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  • Stainless steel Scratches

    New guy to the forum here.
    I have been polishing for @ 2yrs with very mixed results! I have been doing automotive trim pieces for myself and friends, and for the most part, if the stainless piece is in pretty good shape (No deep scratches) everything polishes out pretty nice. However, I have been fighting with a couple of pieces that I just cannot seem to get the scratches out. I have a rubber expander wheel with 3m trizact bands up to 1200 grit that will get out the deep scratches, but when I try the emery compound on either Sisal/yellow vented/yellow spiral wheels and then the stainless compound on the vented/spiral wheels, I still have scratches left from the sanding that was done. I have even tried wet sanding with 320/400/600 with not much better results.There are also some areas that look grainy ?I know that I have at least 4+ hrs invovled in this one 15 in long piece! I have a dedicated buffer 3/4 HP 3450 rpm with 10" wheels, I have read and re-read the buffing help but I am still not getting the results I need and my buddy is going to be needing the parts back soon.HELP!
    Thanks
    Scott

  • #2
    Stainless steel is a PAIN to polish, or so it seems from what i have experienced. Are you using the green stainless steel compound? If its a lower grade of stainless, the striations (sp?) will show in the metal no matter what, which is why i think stainless is for the most part electro polished. I would try using a very light hand when sanding as not to cause any really deep scratches, than go right to the green compound for a while and really work it. I do not have much experience with stainless, but hopefully someone else can chime in.

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    • #3
      Stainless steel scratches and polishing

      I have been polishing stainless for years part time on classic car stainless trim. Now that I have retired, I have been taking on more work but I am also having a problem with getting the fine sanding scratches out of stainless steel trim. Occasionally there is also a BLUSH that shows up, especially on the ends and edges of the pieces after I start to polish them. I use a commercial power sander and Formax 26 on aluminum oxide belts when sanding. I also hand sand the deep scratches starting with 240 on up to 1200 before buffing. After sanding I buff with a sizal wheel with emory and then a cotton spiral sewn with emory to get the shine and remove all visable scratches. On the color buff I have had no luck with the green stainless rouge so I use the white rouge. On some pieces I still see fine scratches and BLUSH on the ends and along the edges. This doesn't show up until the final buff and then I have to start over because my customers are usually looking for show quality restored stainless. HELP PLEASE HELP!!!!! If anyone has any suggestions, I have open ears.

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      • #4
        Stainless is usually a metal that does not deteriorate and pit, so i think you are sanding way too much. If its stainless trim, and not plated etc, you should not have to sand much at all unless there is a existing deep scratch. If i were you, i would sand with a light hand with say a 600 grit than go to sisal wheel with emory and a white on a loose or canton flannel. I know what you guys are experiencing, and i had the same problem. I sanded with too heavy of a hand and with to course of a grit and when i finished polishing you would see the scratches. It dosn't hurt to give this a try, even on a test area. Good luck.

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        • #5
          STAINLESS STEEL SCRATCHES

          I HAVE FOUND THAT USING A GREEN 10 INCH AIR WAY WITH THE GREEN ROUGE FOLLOWED BY USING WHITE ROUGE ON GREEN AIR WAY WORKS WONDERS BEFORE WHITE ON WHITE.GIVE IT A TRY.I SWEAR BY IT.

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          • #6
            Alternative

            Has anyone tried working with non-woven abrasive wheels before buffing?

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            • #7
              Scratch Removal

              I refinish stainless moldings for cars and have found the following
              technique to work for me. I sand the flat trim with an expand-a-wheel
              as you have described. I use 700 and then the 1200 grit 3M disks,
              avoid the 400 disks if possible (leaves heavy scratches).I have found that a treated sisal wheel and an aggressive emery compound will save you alot of time removing the sanding scratches. I follow with an ventilated wheel with the green compound. If you desire you can follow with loose wheel and white rogue. I have found this technique to work very well, but it is time consuming. The treated sisal buffs are available though Matchless, Caswell should have a similiar product.

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              • #8
                i had the same problem with stainless... i ended up going to the dealer and getting a new part .... but with older cars .. i have seen guys light wetsand them with 2500 grit and polish with a super fine polish it looked ok but not the best

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