So you have been watching the videos online, watched your old detailer move the machine around, but dont quite know how to hold it in specific situations…Here are just a couple positions and tips to use the next time you are using the porter cable 7424xp (pictures are with a different DA machine, very similar to the PCXP)
On a vertical panel, its harder to keep the machine flat and even with the panel. Sometimes you can tilt the pad too much and lose its effectiveness, or you can get tired rather quickly by the awkward angles you think you have to hold the machine at. Well, truth be told, the machine is going to spin the same whether its upright, sideways, or upside down! The polish will break down the same, then speed will stay constant, and the results will still be achieved no matter the position of the machine.
With that said, what can change to make the polishing experience easier on the user? HAND POSITIONING while holding the machine. This is a very important issue to be aware of because it can be the difference between being able to move your arms and use your hands later that night, or not being able to move for a day! The machine will give your arms a work out while using it as it vibrates and you put variable pressure on it. The more pressure on the machine, the more stress your hands, wrists, arms, core, and back see. The next couple of photos deal with the wrists and the hands more so.
In this photo, you can see how my hands are not at a 6/12 position, but rather at a 10/4 position. This is a much more comfortable setting and more natural since my shoulders aren’t in a straight up and down line (that would look pretty funny). This way, I don’t have to twist my arms and shoulders inward as much, which relieves back pressure. All the while, my hands are simply more straight and parallel with the machine versus perpendicular and bent.
Keeping my hands in this position the whole time while polishing relieves pressure and reduces hand fatigue. I used to think you had to keep the machine straight up and down and move up and down, left to right when I first started out (many years ago).
Moving to lower portions of the car, there are a couple of things you can do. One of them is lay on the ground on your side/back and polish the lower panels. This way is good for sideskirts and bottoms of the doors if you dont mind getting a little dirty. Another option is what I am doing in this next photo. I simply turn the machine upside down and continue to polish. As I mentioned, the machine will still spins and react the same no matter the angle, so instead of sitting on the ground, or flexing and bending my hands/wrists to hit the bottom portion of the panel, Ill keep my hands in a more parallel position with the machine and continue to polish just like I would an upper portion of the panel.
Keep your hands usable with good polishing technique!