(This may be not in any particular order but I cut and paste comments from most of threads regarding SS as I will be doing my AS in near future
I use it with different pads- 3M coarse wool on poor skin, 3M yellow pad- which is much less abrasive- to get swirls out after I'm done, foam pads on high shined surfaces that I've gotten to the point where the swirls are almost gone, but very light buffing will brighten it even further.
I have a trailer now that was so badly pitted that I have to use a green 3M scotchbrite pad, and remove the very top layer, like wet sending a cars paint.
I finish it off with something that is very mild and leaves a higher luster- Flitz, which I got for free, or a product called Ultra High Gloss Polish from Aqua Tech in Wilmington NC.
On my buffer- I use it on speed 3 out of 6- relatively slow, but you have to experiment and see what happens- be careful not to use an accelerated speed and burn your metal and leave it stretched and warped.
If anyone had done exactly as I do- HS buffer, and a 3M coarse wool pad, and strip the pad with a spur every app, I can't imagine why it would be a different result- guess I'm lucky.
My opinion of a Cyclo hasn't changed- its a joke, and I don't want to go over my trailers in any 4 step process- and the Cyclo leaves as much swirling as my buffer does with the softer wool pads- more than the foam.
3M pads are available at any marine store, and at www.lewismarine.com
or go to 3M's site and search for a dealer close by- all body shop suppliers will have the full line- including Finesse and Perfect it and the foam pads for swirl removal.
I'll now wet sand the deep scratches heavy oxidation spots that I've uncovered, and will then start buffing with a soft foam- Perfect-It pad from 3M, and will use Flitz- which has no abrasives. The areas that won't shine up easily will get a mild polishing with a very light abrasive to get them to the point that I can use the Flitz. I use 8" and 3" pads- mostly 3M, which comes in 3 hardnessís, but the softest, the yellow pad, is the best one- you don't need any harder, and you'll have less damage. I use a variable speed grinder.
The water that you wash with is more important than anything! I use a water softener that is portable- www.softwetspot.com
and wash it, rinse it and drive it around or blow it off with a leaf blower- no chamois!
His trailer had some very fine scratches and the water stains, and I would suggest wet sanding this skin with a light- 600 or 800 grit, and finish with 1200, then polish with SS and a finishing pass with a foam pad and Flitz or Nuvite's fine grade.
I also think that people will want the 3M pads and should go to lewismarine.com and get set up to order them from there- if you can't find them locally. If I was a single trailer owner and wanted to start off with them, I'd order 1 coarse wool pad, and 2 soft wool pads, and probably 2-3 foam pads. That will hold you for a long time- you wash them out and spin them dry on your buffer and allow them to sit over night. The ones I used on FF's TW were washed out at least 6 or more times. The softer ones wear down, as they'll "shed" as you use them.
We also did some wet sanding that nearly took out some heavy scratches. We used 600 followed with 1200 and then polished. It polished up very nice. I need to hit it a little more with the sand paper. The sanding took out the pitting from the rocks that hit it while towing. Don't be afraid to sand!
You can buy the Pads at Lewismarine.com. The pad is 9 inch and is superior to the pads that I have been using. You need to course and soft pads. He said since I did a lot of work with the nuvite I need 1 course and 2 soft. You can get the pads with a backer plate (hookit is the name I think) or double sided pad that has some type of plate built into it (2+2 it is called). The hookit plate is part #5717 and the course pad is 5711 and soft is 5713. The 2+2 with out the plate the course is 5701 and the soft is 5705. Or maybe 5710 was the coarse 2+2.
You need 2 different 3M pads. One is more course than the other. The course pad is 5701 and the fine is 5705. These are double sided and last longer than most stuff you get at Autozone, etc. You can also get the kind that go onto a backing plate, they have different part numbers. I also got the Super Buff Adapter ($8). It is a small extension that gives a little space away from the compounder, pads are pretty thick. I got mine at www.levineautoparts.com.
USE COMMON FLOUR TO REMOCE THE BLACK SMUDGES. JUST PUT SOME IN A SQUEEZE BOTTLE AND SQUIRT ON THE AREA OR RAG AND THE BLACK WIPES RIGHT OFF
7'' VARIABLE SPEED POLISHER/SANDER
11 Amp Motor
∑ Ideal polishing speed: 1000 RPM to 1800 RPM
∑ Ideal sanding speed: 2000 RPM to 3000 RPM
∑ Powerful 11 amp UL listed motor
∑ Die cast aluminum head
∑ Heat treated precision cut gears
∑ High impact housing
∑ Spindle: 5/8''-11
∑ Tool length: 17 in.
∑ Weight: 8.4 lbs.
Includes 8'' wool bonnet and three-position handle mount.
49.99 ITEM 46507-0VGA
5701: Double-sided pad with wool/acrylic blend. Less aggressive with more flexible inner plate. Excellent for hard paints. Use with 3M Adaptor 5710.
5701 List price: $30.42 Levine price: $18.99
5705: Double sided, soft edge polishing pad designed for use with 3M machine glaze. Made with extremely fine fibers to produce a high gloss on paint surfaces. Pad has its own built in, lightweight support system.9" Diameter
5705 List price: $33.04 Levine price: $21.99