Tools & Supplies
- An electric or air powered center-water fed polisher
- A set of 4-inch diamond polishing pads
- A 4-inch hook and loop backer pad
- Hearing protection
- Eye protection
- Rubber boots
- Rubber or waterproof apron
- A 14 gauge or larger diameter extension cord no longer than 25 feet (if using electric)
- 50-Grit Pad moving in a horizontal pattern with light pressure for at least 10 seconds on every part of the stone. When you will feel the pad start to glide over the surface, it's time to go to the next pad.
- 100-Grit Pad will be run just like you did with the 50-grit. Once every part of the profile has been covered adequately and you feel the pad start gliding over the surface instead of cutting then switch to the next step.
- 200-Grit Pad step may be the most important. Polish until there is a shine on the surface with visible haze that ap pears to be under the polish. This haze is caused by the small lines that were left at the 200-grit step. Make sure no milky water is being generated by the 200-grit pad before you go on to the 400-grit pad.
- 400-800-1500 and 3000-Grit Pads are used in the same process as the 200-grit pad. Some lighter colored materials will be completely polished after the 1500-grit pad. Some will require the 3000-grit pad. What you are trying to achieve is the polish of the edge looking like a match to the top surface.
With the stone positioned waist high and a profile already routed onto the edge polishing can begin. Polishing pad sets can be comprised of a set of three-four-five-six or seven positions. A traditional set consists of a 50-100-200-400-800-1500-3000 grit pad. With our new TrifectaMate Technology the number of positions required to achieve a polish has been reduced to as little as three positions. For basic polishing we will use the traditional seven-step process. Using the 50-grit pad while working the polisher back and forth in a horizontal pattern applying light pressure into the stone you work from the top edge of the profile to the bottom edge trying to make sure every part of the stone to be polished is touched for at least 10 seconds.
Beginners can take a lumber crayon and mark the stone either all over or in a vertical stripe pattern from top to bottom of the stone. When all of the crayon has been removed the right amount of time has been spent with that pad. This first step is removing the most material and lines created either by the saw during the cut or by the router bits. Care needs to be taken when using less than a 200-grit pad to make sure you do not alter the shape of the profile. Damage can be done very quickly with 50 and 100-grit pads which is why you use light pressure.
When first starting you will see a lot of milky water as the sediment is being washed away and you will feel a lot of drag on the pad as it is cutting. Once you have spent time covering all the surface you will feel the pad start to glide over the surface easier. This is when you know it is time to go to the next pad. True beginners may want to start with a 200-grit pad instead of the 50-grit for the first few jobs just so they do not change a shape of the stone accidentally. Extreme care needs to be given to the top edge of the profile where it meets the polished surface. Under no circumstances does the polished surface on the top get touched by the diamond pad. Beginners may take duct tape or blue tape and put along the top edge to give them an awareness of what does not need to be touched.
After the 50-grit pad, the 100-grit pad will be ran just like you did with the 50-grit. Once every part of the profile has been covered adequately and you feel the pad start gliding over the surface instead of cutting then switch to the next step. The 200-grit step may be the most important step. If enough time is not spent with this pad, one will often finish polishing and have a shine on the surface but see a haze that appears to be under the polish. This haze is caused by the small lines that were left at the 200-grit step. Spend more time with the 200-grit pad than any other pad. Make sure no milky water is being generated by the 200-grit pad before you go on to the 400-grit pad. Repeat the same process and then the same with the 800-1500 and 3000-grit pads.
Some lighter colored materials will be completely polished after the 1500-grit pad. Some will require the 3000-grit pad. What you are trying to achieve is the polish of the edge looking like a match to the surface. Darker materials may require a black buff pad to achieve the same polish as the surface. On some darker materials you may achieve a better shine at the 3000-grit step by working the entire edge wet, then go over it again but turn the water off and go for several seconds after the water evaporates. This will build up heat which can greatly enhance the polish if done correctly.