Polishing Polycarbonate Using a Buffing Wheel

The following was done using this type of buffing wheel called a "Loose Cotton"

cotton

While I use a bench mounted buffer, they can be installed on a handheld buffer like this.

adapter

 

After using a standard automotive wool pad, and these, I have found that this process will give a clearer more "optical" clear buff.

 

Here are some before and after pictures

Before

prs 1 prs2 prs3 prs4

First step that I used was a Loose Cotton with my White Plastic compound with a 6 inch wheel at 1750 RPM's.  No sanding was done on this job, there was some road rash that I left as it would have needed sanding.

  I wanted this to be a fairly quick job.  I would say that I spent less than 15 minutes on these two pieces.  A bit of time sanding out large imperfections would be needed to make these two pieces perfect.  That wasn't needed here.

Minor scratches can be removed.  If you take you fingernail and lightly go over a scratch and can "lightly" feel it, then the scratch can probably be buffed without sanding.  If your fingernail "falls" into the scratch, sanding will be needed, but buffing will still minimize it.

When buffing a fairly light scratch out, I will apply a bit more pressure, but for most buffing a light even pressure is all that is needed.  Applying compound in small but frequent doses will yield the best results.  If compound is building up on the item being buffed, you are applying too much compound.  This is a COMMON mistake.

 

First Step, White Plastic Compound

prswhite1 prs white2 prs white 3

 

Next I used a DIFFERENT loose cotton wheel with Blue Plastic Compound.  You never want to cross contaminate a buffing wheel.  I have my "plastic" buffing system set up on my buffer.  One side is for white and I have marked the wheel, the other side is for blue which is also marked.  If you try to go from a coarse to a fine product and use the same buff wheel, that is going to leave scratches that you do not want.

 

prs blue1 prs blue2 prs blue3 prs blue 4

 

 

Overall, a huge improvement for 15 minutes of work. If desired, for final finishing, I like Maguire's Plastic polish with a yellow foam pad on my 3 inch polisher turned faily slow if desired.  Some like Novus, it seems to be more of a hand use product.  I have used it successfully also.  The pictures above, have used neither.

There are still some imperfections.  The road rash, there were some spots that looked like a solvent had dripped on it, but overall, they look good and I think you will see a HUGE improvement over the start pictures!

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