What am i doing wrong ? can't get my gelcote to shine ??

steveinak

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Tried buffing the panels for my addition and they just don't seem to want to shine up. Here's what i'm using for compound
PC221032.jpg

do i need to use something more aggressive first or is this stuff ok and i need to follow up with something like 3m's finesse? This is the first time i've ever done any buffing so maybe its how i'm doing it ?? I'm using a 7"variable speed sander/polisher(HF cheapie) with a wool pad. I put some of the compound on the panel and started buffing at a medium speed, kept at it for awhile but nothing seemed to be happening to the finish, not any shine, shined a bright halogen light on it and if i sighted down the panel at a angle i could see a slight difference to the finish but nothing very noticeable. So i need some serious advice here, what do i do, this whole project is drawing out too long. Its a real pain in the ass to get my shop warm when its below zero outside all the time so i want to get done with this and start freezing my ass off installing it on the boat :lol:.

Another problem is finding any of the 3m products i might need, i looked at the local NAPA store and they have next to nothing but i do know there are some auto body supply shops in anchorage so i'll have to make a trip into town to get what i need.

PC221032.jpg
 

El Mar

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steveinak

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I wet sanded down to 600. I've got a can of some car rubbing compound that feels grittier than the other stuff i should give that a try. Its a balmy 10degrees out & blowing a steady 30 here today and gusting to 50 so i'm not to interested in going down to the shop building a fire and waiting a hour for it to get warm enough to work.
 

sevenjohn

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steveinak,
There is an additive to put in gelcoat that you put into the gelcoat when you apply it that allows you to buff it out. The bad news is..I can't remember the name of the stuff. I'm sure on of the folks on here will know the name of the product. You use something like an ounce to a half gallon...it works. I used it on my novi skiff and needed after I buffed out the wash boards.
 

sevenjohn

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The product had to be kept refrigerated...sounds like no problem for you...or it coagulated and turned to junk...
 

traditions

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T'm telling Steve,just get a quart of Interlux Perfection.sand it down with some 220 and mix a small amount and roll it on with a fine nap roller in a warm shop and you will have a good finish that is easy to clean and wont hold grease and dirt like gel.I have painted it on gel that wasent sanded and it held up great.With what you spend in sand paper and buffing time the 70 bucks for a quart will be well spent.
 

steveinak

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I thought i could just wet sand and buff the gelcote and be done with it. I'm just trying to get the new panels to look close to the molded top and interior finish of the 6 year old gelcote in the boat, i'm sure the previous owner never waxed any of it but it was/is not beat up or abused, just want as close match as possible.
As for finding that additive or perfection paint i don't think the odds of it being in anchorage are good. So how can i get some shine to it with just buffing ?? Use a more aggressive compound ?? finer wet sanding ?? give up and live with it :D.
 

traditions

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Steve,I think finer material like finnese would make it shine more.You need to polish it to achieve a shine,then wax it to fill in the pores left from buffing.I would say a 4 step process,wet sand,buff with compound,finesse,wax.They make a buffing pad for finnese that looks like eggcrate that I use.They sell them at NAPA.It will shine ,but not with a coarse buffing agent.
 

F/V First Team

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Are you using gelcoat from a five gallon pail? Did you shake the living hell out of the bucket before pouring product from it? Gelcoat likes to separate and settle in the bucket, so what you may have used was just carrier agent and the actual pigmentation and builder part of the product is still on the bottom of the pail.

Just a thought.
 

Blitzen

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Not sure you want to try this but here is one thought to save you all the trouble of buffing.
Why not lay out your gel-coat down on a piece of smooth formica that you have waxed with mold release and then lay your glass down on top of the of the gel. this way when you pop the panel off the formica your gel is nice and smooth. Just a thought.
 

plowin

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Blitzen I have done that making a panel and it works great, even used wd-40 as a release agent. Like to call it ghetto glassing!
 

El Mar

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steveinak

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Are you using gelcoat from a five gallon pail? Did you shake the living hell out of the bucket before pouring product from it? Gelcoat likes to separate and settle in the bucket, so what you may have used was just carrier agent and the actual pigmentation and builder part of the product is still on the bottom of the pail.

Just a thought.

Travis,
yes 5 gal pail but i took the lid off and stirred up the gelcote every time i mixed up a batch.
 

steveinak

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Personally, I have done many spot repairs with gelcoat in smaller areas.

I think you need to wetsand past 600, I usually got to 800, then a few passes with 1000.

I like the 3M stuff, probably easier to find in Alaska, Maybe??

But to bring out the shine, I would use the Super Duty Buffing Compound.

Then polish from there with the stuff you got.

On-line Product Catalog:*3M

mediawebserver


i'll go over it with 800 and after Christmas i'll go into town and get some of the super duty, i know they'll have that at the auto body supply.
 

steveinak

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For those interested in getting a molded finish from a one-off part gelcoated with brush, roller, or spray, you need the right compound system and the right tools. This is one method I was shown at a boat shop and what I have used successfully to repair hull mold seams, to make a side panel for a wheelhouse, and to make other small parts.

Sand with 600-800 grit. Use Aqua Buff 1000 fast cut first followed by Aqua Buff 2000 finishing. Apply however many coats of good wax you have the patience and arm strength left for.

I use a 3M, 9", wool compounding pad on a Makita polisher running at 3000-4000rpm. Keep the pad clean with acetone and running it over the edge of a stick or board.

The Aqua Buff system is aggressive. You need an adequate and even coat of gelcoat to start with. You can easily burn through a thin layer, particularly with the 1000.

With patience and attention to detail, you will end up with the finish of a molded part.

It is available from Composites One; there may be online retailers. There are distributor links on the manufacturers website: Hawkeye Industries

So whats the difference between Aqua Buff and 3M products ??? Label and more cost because its "Aqua Buff Marine" ???
 

steveinak

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Not sure you want to try this but here is one thought to save you all the trouble of buffing.
Why not lay out your gel-coat down on a piece of smooth formica that you have waxed with mold release and then lay your glass down on top of the of the gel. this way when you pop the panel off the formica your gel is nice and smooth. Just a thought.

I've already made all the panels so i can't do any of that.
 
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