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  • #16
    Re: need expert help

    Originally posted by Rasper View Post
    Yeah, a die grinder with a little 2 inch buffing wheel on it will really get some work done on small pieces. One good thing about air tools is that if you catch an edge, most often the tool just stops, whereas with a high torque electric tool it throws the piece across the room—if you're lucky.

    Richard
    die grinder with very small cartridge rolls and other homemade bits and thin buffing or sanding wheels is my tool of choice when polishing Inside the fins on harley Davidson cylinder heads .

    and yes Richard , most newbies here Under estimate the danger of an electric buffer catching the edge of a part.

    from my experience i can tell you that a 3 hp 600 volt buffer with a 14 inch airflex Wheel can take an aluminium car bumper out of your hands , slam it against the concrete wall behing the buffer and back in my chest faster than i blink an eye .
    http://www.peintureenpoudrepb.com
    http://www.polissagepb.com
    http://www.powdercoatpb.com
    baz

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    • #17
      Re: need expert help

      guys, which adapter works best with the dewalt dwp849x?

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      • #18
        Re: need expert help

        This is what you want for regular buffing wheels. It is threaded to screw onto standard 5/8 - 11 sander/buffer shafts

        Grinder/Buffer Adapter 1/2" Dia Shaft - Buffing Adapters - Buffing/Polishing - Caswell Inc

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        • #19
          Re: need expert help

          Originally posted by exstaZ View Post
          sounds good. I Appreciate the help. I guess its best to just experiment since all workpiece are different. I will try the emery on 400 first and then move up to 600 if I need to. I'll post pics of the results. Thanks again!
          As the other long time members have previously stated, you CANNOT skip ANY steps in the process.

          IF you are doing car wheels...
          this is MY process that seems to be as fast as any, creates a good, chrome-like finish (enough to see the color of your eyes) and CAN be done by the DIYer at home ....

          1. sanding. Start by GRINDING out any serious rash or gouges. 80 gt if necessary, whatever gets you there. BUT, You MUST Sand out ALL traces of your grinding with 180, 220 THEN 320. Leave NO trace when you are done. EVERYTHING shows up in the mirror finish. I can get that kind of shine from ONLY sanding but it takes going to 3000+ and it takes forever....that's what is done to get show quality finishes.

          I use a 7" high speed buffer (3500 rpm) variable speed. Harbor Freight for $40 Use the 5" backing pad Velcro. Lowes has the 5" Velcro sanding disc. 120,180,220,320. A set of 4 rims will use 1 or 2 of each of these grit disc so buy the 15 pk of each.

          Sand ALL the scratches and nicks down evenly, and do it without digging holes in the metal. In grinding/sanding metals, once its gone, its GONE and there is no fixing it. So use abrasives and NOT pressure when sanding.
          Feather in your work to surrounding metal. Do the entire wheel....ANY spots that you cheat on WILL show up as you get close to the mirror finish. Its critical that the sanding finish is equal and consistent.

          Start the polishing with either: black or grey hard stick compound. Sometimes brown Tripoli works...it VARIES with the quality of the metal, alloy content and age of the aluminum. EVERY piece of aluminum is different ! There are hundreds of alloys used by different mfgs of wheels. Billet behaves MUCH different than cast aluminum. A lot of cast is pourous and may end up with a good reflection BUT it may have microscopic "pours" in the metal much like your skin. Billet does not have that pourous nature because billet is stamped and shaped and compressed to strengthen it and heat creates a more dense metal. Its tougher. Easier to polish except for tiny machine grooves that have to be sanded away....

          Start with a 'test' by using a hard sewn wheel, $ 10ea 6 to 8" yellow or hard sewn stitched cotton white. Muslin works well for cutting. A muslin wheel has to be 'broken in' to harden the edge so give it some usage to make it a good cutting wheel.

          Try the black first,. Then ALWAYS TRY the brown and grey. See which yields the best result.
          learn the difference between "cutting" and 'polishing" strokes with the polisher. Develop a technique.
          Cut with some pressure on the pad, polish with lite motion across the metal. Like using a hand saw. Push hard, pull lightly. Following the way the polish wheel travels is 'polishing' and going against it is cutting.

          Have black, grey and white polish at minimum. You can get green and brown to play with if you want. Blk, gry and wht are the basics in MHO.

          Learn thru practice to "wipe" out the tracks and shadows from sanding.
          You CAN start to polish at 320-400 ONLY IF you went thru ALL the steps up to that grit. You MUST do 180, 220, 320 and THEN you can polish out the 320 scratches with the 3500 rpm and a 6" hard wheel.
          Wipe off the rim after each grade of polish so you are not contaminating the next finer polish grade. MANY of the best polishers work CLEAN.....meaning they wipe down and change the buff/wheel with EACH change of polish. Course grit that's stuck to the buff will ruin the final finish....so work CLEAN. IF you cannot change buffs with each polish, RAKE the buff well after each polish so the old grit/wax is knocked off. You can buy a rake or use any hard edge to run the buff against to clean it before applying the next color polish.

          There are infinite combos of wheels/polish/rpm. Experiment. That's t he ONLY way you will learn anything.
          After you do your rim with black for example, wipe off the metal and go to grey. Do the whole wheel with good patterns for polish strokes.
          It may be vice versa....that's fine. ALL Aluminum is different ! Black may work for one...grey for another. That's why you do test spots and note the result. After you discover the best "process" for the part that you are doing, then do the exact same thing for the other 3 rims.
          With experience, you can tell if 1 rim was replaced as you polish the set,. I can tell by the way an odd rim behaves when polishing....a 'set' should all be similar in metal content and quality. An odd rim that was made a year later will be slightly different. The process may change for that single rim.

          Last, use the white or Green to finish and "set" the color of the rims.. Green is almost non-abrasive. Its more of a buff than a polish. Use a slower speed and a softer wheel, loose sewn white or white, yellow airway.
          Green will add COLOR. It may seem to darken the finish. It deepens the shine but that's a trade for brightness.
          If you seek a lighter or brighter/sharper finish, use white diamond and a med/hard wheel @ high speed. This will sharpen the reflection and make a crisp/sharp finish. The metal will be lighter but brighter.

          You will have to do it and see it to learn the results...
          The cool thing about polishing aluminum is the fact that if you don't like what you see, you CAN change it by resanding and polishing with a different grade or technique,. that you can develop as you go.

          Polishing is NOT for sissies....its VERY hard, VERY time consuming and VERY dirty work. I get paid to do it and I ask a price that justifies my labor and effort. I have learned many things and I am STILL learning. Each piece is different and requires a different technique. I sometimes get blind-sided by a piece that requires extra time and attention. THAT fact does NOT always justify me getting more money....sometimes all I get out of the deal is an education. And tired.

          One thing that I CAN tell you for SURE, you will NEVER get a decent finish on an aluminum rim without high-speed tools
          (angle grinders 3000 rpm min) that have a LOT of power and its going to be a lot of WORK.
          To sand the machine finish off a set of BBS barrels and polish them to a mirror finish, takes about 4 or 5 hrs WITH all the tools and a good work place. I have 4 or 5 heavy angle grinders, a work table set up for rims, at least 50 wheels/pads and a box full of 6 different grades of hard polish.
          I have everything that I need and the benefit of experience and I may only get 2 wheels done per day depending on the rash and other damage that I have to
          make 'go away'.
          Not trying to be mean or demeaning, but you're not going anywhere with an air tool and little buffs. Those are for detailing small parts, bolts, bike levers etc. Even then they MUST be properly sanded and prepped.

          Look at aluminum polishing the exact same way you would do body work on your car....
          Its ALL about the prep. Polishing comes easily when the prep is done well...I can see a reflection in 3 seconds as I apply the buff to the 320 grit sanded metal...but to wipe out ALL the shadows, bruising in the metal and make a good, level shine....takes a bit longer. BUT it will never happen at all IF the sanding is not done well.

          remember, the better the sanding the better the finish. Half assed sanding yields a poor result.

          Good luck and have fun!

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: need expert help

            new user on the forum ,different tecqnique , different compounds but you do seem to know what your doing !many of the things i read in your post are things that only a hands on experienced buffer would know about.
            i started out as a hobby with a 1/4 hp motor mounted in a vise on an old kitchen table and 20 some years later .... 2 large industrial air compressors ,2 blasting cabinets , 3 large 3 hp 600 volt polishers
            running wheels from 8 to 14 inch , couple of 7 inch variable speed polishers and a dozen of air Tools like polishers ,die grinders of different size and shape,dynabrade belt sander , dynabrade reciprocating sanders and more .
            i for sure agree that polishing is not for sissies ,it is very hard and very time consuming but it is also very rewarding to start with a almost trash pert and end up with a show polish piece .

            note: yes green compound is listed as a color compound but when the sanding is properly done , with a Jackson lea green bar ( #21 deluxe)good buffing wheels a good buffer and some experience
            i go from 320 or 400 grit sanding to mirror show finish on stainless in a single step . some aluminium i had to sand to 600 grit and then directly to green bar
            http://www.peintureenpoudrepb.com
            http://www.polissagepb.com
            http://www.powdercoatpb.com
            baz

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: need expert help

              Thanks. I agree on the green bar....

              one thing I've found is that every mfg of polish has different quality. The green bar that I get locally is weak and almost plain wax....no polishing at all. Just color.
              Some of my browns are almost as weak...Another is great for 1st cut and laying down the surface..

              I retired. THAT being said, THIS has turned into a near full time deal....I am at the point where I need to decide if I want to go back into business OR just keep it a part time way to generate some extra cash...'cause right now I have several sets of wheels stacked up in my back yard, more coming today and I am driving to a neighboring city to a chrome shop to look at some supplies....
              Today is a rain day so I can't polish. I'll do the 'other' work that's involved in this.

              I've been doing serious polishing for 3 yrs now and a lot of personal projects throughout my life. I am headed down the same road that you traveled and may end up at the same place...more tools, bigger work space, etc. Not sure yet..

              The ONE thing that makes me hesitate is the number of calls that I get from people that have or want nice aluminum, but they faint when they hear that their 30 yr old Crager SS wheels will cost $350-$400 to restore. They ALL seem to think that a "polisher" sits on a bucket with a jar of mothers and a rag and gets mirror finishes on wheels and parts older than they are. They just don't want to understand how much work is involved in taking something that looks like scrap and turning it into jewelry. I make ART. Pieces of fine art for cars. THATS why I charge as much as I do....and I STILL don't make any good money because of the time involved..

              Good luck to the newbies and to the rest, keep rubbin till you can see your bloodshot eyes in the reflection ! lol

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              • #22
                Re: need expert help

                i am also retired from polishing ,asfer some serious health problems i had to slow down so i kept the powdercoating side of the business only .
                i was mostly doing detailed harley parts in the last ten years because the Wheel polishing business was getting harder , customers did nt want to pay what it was Worth because they could buy new chinese chrome wheels for about the same price as polishing. here s a picture of the kind of work i was doing
                Click image for larger version

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                Last edited by baz; 11-06-2013, 12:42 PM.
                http://www.peintureenpoudrepb.com
                http://www.polissagepb.com
                http://www.powdercoatpb.com
                baz

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: need expert help

                  I am a newbie and I am doing a lot of reading and watching Youtube stuff on polishing aluminum. I am going to attach my BBS wheels on my Mini as if they were diamonds in the rough. I say rough because some sort of chemical has gotten under the clear coat on the rim of the wheels. I have a high speed Makita polisher that I use to polish defects in auto paints and I have gotten to the point that black is my specialty. Of course, like polishing aluminum, polishing black paint has taken me a few years to learn.
                  I picked up some Fabulustre from my jeweler a year ago knowing that I am going to take my BBS wheels apart to redo the rim or lip of the wheels. The product is as hard as concrete and the only way to get product on the pad is using a high speed buffer and not using a electric drill. This will be my white product for the final polish. I will still have to get the other compounds and pads. I figure I should be able to do the wheels with just the Makita after I get the adapter. I could buy a bench buffer, but for now, to keep the expenses down, I will attack the wheels with just the Makita.
                  One question, though, can I use a random orbital polisher, for the sanding process?
                  The last question, is, that I have what looks like chrome wheels on an old Porsche, that originally was anodized, that I was wondering if it is possible to bring up the luster using these products and equipment?
                  Last edited by bcgreen; 01-31-2014, 03:15 PM.

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                  • #24
                    Re: need expert help

                    Originally posted by bcgreen View Post
                    I am a newbie and I am doing a lot of reading and watching Youtube stuff on polishing aluminum. I am going to attach my BBS wheels on my Mini as if they were diamonds in the rough. I say rough because some sort of chemical has gotten under the clear coat on the rim of the wheels. I have a high speed Makita polisher that I use to polish defects in auto paints and I have gotten to the point that black is my specialty. Of course, like polishing aluminum, polishing black paint has taken me a few years to learn.
                    I picked up some Fabulustre from my jeweler a year ago knowing that I am going to take my BBS wheels apart to redo the rim or lip of the wheels. The product is as hard as concrete and the only way to get product on the pad is using a high speed buffer and not using a electric drill. This will be my white product for the final polish. I will still have to get the other compounds and pads. I figure I should be able to do the wheels with just the Makita after I get the adapter. I could buy a bench buffer, but for now, to keep the expenses down, I will attack the wheels with just the Makita.
                    One question, though, can I use a random orbital polisher, for the sanding process?
                    The last question, is, that I have what looks like chrome wheels on an old Porsche, that originally was anodized, that I was wondering if it is possible to bring up the luster using these products and equipment?


                    You've got to employ a whole different strategy.
                    The BBS 1st...
                    I do piles of BBS every day.
                    !st step is to strip the clear off...chemically. Then start sanding at least 220, or even 120 if there are deep scars to be removed. Sand in ONE direction only ! left-right, back forth is ok, not criss-cross. You CAN use the grinder to sand as long as you move very slowly and use 320 to 500 pads and be sure not to leave 'tracks'. The sand pattern will be semi cross to the rims circumference but as long as its tight enough that's not an issue.
                    After its sanded, THEN start with the angle-grinder using an airway pad or a tight sewn cotton/muslin wheel. Apply polish to the spinning wheel but do so lightly...use polish sparingly but often. It does not go far and too much just 'greases' the surface and nothing happens except ugly black streaks..

                    Black, brown or grey are excellent polishes for BBS aluminum. Each mfg is different, each batch of wheels. The metals are all different even though they are all aluminum...
                    White or green polish is great to use after a bright finish has been produced to color the finish or make it 'pop' with a deep luster.
                    Good luck

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