Sign in to follow this  
nleclerc

Question: Festool polishing system

Recommended Posts

I am buying a Festool Rotex 125 sander to cover both my sanding and polishing needs on my boat (44ft cruiser racer with interior in oak veneered plywood). With regards to polishing, I am planning to use the Rotex to polish gelcoat, not my hull obviously.

Can anyone advise which of the Festool polishing pad and compounds to get to polish gelcoat? Which color (yellow / orange / blue / white / black) and which type of sponge? I understand the Festool polishing system is in fact the 3M one, is this correct?

Thanks in advance

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, LionessRacing said:

No specific guidance on the polishing pad and compound; but an internet search found this 

https://www.festoolownersgroup.com/festool-how-to/how-to-compound-polish-boat-(gel-coat)-with-ro-150-feq/

 

Some good ideas in that, about counterweighting the Rotex

 

Suspending the tool seems like a great idea. Because they are soooo heavy.... Love my Rotex 125, but after a full day of using it I'm shattered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A 5" sander to polish a hull? That would be like painting a boat with an airbrush.

Get a 7" Makita or similar for a fraction of the price - almost twice the surface area, so much better functionality.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What Sloop said.... Makita is the standard. Tough, rebuild-able, and use WOOL pads. Cutting Cream is your friend. If it's chalky use a good compound and keep it wet, then CC followed by wax. Still a workout no matter what you use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input all.

The objective is just to do topsides, not the hull, that would be quite mad with a 5’’ machine.

After further reading, I have decided I will start with medium-fine (blue) and fine (white) to polish slightly faded gelcoat and see how it goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For future reference the topsides are the hull - the area above the waterline.

What you are apparently referring to is the deck and cabin top. A 5" polisher would definitely be better for that - my 7" Snap-On is a huge pain to use for that - especially in the cockpit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

my 7" Snap-On is a huge pain ... especially in the cockpit

TMI dude, but I told that proper lubrication helps that

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/24/2019 at 8:46 AM, nleclerc said:

I understand the Festool polishing system is in fact the 3M one, is this correct?

Possible, maybe they share a general grit & coding system ... but I'd be stunned if Festool used another manufacturer's consumables. Festool does everything in-house. They are like Apple in their love for proprietary hard & soft, and in their dislike of third party developers. And in their pricing. ;) Just finding affordable abrasives to fit the Festool hole patterns is a royal PIA.  Indasa makes some, SuperGrit sells a portion of their line -- but that's about it. Otherwise, you buy Festool  branded discs at $0.70 USD a pop. And $40 for an OEM replacement hook&loop backing pad; again, no aftermarket options.

Love me some Festool sanders, but whoo they are expensive animals to feed. I drop +/- $1000 on their consumables every year.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/29/2019 at 12:34 AM, SloopJonB said:

For future reference the topsides are the hull - the area above the waterline.

What you are apparently referring to is the deck and cabin top.

Yes, apologies for the confusion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/24/2019 at 10:46 AM, nleclerc said:

I am buying a Festool Rotex 125 sander to cover both my sanding and polishing needs on my boat (44ft cruiser racer with interior in oak veneered plywood). With regards to polishing, I am planning to use the Rotex to polish gelcoat, not my hull obviously.

Can anyone advise which of the Festool polishing pad and compounds to get to polish gelcoat? Which color (yellow / orange / blue / white / black) and which type of sponge? I understand the Festool polishing system is in fact the 3M one, is this correct?

Thanks in advance

 

Can’t remember the pad color grade system

I always use the medium 

the grade relates to how much compound the pad will hold 

 

various compounds  from fine to coarse 

For gelcoat I always use coarse  compound  

 

Compound and pads are not available locally so I  use 3m products 

Same with compound  3m fast cut

 

all the various pads and compounds are nice when working with paint

gel coat is crude and porous , coarse compounds are best 

Compound is water soluble, keep your work surface moist with a windex sprayer 

don’t try to polish all the compound off , it’s a waste of time

after compounding wash the boat with soap and water to remove compound residue  

work in the shade Don’t let the surface dry out

Before compounding fiberglass , remove the organic stains and rust bleeds with acid ospho or similar 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The best compound I've used on gel coat is Meguiars #4 on a wool pad.

They classify it as coarse but it will give you a finish you can shave in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this