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need help with mirror finish

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  • need help with mirror finish

    I purchased a sisal wheel with black compound, spiral wheel with brown compound, and a loose wheel with white compound. I use a sheet of 6061 aluminum and make brackets for auto and bike. I am trying to buff them up to a mirror finish and I seem to have a few probs no matter how hard I try I always see to have VERY FINE scratches/lines. I have tried heating the piece up with a torch with no luck. I don't add very much compound so I know I am not overdoing that. The piece is very shinney its just the scratches. Before I bought this stuff from caswell I was using a 6inch spiral wheel on my craftsman 6in 1/3 hp 3450 rpm grinder and everything was great. Now I have a 8in 3/4 hp 3450 rpm no load amps 3 buffing amps 5 grinder from norther tool (their brand) and 8 in wheels. I am going to see if i can pick up a 6in spiral wheel from home depot to test with. All of my probs are with the loose wheel. Anyway here are my questions...

    1. How do I keep from getting these scratches in my parts or remove them??

    2. Why is it that when I try to wipe the part down with a old towel or cheese cloth or underwear I make even more scratches? and have to rebuff to get them out.

    3. Is it possible to get my pieces looking like a mirror zero flaws?

    4. The scratches seem less when I apply very little pressure is this normal??

    I just want a mirror finish

    I made a custom grill for my 65 stang out of 1/2" aluminum bars that i buffed up and they look perfect is a 6in wheel the ticket for me

  • #2
    The white compound is a cutting/color compound, and I suspect THAT is your problem. Just finish with the brown compound on the loose wheel. Make sure the wheel is CLEAN first. (rake it)

    Alternatively, use us Canton Flannel wheel and a blue compound.
    Mike Caswell
    Caswell Inc
    Need Support? Visit our online support section at


    • #3
      and make sure you keep your unused wheels/compounds boxed up or otherwise sealed away from the flying black crud to avoid cross contamination..

      Just sounds like your loose wheel is kinda dirty or the part isn't clean between steps. I use a sponge, and a 50:50 mix of Castrol Super Clean and HOT water to clean between steps. Sometimes I'll use alcohol based brake parts cleaner as well.

      I always dry parts with a chamois cloth..

      Good luck!


      • #4
        You might try a couple of things. First make sure you clean the metal really good before the final buffing, use a new clean cotton buff (the ones that are not sewn together made from cotton) and make yourself something to rake the buff before applying the compound (drive some nails thru a piece of wood and use the nail points to rake the cotton buff before applying the compound as it breaks up and fluffs the outside edge of the buff). Use a light pressure. It looks like you have either dirt or maybe some metal from an earlier buffing stuck in your buffing wheel and that is where you are getting the scratches. Aluminum is soft so it scratches very easy. Never use the same buffing wheel for all the buffing especially the final buff. For all the metals that I do...I take it to a final sanding using 1000 grit paper, then comes the polish.

        Hope this might help you


        • #5
          clean with simple green and hot water .. wear rubber glove's change for each compound and rake the buff's out til they are fluffy