Buffing / Polishing with an Orbital Sander

Hi all,

I'm trying to avoid buying another power tool, especially one for which I think there might be a decent substitute already in my bag. Can I compound/polish/wax my topsides with my rock-solid Milwaukee 5" orbital sander, or do I need to buy a dedicated rig? I've found polishing/buffing attachments already.

thanks,

BWS

 

tommays

Super Anarchist
1,383
54
Northport
You can spend a day with the random and not be to happy as they really dont cut well no matter what you use for compound OR use a tool like the Makita 9227C 7-Inch Hook and Loop Electronic Polisher/Sander and do the same work in about 30 minutes

 
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You can spend a day with the random and not be to happy as they really dont cut well no matter what you use for compound OR use a tool like the Makita 9227C 7-Inch Hook and Loop Electronic Polisher/Sander and do the same work in about 30 minutes
+1 well said.best money I have ever spent on a power tool.

Be sure to practice a bit with it beforehand. Unlike the random orbital this baby'll burn a hole in whatever you're trying to polish if you're not being careful. Also: its heavy.

 

Moonduster

Super Anarchist
4,823
230
No. You cannot use your random orbit sander to buff wax or apply rubbing compounds. The problem is that its orbits are too small and without sufficient action, the surface overheats before the wax/compound have done their work. It won't do the job and if you're not lucky, you can really ruin your finish.

The Makita tool mentioned above is really the best tool for the job and has the added benefit of being a super general purpose grinder/sander/polisher. You'll get a lot of good use from it over the years and its built to last.

Failing that, go to an auto parts store and buy an el-cheap car buffer.

Good luck!

 
OK, while I have your attention, one more question to put my mind at ease about the $200 power tool I swore yesterday I wouldn't buy, but now have my finger poised above the 'buy' button.

Not that I'm seriously considering it, because I know I won't be able to control the speed well over the several days I expect to need, but could I in theory use a good drill, capable of the 3000 RPM of the Makita (my Hitachi can go that fast)? It seems that the issue is overspeeding and cutting grooves in your work.

 

tommays

Super Anarchist
1,383
54
Northport
P2142637.jpg


Suck it and buy the tool :) you will NOT get good results without the correct pads which they really dont make for hand drills

 
D

Darryn

Guest
Drill does a great job, especially in tight fiddly spots like a deck. The Makita sander recommended above is great for wide open spaces, terrible for in close precise work. 3000rpm is to fast unless you have an expert rating on this equipment, start very slow. You can buy a wool buff pad for a drill and foam too, suppliers to car crash repairers is the source. I use a cordless drill with the side handle attached to control it. Start off on the slow speed. You be changing batt packs every 20 minutes so plan your job around that. I also own a variable speed different brand version of the Makita so I can compare the drill/versus polisher sander and for infrequent use on fiddly work I would use the drill with a wool pad. Spend your money on the cutting compound and wax, farecla is very good.

Good luck with your job, dont forget the before and after pics for job satisfaction.

One last thing, start off in a spot which isn't very visible until you get the hang of it.

cheers

Darryn

Mosquito ( catamaran )

Flying Fifteen (daysailor keel boat )

 

Moonduster

Super Anarchist
4,823
230
The Makita has variable, electronically-controlled speed. For polishing applications use a sheep's wool cover on a medium foam pad, and pretty slow speeds or you'll burn your wax/compound.

Good luck!

 

daffy

Super Anarchist
2,052
2
NW
anybody use the harbor freight sander/polisher? I know it's a pos but 30bucs for only a few uses ain't bad.

 

BalticBandit

Super Anarchist
11,114
2
OK, while I have your attention, one more question to put my mind at ease about the $200 power tool I swore yesterday I wouldn't buy, but now have my finger poised above the 'buy' button.

Not that I'm seriously considering it, because I know I won't be able to control the speed well over the several days I expect to need, but could I in theory use a good drill, capable of the 3000 RPM of the Makita (my Hitachi can go that fast)? It seems that the issue is overspeeding and cutting grooves in your work.
Don't buy that tool... RENT IT. most areas have tool rental for construction folks. Orbital buffers and grinders can be rented cheap.

 
388
0
CT
anybody use the harbor freight sander/polisher? I know it's a pos but 30bucs for only a few uses ain't bad.

Bought a bunch of harbor freight tools, one for every job I might need to do on the boat. So far, they have worked great, but I haven't done tons of work.

 




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