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whats finer: white or red???

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  • whats finer: white or red???

    I purchased the cheap ($5.00) polishing kit (2 bars, 2 drill wheels) from harborfrieght and it comes with a white and red. My belief is white then red but I still see scratches (very fine ones in the sunshine) in my aluminum pieces. I've been hitting pieces on my VTX but I'm not sure I want to continue until I get these "swirl" scratches resolved. I have also wet sanded these pieces from 320 to 1000. Whats up?


  • #2
    I am not familiar with the Harbor Freight products, but I DO know that you get what you pay for. I have put out some beautiful pieces using the Caswell A-14 Aluminum compund followed by the blue compound. It is not very expensive by any means and you will more than make up for the cost in lost time and frustration.


    • #3
      what kind of buffing wheels did you get in your kit? white compound with
      a sisal wheel (hardest) will do nothing but cause scratches.
      my suggestion is read through this forum from the start and see if any of your questions are answered.


      • #4
        that stuff you get from harbor freight is junk compared to the stuff you get at caswell and the bu one get one buff prices can not be beat ....
        the white has a little cutting action and should be used on either a cotton or a sprial ,,, the red has no cutting action and it a good polish and can be used on either cotton or sprial ..... as for sisal
        black /sisal
        brown / sprial
        white / loose cotton .....
        i use them all on sprials ..... when i need a good cut i use a sisal may want to pick up a kit from caswell and try it out .... you get what you pay for.... ... need any help just ask some one will help you out ,,, go to caswell's main site and read the learn to buff it got alot of good ways and tips to ... the better you sand the better the part comes out ... so preping id the key to a high luster


        • #5
          It's not the " for" phrase that gets me its the action(mine). Sometimes it hurts being cheap! I guess I'll have to buck up and pay. Thanks!



          • #6
            i know you can only do what you can do .. but with the smaller 3 wheel kits i found that there is more wax and less cutting action ... whei i started that is what i used ... and the more i learned the more i tryed other products ....


            • #7
              Sometimes it hurts being cheap!

              It never hurts being cheap!

              I work in purchasing at a large manufacturing plant and being cheap is my job. I take pride in my cheapness. However, most people only look at purchase price as the total cost. Not true! Look:

              If you buy 1 "polishing kit" for $5.00 and you can do 10 pieces with that kit you are paying $.50 per piece for materials. Lets say your time is worth $10 per hour and with the lower quality kit you spend 3 hours doing 1 part. The cost of that part is $30.50.

              Now let's say you buy a higher quality kit for $40.00 that can do those same 10 parts. Now your cost is $4.00 in material per piece. But because of the higher quality of the kit you can do the pieces in half the time. Your labor cost would be $15.00 plus the $4.00 for a grand total of $19.00 per piece.

              That's about a 35% savings!

              And that's about the limitations of my brain. There's a whole lot of other factors but I am not an economics professor, just a dumb ol' purchasing guy.

              Next time someone calls you cheap, take pride in it

              BTW, You may try sanding down to a 220 or even lower. Also, it is my experience that different aluminums polish differently. I did some pieces of an '86 Honda and couldn't get all of the scratches out for anything. I also couldn't get the high lustre out of them like I have on other pieces.

              Cheap aluminum, I guess.


              • #8
                BryanD >> thanks for the response. I have a VTX, VLX, and a '72 minitrail... all honda. It is possible it's the aluminum. So far I did 2 easy pieces which were the brake res cover and the levers on the VTX. Just could not bring them out further than oem, really. I went up to 1000 paper (wet). I will get around to better stuff, because of the lack of luster (true statement) ("lackluster" ??) my interest has somewhat quenched...

                I need to spend time on the caswell site I guess.



                • #9
                  i know what cheap is i do own my own company


                  • #10
                    hehe, me too.. Self-employment sometimes sucks.

                    Prep is key to any polishing. Sanding is the *THE* most critical part of the process. Most of the stuff I do gets wet sanded up to 400 and I absolutely make sure at this step I get *ALL* the fine scratches out. A 1500w Halogen lamp or the sun will show me clearly if I got 'em all out.

                    One it's sanded properly, I start in with the compounds. Cleaning THOROUGHLY between steps and keeping your other wheels covered up is very important too. You don't want to cross contaminate your wheels with leftover compound from your previous step, and you don't want all that black **** that's flying around setling on your other wheels. You're inviting scratches if you do.

                    Dunno if this will help you, but I've recently changed my procedure and don't use the black/sisal combo anymore. Once I'm satisfied with the sanding, I use a tight spiral wheel and tripoli for the initial polish. I then follow up with a spiral sewn wheel and green compound, then a loose cotton, or flannel wheel with the white. I'm having excellent results with this process with virtually no scratching.