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Aluminum polishing - What wheels/compound do I use?

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  • Aluminum polishing - What wheels/compound do I use?

    I need some assistance in determining what compounds and wheels I need to purchase. I find this site does not really answer my questions. I hope someone can give me some direction.

    I am polishing aluminum components on my Jaguar?s engine. I am using a ? hp buffer and have some experience in buffing the components but would like to get them to as high a polish as possible. (See photos)

    I start the sanding process with a 60 or 80 grit paper and work up to a 1,500 or 2,000 grit. The compounds I have were purchased years ago at Sears and not sure if their color relates to material on this site. I usually start with a brown compound and then move to a red.

    I need to know which compounds/wheels to start and finish with based upon the level of sanding I use. Please be as detailed as possible

    Also, how effective are the sealants this site offers?

    Thank you,

  • #2
    You're not looking hard enough - there's loads of stuff on this forum.

    Here's some pointers>>

    This is a good starting point >>

    Then I'd do a search for aluminium polishing on the forum....

    and if that doesn't answer your all questions.....then post


    • #3
      Welcome. You do not need to go so high with the hand sanding it is just added time to an already lengthy process ( I polish TONS of valve covers). What i find effective is using the greaseless compound on a spiral sewn wheel. Say a 120 on a rough cast, than go up to a say 320. I than hand sand up to 400 or 600 grit to even out the metal and give it a dull satin finish. From there i hit it with a sisal wheel and super sisal black emory polishing compound, next i go to a brown tripoli on a spiral sewn, and white rouge on a loose wheel. The most important part is the polishing strokes and taking your time. Read through the buff manual, it helps. With the black compound, add a little bit of compound to the wheel often for best results and go over the area slowly allowing the compound time to melt and cut the aluminum. With the white, polishing with the direction seems to work best for me to get a mirror finish. Good luck.