Orbital Electric Buffers - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-10-2003, 12:01 AM   #1
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Orbital Electric Buffers

I am considering buying an orbital electric buffer for my Bigfoot trailer, automobiles and canoe. What brand/model does anyone own and do they like it? If you own one and had to buy a new one, which one would you buy again. Another model, or the same one. There are some that are 2 speeds and really expensive ones have variable speed. I'm looking for suggestions. Thanks.
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Old 07-10-2003, 12:35 AM   #2
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Orbital buffer

Hi Brian:

I bought a Wen single speed buffer from Canadian Tire for about $40.00 on sale. It takes a 6 inch buffing pad, so light and easy to manoeuver around. I recently used some 3M polishing compound that I purchased at West Marine in Sidney (new store in Vancouver, I believe). It was about $30.00 for a US quart, but seems to be a commercial product. I topcoated with Gel Gloss, as that is what i had on hand at the time.

Hope this helps.

Rick B
Williams Lake
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Old 07-10-2003, 12:38 AM   #3
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orbital polisher

Hi Brian:

I do not use the polisher on my vehicle. I apply cleaning and polishing products by hand (Zaino), as it is easier to judge pressure, thus minimizing scratches in the clear coat.

Rick B
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Old 07-10-2003, 04:16 AM   #4
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Hi
The other day I was sanding my old boler.My son was polishing his fg canoe.He took my palm sander and removed sand paper and wrapped a cloth on sanding head and commenced to polish his canoe with my sander.I worked pretty good.:)
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Old 07-10-2003, 05:20 AM   #5
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old black n decker

Single speed picked it up at a yard sale a long time ago. Its only use is polishing oxidation off my canoes Meguiars Mirror Glaze #49 to cut oxidation and #56 boat /rv pure wax to bring back shine .
Combination works ok there is a shine but not like new .
which is pretty good cobsidering canoes where never stored indooors and never under cover and exposed to lots of southern sun. not complaining as it is nice to be able to go out 10 months of the year
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Old 07-10-2003, 07:41 AM   #6
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What I have

I purchased a 10" Ryobi at Lowe's about two weeks ago, haven't used it yet ($29). But between my egg and the fiberglass canopy on my pickup, I plan on giving it a workout.

Was at Wal-Mart last night, they have a 10" on sale (here in Portland, Oregon) for less than $20. Comes with a bunch of assessories (extension cord, etc.)

Used gently and the secret..let the buffer do the work, don't PRESS DOWN, should work great. Hope to save my shoulders!

PS...I had one of these a number of years ago and wore the thing out...liked to keep my Porsche really shiny. I never used the applicator pad, just the polishing pad.
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Old 07-10-2003, 10:58 AM   #7
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Random orbital is the way to go. I prefer the Porter Cable unit. It keeps my show cars in top-notch shape. You CAN NOT burn into your paint with this unit, much better than the cheap units. Some of the lacquer on my cars is over 20 years old, up to 9 coats in some cases, and I still get many awards including best paint. Of course I keep everything very clean, and clay before waxing/polishing. I used to never think I'd use a polisher until I tried the Porter Cable unit. And no matter how careful you are using hand application, you can not be as accurate as with this. Having 4 show cars, I have to be able to save a little time every now and then. Of course, these cars are garaged and covered, but you'd be amazed at the difference you can get. The toughest part is final detailing under flourescent lighting (as in most areas and show halls)...I have no spiderwebbing to speak of. You might check out http://www.griotsgarage.com for more information. (No, I am not a paid endorsee, just have used many of his products for a very long time).
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Old 07-10-2003, 11:10 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the input. Just spent another2 hours hand polishing so I think it's time to buck up and buy a good one. I'll check out the porter cable one.
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Old 07-11-2003, 09:31 PM   #9
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Wally world came through for me

I got a 10" at Wal-Mart a while ago and I like it a lot. Saves a lot of time. I am like most of you though I only use it taking the wax off and not putting it on. I think it saves a lot of time.
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Old 07-11-2003, 09:59 PM   #10
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Brian, if you get the porter cable unit, please, please get the mounting plate and pads from Griot's...There are other companies selling a porter cable unit with a cheap plastic backing plate. The mounting screw is molded into the plastic, which lets transfer of heat from the unit, through the screw and plastic, and into the paint! This adjustable random orbital is the best I've ever tried (and there have been MANY). Another tip for those of you STILL using hand application/buffing. Even though you THINK you might have 100% cotton cloths, check the stitching on the edges! Many "100% cotton" cloths have polyester thread hemming. If you can take a match and make the thread "curl up", either cut it off or don't use it! I still can't believe all the folks who use diapers claiming they are "so soft", only to find tons of swirl marks in the paint after they get the car into the expo hall. Live and learn, just dont ADD scratches and swirlmarks by careless waxing/polishing. You might find this extreme, but with some show cars having paint valued at over $10K, many folks approach this seriously. (None of my jobs cost that much, but in today's $, anytime you get close to 10 coats of lacquer, it's up there)...And when I polish, I'm actually polishing the PAINT, not just playing around with a base coat/clear coat (although I have seen a few that look rather good).;)
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Old 08-13-2003, 10:43 AM   #11
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A couple of thoughts on polishing/waxing...

OK, first let me say that I just bought a Burro day-before-yesterday, and although it seemed immaculate, I'm now in the middle of fixing/polishing the Egg.

I have a 10" Random Orbital Buffer (ROB) that I got at Harbor Freight a few years ago. It was about $15 and extremely lightweight, works very well. I had been using it on my daily-driver '97 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor and it keeps that car looking better than factory new.

It's working well on the Egg, too. I've been using Meguiar's Cleaner Wax and that product line seems very compatible with both the car and the fibreglass trailer. It's only a question of making enough time to do the job properly. ;)

I have a couple of problem areas on the trailer that are going to need special attention, and that's what I'd like to talk about.

First, the vinyl BURRO logos on both sides look faded and seem to have stains from the gelcoat decomposing. The ROB wasn't making much headway, so I decided to go another route with those. I chucked a 4" linen buffing wheel (available at any hardware store, and most auto parts outlets) into a drill motor and loaded it with tripoli polishing compound.

The type of polishing compound that you use on these buffing wheels usually comes in stick form, and several different grits are available, ranging from coarse to extremely fine. Each type has a different color, tripoli being blue. Tripoli is a fine compound, but not the finest.

Using the tripoli wheel, I polished out the vinyl logos. They came clean after just a few minutes, then I changed to a different linen wheel (don't mix compounds on the same wheel) and used rouge - red colored - extremely fine compound to finish up.

The logos look brand-new, except for the small nicks in the vinyl that
you'd get over time anyway.

The second problem I found was that all the windows are plexiglas. Most of them were stained on the outside, and scratched and dirty on the inside. Normally, when you encounter plexiglas in this condition, you replace it.

While using the linen wheel on my car's headlights (those of you who have older Fords will know about the foggy yellow headlight problem!) I've achieved fantastic results, so I removed the sliding parts of each window and took them into the cool house to work on them. The fixed parts of the windows I'm working on in the cool morning hours...

Using the same tripoli and rouge polishing compounds that I used on the logos (and my car's headlights) I've managed to return those old plexi windows to 99%-new condition.:crazy-ii
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Old 08-13-2003, 08:45 PM   #12
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That's sounds like quite a job, but I bet the Burro is really looking pretty. Polishing the plexaglass, who'd a thought it?
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Old 08-15-2003, 10:43 AM   #13
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Won't get the DEEP scratches out., but...

Yep, works great!

Obviously it won't get the really deep scratches out, but there are few of those. I may duisassemble all the windows over this coming winter and install new plexi anyway. Maybe a darker tint, since we have the blazing desert sun to contend with. :)
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