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Old 03-01-2014, 17:56   #1
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Polisher or Sander

I have been looking for a reasonable RO polisher but have only found $30/50 cheapies that I am not interested in however there is a huge range of RO sanders available.
Can I use a random orbital sander as a RO polisher or put another way is there actually a difference in the machines.
Chris
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Old 03-01-2014, 18:05   #2
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Polisher or sander

You don't want a random orbital polisher You want one of these, you'll work yourself to death with a random orbital and not get much done.
http://www.amazon.com/Makita-9227CX3.../dp/B0001GUE8Q
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Old 03-01-2014, 18:24   #3
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Re: Polisher or sander

Ditto the Makita. The real issue here is holding the grinder/sander/polisher out with extended arms for an hour at a time. Choose the lightest, yet durable unit and you will enhance your chances of completing your jobs successfully. Choose a powerful, heavy grinder, and, well, expect to build powerful muscles or powerful backaches. I built my own boat from scratch, and others since. Go light and durable. Or, buy a Harbor Freight polisher, with "insurance", and replace it regularly for free. I prefer to have a dependable tool.
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Old 03-01-2014, 18:28   #4
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Re: Polisher or sander

Thanks guys I will chase down a Makita locally with the correct voltage for use here in Aus
Chris
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Old 03-01-2014, 18:31   #5
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Re: Polisher or sander

Just be careful and start out slow, don't use the edge of the pad and be careful about building heat. You'll be an expert in the first day. One thing I love about the Makita is it's soft start, it starts out slow and builds speed.
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Old 03-01-2014, 18:39   #6
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Re: Polisher or sander

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
You don't want a random orbital polisher You want one of these, you'll work yourself to death with a random orbital and not get much done.
Makita 9227CX3 7-Inch Hook and Loop Electronic Polisher-Sander with Polishing Kit - Amazon.com
You can buy about the identical 9" variable speed polisher/ginder for much less if you hit the auto parts stores. Harbor Freight may also have it. I paid 54 bucks. You can also get stiff 9 inch wheels with 40 grit carbide for these. (Home Depot) I put a new bottom on our 58 foot ketch but the vari-speed control failed by the time I was done - so I jumpered it out. I consider it a throw-out at that price.
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Old 03-01-2014, 18:45   #7
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Re: Polisher or sander

My harbor Freight 9'' has treated me well for the last two years, and I have used the snot out of it. Not bad for $24 on sale! Got to buff my whole hull of our new boat when its hauled next month, lets see if we can get one more big job out of it.
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Old 03-01-2014, 18:56   #8
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Re: Polisher or sander

Grinders are generally too fast for polishing unless the're variable speed, obviously.
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Old 03-01-2014, 19:45   #9
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Re: Polisher or Sander

I bought one of these 1200W polishers for about $60 a few months ago. They seem to come up on special every now and then.

180mm Car Polisher - Supercheap Auto Australia

It does a reasonable job and seems good value for money.

One thing I didn't consider at the time was the ability to run it without shore power. If I had bought a lower wattage one, I could run it off the inverter, spending say 15-20 minutes at a time to avoid depleting the batteries too far. It may not do the job as well, but I could live with that compromise.
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Old 06-01-2014, 19:10   #10
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Re: Polisher or Sander

My maki tag is decades old and still capable of an 8 hour day polishing my 26' Back Cove.
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Old 06-01-2014, 20:05   #11
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Re: Polisher or Sander

The Makita sounds and looks good but at close to $400 here when there are a number of similar spec units available around $100 has me thinking a bit harder.
Into the tool shop tomorrow to compare one other and will make the decision then.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:45   #12
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I have the Makita and have used it for quite a few years. It has served me well and been abused. I think I paid about 150 bucks for it after a bit of shopping. My friend bought a cheapie and bought a Makita after using mine, FWIW. You need a variable speed polisher that goes down to less than 3000 rpm or you may burn stuff. The Makita has a capacitor or something in it that helps it start slow and it has the torque to work through tough spots. Also, it helps to use the right compounds as the MaineSail website talks about. Also, I have tried the new foam pads---they work really well on detailing my cars, but are really awful for polish and wax on fiberglass for some reason I cannot explain. On the mooring, I run my Makita with an el cheapo chinese 2 cycle generator that I bought on line for $100 (free shipping) that has also worked amazingly well for the last three years. Just some learnings. People think my 30 year old boat is new.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:48   #13
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Re: Polisher or Sander

I'm with you PtheC. My dark blue Back Cove was heavily oxidized. Had to wet sand first. Then whipped out my antique Makita to polish her.

I used to have my own boat shop - the Makita was used for two decades w/o so much as replacing the brushes (unless an employee did it?).
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