Saturday, November 10, 2012

Polishing Pad

One of the things covered lightly in the book but could use more attention is how to obtain good polishing pad, for use on the flat lap with slurrys and powders.  I know people who use silica powder as polish and apply it with carpeting, both shag, and of the indoor outdoor variety.  I have used their equipment and it works, but slings more than is necessary because the silica is cheap cheap stuff and the mechanics are not worried about it.  When using expensive abrasives like cerium oxide, it is best to keep from slinging anything, although that can only be achieved in degrees, never perfectly.

I like some of the new fabrics and most can be found in cloth stores or hobby stores that cater to sewing.  I have tried several different types of thicker wooly cloths at these places and like them, also marine upholstery, if heavy enough, works wells sometimes, if its the right type.  Experimentation with different types of materials, especially salvaged stuff, is encouraged.

I found the best polishing pad for my purposes to be school bus seat upholstery, fire retardant, with a good rubber/plastic exterior, that is the down side of the pad, where it gets glued to the lap plate, and a real durable fluffy padding on the inside, which is what you polish on.  It can be obtained as salvage at junkyards.

I am soon to be experimenting with floor liner out of a newer car, it is a somewhat woven and pressed 1/4" thick pad which may or may not be good for polishing, I will report it.  This is the pad that goes between the carpet and the floor of a car or suv.  It looks like it might be better than most things.

***** IT WAS NOT.  It tore up quickly, disintegrating almost as fast as the earlier polishing pads they used to sell mje at the rock shops, no longevity whatsoever.  Back to the drawing board, my best stuff yet is fireproof upholstery out of school bus seats.

The bottom line is the polishing pad is necessity, and it wears out, it must be replenished.  If you find a material that works for you, and you are doing a lot of work, or anticipate doing a lot of work, get a good supply if you can.