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Old 20-05-2015, 10:41 AM   #1
camerashy
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DA around corners and arches

Just looking for some tips on using a DA around corners and arches where you have a change in panel shape
EG: Do you guys keep the machine vertical or horizontal resting in the palm of your hand etc
Thanks
Dave
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Old 20-05-2015, 11:11 AM   #2
Bigoggy
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There is a thread from junkman about buffing difficult angles somewhere
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Old 20-05-2015, 04:56 PM   #3
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Here ya go, just watched before seeing this thread!

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Old 20-05-2015, 05:10 PM   #4
Steampunk
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You follow the contour, mimicking it with the machine, and matching the angle so that the pad is always roughly in line with the surface... Oblique changes in panel lines can be trickier than gentle, contouring transitions, but the principal is still the same. If you need to, have a 'dry run' before hand, simply spreading the polish onto the area you intend to correct before turning the machine on. This will teach your hands how they need to move.

This is all a part of learning machine control, and mostly, it's just something you need to teach yourself. Someone can show you, but I never was able to understand until it was my hands actually doing it... However, there are three good practices for machine control which I recommend to people starting out with an 8mm DA, and wanting to advance their skill. I would try to tackle them in order, as they increase in difficulty as they go on:

(1) - Adapting Machine Attitude: For normal polishing, and final finishing operations, one wishes to keep the pad perfectly level with the surface (No matters its shape.). This can be practiced by using a stiff pad (LC Hydro-Tech, Scholl concepts foam, microfiber cutting pads, etc.), and running the machine at low speed, slowly adjusting the angle until it seems to run perfectly smooth with no kick-back. It feels 'balanced' when you do this, and the trick, is being able to maintain this 'balance' irregardless of panel convexity. The machine should be cradled in both hands (Never death-gripped), and you need to constantly be looking ahead, letting your hands make any kind of attitude correction necessary to maintain this perfect level. This control is critical if you ever find yourself polishing a very soft paint type.

Once you've mastered keeping on the level, you now need to practice giving it some attitude for when doing heavier correction, and approaching panel edges. Place the pad flat on the panel, and roll the machine very gently in a circle, increasing pressure on the edges of the pad. Hold that minute 'attitude' at the 12 o'clock position, 1:30, 3:00, 4:30, 6;00, 7:30, 9:00, and 10:30, before moving back to 12 o'clock. Now practice polishing with that attitude held at those different angles, increasing pressure on the pad in those specific spots. This will allow you - no matter what direction you are holding the machine in - to focus your correction power on any point on the pad.

The benefit in doing so is that you can increase your polishing power when and where you need it, at any moment in the polishing process. When held perfectly flat, as in the first part of this exercise, the correction force is being directed parallel with the paint. With the machine slightly canted like this, the orbit of the tool is driving the pad into the paint with greater force than when it is on the level.

(2) - Narrow Line Polishing: Install a 140mm pad, and practice polishing with the machine tilted, allowing only a small portion of the pad towards the front of the machine to contact the paint, with the back end of the pad raised 20-40mm off the surface of the panel. The trick, is to keep the pad rotating normally and not stalling, which means you have to gently cradle the tool (Don't grip it firmly, or you'll lose the muscle control needed to perform this operation), and support its weight during the procedure. Incrementally take the load off of the contact patch until the pad starts to spin, and practice maintaining that load whilst polishing with the narrow contact area of the pad.

Once you have mastered this technique, you should be able to polish between two tape lines placed ~1-1.25" apart. This is very useful for polishing arches, and unusual body lines. It also gives you better machine control when polishing into deep, concave curves, and to give you more correction power when tackling RIDS (By reducing the contact patch, and angling the machine, you are increasing the force exerted upon the area you are polishing.). If you're using abrasive polishes, I would recommend practicing on a scrap panel. If you don't have a scrap panel, you can also practice this technique on your car, but I would use a soft pad, and Dodo-Juice Lime Prime Lite (Which I have tested, and contains no abrasives.), so you don't end up unnecessarily thinning the paint whilst you are learning to master your control.

(3) - Edging: Install that same 140mm pad (The stiffer the better), and practice polishing near the edge of a scrap panel, with only ~10-12mm of the pad contacting the panel (Measure, and run a tape line this distance from the panel edge.), and the rest hanging off into space. Because 8mm of the pad's contact patch is only there part of the time as it swings in and out of its orbit, this operation is extremely difficult, but like above, the trick is in supporting the weight of the machine with your fingertips. The goal, is to be able to polish this tiny area with the pad still moving, and never falling off the panel. Again, Lime Prime Lite and something like a Lake Country Crimson pad helps you to avoid burn-through whilst practicing this operation.

Eventually, you'll be able to polish in even the tightest, most difficult spots. This technique is especially good for flared arches, however, its main benefit is giving you the muscle control to polish right up to obstacles (Say, an antenna, or mirror.), and an understanding of how to make use of the 'PCZ' (Partial Contact Zone) of the pad. This is the area ~8mm in width (More with centrifugal force expanding the foam.) around the periphery of the pad which always appears as a blur. Because it is never in continual contact with the paint, its correction is less efficient than the center, but can nevertheless be useful.

Hopefully this helps... If you have anymore questions, please feel free to ask.

- Steampunk

Last edited by Steampunk; 20-05-2015 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 20-05-2015, 07:03 PM   #5
camerashy
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WOW!!, Sam, that is really, really helpful and thank you so much for your time in outlining the various techniques to me and many others on this Forum who are starting with a DA for the first time.
I am indebted to your help over the recent weeks and months and feel that through your posts, not only to me but others as well, that my confidence has started to build and I now use them as a reference point all the time.
Thanks again
Dave
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Old 21-05-2015, 06:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camerashy View Post
WOW!!, Sam, that is really, really helpful and thank you so much for your time in outlining the various techniques to me and many others on this Forum who are starting with a DA for the first time.
I am indebted to your help over the recent weeks and months and feel that through your posts, not only to me but others as well, that my confidence has started to build and I now use them as a reference point all the time.
Thanks again
Dave
Thank you... I am very happy to know that I could be of help. I wish you all the best in your experiences with paintwork correction; it's a fun journey, and we'll all enjoy seeing your results at the end of the day!

- Steampunk
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