Bob Murrell 

M3 Technologies

Photos by Bob Murrell

Happy New Year to all the Slippery Rock readers! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday time with your families and friends. It’s the beginning of a new year, so I wanted to talk about some products, directions for use, and appropriate applications. As I am somewhat of an authority on the subject, let’s discuss M3 Technology’s most popular products.

First things first: unfortunately, prices are rising again. Chemical prices are rising due to raw materials costs, as are machine prices, too. Diamond pricing will be right behind as the cost of resins will be increasing as well. Freight costs pretty much go up at every year’s end, around the holidays. I don’t say these things to bum everyone out. I just want you to be prepared so you can adjust your pricing accordingly to help ensure you remain profitable. It is what it is. Let’s talk about polishing. To me, polishing is usually considered the final step in a progressive form of abrasive action (smoothing), from coarse to fine. Once stone is honed to an acceptable surface profile pattern (to many this is somewhere between 400 grit and 800 grit, for most marble and similar materials). Of course, these grits may not be sufficient for some from stones and a higher grit hone may be required (such as an 800, 1,800, or even 3,500), prior to polishing. The green marbles (serpentines) are a good example of a stone which may require more steps to achieve a good polish.  

I will normally go to my favorite polish, Majestic 5X Gold, 90% of the time for most marble. Sometimes, I use more 5X per square foot than other times. And sometimes, I may use more or less water. I can also vary the weight of the machine, the number of passes (time) spent per square foot, or even the type of pad. These are most of the variables that can be adjusted when using this type of powder polish process. So the same applies to Majestic DiaBrite 10X, Majestic XXX, and  Majestic Marble Polishing Compound (MPC), as all of these type products are used in the same manner. I suggest every contractor have at least a few of these powder polishing products on their trucks or vans for when the recommended test area is first completed. Confirm which product works best on that particular material.

This marble pedestal vanity was etched and worn from years of useand lack of proper care.

Above: This marble pedestal vanity was etched and worn from years of useand lack of proper care.

Below: Marble vanity after restoration using Majestic 5X Gold. In my opinion, 5X Gold is absolutely the best marble polishing powder in the world.

Marble vanity after restoration using Majestic 5X Gold. In my opinion, 5X Gold is absolutely the best marble polishing powder in the world.

When using polishing powders, it is easy to leave what I call heat swirls and slight surface blemishes as a result of the polishing process. Sometimes it just happens, on some stones more than others. I found out a few years ago, from one of my customers, that running a 12,000 grit PLP diamond impregnated pad cleans up the marble perfectly after polishing. I just run the PLP 12,000 wet in some quick passes across the floor, and any heat swirls and minor imperfections are easily “popped.” Do your own test to confirm this trick for yourself.

Speaking of PLP diamond impregnated pads (dips), these must-have tools are essential and you should always have some onboard your truck or van. They are not meant to replace traditional diamonds, but to supplement them. Dips can be used in many situations such as light honing and polishing of terrazzo, concrete, and natural stone. PLPs are especially helpful with honed stone such as travertine, marble, and limestone. I like to use the 100 grit and 200 grit for these honing applications. 

You can also use a PLP for what is called a “one cut and polish (OCP).” If your marble or limestone is a little too worn for just 5X Gold, you can use either a 400 grit or 800 grit PLP first and then run your 5X Gold. Of course, this will not provide as flat a surface as more rigid diamond discs and may not look quite as good. However, these differences are usually minimal and for those clients who want a more economical option, this just may be the trick.  

Floor machines are another topic worth discussing. M3 Technologies offers several good machines, including the M3 Heavy Duty, and the Mastercraft Quarry Master single disc swing machines, also available from BB Industries. We usually stock the 17-inch models of both but can also get these in 10-inch, 13-inch and 20-inch sizes. Both of these machines are high-quality, extreme duty machines and come with a tank, weights, drive plate, and splash guard. These machines are designed with the restoration contractor in mind. 

Single disc swing machines are the workhorse for the restoration contractor. Because the single disc- type machine tends to keep the polishing powders and compounds under the machine, they are preferred for polishing and crystallizing.

However, M3 also offers the Cimex R48DF planetary machine. This machine is very helpful for increasing production on grinding and honing projects. Because the planetary action is more balanced and produces much less torque, it has higher production levels and is also much less labor intensive. The Cimex R48DF is also 110 volt, which means there is no problem with power supply concerns, and this is a big deal if you do a lot of residential and small commercial projects. Personally, I have always liked the Cimex machines. However, if you need a larger machine for big stone, terrazzo, or concrete projects and power supply is not a concern, you may want to consider a Lavina, Sase, Husqvarna or STI. There are other machine manufacturers to choose from, too.  

I have noticed that floor machine prices have risen in the last year, and the forecast is that they will continue to rise. If you are thinking about purchasing a machine, I advise going ahead and biting the bullet now as they will just keep going up, along with food, gas, and most other items we all depend on. 

Left: M3 PLP 12,000 grit diamond impregnated pad – excellent for post polishing cleanup.   Right: M3 Heavy Duty Floor Machine with weights

Above, Left: M3 PLP 12,000 grit diamond impregnated pad – excellent for post polishing cleanup.

Above, Right: M3 Heavy Duty Floor Machine with weights

Let’s Go 2023!

As always and before beginning any new project, I recommend submitting a test area to confirm the results and the procedure, prior to starting a stone or hard surface restoration/maintenance project. Also, the best way to help ensure success is by partnering with a good distributor, like BB Industries, that knows the business. They can help with technical support, product purchase decisions, logistics, and other pertinent project information.

Bob Murrell has worked in the natural stone industry for over 40 years and is well known for his expertise in natural stone, tile, and decorative concrete restoration and maintenance. He helped develop some of the main products and processes which revolutionized the industry, and is currently the Director of Operations for M3 Technologies.

Send your comments and questions to Bob at attn: