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Cutting compound, tips and advice.

  • #2
    Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 26,628 mod Cass

    Looking for tips, advice, input and basically anything anyone has to offer in terms of getting the best results when doing a "subtle" paint correction.

    When i say sublte I mean I'm working on my Audi A6. The paint work is in good condition. No chips, about 4 scratches that are not going to be removed with a paint correction (but luckily the worse is about 2 inches) and generally in good condition.

    However under a n inspection light, in the garage I can see lots of swirl marks and marks that the previous owner put there from using, what I can only assume was, a nylon "wash" brush (hate those things).

    Gear I have includes:
    • Dual action polisher
    • Sander
    • Microfibre cloths ( dozens)
    • Hex logic pads ranging from soft to hard (11 in total)

    • Menzerna 400 heavy cut performance compound
    • Menzerna 1000 heavy cut (pad use)
    • Menzerna 2200 medium cut and polish
    • Meguiars X-compound
    • Autoglym paint renovator
    • G3 swirl remover

    I have various other brands of polishes and finishing compounds but want to concentrate on the cutting process.

    So what I'm after is how you do it, in what steps, exact process, wiping between applications, changes in pads or pressure during various steps, etc. Not looking for the process, as i've done it before, but I seem to be struggling with this car as though the clearcoat is harder or more resilient to the cutting process. When I done my Vectra i got great results in the same time frame. I mean total elimination of the swirl marks.

    I started slowly and with a medium pad, and medium pressure. I spent about an hour on the passenger door. I'm disabled so "access" is somewhat difficult (sitting, kneeling, etc. is somewhere between very uncomfortable to impossible) but after the hour there was improvement, but not as much as I'd like and under close inspection with an inspection light I found lots of marks still there. Faded, but there.

    So do I simply need to go over it again and again for longer, etc? Not looking for shortcuts, as we all know there are none in this process.

    Also I found that cleaning the compound off, between costs/application, seemed to get harder. I changed microfibre cloths regularly to avoid contaminating what I'd done with stuff from the previous cloth.

    I'm doing this indoors, in a garage, out of direct sunlight.

    Any advice, input, etc gratefully welcomed.

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  • #2

    So after some serious video watching, reading of articles and other threads on other forums I've found that while my process is "correct" its being done wrong. I know, contradictory, but bear with me.

    I was using the correct polishes, compounds, cutting agents, etc. the good pads and cloths, with the right process, but my technique was the issue. I needed to slow it down (passes made), speed up the machine (from setting 2 to about 4), not work the material as much (only do 3 to 4 passes), and repeat more often (don't expect miracles after one or two attempts).

    I would overwork the cutting agent resulting in "sticky" or hard to remove residue. Now I work a smaller area (only what is within reach without stretching), for about 3 to 4 passes (horizontal then vertical as one pass). I then remove the residue which remains fluid rather than powder (resulting in flakes), and this has given me a much more impressive finish. The constant and even pressure I can apply in the smaller area also contributes to the better finish.

    While fiddling around I'll also found the various pad/pressure/product combo that works best on each car, by starting "low" and moving to more aggressive pad/pressure. Once I got the right combo on one panel I could move onto the next panel without having the trial and error process of the first one.

    Still open to any suggestions or advice if anyone has any.

    Forum Charter - Useful Information thread - RFDs by county - For Sale Section - Hunting Laws/Important threads

    If you see a problem post use the report post function, "FLAG", at the bottom of each post & let a Moderator deal with it.

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