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First attempt at polishing, I ain't happy, help?

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  • First attempt at polishing, I ain't happy, help?

    Well, here was my first attempt at polishing. I stripped the anodizing with easy Off. Then sanded, 320,400, then hit it with the sisal and black compound, then the spiral sewn and brown compound. THen a bit of Jewelers rouge with the softest wheel, then Mothers.

    Any way, I ain't happy. Doesn't look like I want it to. I think I'll start over, sand more thouroughly with the 400, then move to 600, and try again. I'll clean my wheels good first. Might even buy a buffer, and new wheels.

    The pics look good, but the bike doesn't look as good. With a good light on it, I can still see too many scratches. I'll get this right if it kills me.

  • #2
    Wow!!! Easy Off eh?!? did it work well? I've never heard of that one.I've always spent needless endless hours sanding off anodizing.So I will have to try that.
    Anyways,give yourself some crdit,the polishing looks great in pics,I've had guys work for me for along time who wouldnt do that well first try.As for the fine scratches,,,practice,with a soft wheel and various light pressure,try misting with water after throw some flour or talc on the peice and go over real lightly and slow with clean soft wheel.
    We Dazzle With Brilliance


    • #3
      Thanks berndog. The easy off works pretty good for removing anodizing. Spray on a nice coat, then let sit for about 20 minutes. Wipe off, then do it again. Then the surface will be black, or all white. Then wetsand with 400 grit, and I had a raw aluminum surface to work with.

      People keep saying to sand to about 2000 grit. I don't think this would help my case much. As I'm sure that the scratches that would be left by the 1500 grit would be larger than the almost microscpic scratches I'm seeing now, that just seem to make my work look hazy.

      I have some greasless compunds on order, that I'll use later when I start a new area, grits from 80-400. Like sanding down those casting areas. I can use the greasless compounds to sand down/off the anodizing right?

      I've also got a white rouge bar coming, I guess I'll use this on a spiral sewn wheel after the brown and spiral sewn wheel.

      I'm also waiting for a flannel wheel on order, hopefully this will aid in getting some of those tiny scratches out. I'll try to use this with some of the white rouge. THen maybe dust the area with talcum, and hit it with the flanel wheel to get some of those tiny scratches out.

      Here are some better pics in the light. From some of them, u can see the haziness, and those really small scratches.



      • #4
        Your work looks pretty good. Two things: (A) jewelers rouge is designed to use on gold and silver, as it doesn't have any cutting action to it, so to use it on aluminum for the final polish isn't going to bring out that high gloss shine. Jewelers rouge is more used to maintain the shine you've already achieved. You're aiming in the right direction with the white compound. That's the stuff that really brings the shine out. I haven't used Mothers polish myself, but I've heard horror stories about it actually dulling the surface. I think before I'd consider going back and sanding anything, (or at least going back to black compound), I'd at least just give the white compound a try first. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
        "Some people are like sandpaper: they may delight in the misery they inflict by rubbing up against you, but in the end you will come out smooth and polished while they'll just be ugly, wrinkled, and used up." - Beyonce Knowles


        • #5
          Your work looks GREAT for a first attempt. I only wish i did that good of a job my first time around. As far as scratches you really do not need to go past 400/600 grit with sanding. After the 400/600 go to a sisal wheel with the super sisal buffing compound. It works great...cuts faster and will really shave time off your polishing. Also, when you use the greaseless compounds make sure you use a very light touch. They cut quick and uneven if you use too much pressure. You may find it effective to use the greaseless, than hand sand with a 400 just to even out the metal. Than once again go to the super sisal. Also, always remember your polishing strokes. With the wheel to polish, and against for a cut. When you start using the white rouge, you'll find that you'll get better results going with the wheel. Good luck, and never get discouraged, polishing technique takes a while to obtain.


          • #6
            Thanks for the encouragement guys.

            I made a mistake when I said I was using the jewelers rouge for final polishing. I meant the white compound. What is that called, I ordered a bar from Casewell earlier today. I'm also hoping that this will clean up the surface a bit more.

            I'll try to hit it with the white, and the spiral sewn wheel. How does that sound? I'm thinking that this will almost eliminate most of those minor scratches I'm seeing.

            I'm pretty sure I'm doing a thourough job with the 400-600 initial sand. I'm pretty sure that the scratches I'm seeing are coming from the brown compound, and the spiral sewn wheel. This can happen right?

            So if that's the case, I'm hoping that the combo of the white compound and the spiral sewn wheel will be a bit less abrasive, and leave even smaller scratches. If that doesn't yield the results I'm looking for, I'll start over again, particularly with the sisal and black compound.

            As far as misting and dustng with talcum, which wheel should I use for that. A clean spiral sewn, or the cotton flannel wheel?


            • #7
              Use a loose or canton flannel with white....spiral sewn will leave even more hairline scratches and hazyness, in my experience.


              • #8
                Ok, will this be agressive enough to do any cutting at all? I haven't seen a flannel wheel personally yet, but that loose cotton wheel seems really too soft to do anything. Just wondering. At this point, I'm about willing to try anything though.


                • #9
                  Are you using a bench buffer? I stack 2 6 or 8 inch wheels together, and trust me they're not too soft at 3600 RPM. What speed are you polishing at and with what kind of "tool"?


                  • #10
                    I've been using a high powered drill. I believe I'm running it @ about 4000rpm.

                    I can imagine how at high speeds that they would do some cutting. I was just thinning about them standing still.

                    Should I go with the flannel or the loose cotton for the White compound? Which one is more aggressive? Shoould I use them both, one afrter the other with white compound?


                    • #11
                      Id say your best bet is to use a loose, but a canton flannel may work for you. Polishing wheels are dirt cheap, so test and see which ones work best in your given situation. May i also suggest possibly picking up a bench top buffer. They're a wise investment and really do make a huge difference. Another quick tip i find that works well is the good old propane torch by your side. If the compound isnt taking to the metal well, try heating it up a little with the torch(the metal). Good luck and as always report back with your results.


                      • #12
                        Thaks a bunch, I'll give that a try.