I had a chip in my guitar repaired at the shop, and they did an absolutely fabulous job -- you almost can't even see the spot where it was repaired, and there's isn't even a single visible hairline scratch or swirl mark after final buffing.
As for myself, I have a simple polishing attachment I can put on my drill (I don't have a polisher or buffer), which I can put a 6" terry bonnet on. When I use it in conjunction with Meguiar's #9 Swirl Remover, it does a pretty good job of buffing out the scratch marks left after final sanding, but there are still super-fine scratch marks visible in the right light.
Can those of you who work in a shop or do professional finishing tell me how you achieve that perfect, absolutely zero visible scratches finish? Does it require a buffer, or can it be done with a polisher if you have the right combination of compound and buffing pad/bonnet?
I'm finally dipping my feet into minor repair (rewiring, setup/fret-leveling, fixing blems), mainly for my own interest and on my guitars. I don't mind having something done at the shop if it really necessitates it (for example, I can't justify the cost of a $400 buffer), but I would like to do as much as possible myself. It's more fun that way, and in the long run it costs less as well.
Many thanks in advance,