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Compounding; what is the proper buffing speed?


Kurt asked:

When compounding, what speed (RPM) should the on the electric buffer?


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When using EZ Buff and EZ Buff Extender, a rotary buffer and wool pad to compound your boat, a good speed to start with is 1,500 RPM. You may wish to increase or decrease the speed by 100 to 200 RPM or even a bit more, depending on the ambient conditions of temperature and humidity and the condition of the gelcoat. Slower is safer, but takes a little longer.

If the oxidation is coming off easily and the EZ Buff is not drying out, you can increase the speed to shorten your work time. Be careful when you use higher speed. The heat from the friction may cause swirl marks or even burn through if you’re not careful. EZ Buff when used with EZ Buff Extender is very forgiving and easy to work with but like any product, you can still abuse it. Try not to rush too much. If your boat is older and heavily oxidized, I recommend a slower speed and a more deliberate dragging action with the buffer. This will take off more of the oxidation in a single pass and reduce the necessity of going over the same area again.

The key is to do one section of about 2’ to 3’ square. When through wipe it clean and examine your results. If you’re happy, keep doing it the same way and move onto the next section, overlapping slightly. If not, re-do the section and adjust the speed and amount of product you use. Once you dial in the process it’s pretty straight forward to get the rest of the boat done.

A huge time saver is to pre-clean your boat before you start. You’ll also get much better results. We recommend washing first with Boat Clean Plus to get any surface pollutants off, such as loose chalk, oily residue, etc. Next scrub the surface with Boat Scrub and a Marine Power Mitt to remove Heavier, loose oxidation, stains and scuffs so that you don not grind this pollution into the pores and your don’t have stains or scuffs to deal with after you’re finished compounding. When done right, the only thing you should have to do when you’re finished compounding is to lock in the shine with Premium Boat Shine. If you skip a step, you’ll have to go back and patch up the areas that you missed. All of these products are available in the EZ Buff Kit.

Thanks for your question,

Captain Aurora
Richard Kittar

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