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Polishing MC gas tank

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  • #16
    if I'm hand sanding a really lousy part, I start with 80 grit aluminum oxide paper. Garnet won't do jack to metal and will just wear down in a few minutes. I follow with 120 grit aluminum oxide then move to 220 wet/dry and continue with finer wet/dry grits until the surface is ready to buff.

    I use LOTS of clear water when I wet sand and occasionaly use kerosene as a sanding lubricant as well. I don't have a brand preference for either type of paper. It's whatever I can find cheap. I buy sandpaper in bulk so quite often it's no-name stuff, but lasts just as long as the "brand name" stuff.

    When I use greaseless compounds, I start with 180 grit and move up or down a grit from there. If cutting is going too slow I'll move down to 120 or 80 and proceed from there. If I'm cutting too fast, I'll move up to 220 and see how that goes.


    • #17
      tito : caswell got a nice selection of sandpaper ... wet and dry .... i start at 100 grit and work up to 600 wet some time's i go to 2000 wet then to white


      • #18
        Hey guys thanks for the info...I was just wondering who used what, cause I know different types are made for different uses. I did not want to be using one type when another would have been better.


        • #19
          Hey skiddz-
          Do you hand sand only? or do you/have you ever used either electric or air orbital sander to sand parts? if yes what did you use? if no why not?


          • #20
            Naw, I use power tools as much as possible. I almost always hand sand for the final step. I usually use greaseless compounds on a tight spiral wheel, sand paper on an orbital or even a belt sander. Depends on the part and how much material I need to remove. Files, grinding stones and cutting wheels on my dremel aren't out of the question either. I even used an old chisel to shave off casting lines that were hard to reach once..

            Hell, I'd chew on the thing if it helped smooth it out.. hehehe


            • #21
              Just found out this tank is made of carbon steel. I'm thinking my results have sucked so far because I started with a spiral wheel and emery. I think I need to get a sisal wheel with some greaseless to do some major cutting following sanding.
              You don't stop riding because you get old, you get old because you stop riding


              • #22
                Steel is an entirely different animal when it comes to polishing. Sanding steps are basically the same, it just requires more effort and more time to acheive the smooth satiny finish.

                The initial polish on steel should be a sisal wheel and emory (black) compound. Follow with a tight spiral/brown, then loose/white.

                Don't use greaseless compounds with a sisal wheel. Use a tight spiral wheel and it'll work great.


                • #23
                  Ahaaaa, said the blind man as he picked up his hammer &

                  Which will do more scratch removal, sisal/emery or spiral/greaseless? Also, some say to use this green compound, specifically made for steel, what's the difference between that or going the spiral/tripoli and loose cotton/white route?
                  You don't stop riding because you get old, you get old because you stop riding


                  • #24
                    Hand sanding will go the furthest towards scratch removal. if the tank is kinda battered, I think I'd probably start with 400 greaseless on a tight spiral, get the tank smoothed out with that then dive into the wet-sand with 400 and possibly 600 until scratches are gone.

                    If it's not too bad, dive in with a sisal/emory and see how it comes out. You might have to hand sand a few small areas again, but the sisal/emroy should work pretty well.

                    As for the green, my bad.. I had aluminum on the brain and forgot a step. hehe

                    For steel I do sisal/emory or treated spiral/emery to start, then tight spiral/tripoli, then spiral/green and finish up with loose/white.

                    best way to figure out a method that works for you is to experiment. My way isn't the same as customandsound's or anybody elses, but we all get good results. Trial and error (mostly error when you're first starting out hehe) will get you a good result in the end.


                    • #25
                      from what i found on polishing steel it dose take longer and you can get a nice results from it to ...
                      i sand like i do on alum.. when i get in the wet sanding i use 220 right up to 2500 grit wet at this point you should have a nice shine going .. double stack siprial load it with brown and got 2 pass's in the cut motion and 4 passes in the color motion .... then i triple stack losse cotton and load it with green and do the same . then swithc over to 3 losse 10" load white then hit is til you see that there is a nice shine ... this stage is where i get all the fine little scratches out ... then if you want you can hit it with red it is more less a color compound that bring's out the shine ... give it 3 good coat's of wax buff it anf you got a nice chrome look


                      • #26
                        Mostly error he he

                        You got that right Skiddz I've got a sisal wheel on the way, we'll see how that works for me. It keeps getting better every time I go over it again but like I said before, patience is not a virtue I can claim Really appreciate all the advice guys.
                        You don't stop riding because you get old, you get old because you stop riding


                        • #27
                          Hey, how does carbon steel compare to stainless? Will the recommended buffing compounds be the same for carbon?

                          Success! And about bloody time too. Got my 2 sisal wheels today and that was the ticket. Spiral wheels won't do jack on carbon steel even loaded with emery. I should be posting pics in the next day or two. Just wanted to say thanks to everybody for all the advice given. This board is great.
                          You don't stop riding because you get old, you get old because you stop riding


                          • #28

                            Bottom right corner of the page shows my tank. Thanks for all the advice gentlemen!

                            Okay, why can't I get a picture to post?
                            You don't stop riding because you get old, you get old because you stop riding


                            • #29
                              Pics are easy to post. Just click the "Img" button up top, type in the *EXACT* URL (it's case sensitive!) to the pic and then click the "Img" button again. The pic you want to post has to be out on the web somewhere. (unless you're running some type of web server outta your house - which most ISPs frown upon)

                              The bike looks nice BTW.


                              • #30
                                Thanks Skiddz. Saw some shots of your Banshee from your home site, very nice work on the cases and carb. You crack me up with the 'how to make a 2" sisal from a 6" ' post. Thanks for the tip on posting pix. Still having problems with posting the pic, getting aggravated. I am copying and pasting so I don't see how there can be any errors. Anyway, here is a link to my bike page
                                You don't stop riding because you get old, you get old because you stop riding