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Thread: NEWBIE-polishing aluminum snowmobile tunnel and bulkhead Questions

  1. #1
    mcc-bri's Avatar
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    Default NEWBIE-polishing aluminum snowmobile tunnel and bulkhead Questions

    I want to polish my snowmobile tunnel and bulkhead. The aluminum should be in fairly good shape since it has had paint on it since new which i will be stripping off. I dont have any buffing or polishing tools other then my hands and an air powered orbiting sander with a wool bonet on it.

    First question is
    What compoundsicon do i use to polish the aluminum?

    Second question
    If i did this job by hand what type of cloth should i use to apply the compoundicon and what type of cloth should i use to remove the compoundsicon?

    this is a pic of the tunnel of a simmilar sled right after the paint was stripped at this link
    http://www.arcticchat.com/forums/ind...ic=35724&st=15

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    Default Re: NEWBIE-polishing aluminum snowmobile tunnel and bulkhead Questions

    With limited tooling, I hope you have long fingers, because you'll wear them to the nub doing it totally by hand. If you can get a hold of a hand drill and this kit you can do what you are wanting. It's not the easiest but it's not the hardest. Kind of middle road.
    Best of luck.
    SS
    I started with this Caswell kit
    http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/alpolkit.htm

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    Default Re: NEWBIE-polishing aluminum snowmobile tunnel and bulkhead Questions

    thanks for the info

    What kind of tools could i purchase to make this project easyer?

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    Default Re: NEWBIE-polishing aluminum snowmobile tunnel and bulkhead Questions

    You can go with an angle grinder, get an adapter from Caswell to get more RPM's and more torque to make it a bit easier.

    http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/index.html

    It's up to you as how much polishing you'll be doing and what king of money you are willing to spend. Pickleboy, Mpierich and the others can give you any details you want and I'll help what I can.
    SS

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    Default Re: NEWBIE-polishing aluminum snowmobile tunnel and bulkhead Questions

    using an angle grinder would probally be the best way to go.

    What compoundsicon should i use? what type of buffing wheelicon should i use and what size should i use?

    Thanks, this is really going to help me out

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    Default Re: NEWBIE-polishing aluminum snowmobile tunnel and bulkhead Questions

    I just say the what polishing compoundsicon and wheels to use here

    http://www.caswellplating.com/pickabuff/aluminum.htm

    That proccess should work for what im doing right?

    i guess i just need to know what size of wheel to use

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    Default Re: NEWBIE-polishing aluminum snowmobile tunnel and bulkhead Questions

    Depends on what shape the parts are in. On aluminum with heavy scratches or gouges I sand out starting around 180 or 220 grit and go up to 600 wet. Normally best to go up in grit number 100 or 120 each step. After 600 wet or if the part is in decent shape I'll go with a spiral sewn and black compoundicon, some use brown compoundicon next, I usually skip this one and go with white compoundicon on a loose cotton. I finish with a red or blue on loose cotton. This is in general. All parts are a little different due to material grade and how they were processed. After those differences you'll have to find your own feel for doing polishing because what works for me or others may not work for you the same way.

    The wheel size will depend on the size and RPM of the tool you get. Bigger is not always better. It won't do any good to get a big grinder with a large wheel if you cannot hold it and control what you are doing, not to mention your arms will either get very large or fall off usually the latter. You'll need a different wheel for each color compoundicon.

    Have you read the free buff book Caswell has? It will help to understand the process as well as the importance of surface speed and the relation of RPM's to wheel size.

    http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/buffman.htm

    Polishing isn't hard after you've been doing it for awhile. There maybe some bumps in the road getting there though. It's like most things, it's in the details.
    SS
    Last edited by sswee; 06-16-2006 at 12:43 AM.

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    Default Re: NEWBIE-polishing aluminum snowmobile tunnel and bulkhead Questions

    alright, im ready to order my polishing stuff and im trying to calculate buffing wheels for my angle grinder. my angle grinder says it spins at 12000 RPM. I was using the formula given in the book and its not working. can you tell me what size of wheel i should be using?

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    Default Re: NEWBIE-polishing aluminum snowmobile tunnel and bulkhead Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by mcc-bri
    alright, im ready to order my polishing stuff and im trying to calculate buffing wheels for my angle grinder. my angle grinder says it spins at 12000 RPM. I was using the formula given in the book and its not working. can you tell me what size of wheel i should be using?
    no bigger than 4" and that is on the fast side. just be careful when you first touch the part with the wheel so it doesnt grab. also i use a setup like sswee told you about. i can say for sure that you want to buff to an edge(wheel spins clockwise, touching part on the right side of the wheel, move to the edge so the wheel is turning from the metal off the edge not starting on to it) hope that makes sense. in the buff manual it is called cut motion.
    when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
    G2 Polishing and Powdercoating

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