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-   -   Porter Cable Kit Question (http://www.marine31online.com/forum/showthread.php?t=299)

briggss3 02-11-2016 01:48 PM

Porter Cable Kit Question
 
Total newb here....

I just bought the $199 Marine 31 Porter Cable 7424xp kit with 2 foam pads and the all-in-one polish wax and the carnumba wax from Autogeeks as they told me it pretty much has everything I needed. Now that I am reading around I wonder if that's correct, especially to questions below. I have a 16yo 23' CC (SeaPro 235CC)Fishing boat that is moderately oxidized on the external hull and internal sidewalls. Some heavier oxidation on the topside and some really heavy oxidation on the center console and around the interior transom wall. I am not trying to get the hull to showroom quality (heck, it has numerous spots of spider cracks on the top side and in the floor), but I am very interested in stopping further damage as well as protecting from fish blood, chum, etc.

I own 1 boat and will use this 1-2x year max.

Questions:

1) Is the Porter Cable all I need? Its overwhelming when trying to read up since the discussion often involves 3-5 different polishers, etc. One for this, one for that, etc. All I have (and can afford) is this 1 Porter Cable.

2) Are 2 pads enough for me? This kit includes 1 Lake Country orange and 1 blue foam pads. That's what comes in the kit and it sounds like others talk about have all kinds of pads here and there.

3) Do I need a wool pad for the heavier oxidized spots? Or can I wet sand with my porter cable on a GFCI? If so, what do I need to order for wet sanding? Or better yet, should I just use what I have in the kit and save money?

4) There is no brush in the kit, so I plan on using a Home Depot nylon kitchen brush and cleaning into a towel as I go - assume that's correct. But what do I do when done for the day? Dawn soap and water and air-dry?

5) The all-in-one gel coat polish and wax - is that good enough for my heavier oxidized spots? I also bought some Shurhold buff magic - would that be a better choice on the heavy oxidation? Also, I read in one of your posts saying that the Porter Cable may not be strong enough for heavy spots, is that true?

6) Do I need a small backing plate and pads for the tighter areas? Also, how hard is it to do the console oxidation whereby it looks like it will have to be hand buffed? What do I need there?

7) Last - My Plexiglas window is quite bad and has spider cracks swirls in it as well as 1,000,000 dead mosquito carcasses fused into it. Is there anything that brings it back from the dead?

Sorry for the long post. I spent that last several days hitting the various forums looking for answers.

Steven

Mike Phillips 02-11-2016 03:27 PM

Re: Porter Cable Kit Question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

Total newb here....

Hi Steve,

We were all newbs once in our lives. :)


Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

I just bought the $199 Marine 31 Porter Cable 7424xp kit with 2 foam pads and the all-in-one polish wax and the carnumba wax from Autogeeks as they told me it pretty much has everything I needed.


This kit?

Porter Cable 7424xp Marine 31 Boat Polish & Wax Kit

http://www.marine31online.com/galler...e-bonus-16.jpg



Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

Now that I am reading around I wonder if that's correct, especially to questions below. I have a 16yo 23' CC (SeaPro 235CC)Fishing boat that is moderately oxidized on the external hull and internal sidewalls.

16 years old huh?


Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

Some heavier oxidation on the topside and some really heavy oxidation on the center console and around the interior transom wall.

That sounds about right for horizontal surfaces.



Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

I am not trying to get the hull to showroom quality (heck, it has numerous spots of spider cracks on the top side and in the floor), but I am very interested in stopping further damage as well as protecting from fish blood, chum, etc.

Completely reasonable expectations and the right thing to do as the owner of a boat.


Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

I own 1 boat and will use this 1-2x year max.

Questions:

1) Is the Porter Cable all I need? Its overwhelming when trying to read up since the discussion often involves 3-5 different polishers, etc. One for this, one for that, etc. All I have (and can afford) is this 1 Porter Cable.

The Porter Cable is an entry level tool when it comes to buffing on neglected, oxidized gel-coat boats.

The Porter Cable is very effective for removing swirls out of clearcoated cars and millions of clearcoated cars have been de-swirled since the Porter Cable was introduced from the Wood Sanding industry to the car polishing industry.

When it comes to heavy oxidation on gel-coat boats however it "can" work but it's not as powerful as either a Flex 3401 or a rotary buffer and when it comes to removing or grinding off years of oxidation you really need more power to do the job in a time-efficient manner.

That said, with enough time and the right pads and chemicals you can remove the oxidation on your boat.


More to come....

Mike Phillips 02-11-2016 03:28 PM

Re: Porter Cable Kit Question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

2) Are 2 pads enough for me? This kit includes 1 Lake Country orange and 1 blue foam pads. That's what comes in the kit and it sounds like others talk about have all kinds of pads here and there.

The kit you bought is a good kit to get started with but here's the deal....

The way foam works is it absorbs liquid. What this means is as you work with a single foam pad it will become wet or saturated with the product you're using and as foam gets wet it becomes less effective because it becomes softer. This is especially true for foam cutting pads which is what the orange pad is.

It's nobody's fault, that's just the nature of foam.

In the car detailing world the questions comes up all the time,


How many pads do I need to buff out my car?



The above is a link that goes to my article to answer this question for the car detailing world but I don't have this article for boats but the answer is still the same.

More pads is better

This mostly applies to foam pads because realistically all it takes to buff out an entire boat with a wool pad is to keep the pad clean. Unlike foam, a wool buffing pad doesn't hold liquid like foam. Wool fibers do get wet but they don't hold any "volume" of liquid. There's a difference.



Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

3) Do I need a wool pad for the heavier oxidized spots?

A wool pad will cut faster and producer a shinier surface but not with a Porter Cable dual action polisher. These types of polishers don't have the power to maintain pad rotation so if you do try to use a wool pad on a PC or any other FREE SPINNING dual action polisher the pad will more or less just jiggle and vibrate against the gel-coat surface and thus do nothing.


Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

Or can I wet sand with my porter cable on a GFCI? If so, what do I need to order for wet sanding?

The answer is "yes". I just taught a boat detailing class last Saturday and in the class I taught all the guys how to use the Porter Cable 7424XP dual action polisher as a dual action sander and we machine sanded a 25" ROBALO Center Console to remove heavy oxidation.

Then we used a rotary buffer to remove the sanding marks.

Then we used a dual action polisher to remove the holograms left by the rotary buffer.

Then we used the Porter Cable to machine apply the wax to re-seal the gel-coat.

So the answer is "yes" you can use the PC to machine sand the gel-coat to remove heavy oxidation and in my how-to book and in my class I teach this as the way to work smarter, not harder.

But the PC is not powerful enough to remove sanding marks over an entire boat. For this you really need and want to use a rotary buffer with a wool pad and a compound.

The wool fibers will leave holograms in the gel-coat. the majority of the boat owning and boat detailing industry don't care about hologram scratches in the finish but I do and I don't teach people to leave scratches in the hull so what I do is teach people to remove the holograms using a dual action polisher with a foam cutting pad.

For both steps above, the key is using great abrasive technology, that is the compounds and polishes because they will determine how deep any compounding scratches are.

In my classes, on this forum and in my book I recommend the Captain's Compound because it uses really good abrasive technology so the holograms are primarily caused the the wool fibers and thus shallow and thus they buff out easy.

I know some don't care about holograms but I cannot teach people to do hack work. So each person can decide for themselves the level to which they want to finish out.


I show Mirka Abralon 6" discs to machine sand oxidized gel-coat in my classes and in my book as well as on this forum.

http://www.marine31online.com/galler..._Class_051.jpg






Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

Or better yet, should I just use what I have in the kit and save money?

Here's what I would recommend.

Start with the orange pad and the All-in-One Gel-Coat Polish & Wax. This is a LIGHT cutting one-step cleaner/wax.

See what it will do. If it's not removing the oxidation fast enough or effectively enough then you're going to need a more aggressive product and probably more aggressive pads.

One tip I share with the entire detailing world is to place a mark on the back of your backing plate so your EYES can see if the pad is rotating when you're buffing.

Like this,


http://www.autogeekonline.net/galler...ingPlate01.jpg


The larger the diameter of the pad and the thicker the pad the less ability the PC has to maintain pad rotation. This is especially true as the pad becomes wet with product. (see my comments above about pad saturation).

What spins best on PC or Porter Cable dual action polishers are THIN pads. Recently Autogeek introduced their own ThinPro foam pads which are very thin and thus rotate really well. You would still need more than a single pad to buff out a boat.

But try the cleaner/wax and the orange foam cutting pad and see how it does on your boat. Test a section that's in pretty good shape still and then a section that's heavily oxidized.


More to come....

:D

Mike Phillips 02-11-2016 03:29 PM

Re: Porter Cable Kit Question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

4) There is no brush in the kit, so I plan on using a Home Depot nylon kitchen brush and cleaning into a towel as I go - assume that's correct. But what do I do when done for the day? Dawn soap and water and air-dry?

It's really hard to wash waxes out of foam pads. That's because wax is not water soluble. If a wax or more specifically, the cleaner/wax you bought was water soluble then it would wash off when it rains, you wash the boat you you used the boat on water.

So for the same reason we all LIKE waxes because they don't wash off easily they also don't wash out of pads easily.

You can use a detergent dish washing soap and work it plus some water into the foam and then squeeze and squish under running water and repeat till you feel like you've removed most of the wax. Then set the pad aside to dry.

Conversely, most pro-grade compounds and polishes ARE water soluble and can be washed out of pads.


Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

5) The all-in-one gel coat polish and wax - is that good enough for my heavier oxidized spots?

Only testing will tell you.

Used with a wool pad on a rotary buffer where the wool pad and the rotary buffer supply a LOT of muscle a light cleaning wax can do wonders.

Used with a foam pad on a dual action polisher, a much less powerful tool and pad a light cleaning wax will remove light oxidation but it will require more time for heavy oxidation or a stronger product, pad and tool.


Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

I also bought some Shurhold buff magic - would that be a better choice on the heavy oxidation?

If I remember correctly, this product is like sand in a bottle so yes it will grind or abrade oxidized gel-coat off faster than a light cleaner/wax.

It won't leave the surface sealed though.


Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

Also, I read in one of your posts saying that the Porter Cable may not be strong enough for heavy spots, is that true?

Correct and I've stated the same above.

Gel-coats are hard and heavy oxidation is best removed by either sanding or by using a rotary buffer with a wool pad and an aggressive compound. That's the nature of the beast.


More to come....

:)

Mike Phillips 02-11-2016 03:29 PM

Re: Porter Cable Kit Question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

6) Do I need a small backing plate and pads for the tighter areas? Also, how hard is it to do the console oxidation whereby it looks like it will have to be hand buffed? What do I need there?

Question 6) is actually three questions. LOL As most of your other questions, that is there's multiple questions in each questions. No big deal but if you look how I used the "Multi-Quote" feature available in the software that powers this forum if it wasn't for this it would be hard to answer so many questions in a visual format that you or anyone could read, follow or understand.

Years ago I wrote an article that suggested asking 3 questions and by doing so you'll get great answers by other people because lots of questions just make people >click< away from the thread.

Not me, I'm an employee so I take the time to provide customer support by doing my best to answer all your questions. One thing for sure, you could never get this kind of back and forth discussion on Facebook as the "interface" that is the tiny boxes just don't work great for detailed information.


A tip to help yourself get great answers when you start a thread



Back to questions 6 :)


Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

6) Do I need a small backing plate and pads for the tighter areas?

Kind of. Might be faster to knock them out by hand using a piece of terry cloth and a compound. I show this in my how-to book.

You can get a smaller backing plate but you need to get more aggressive pads to work on oxidized gel-coat in tight areas. We have these too....



Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

Also, how hard is it to do the console oxidation whereby it looks like it will have to be hand buffed? What do I need there?


Hand buffed. Or like I demonstrate in the book using a rotary buffer with an extension and a small backing plate and small pad.

Like this,

Pictures: 16' Key Largo Center Console Boat Detailing Class with Marine 31


http://www.marine31online.com/galler..._Class_021.jpg




Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

7) Last - My Plexiglas window is quite bad and has spider cracks swirls in it as well as 1,000,000 dead mosquito carcasses fused into it. Is there anything that brings it back from the dead?

You can try to machine buff it with the cleaner/wax and the foam cutting pad.

I'd test a section first and make sure the results are getting better not worse.

Most the time guys tell me they have a PLEXIGLASS window they in fact have a Lexan or some other really hard plastic and it can be hard or impossible to restore a clear-as-glass results.

So test first....

If the light cleaner/wax helps or helps a little then a stronger high quality compound would probably help more. Again it really comes down to two words,

Abrasive Technology

I know it's easy to think,

"It's all the same"


But that's simply not true. Our cleaner/waxes use great abrasive technology as does the Captain's Compound but the price reflects the quality.

Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1316)

Sorry for the long post. I spent that last several days hitting the various forums looking for answers.

Steven


Hope you found your best help here.... it took me almost an hour to use the multi-quote feature to dissect all your questions into chunks you could read and then follow the answers.

:)

briggss3 02-11-2016 06:44 PM

Re: Porter Cable Kit Question
 
Wow that was an incredible response Mike. I am deeply appreciative of the time you put into it and I apologize for the long-winded questions. Hope this also helps others out there too as these "kits" imply they contain all you need. Autogeeks tech service strongly recommended the PC kit for the situation I described above oxidation-wise (and yes its the PC kit that you attached), but I assume it goes with common sense to realize that there is no "one size fits all" approach out there, especially with boats and gel coats.

Specifically a few follow-on questions with assumptions:


Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike.Phillips@Marine31 (Post 1318)

Then we used a rotary buffer to remove the sanding marks.

Then we used a dual action polisher to remove the holograms left by the rotary buffer.

Then we used the Porter Cable to machine apply the wax to re-seal the gel-coat.


Isn't the Porter Cable a DA Polisher? I assume you were using different DA Polisher like the Flex since the PC isn't strong enough.

Rotary buffer (I assume is synonymous with rotary polisher when I am rreading various forums) - is this any old 7" grinder found at Harbor Freight or Home Depot equipped with a buffing backing pad?

Should I just return my PC and replace with a Flex kit (3401 vs 3403)? I don't want to break the bank here and don't think I can afford both.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike.Phillips@Marine31 (Post 1318)
if you do try to use a wool pad on a PC or any other FREE SPINNING dual action polisher the pad will more or less just jiggle and vibrate against the gel-coat surface and thus do nothing.

Are Flex units free spinning and not good with wool pads?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike.Phillips@Marine31 (Post 1318)
Used with a foam pad on a dual action polisher, a much less powerful tool and pad a light cleaning wax will remove light oxidation but it will require more time for heavy oxidation or a stronger product, pad and tool.

So assuming again that both the PC and Flex are DA Polishers, will the Flex Polisher not be a good enough choice for removing heavy oxidation and should I just get a cheap rotary buffer with 1 wool pad to do that work?

Kind of wondering if I need to trade out the PC for a Flex and then add a cheap rotary to the mix (or just add a rotary to my PC kit I just bought).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike.Phillips@Marine31 (Post 1318)
It's really hard to wash waxes out of foam pads. That's because wax is not water soluble. If a wax or more specifically, the cleaner/wax you bought was water soluble then it would wash off when it rains, you wash the boat you used the boat on water.

So I guess its normal to do nothing to the wax application foam pad and just store it cleanly between uses?

Looks like at a minimum addition of a few cleaning tools and a bunch of pads is in order.

briggss3 02-12-2016 12:53 PM

Re: Porter Cable Kit Question
 
Hi Mike, I think I have the machines figured out after reading and re-reading various posts and watching youtubes (including your...thanks!).

So knowing I have the PC DA unit in hand, I am leaning towards adding the Flex PE14 to my kit and prepping the white gelcoat with that on a wool pad. Unless you think its wiser (and cheaper) to just add a 3401 to do all of my heavy lifting.

Mike Phillips 02-12-2016 03:52 PM

Re: Porter Cable Kit Question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by briggss3 (Post 1323)
Hi Mike, I think I have the machines figured out after reading and re-reading various posts and watching youtubes (including your...thanks!).

So knowing I have the PC DA unit in hand, I am leaning towards adding the Flex PE14 to my kit and prepping the white gelcoat with that on a wool pad. Unless you think its wiser (and cheaper) to just add a 3401 to do all of my heavy lifting.

Since you already have the Porter Cable I'd get the Flex PE14 rotary buffer.

Then if you ever choose to sand with the PC you can remove your sanding marks with the Flex PE14 and remove the holograms with the PC.

If you just want to use the Flex PE14 with a wool pad and a compound you can still remove heavy oxidation plus any other level of oxidation and then follow-up with the PC.


Check out the 7.5" wool pad I recommend here,

My recommended buffing pads for the Flex PE14


:thumb:


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