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New here, couple of quick ones (yes I read the manual! :-)

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  • New here, couple of quick ones (yes I read the manual! :-)

    Greetings all.

    First let me say some of the pictures you all have been posting have been very encouraging and quite impressive.

    I had a few quick questions I was hoping someone could answer:

    I'm looking at purchasing the 1/3 hp buffing machine here. Will this be suitable for aluminum motorcycle pieces like the Primary cover and such? I'm guessing more power=polish faster?

    Has anyone tried clear powder coat over polished aluminum? I'd think it would be quite durable.

    The manual says:
    "Do not apply the compound after the workpiece, or on its own. This wastes material and is much less efficient. By applying the material before the workpiece, you actually use the workpiece to force the compound into the buff. This is much less wasteful, more efficient and will actually speed up your buffing times."
    Does this mean I load the wheel while holding the part to the wheel as well? The last time I tried polishing (in high school granted) we loaded the wheel and then polished the part. How often do you do these 1-2 second loads?

    Lastly, I've read several accounts of "black dust", I'm guessing **** flying off the wheels. Is this stuff that's relatively heavy and will not float (thinking maybe shower curtains?) or do I need a positive ventilation system?

    Thanks in advance for any assistance.

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum. If i were you, i would pickup atleast the 1/2 or 1hp buffer. The more power (more amps specifically) the more you can "lay" into the buffer which essentially gives you faster polishing times. I have tried clear coating polishing with powder coat, and it is not very desirable. it dulls the polish quite a bit, and when you need to touch it up, it creates a problem. You'd need to strip the powder than repolish. Your best bet is a sealer such as zoops. As far as loading the wheel, i think it means to apply the compound to the wheel itself, and not onto the part instead. WIith black i use a little bit of compound often, and the brown/white i use more compound less often. The dust will get everywhere. Make sure you wear a mask, clothes you dont care about, and prepare for a dirty ceiling, floor, body, everything in the area. Good luck!


    • #3
      Thanks a bunch for the fast reply!

      On the dust, I understand it will get everywhere thrown by nothing but centrifugal force. What I'm wondering is do I need to completely seal an area or is enclosing a corner of the basement with plastic sheeting enough?

      Common sense tells me that the it's wax and grit and it should not float but then again common sense is not my strong suit.


      • #4
        You SHOULD be ok by doing this, but of course the dust will escape from time to time. Just make sure you clean up inbetween polishing and you'll be fine.


        • #5
          Awesome, thanks again for replying so quickly.


          • #6
            Tom... you can indeed powder coat clear over polished surfaces. You just have to give it a "bath" in something that kills the waxes and organics first is all. I've always found a dip in Hydrochloric (15% solution) works best in these circumstances. Low cure temp on the powder and bring it up slowly to avoid any oxidation and no doubt the results will be a lot more to your liking. Personally I'd use the Zoop but that's just my experience unless you want to clear coat it with a "tint". THEN I'd use a powder coating.


            • #7
              Yes, you CAN powder coat over polished aluminum, but the results are no where as nice as they are with un-clear coated aluminum.


              • #8
                do I smell a challenge between the polishing guy and the powder guy,hummmm? This should be interesting to see a little "brotherly competition" between the Mods,eh? ASSUMING I can..... what are we betting here,hummmm? Caswell.... care to donate a few minor materials so Tom and I can have a little fun? I'll provide the shop (you know where,Tom) and the fair judgement by it's owners (also known by Tom and I'm sure he would have no problems taking thier word on anything in the powder coating field about how aesthetic something looks) all considered by yours truly to be "holy ground". Tom.... you supply a few sacrificial pieces (all the same for comparison purposes please) and I'll supply the process and document the whole thing. Just to keep it fair, only Caswell products allowed for any of it. (except for the hydrochloric acid which I stated above was needed). I can even do it in a true hobbyist playing field and bring it to your workspace if you want the pictures to be judged by all here. This way we all know that results can be achieved in a true hobbyist mode of operation. I say I can make it happen.... still saying I can't? heh heh hehhhhhh


                • #9
                  DO IT!!!! DO IT!!!!


                  • #10
                    heh.... threaten to spill "blood" and the Romans will always get worked up. I have only one request. I need to do this after the first of the year as I'm in the middle of something HUGE right now and can't be stopped. Other than that..... I leave it up to Tom to accept and Caswell to be the Don King of it all.


                    • #11
                      Anyone care to donate a polished piece of flat aluminum, one steel, one stainless and maybe someone out there chrome a piece of steel? That way the test pieces are "neutral" if you will. I strongly believe it has to do with the porosity of aluminum somehow affecting the way it looks once clear coated. If you think about it....Polished aluminum can be ruined very easy where as a polished piece of stainless or chrome can keep its shine with less maintenence...i'm willing to experiemtn though.


                      • #12
                        Or caswell could donate a chrome plate kit lol :P


                        • #13
                          ok.... it looks like he's getting interested,folks. So I'll add in to make it all the more fair. If donating something, there has to be two pieces of the same to make it all equal. Either that or the one piece has to be cut in half so that we may see the "just polished" and "coated" examples. That sounds reasonable enough to me. See (and document,natrually) what it all looks like on aluminum,steel,brass,etc.... all the same to me. Just give me until the new year to get things done that I have to do or somebody will have my head for sure. So far.... I'm game.

                          What's this about a chrome kit? Wanna see what it looks like on copy-chrome? I'm not skeered one bit. Bring it on.


                          • #14
                            I'm far as the chrome kit...i think that the chrome will clear coat MUCH better than a polished aluminum piece would. Isnt chrome much less pourous since its "sealed" Thats my school of thought on if someone doanted 2 pieces we might as well test it while we're at it


                            • #15
                              Speaking as the newest guy I've seen here so far, I think this type of "head to head' would be excellent.

                              If I were to set it up (you listening Caswell? ) I would compare the following:
                              • Polished Aluminum (naked, waxed or zooped)
                                Polished Aluminum with Clear Powder
                                Chromed Aluminum
                                ... and just to spice it up a chrome powder with clear

                              Comparing those different methods always seems more fact than fiction to my not-in-the-business-ears.

                              If I had a website that sold gear for each of those options I'd be interested in a true depiction of the differences.