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Grrr.....frustrated new guy having trouble buffing unfinished aluminum

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  • Grrr.....frustrated new guy having trouble buffing unfinished aluminum

    hi gents- right to my prob....trying to bring aluminum to a nice briliant shine. i have all new wheels...sisal w/black compound, spiral wound w/brwn tripoli and loose cotton w/ white compound.

    I read everything from Caswell info...took notes for reference....how/when to "cut" and then "color", etc. So, I'm certain I have the "practical" stuff covered i think. I've lived long enough to ALSO be certain it's usually the guy in front the wheel not doing something right!!! -lol !

    ok...so i sanded up to 1200 grit. very nice smooth, level surface...half a shine to it. Finish cutting on the sisal....looks awesome, i'm thinking, boy, this is gunna look great.

    start some medium pressure cutting on spiral wheel with brown....and i'm getting more deeper scratches than i had with the sisal wheel! obviously cant remove them w/ the loose cotton.

    started all over....raked the spiral wheel (with the correct tool) just in case....same result. what gives?? any thoughts?

  • #2
    Re: Grrr.....frustrated new guy having trouble buffing unfinished aluminum

    First off, don't use a sisal wheel on aluminum. It is too harsh.

    Using a sisal wheel with emery after sanding to 1200 is like polishing your car with sandpaper.

    Besides, you don't need to sand up to 1200. I find that emery on a hard sewn cotton wheel takes out 600 grit scratches nicely. (Hard sewn is the operative word here—close stitches.) Then I use a white finishing compound on a looser spiral wheel.

    The thing that most polishers neglect is to make sure they remove previous grit scratches before moving up to a finer grit. It takes more sanding than you think.

    I don't like Tripoli on aluminum. It seems to cloud up for me. Emery gets most of the work done. The white finishes it off. Then for perfection I use a microfiber cloth with a mildly abrasive liquid polish. I always wash the rag thoroughly before use, especially when new. Some come with imbedded grit.

    The scratches you saw when using the tripoli were the scratches made by the sisal wheel.

    Richard
    Last edited by Rasper; 02-07-2015, 08:58 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Grrr.....frustrated new guy having trouble buffing unfinished aluminum

      richard----wow. you know what my first thought was when i unwrapped the sisal wheel when it arrived? holy s**t....this thing feels like it could cut through titanium! -lol but i just went with it.

      Then...as you mentioned...I thought well maybe i didn't get previous grit scratches out. that was when i decided to just give it a break and walk away for a while! lol So- I REALLY appreciate your help! thanks very much. i'll give it another shot tomorrow with your technique. see if i can pull it off. i just ordered some of that 3M finesse it you recommended, should arrive in a day or two. thanks again Richard

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      • #4
        Re: Grrr.....frustrated new guy having trouble buffing unfinished aluminum

        Richard-- well, i tell ya...that was a big improvement! i gotta be 95% of the way to victory- lol i re-sanded, very thoroughly i thought, up to 600 grit. and then followed your recommendation.

        it's pretty shiny...but when you get the right angle in good light...under that shine...i got that light "haze" of very fine scratches still. dang...so close, yet so far. one thing i realized....is not to be afraid to put a little pressure on the wheel when cutting. dont think i had enough pressure before this attempt either.

        what do you think here? should i re-sand with 600? should i take it up to 800? or do i just end up with finer scrtches? haha

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        • #5
          Re: Grrr.....frustrated new guy having trouble buffing unfinished aluminum

          If they are scratches so fine that you have to hold it at just the right angle to the light to see them then a liquid polish on a microfiber cloth rubbed hard should take them out. If you have already done that then you most likely have sanding scratches. I assume you used a finishing compound after the emery.

          I sometimes take it to 800.

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          • #6
            Re: Grrr.....frustrated new guy having trouble buffing unfinished aluminum

            nah-- didnt do any microfiber polishing. i held off going any further, etc. yes...after my hard sewn/emery went to a loose cotton/white compound.

            you know what? i think i know whats going on (well, maybe-lol). i was pondering this at 2am-- (i'm only slightly nuts) i start w/ 220 grit, then 320, 400 then 600.

            i'll bet the bank....that's too big of a jump. I think i need 500 grit. Cas didnt carry any 500 when i ordered paper. Need to find some 500 and give it another whirl.

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            • #7
              Re: Grrr.....frustrated new guy having trouble buffing unfinished aluminum

              when you do your sanding do the 400 and 600 in different sanding pattern so that after doing the final polishing the direction of the fine scratches will tell you if they are from the 400 or the 600 grit .
              http://www.peintureenpoudrepb.com
              http://www.polissagepb.com
              http://www.powdercoatpb.com
              baz

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              • #8
                Re: Grrr.....frustrated new guy having trouble buffing unfinished aluminum

                I sand 150—220—400—600 and it works fine.

                R

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                • #9
                  Re: Grrr.....frustrated new guy having trouble buffing unfinished aluminum

                  oh wow--- there ya go. that's a great idea--i'll give it a shot then. thank you Richard! I appreciate your kind help and patience.

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