Compounding tight areas?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass/Wood/Gelcoat Repair' started by GJarrett, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. GJarrett

    GJarrett Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    South Carolina
    '99 240 Sundancer
    5.0 MPI
    I'm using a rotary buffer to restore my gelcoat, and it is taking a high setting to effectively work the compound into the gelcoat and get the shine back, something that would be impossible - or take countless hours of exhausting labor - to attempt without the power rotary buffer.

    I am at a loss to figure out how to effectively compound the small areas such as inside the cleats and around the stanchions that the buffer cannot access. Short of many tiresome hours of feverishly rubbing a pad by hand, is there a trick to get into those areas?
  2. KevinC

    KevinC Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    2004 340 Sundancer
    1988 Proline Center Console - 90hp Mariner/Mercury
    1969 Boston Whaler
    Twin 8.1 V-drives
    I run two pads - a normal 7.5 inch and a smaller 4 inch with a standoff to give more space for the buffer. Much tighter I need to do by hand.

  3. CliffA

    CliffA Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 29, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    2001 Sea Ray 340DA
    Name: 'Happy Place'
    4.5kW West. Generator
    Purchased Nov. 2014
    Fresh Water Use
    Twin Merc. 6.2L (MPI)
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drive Transmissions
    can you remove the cleats then use the buffer?....

    or use a drill polisher like this for the tight areas.....


    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  4. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    I have found a good way to shine the tight areas is with 3M Color/Gloss Restorer, by hand. It takes the least effort with best results of any of the 386,284 products I have tried.
  5. KevinC

    KevinC Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    2004 340 Sundancer
    1988 Proline Center Console - 90hp Mariner/Mercury
    1969 Boston Whaler
    Twin 8.1 V-drives
    ... great one more product I am going to have to try. LOL :D

  6. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    1998 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.7EFI/Alphas, Kohler 4kw
    I use 6" extensions for the rotary to get the stuff behind the rub rail. It still leaves some spots behind that I then hit with a DA polisher or just do by hand. The standoff works pretty well as long as you keep the RPM's low or it wants to wobble. It helps to use a smaller pad for the standoff too.
  7. Handsome Transom

    Handsome Transom Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jan 26, 2018
    Penetanguishene Ontario Canada
    1989 SeaRay Sundancer 268 454 Bravo
    454 Mercruiser bravo drive
    Get a 4 I inch variable speed grinder with buffing pads . In Canada I can get 1 for about 50 bucks at princess auto . I believe the Us has harbour freight that sells cheap tools like that or Chicago electric. For really small areas use an oscillating tool like a Rockwell and use a shamwow cut to the size of the triangular sanding attachment
  8. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    I’ve got a Makita 9227 rotary that I use with full size pads, a Flex Kompact Rotary that I use with 3” pads in spots that are too tight for the Makita, and the few really tight spots that neither machine can get in to I do by hand.
    If you’re trying to remove oxidation by hand and restore a shine you may be out of luck.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  9. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    Small rotary machines that you hold with one hand with small wool pads or other good cutting and polishing pads is what the experts around here use for tight spaces. Larger polishers are used for the larger areas that do not have nooks and crannies. Sea Rays can be hard to detail because of ridges by radar arches, logos that attract and hold compound, wax and dirt, trim tape that can be burned, narrow walkways, and lots of plastic that can be burned with a wheel. So it just takes longer to detail boats with these design elements.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018

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