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Polishing aluminum,problems with holograms,fine scratches

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  • Polishing aluminum,problems with holograms,fine scratches

    Hello all, I'm polishing all my aluminum on my 64 Galaxie, and I started wet sanding with 220 or 320, 400,600,800,1000,1500,3000,and 5000 (Trizact pads)grit just to make sure the metal was smooth. I am starting the polishing process by buffing with a loose cotton wheel and white compound(for aluminum) ,then I buff with a Canton Flannel wheel and white compound, then finish with jewelers rouge and the Domet wheel from Caswell. I am still getting the little swirl marks from the buffing wheel and it's driving me nuts ......I tried buffing with corn starch,I used a polish called Nu Shine 2 which is an aluinum polish used by the Boeing Corp. to polish aircraft,and still get the holograms or swirl marks. When you look at the polished aluminum part in one direction, it looks great, then you get it in the sun and there are the buffing swirl marks. What am I doing wrong ??
    Thanks for all the kind help.....

  • #2
    Your photos show up here as only thumbnails so I can't see much.

    The big question is: What size are the marks? In other words, are they almost microscopic marks, almost like a haze? Or are they faint but wider marks?

    Most people who have swirls have that second mentioned problem, faint but wider marks. They don't sand enough before moving up to a finer grit. What they get are finely polished 220 or 400 grit scratches that are almost invisible. You can sand all day with 2000 grit paper but if you haven't removed the 400 grit scratches with the 600 grit paper you are going to have problems.

    Another question is: Are they swirl marks? Or are they fairly straight, such as would be left by a buffing wheel?

    Grit causes a lot of problems. It's difficult to eliminate completely. I wash my wheels and cloths in hot soapy water frequently and keep them in a sealed jar. New cloth from the mill can be dirty; textile mills are dirty.

    When I get those microscopic scratches on aluminum, I polish them out with a microfiber cloth and a liquid polish that contains a very very fine abrasive. I rub hard. If the cloth is clean it gets them out. It's work.



    • #3
      Thanks for your input Richard, the marks that are being left are from the buffing pads. I did not wash the pads new from the factory, I just used my rake on the buffing pads and then added compound. The marks are straight line marks left from the buffing pads. When you look at the finished product it is a beautiful mirror finish, but when you hold it at just the right angle in the Sun you can see those pesky buffing marks . What polishing compound would you suggest to use with a microfiber towel to polish out those pesky marks? Like I mentioned before I use a product that the Boeing Aircraft Company uses to polish aluminum aircraft, but even that polish leaves holograms and light scratches when I press hard with a microfiber towel. I'll see if I can get some better pictures up for you. Thanks again


      • #4
        To answer your question on the size of the marks they are very tiny microscopic straight line marks from the buffer and or polish that I use after buffing.


        • #5

          These are the fine scratches I'm talking about.


          • #6
            I have used this Museum Blend for years. I have found nothing better.


            Last edited by Rasper; 08-27-2015, 10:06 PM.


            • #7
              I believe Mother's mag polish will take care of that. I use it for pretty much any final polish, just make sure you use a clean, soft cotton wheel. It seems to cut quite a bit as well, when I polish stainless guns I can go straight from 1000 grit to Mother's (even though I usually use rouge first). Only problem is that paste polish makes a mess, there will be polish everywhere...