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#3211926 - 12/10/13 02:41 AM Re: My seasonal polish. [Re: qwertydude]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 18128
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
I'm a little puzzled by your description of Ultimate Compound "breaking down." My understanding is that Ultimate Compound uses the SMAT abrasive technology, which simply does not breakdown.

M105 is an interesting product. It cuts fast, and in some capable hands, it can finish very well. I know that many people have their own tricks for using the stuff, but more often than not, it has a very short work time and leaves a ridiculous dust cloud. I have since switched to Menzerna FG400 with better results. D300/M101 mix is also a good combo.

While I cannot say that I have any plans of trying your setup, I am glad that it works well for you. But for the price that you mentioned, I think most people are better served by the HF DA and some proper foam pads. wink2

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#3214005 - 12/11/13 11:24 PM Re: My seasonal polish. [Re: qwertydude]
qwertydude Offline


Registered: 05/15/08
Posts: 635
Loc: Norwalk, CA not CT
From what I can tell Meguiars Ultimate Compound is not pure SMAT. After looking at it under a high powered microscope at work after washing away the lubricant I see two distinct particle sizes. To me it seems to be a mix of standard garnet diminishing polishes and SMAT aluminum oxide.

I know because M105 is pure white. Aluminum oxide abrasive is normally too abrasive for paint, usually it's used as an industrial abrasive. It's sharpness and hardness makes it ideal for very tough abrasive use. In order to make it work for paint the particles must be ultra fine since polishing soft materials aluminum oxide simply will not wear down appreciably. If large aluminum oxide particles are used it will simply gouge the paint.

Garnet on the other hand is very brittle and will break down with use. Hence it's popularity as a diminishing abrasive. It's also reddish brown in color.

This is what's leading me to believe that Ultimate Compound is a combination of both. It's not pure white like M105 and not nearly as dark reddish brown as their traditional polishes and it has distinctly large reddish particles mixed in with smaller white ones.

Now the neat thing I know is that if you combine a tough but smaller abrasive it will wear down a more brittle one more quickly. This makes it almost ideal for paint since standard pure garnet based abrasives will break down much slower and likely would need a machine. The aluminum oxide will break down the garnet quite quickly after the garnet has it's chance to polish down the major defects, and the broken down garnet won't polish further but the aluminum oxide will and will do so to a finer finish since they're SMAT.

Meguiars knew that they wanted a fast cut and ease of use. I don't think this can be accomplished by using a fully loaded SMAT polish since M105 flashes off too quickly and tends to clog pads and dust. Put too much lubricant and the fine particles won't have enough bite and you basically have M205. This also explains M105's finicky nature, not enough lubricant but you can't add too much or it won't cut fast.

But put large garnet particles and you can load up on lubricant to make the polish easy to use less likely to clog pads and less likely to dust. Now have your initial bite to get rid of more major damage and the SMAT will simultaneously break down the garnet and provide excellent finishing even by hand. And the plus side lubricant and garnet are cheap, SMAT abrasives on the other hand are expensive.

It's a win-win for Meguiars, a still excellent product made more affordable and easier to use by combining added lubricant, traditional garnet abrasives, and SMAT abrasives.

It's amazing the knowledge you can glean when you have access to a lab and a pretty good knowledge of materials and chemistry.


Edited by qwertydude (12/11/13 11:29 PM)

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#3220175 - 12/18/13 12:48 AM Re: My seasonal polish. [Re: qwertydude]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 18128
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
Thanks for the great explanation.

I've had some seat time with the SMAT stuff, but personally I've switched to the diminishing abrasive polishes such as FG400 and Sonax Perfect Finish with better results.

Especially on softer paints, I am finding that the diminishing abrasive polishes deliver more predictable results if given the proper cycle.

Sonax Perfect Finish is an interesting animal as well. It breaks down extremely fast for a diminishing polish. With a moderately aggressive pad and the proper polisher, it takes only one very, very, very slow pass for it to become translucent. Two more quick passes to finish and you get very good, haze-free results on even the softest paints.

I think its possible to achieve the same results with the SMAT stuff, but it will take a bit more (or a different kind of) practice.

As with a lot of this stuff, the end user is a huge variable and can/will greatly affect the end result.

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#3223519 - 12/21/13 10:16 AM Re: My seasonal polish. [Re: Jeffs2006EvoIX]
HyundaiGuy Offline


Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 438
Loc: Orlando, FL
Originally Posted By: Jeffs2006EvoIX
I picked up my HD DA polisher at harbor freight for $70 pads are $5 there. Can't beat that.

Jeff


The buffer is great, but their pads suck.
_________________________
'15 Fiat 500 Abarth Black 9K PU Euro 5W40 OEM Filter (Mine)
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#3223558 - 12/21/13 10:45 AM Re: My seasonal polish. [Re: HyundaiGuy]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 18128
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
Originally Posted By: HyundaiGuy
Originally Posted By: Jeffs2006EvoIX
I picked up my HD DA polisher at harbor freight for $70 pads are $5 there. Can't beat that.

Jeff


The buffer is great, but their pads suck.

The buffer works, but if you plan to get into this as a hobby, I would seriously consider a Rupes 21 or Flex.

The Porter Cable/HF are the dinosaurs today.

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#3223590 - 12/21/13 11:28 AM Re: My seasonal polish. [Re: HyundaiGuy]
FastEddie Offline


Registered: 06/15/08
Posts: 244
Loc: The 805, CA.
Originally Posted By: HyundaiGuy
Originally Posted By: Jeffs2006EvoIX
I picked up my HD DA polisher at harbor freight for $70 pads are $5 there. Can't beat that.

Jeff


The buffer is great, but their pads suck.

You got that right, I put that HF buffer to the test and ran it hard and often to see just how well it would hold up, it only died when one of my friends ran it over with my truck, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one if I needed it. ; ) Perfect small cheap DA that gets the job done, with the proper pads and polishes though.
_________________________
08 DuraMax 4x4
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#3223680 - 12/21/13 01:18 PM Re: My seasonal polish. [Re: FastEddie]
satinsilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 2916
Loc: Ohio
What do you guys recommend for decent yet cheap pads? Thanks!

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#3223688 - 12/21/13 01:26 PM Re: My seasonal polish. [Re: qwertydude]
qwertydude Offline


Registered: 05/15/08
Posts: 635
Loc: Norwalk, CA not CT
I'd still stick with Harbor Freight pads. They work pretty well, they just don't last as long because of their design. But quality wise most people who have actually used them would agree they're on about the same performance level as any other budget pads. To me they seem a complete clone of the cheaper buff and shine pads. They don't have special dimples and shapes cut into them but honestly I find those special shapes to contribute almost nothing to the pad other than raising the price.

Their blue polishing pad is quite firm and I don't think you'd need the yellow for anything but the most serious post wet sanding correction polish.

The black finishing pad is plenty soft for finishing polishes and waxing.

So basically if you're not detailing as a business they'll work fine with the caveat that they'll only last about a dozen or so polishes then the foam will start to rip from the loop material. This is especially true if you keep using the very high settings on the finishing pad as it's pretty soft, which you shouldn't be cranking up the speed on a finishing pad anyways.


Edited by qwertydude (12/21/13 01:28 PM)

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#3223784 - 12/21/13 02:53 PM Re: My seasonal polish. [Re: qwertydude]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 18128
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
Buff & Shine pads work fairly well. My price on the B&S pads are about the same as the HF ones. Their orange pads work great for a single stage polish on soft paint -- tons of cut and can still finish well.

For MF, the Meguiars MF pads are the best you can get. They are very durable and I've found that the Finishing Disc can deliver more cut than a orange foam pad.

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