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How do I get a mirror finish on Aluminum

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  • How do I get a mirror finish on Aluminum

    I'm trying to make an aluminum accent piece for the rear fender of my motorcycle to replace the passenger seat I removed. I'm using alum sheet, .040 thick, and I'm at my wits end trying to achieve a mirror finish on it. I've followed directions, as far as I know.
    I used sisal with black emory then brown tripoli, then on to a spiral sewn with white, and lastly, loose cotton with white. There's a very good shine, but fine scratches appear under light.
    I must mention that I'm using a drill with 4" wheels. Am I missing something? I've tried wetting the piece and using corn starch with loose cotton, but it didn't help.
    Does anyone know how I can make these fine scratches disappear?

  • #2
    OK, to help my problem, I just ordered 6" spiral sewn and loose cotton wheels, as well as Caswell's white compound. Maybe the additional speed of a larger wheel on the drill will help erase the fine scratches I have.


    • #3
      finish on aluminum

      important things to remember. when you pull the piece against the rotation of the driill, or if it's turning away from you and you pull it closer to you, you are cutting. When you let the drill drift with the work you are coloring
      when doing your final cuts try going across the grain oif the metal and then with it. If you think of the mtns and valleys idea, you have to smooth out all sides of the mtns. its tricky and take s certain amouont of finesse. Sheet aluminum is also harder to polish out than a small piece of billet. Even so, baluminium will never look just like chrome, its a different color, a softer one if you will. If i was you, I wouold get a pice of stainless 18 g to make that part (not sure how big it is) and polish that., here is a link to a piece I made
      out of stainless

      this puicture shows polished fork tubes below chrome uppers, just isn't the same, the wheel is polished as well

      good luck!!!


      • #4
        sheet alum. is the simplest metal to polish ...

        i would order th complet kit from caswell and read the buff man manual

        and before you know it you will be right where ou want .. i polshed so many part's metal's plastic and car's i can do it with my eyes closed ..