posted 08-26-2002 03:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for whaleryo  Send Email to whaleryo     

I just looked at the picture of the sander kit and it's not the one I saw at at Home Depot. The one I saw had only three holes and was more like a palm sander. The ad doesn't mention a polishing attachment. Is it safe to say one's available?

ShrimpBurrito posted 08-26-2002 05:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
The sander that comes with the PC kit comes with a hook and loop (velcro) pad, so you can attach any 5" hook and loop device to it. I bought a 5" sheepskin disc for it that's actually made by Bosch for ~$12. Haven't tried it yet, but it fits on and doesn't come off. I know PC (and undoubtedly others) makes the pad to apply the wax.

Although you can also buy a $15-$20 pad for the sander that allows you to use the cheaper (by ~50%) adhesive sanding dics, the advantage to the velcro is that you can remove it and put it back on again. Once you remove an adhesive pad, you throw it away, a problem if you like to change grits frequently before you wear the paper down.

Sammy posted 08-27-2002 01:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sammy  Send Email to Sammy     
Listen to Shrimp. Had a chance to use more than a few...none compares to the PC model he's talking about. sammy
Chesapeake posted 08-27-2002 11:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Jameso, Shrimp, and Sammy:

As Shrimp Burrito points out, with the P-C, you can either 1) velcro a polishing pad; or 2) screw on a dedicated pad. In my opinion, the separate polishing pads from Porter-Cable are a "safer" option. the foam is about an inch thick, so as you are moving into or over corners, the foam gives so that you do not burn into the corners of the gelcoat. They are about $15 bucks and I keep three (1 for applying compound, 1 for Finesse-it II, 1 for boat wax) on hand for the different applications. I also bought and tried the velcro jobs and the separate sheepskin attachment, but didn't like them as well -- personal opinion. Burrito may be much more careful than I am.

Doing it the way Burrito suggests is smart because you end up with a much more usable tool. Last month, I re-applied the sander head and vacuum attachment and very quickly sanded our back porch / deck before staining.

good luck. I also just bought a new compressor and nail gun from Superior. The whole set up cost me what the compressor alone cost from Home Depot. They made a mistake on the compressor... No problem. They sent UPS back to my house to pick up the compressor at the front door and sent me a new one within two days. Pretty good service compared with what I am used to.

Good luck. Stop your research, get the sander kit Burrito suggests (with three pads) and you will never regret it. I cannot even imagine gelcoat finish re-storing without that tool. You won't be diappointed.


whalerdude posted 08-27-2002 07:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerdude  Send Email to whalerdude     
i have one of these too.

I have not had good results with the foam pad.

I am going to try the wool pads and use a higher rpm.

I talked to an expert today who restores whalers and he said that these tools are more geared up for cars.

He said that you need a non-random oribital machine that will go at higher rpm. And use a wool bonnet.

You have less of a swirl mark problem with boats than cars.

Sammy posted 08-27-2002 11:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sammy  Send Email to Sammy     
I use the PC 97355 as a finish sander - outstanding for open surfaces. Two guys made short work of a early '80s 29' Formula hull last week using a pair of those. HARD gelcoat - used a lot of pads but time is money.

Reread your posts - you're using the PC 7336SP mainly as a buffer/polisher. Some how that sailed past me. Never used one so thanks for the recomend. A good 6" buffer/polisher would be great for spots where the large commercial buffers are useless.

Chesapeake posted 08-28-2002 07:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
whalerdude: You and I both know that you've barely turned on the damn thing and THAT is the precise reason that you have not gotten very good results with the pads :-)

Landlocked posted 08-29-2002 11:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
I have both the 5" random orbital and the half sheet vibrating Porter Cable Models. They are all around excellent tools... One note, the hook and loop base wears out quickly and neither home depot or lowes carries them. I found a tool shop here in Nashville that always has them in stock and I keep a spare in my shop. I may use mine a little more than most but I've been through about 5 bases in the last couple of years.


crosley95 posted 08-29-2002 05:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for crosley95  Send Email to crosley95     

keep the pad moist. don't let it dry out or it will pull apart.


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