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Roadfly Magazine
Issue Seven
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
G. Gordon Liddy
Issue Seven
May 27, 2003
G. Gordon Liddy
Credit Card Rewards Programs
Frozen Rotors
Bentley Continental GT
Porter Cable Buffer
Coming Next Issue
Jay Leno
Hot Rod Tour
Paint Film
Porter Cable Rotary

Detailer's Dream: Porter Cable Random Orbital Buffer

Important Links

Roadfly Detailing
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Detailing Supply

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Once you've got the backing plate installed, you're ready to buy some pads for the buffer, and you'll soon be on your way to your first "life changing detailing session."

I've tried a ton of pads over many years, and I continually find myself being drawn to the foam pads that are manufactured by Lake Country Manufacturing (LCM). LCM sells their Duro-Foam pads through vendors like Classic Motoring Accessories and Top Of The Line.

There are many different styles of these pads - contour foam, memory foam, flat foam, and so on. Which ones you choose is a matter of personal preference; some people like the larger pads, while other prefer the smaller 6.5" pads; some prefer the contour foam while others prefer the Duro-Foam. I suggest you buy a few of each and experiment on your own.

There are a few basics regarding pad selection - when using LCM pads, the pad color determines its intended use/purpose. A yellow pad is designed for "cutting" - it will be more useful at removing swirls, and other defects, and is best used with a compound like 3M's Finesse-It II or 3M's Swirl Mark Remover.

A white pad is designed for polishing, and is best used with 3M's Swirl Mark Remover (milder action than the yellow pad) or a glaze like P21S Gloss Enhancing Paintwork Cleaner.

A black pad is designed for finishing, and is generally used with fine glazes or liquid waxes. LCM also sells a wool pad, which is designed for fast, aggressive cutting - I rarely use the wool pad, as it's possible to introduce some swirl marks if used improperly. When buying pads, I'd strongly urge you to buy at least two of each. You don't want to use different products on the same pads without cleaning them first. Having more pads is infinitely more convenient when performing a large detailing job.

Finally, as a general rule of thumb, I only use the Porter Cable ROB to apply products - I always buff the residue by hand, simply because the terry-style bonnets that are available for the Porter Cable ROB aren't very efficient at removing residue.

For a complete "how-to" article on the Porter Cable ROB, feel free to refer to my Porter Cable Beginners Guide. (link:

In closing, if you're looking to really improve upon the quality of your detailing experience, and are hoping to make life a little easier, the Porter Cable Random Orbital Buffers are a can't miss proposition. Porter Cable has been in the power tool business since 1914, and their attention to detail and quality is second to none.

I'm certain that if you invest the extra money in a Porter Cable (it's really only about $30 - $40 more than a store brand buffer), you'll thank yourself many thousands of times over. As far as buffers are concerned, the Porter Cable has no equal - it's beyond top notch.

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