CCS Smart Pads™ Guide to Using a Circular Polisher
Welcome to our Lake Country Circular Polishing Guide.
Learn how to polish out scratches and swirls using a circular/rotary polisher
and CCS Smart Pads™ by Lake Country.
If you've never used a polisher before, check out our
Polishing Guide. If you're familiar with the principles of polishing and
you're ready to step up to a circular polisher, you've come to the right place.
accessories do I need?
You will need
a rotary backing plate to attach Lake Country pads to your circular
polisher. Lake Country pads and the backing plates listed here have Velcro
brand hook & loop fasteners. You will see it described simply as "hook &
loop" on pads and backing plates with this feature. Choose from a 6 inch or
7 inch backing plate:
Easy on and off.
The hook and loop backing allows you to pull off a used pad and replace
it with a fresh pad in seconds. The hooks and loops provide a secure
connection combined with the ability to change the pad almost instantly.
Curved Edge. Lake Country's
7.5 and 8.5 inch pads are curved at the edges to eliminate any blunt edges of foam. The curved edge makes it easier to cut in close to mirrors, bumpers, and other features.
CCS Technology. CCS stands for closed cell
structures, which are the
small pockets the dot the front of the pads. These pockets enable the
pads to absorb less product and keep it on the work surface. They act
like little reservoirs where excess product is stored until it's needed
on the pad's surface. This improves operator control and lessens product
waste. The pockets also reduce surface tension so flat pads move more
easily across flat panels.
Smart Foam Pad Varieties:
Yellow Cutting Foams- Use this pad to apply compounds or
polishes to remove severe oxidation, swirls, and scratches. It is the
most aggressive and should only be used on oxidized and older finishes.
Always follow this pad with an orange or white pad and a fine polish to
refine the paint until it is smooth.
Orange Light Cutting Foam - Firm, high density foam for
scratch and defect removal. Use this pad with polishes and swirl
removers. It’s an all around pad that will work on most light to
Pink Cutting/Polishing - This foam is of medium density with the ability to level very fine scratches and very light oxidation. Use light swirl removers with this pad. Coarse Green has been replaced with Pink
White Polishing Foam - Less dense foam formula for the
application of waxes, micro-fine polishes and sealants. This pad has
very light cutting power so its perfect for pre-wax cleaners.
Gray Finishing Foam - Composition is firm enough to
withstand added pressure during final finishing to remove buffer swirls.
It has no cut and will apply thin, even coats of waxes, sealants, and
Blue Finessing Foam – The blue pad has soft composition for
applying glaze, finishing polish, sealants, and liquid waxes.
Red UltraSoft Foam - This soft, imported foam is ideal for applying the
final coat of wax or sealant. The foam works especially well when
applying liquid waxes or sealants because it is firm enough to keep the
majority of the product on the paint, rather than soaking it up. The red
foam has no cut or cleaning ability.
The following is a general guide to polishing. It will
take you from compounding to polishing to finishing. If your paint problems
do not require compounding, skip to polishing. If you’re not sure, start
with polishing. Always take the least aggressive approach first! If
you don’t get the desired results from polishing, then use a swirl remover
and light cutting pad.
The pads pictured at the beginning of each section
indicate what pads can be used to perform the job described.
Please note: Deep scratches and swirls, and severe oxidation will
require compounding with a circular polisher. If you are inexperienced with
this type of polisher, consult a professional. If your fingernail catches
the scratch or swirl, it will require painting and must be repaired by a
I. Compounding & Swirl
Compounding involves using the most aggressive type of
swirl remover, called a compound. Swirl removers can range from light to
heavy. The application is the same.
Apply a bead of swirl remover around the
edge of the pad. Some will say apply a quarter size amount. You can even
apply it directly to the paint. Ultimately you're going to spread it
around so how the swirl remover gets on the paint is up to you. Spread the
swirl remover over a small section (about 2 x 2 sq. ft.) with the
polisher turned off to prevent sling.
Set the maximum speed at 1500 RPM. Turn
the polisher on and work the swirl remover in a side to side, overlapping
motion. Move slowly to give the abrasives time to work. KEEP THE POLISHER
MOVING AT ALL TIMES.
When the swirl remover turns to a
transparent film, the abrasives have broken down. Turn off the machine and
lift it off the paint. Buff away the residue with a soft,
Cobra Microfiber Towel
and inspect your results. If you are not satisfied, repeat the process
with the same product or a more aggressive compound. If you still see no
results, upgrade to the yellow cutting pad.
* If you used a compound, a light haze or dullness is
normal. The next step will restore the gloss.
improves the smoothness and gloss of the paint. Use a lighter grade polish,
like a finishing polish or a light swirl remover, if you’ve just compounded
or if the paint just needs a boost.
vehicle is in great shape with no loss of surface gloss, use a product
to enhance the shine without abrasives, called a prewax cleaner.
a gray or blue pad to your polisher. Apply the product to the paint or to
the pad. Spread it around the paint in a 2 x 2 sq. ft. section with the
polisher turned off.
Set the maximum speed to 1000 RPM. You
do not need speed to apply nonabrasive products. Spread the product
over the paint until its sufficiently covered. There are no abrasives to
break down. You are just trying to get even coverage.
Because of the speed and potential heat generated by a rotary polisher, you
may elect to do the finishing work by hand or with a dual action polisher.
If you are comfortable using a rotary, use it at a slow speed with zero
pressure. Keep the machine moving at all times.
polisher moving continuously. A circular/rotary polisher will burn the
paint if it is left on the same spot for more than a second or two.
Work at a
slow speed. A slower speed will reduce the heat build-up and thereby
reduce the risk of burning the paint.
pad flat against the paint or with the back edge of the pad tilted very
slightly upward (that's the edge closest to you). This position will help
you avoid dragging the edge on the paint, which creates holograms.
Foam & Wool Pad Cleaning
The easiest way to clean your foam and wool pads is to drop them in pad cleaner while they are still wet with polish or wax. Dried products are more difficult to remove from the pads. To do this, mix up a bucket of water and McKee's 37 Polishing Pad Rejuvenator at the start of your detailing session. As you finish using each pad, drop it in the cleaning solution to soak. When you are finished with your detail, use the Foam Pad Conditioning Brush to agitate the pads. Then rinse the pads and lay out to dry.
Note: Dry pads with the hook and loop backing facing up so water drains away from it. Standing water on the backing material could eventually cause separation.
When your clean pads are dry, put them in a sealable plastic bag or container to keep them free of dust until their next use.