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  Meguiars #44, #49 or 3M HD Compound?

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Author Topic:   Meguiars #44, #49 or 3M HD Compound?
Plotman posted 12-11-2003 04:21 PM ET (US)   Profile for Plotman   Send Email to Plotman  
When I my house I didn't realize my garage was heated (knew the upstairs apartments were, but had no idea about downstairs). Anyway, I have a nice warm place to work on getting my Outrage 22 in good shape this winter.

It's time to start on bringing the exterior gelcoat back. The topsides are in need of help, but they aren't terrible. They guy at my local marine store sent me out the door with Meguiars 49, but mostly I've heard people here talk of #44 or the 3M compound.

Should I start with the gentler stuff (the #44) and if that isn't enough go to the #49. How does the 3M stuff compare? Is this a Ford/Chevy thing?

I've got a black & decker 7" grinder lying around - any suggestions on what type of pad (or pads, I assume 1 for compund and 1 for wax) I should buy. Or would I be better off with a dedicated buffer/polisher like Sears sells for $30.



Samars posted 12-11-2003 04:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Samars  Send Email to Samars     

I went out and bought ($40-$80) buffer at Sears...and I would suggest to do the same. Your grinder speed is much higher (RPM)
lhg posted 12-11-2003 06:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I would not use the #49 unless it's ABSOLUTELY necessary. It's too abrasive and will remove too much of your gelcoat. I have found that #44 will handle almost any oxidation job. Even #44 will really cut through your gelcoat, so be careful, especially on edges. I have also found the 3M stuff to be too abrasive. With gelcoat, the secret is to never use any more abrasive content than necessary.

Never use a circular buffer, even though you see this routinely being used at boat yards. They wreck boat hulls and remove too much material, in addition to the swirl marks left. If you see a boat yard using rotary polishers, run the other way.

The best little buffer I have even used is by Turtle Wax, at Home Depot for $20. This little green orbital buffer is terrific, and fits your hand nicely. West Marine also sells them, but for $50!!! Highly recommended. Credit for this goes to Backlash, who first told me about these.

Barney posted 12-11-2003 08:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barney  Send Email to Barney     
Now you tell me. I worked all afternoon Saturday to bring the 11 back to some kind of presentable appearance by hand polish. Beer does help in this process tho. Jim
Kingsteven18 posted 12-11-2003 08:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kingsteven18  Send Email to Kingsteven18     
Polishers are 2000 rpm or less. Sanders or Grinders are 4000 rpm or more; too fast for polishing.
TomNMiami posted 12-11-2003 09:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for TomNMiami  Send Email to TomNMiami     
Why is slower better for polishing? I would have thought that faster would be better.


striper swiper posted 12-12-2003 07:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for striper swiper    
one of the best polishers is the porter cable #7424-it will not burn the surface or leave swirl marks.its 114.00on northwest power detail shops use the machine and rave about it.the pad doesnt get hot and stays cool so there are no swirl marks.striper
joncoastie posted 12-12-2003 08:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for joncoastie  Send Email to joncoastie     
"Never use a circular buffer" I disagree. I have a makita variable speed buffer/polisher and it is outstanding. IMO, those $20-$40 orbitals are a waste of money when trying to bring back a badly oxidized hull. the Key with any buffer is not to get too agressive with it. Only downside is that you can't apply Fleetwax with anything other than good old-fashioned elbow grease.
Backlash posted 12-12-2003 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     
Many years ago I had a big 2-handed, right-angle grinder/polisher that had 2 speeds: "too fast" and "way too fast". I waxed many cars with it and it would burn the paint and leave swirl marks. Back then most of the car waxes contained abrasives...consequently the swirl marks. These are still used in body shops and in the hands of an experienced operator produce excellent results. They will remove a lot of material very quickly.

For the average boater I think the newer "random/orbital" polishers are the best choice for removing light oxidation and applying wax. They will not leave swirl marks and it is pretty much impossible to damage paint or gelcoat using one. I have both a 10" 2-handed model which is great for large flat surfaces and the little 6" 1-handed model lhg mentiones which is excellent for getting into small areas and is very easy to control.

The Porter-Cable #7424 that striper swiper mentions is a top-of-the-line, heavy-duty, random/orbital (no swirl marks) polisher with typical Porter-Cable quality that should last a lifetime.


billmontauk posted 12-12-2003 10:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for billmontauk    
Was just at Sears yesterday they have a craftsman 10 & 6 inch buffer with applicators in a 5 gallon bucket for $49 should to the trick
Bigshot posted 12-12-2003 01:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I don't know what you guys have been told but compounding a boat by hand is darn near impossible. i use 3m superduty rubbing compound and it DOES not remove too much but I do not recommend it unless she is oxidized heavily. The mid grade 3m stuff is awesome for slightly oxidized boats. The Finesse-it is great for just a dull finish but is also expensive.

I run a $49 sears 7" grinder polisher and on low speed she is great. I use a 10 or 11" pad so burning paint or gel is nearly impossible. Burning gel is nearly impossible to begin with.

Yes Meguire's(professional) and 3m are a ford/chevy thing. Use what you like. The Meguire's diamond cut is equiv to their super duty rubbing compound.

If your boat looks like this will need to wet sand before you use the super duty, that is how bad it was. If ANYONE thinks you don't need a buffer, you better have Popeye arms and a boatload of spinach.

fjjpal posted 12-14-2003 06:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for fjjpal  Send Email to fjjpal     
The porter cable Backlash is refering to is a great buffing machine. The speed adjustment is in the back of the handle 1-6. Use it between 2-4, over 4. It is so good many of the professional detaing companies, and even Meguiars remarket the machine under their own names with many different attachments. Watch the demonstration on Meguiars site but buy it at Lowes. They have it with and without the sanding attachments. Should be about $110-120. These 3 sites have it but they are between 175 and 250. Good luck.

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