Polishing/Buffing

Hi everyone, i started Hydrodipping 4 months ago & i have so far grown into it & I’m able to pick up range rover parts to dip them (dont mind the black edges on grill it’s due to the size of my tank & the client was happy with the result). The business is “looking up”. However one thing I’ve not been doing for my clients is the final buffing/polishing because i have not purchased a buffing machine yet but I’m in position to now. I’ve tried buffing some items before & this is how i do it, i wetsand with 1000 /1200 sandpaper then rinse & polish. Problem is the few times I’ve done this, the item gets damaged. The pattern fades off. Idk if i do it before the clear is 100% dry (i let it sit for 24 hrs) but I haven’t had a great experience with polishing. Anyone with advice on the final buffing process, please share. Thank you.

Comments

  • PagesHydroDippingPagesHydroDipping Member Posts: 740 ✭✭✭
    We wet sand with 1500 then 2000. If you are going through your clear that easy chances are your not putting down enough clear. Be careful with edges they will always be less clear on edges. Finally your ready to buff. Most companies sell in a 3 stage kit(3 different compound 3 different buffing pads.) Step 1 2 and 3. Wipe the part of with a micro fiber cloth in-between each stage. 
  • Freedom HydrographicsFreedom Hydrographics Member Posts: 251 ✭✭✭
    First I would check and see what the cure time is for the clear you are using. The one I use is ready to cut and buff in 4 hours, 2 if I put a heat lamp on it. Different ones will be faster and slower. Also temp plays a factor. Most clears want you to be in the 70 degree range. Different clears are thicker and thinner, high solids vs. Spot and panel. So you always figure that you are sanding off 1-2 layers of clear when you are smoothing it out/getting orange peel out. 

    If you arent comfortable with the process, I would do up some pieces and practice. Start with something higher like a 2000 grit, see what that does to the peel. Put in the elbow grease so you understand why you start with a 1200 and not something higher, you will be there for hours, lol. 
    Move down to a 1500 when you are comfortable, see how that affects the peel. Then 1200. Omce your comfortable you can now spray a piece, start with 1200, wipe, 1500, wipe, 2000, wipe and even move to 3000 and 4000 if you choose too. That may be further then most projects call for and is a personal choice for most people, everyone has their own way. 
    The higher you take it out to, the sand scratches become smaller and it makes it faster to buff out. Again, personal choice. 
    Another way is to start with 1200 and sand a little. Rinse and wipe down, then move to 1500. Sand a little, rinse, wipe and move to 2000. Sand a little, rinse wipe and see if the peel is gone when its dry. If not, you can choose to start back with the 1200 and do It all again. Its a learning process that you will pick up quickly, so dont worry. As you do more, you will see what each does to taking out the peel, what each does to the previous grit, and if you are properly going over each grits Sand scratches. Some go away in the first go of buffing while others are taking 3,4,5 rounds. Well, you didnt get all the 1200 out during the 1500 sanding session😊

    Like was stated before, there are different companies that have compounds. Some will have different levels choose wisely. Then you can move to swirl mark remover. Again, some do it and some don't. Personal choice. Tumblers, controllers, stuff like that will not require going that far or even budding at all if you are spraying smooth enough. Now a motorcycle or a dash piece that someone will stare at every time they ride or get in the car, I take a little extra care with. 

    Good luck, dont get discouraged and keep at it. You will have it down before you know it. 


  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Member, Moderator, Business Ninja Posts: 7,593 El Moderator
    If you are sanding on the clear too soon it will "ball up" under the sandpaper rather than get washed away by the water. As soon as the material stands up and doesn't get gummy, it is ready to be sanded.

    You are busting through the clear because you don't have enough down. We spray 3 coats of clear to buff, but I know guys that do small parts in 2.

    If you get better at your clearing, then you only have to spot buff to get nibs out. Or you can put 2 coats down and sand, then put final coat down and see how it looks... there may be no buffing needed at all.
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