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Emery vs Greasless

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  • Emery vs Greasless


    New around here but not new to polishing. I have been polishing aluminum wheels for some time now using a pneumatic die grinder and recently started using an electric angle grinder with plenty of speed and power.

    I typically start with the greaseless compounds 80, 120, 220 then into tripoli then white rouge. I figured I would try something different and start with the emery compound and see how that worked. It seems to be too fine to cut into the wheels. I am using it with a 6" spiral trated buff.

    From what I have read it should be used first for almost all jobs.

    My objective is to remove the anodization that some of the wheels have without "scratching" like the greaseless creates. When I use a 120 grit it is too course. When using a 220 grit too fine. Figured the emery would be in between.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    BTW, great products and great info forum!! Thanks


    • #3
      Caswell sells a chemical stripper for removing anodizing. I've had good luck with oven cleaner in removing anodizing.

      Emery *might* remove anodizing when used on a sisal wheel. I know it'll strip paint and powdercoating - albeit slowly.

      Mole here on the forums stripped anodizing from some ATV wheels recently and the polished results look good. I'm going to be doing the same in another week or so and will go the oven cleaner route before a wheel hits aluminum.

      The 1st round on the buffer will be a couple 6" sisal wheels loaded up with emery followed by tight spirals and tripoli, then loose wheels and rouge.. I seem to get pretty good results with this method..

      Good luck!


      • #4
        when using greaseless from what i learned .. you don't go in to the emery til you are done with the cutting .. the emery dose take the cutting down to a workable surface ... but it kind of defeats the greaseless ... i did a intake with just emery and it took it down dut after the greaseless and some wetsanding to even it out it looks great ..........
        as for stripper ... easy off oven cleaner works just as good


        • #5
          Thanks for the feedback! I have heard of the oven cleaner but also heard mixed results. It won't hurt to try. If not I will go with Caswell's stripper. Although if the same as aviation stripper then the wheel will just laugh at it.

          Hmmmm...I tried emery on sisal and it also didn't do much.

          These wheels are Porsche wheels which are about 30 years old. Not sure if the final finish has been clear coated or clear powder coated. I just know 220 struggles with it and 220 takes a while. And emery doesn't do much.

          I will try the suggestions and post.



          • #6
            emery dose 75% of the polishing .. it is the longest part other than sanding ... you may want to try aircraft stripper to you can get it at almost any auto part stores for under $11 bucks i use a lot of that to ...


            • #7
              Aircraft stripper will just sit there while the wheel laughs at it

              Will be starting with the emery soon.

              Here is a link with some pics of some of my refinishing work on Porsche wheels if anyone is interested:

              Look under "Some Examples of My Refinishing Work"

              Thanks again!


              • #8
                Aircraft Stripper is Methlyene Chloride, a strong solvent that breaks down paints and lacquers.

                Anodize layer is NOT a paint or lacquer

                The main ingredient in Anodize Stripper is Sodium Hydroxide, which attacks and dissolves aluminum.
                Mike Caswell
                Caswell Inc
                Need Support? Visit our online support section at


                • #9
                  skiddz & bigfish can you email me .. i got some info for you ...


                  • #10
                    The main ingredient in Anodize Stripper is Sodium Hydroxide, which attacks and dissolves aluminum.
                    Same active ingredient as my oven cleaner.


                    • #11
                      I totally agree and know that an anodized finish is simply a chemically finished aluminum surface. What I am struggling with is the clear coat or clear powder coating that has been applied afterwards.

                      skiddz, for how long do you leave in on? Do you place it in the sun to "bake" or not needed? Thanks!


                      • #12
                        bigfishon1 when you use oven cleaner I found it worked best to heat the metal your working on before hand. When I did my atv rims I just took my heat gun to them first. I did do 1 whitout heating it to see what would happen and it didn't work so well. U can also use a brass wheel it doesn't put deep scratchs the metal. But oven cleaner and heating up the metal worked the best for me and the fastest. Just read the directions on the oven cleaner it even suggest preheating your oven.


                        • #13
                          mole, thanks for the info. I guess in the ove they will go for a bit or wait until it heats up a bit more. Thanks