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  1. #1

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    Gel coat compound?

    What are you guys using to compound gel coats on boats?

    I`m currently using 3D 501 on a LC ThinPro extreme cutting (grey) pad, with a rotary around 2000 rpm. This set up works fairly well in my area of the country, but I would like something a little more aggressive, but don`t feel like trying a bunch of different products just to find one I like. I already have way too many bottles of products I`ll probably never use because they didn`t live up to the manufacturer`s claims.

    Thanks for your input, Rob.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Gel coat compound?

    I only have done my own boats and my brothers but I have gotten very good cut with Griot`s fast correcting cream (cuts better then Menzerna 300 for me). Pad makes more of a difference for me on Gel coat. I like a microfiber or a thin to medium thickness wool pad. I have not found a microfiber pad I don`t like if I had name a fav it would be the Groit`s pad (it has a good foam backing and seems to contour to curves better). For wool pads I love the LC thin purple pads (link below), they have to be used flat but they cut awesome.

    https://www.autopia-carcare.com/thin...wool-pads.html
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  3. #3

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    Re: Gel coat compound?

    Thanks trashmanssd,

    I`ve thought about trying those wool pads. Most of the boats I polish haven`t been worked on in a long time, so it usually takes a pretty aggressive approach. i have tried the Griot`s, while I have good results with it on cars and trucks I didn`t experience the cutting power I needed on gel coat. Think I`ll order some of the purple wool pads. Thanks!
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    Re: Gel coat compound?

    I think you will see a big increase in cut with wool or mircofiber pads, foam pads with a cutting compound act more like a finish polish for me on Gel coat. I get good cut with wool or microfiber on my Groits G21 random orbit polisher and great cut in tight ares with my Flex PE8 Rotary.
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  5. #5
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Gel coat compound?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapyard View Post
    What are you guys using to compound gel coats on boats?

    I`m currently using 3D 501 on a LC ThinPro extreme cutting (grey) pad, with a rotary around 2000 rpm. This set up works fairly well in my area of the country, but I would like something a little more aggressive, but don`t feel like trying a bunch of different products just to find one I like. I already have way too many bottles of products I`ll probably never use because they didn`t live up to the manufacturer`s claims.

    Thanks for your input, Rob.
    Hi, Rob ! I hope this finds you and yours well, and safe..

    I have a great friend in the Pacific Northwest that is absolutely the Best Boat Detailer there.. He has many, many, years experience on gelcoat..
    Have seen his work up there when I lived there, and it looks as good as anything I can do on automotive paint.. Yes, it is that good.

    I have a link here he just did where he used 6 different compounds on a boat or two, and you can see for yourself what he found the best product on THAT boat, ok ?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq36ZA4Psa8

    Like anything else painted, some products work best on this one and not so good on that one... You know the drill..

    He only uses DeWalt Rotaries, and worked directly with DeWalt to help them develop a Rotary that works best for his kind of work..
    He only uses wool pads, and goes through hundreds of them I imagine..

    Perhaps you might be able to glean something from his video.. Good luck..
    Dan F
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  6. #6

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    Re: Gel coat compound?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stokdgs View Post
    Hi, Rob ! I hope this finds you and yours well, and safe..

    I have a great friend in the Pacific Northwest that is absolutely the Best Boat Detailer there.. He has many, many, years experience on gelcoat..
    Have seen his work up there when I lived there, and it looks as good as anything I can do on automotive paint.. Yes, it is that good.

    I have a link here he just did where he used 6 different compounds on a boat or two, and you can see for yourself what he found the best product on THAT boat, ok ?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq36ZA4Psa8

    Like anything else painted, some products work best on this one and not so good on that one... You know the drill..

    He only uses DeWalt Rotaries, and worked directly with DeWalt to help them develop a Rotary that works best for his kind of work..
    He only uses wool pads, and goes through hundreds of them I imagine..

    Perhaps you might be able to glean something from his video.. Good luck..
    Dan F
    Hi Dan, we are doing well here.

    Thanks for the link. It looks like he uses 3M products, Iíve never been a real fan of them, but my opinion is based in the automotive world. Looks like I may have to revisit their products, apparently he gets great results from them.

    I too primarily use a Dewalt rotary, and have a ton of wool pads in the back of the cabinet. I guess Iíll have to dig them out.

    Fortunately for me there isnít a lot of guys polishing gelcoat in my area of the country, especially ones that will travel. So this is a good opportunity. I recently did a cabin cruiser on the water, while the customer was satisfied, I was not.
    I think if I can get this area of the market nailed down it will be a profitable venture.

    Thanks for the reply, Rob


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  7. #7
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Gel coat compound?

    Rob,
    I believe Lee had some 3M and a couple of Meguiars compounds he tested.. I have to believe, since I have seen his work with my own eyes for years, that gelcoat reacts way differently to 3M products, than it does on auto paintwork.. And perhaps, they have a different formula for gelcoat too..

    Yes, I agree, having used 3M in the auto painting industry some 50 years ago, it was challenging, but if worked so it did not dry out, I could get mirror finishes out of it..
    When I left the business, we were using 3M Perfect-It, and then Perfect-It II...
    And back then, I never heard of foam pads either..

    That is great if you can get a corner on the Boat Detailing Market in your area ! Boats have to cost more to do because they are so big and hard to clean up the gelcoat alone..
    Then, there is the inside, all the boxes, everything, and sometimes, if they have a nice painted trailer, they want that done too so it all matches..
    Well, good luck with this !
    Dan F
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