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  • Need help polishing my wheels: PLEASE!

    I am a total newbie to polishing, but I've done a lot of research and need help before I take the final plunge purchasing a few products.

    I want to fully polish my entire rims. I bought these rims used and paid $300 for a shop to paint strip the wheels and polish the outer lips. They wanted another $600 to polish the whole thing, so now I want to attempt this myself. I have ZERO tools, so now is a good excuse for me to go buy some.

    Is there anything else I need besides Caswell's Aluminum and Copper Alloy Kit? Can you guys recommend a good drill I can attach this stuff to?

    http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/alpolkit.htm
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Need help polishing my wheels: PLEASE!

    Holy ****, I'm not charging enough...

    Anyhow, if that's sandcast-like surface, afraid you're gonna have to do some sanding - start with 220, then drop to 120 if that's too slow, then back to 220/320, maybe 400 or 600. Then start in with your kit.

    If that's a smooth but coated surface, you just need to strip it and then use the kit.

    When I started out I tried using a cheap electric drill but almost burnt it up immediately. So, get a heavy-duty commercial drill or right-angle sander/polisher. Or, an air-powered drill if you have a compressor.

    The real experts will be along shortly to help you further I'm sure...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Need help polishing my wheels: PLEASE!

      Originally posted by mpierich
      Holy ****, I'm not charging enough...
      Anyhow, if that's sandcast-like surface, afraid you're gonna have to do some sanding - start with 220, then drop to 120 if that's too slow, then back to 220/320, maybe 400 or 600. Then start in with your kit.
      If that's a smooth but coated surface, you just need to strip it and then use the kit.
      When I started out I tried using a cheap electric drill but almost burnt it up immediately. So, get a heavy-duty commercial drill or right-angle sander/polisher. Or, an air-powered drill if you have a compressor.
      The real experts will be along shortly to help you further I'm sure...
      this forum is great! i think i stumbled upon a new hobby. stuff like this will keep me in the garage and away from housework (especially painting). i'm definitely going to buy the kit, but was thinking of adding "Flitz" for the final polishing. just want to order everything in one shot to save on shipping.

      LOL... I guessed I got ripped off?!?! oh well... live and learn.
      The surface you described is definitely sandcast. I'm assuming I should use some sort of sanding block for the 220 and not the drill, right? Also, how much for a quality drill at Home Depot or Lowes? Are we talking about less than a hundred or a than $200?
      Last edited by EazyM3; 01-26-2006, 04:45 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Need help polishing my wheels: PLEASE!

        Originally posted by EazyM3
        , but was thinking of adding "Flitz" for the final polishing. just want to order everything in one shot to save on shipping.

        LOL... I guessed I got ripped off?!?! oh well... live and learn.
        The surface you described is definitely sandcast. I'm assuming I should use some sort of sanding block for the 220 and not the drill, right? Also, how much for a quality drill at Home Depot or Lowes? Are we talking about less than a hundred or a than $200?
        flitz is a good finish product. as for ripped off, if it was for 4 wheels its high but not out of site. i would normally charge from 120-250 per wheel depending on the condition and state of finish desired. as for drills you can get anything from under 60-200, just get the highest amp motor with the highest speed possible. another choice that has been working for me is a 4.5" angle grinder with this adapter http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/grinderadapter.html
        this and 6" wheels will work great but be careful as it will grab and do more damage than good.
        dont let mpierich fool you either he is a very experienced metal man with a lot of great advise and wisdom to share. best of luck bro and dont hesitate to ask questions.
        when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
        G2 Polishing and Powdercoating

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Need help polishing my wheels: PLEASE!

          Originally posted by pickleboy
          flitz is a good finish product. as for ripped off, if it was for 4 wheels its high but not out of site. i would normally charge from 120-250 per wheel depending on the condition and state of finish desired. as for drills you can get anything from under 60-200, just get the highest amp motor with the highest speed possible. another choice that has been working for me is a 4.5" angle grinder with this adapter http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/grinderadapter.html
          this and 6" wheels will work great but be careful as it will grab and do more damage than good.
          dont let mpierich fool you either he is a very experienced metal man with a lot of great advise and wisdom to share. best of luck bro and dont hesitate to ask questions.
          i've read some of your posts regarding aluminum wheels, and you suggested to only sand up to 800 and then start with a spiral wheel with emory (and stay away from sisal wheels). Should I wet sand up to 800 with just some soap and water by hand?

          Then you said to, "degrease fully and move to loose/white." What does that mean? I have no clue what you're talking about there.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Need help polishing my wheels: PLEASE!

            Originally posted by EazyM3
            i've read some of your posts regarding aluminum wheels, and you suggested to only sand up to 800 and then start with a spiral wheel with emory (and stay away from sisal wheels). Should I wet sand up to 800 with just some soap and water by hand?

            Then you said to, "degrease fully and move to loose/white." What does that mean? I have no clue what you're talking about there.
            as i have said before i dont use sisal on cast aluminum, actually i dont use sisal on any aluminum, i feel it is to rough. i start out by sanding to 320 dry. usually with an electric da palm sander and a light touch. then i move to 400 wet sanding. this is done by hand unless you have a good compressor and an air da sander. most of the time this is enough to get started. i would at this point start off with a spiral sewn wheel and the black emory bar. if this does not start to shine fairly quickly and remove the swirls from wet sanding then you can sand to 600 or 800 wet with a small amount of dish soap. then back to the wheel and emory. i for the most part dont use tripoli either. after you get a good shine started with the emory bar, i would switch from a cut and color motion to a side to side motion with the wheel. at this point you should have about as good a shine as you will get from this combo. then you should degrease/ clean all the black residue off the wheel with a good hot soapy water or brake clean in the aerosol can. then i move to a new spiral wheel and white bar. this will make the shine come alive. then if needed move to a loose cotton wheel and the white bar. after that its time for the flitz. hope this clears some things up for you. if you need any more help be sure to ask. there is a goldmine of info on this board so dont be shy with the questions.
            when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
            G2 Polishing and Powdercoating

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Need help polishing my wheels: PLEASE!

              Originally posted by EazyM3
              ...LOL... I guessed I got ripped off?!?! oh well... live and learn.
              Prolly not ripped off...you just didn't find one of us who do it for cheap whilst learning the art.

              Originally posted by EazyM3
              ...The surface you described is definitely sandcast. I'm assuming I should use some sort of sanding block for the 220 and not the drill, right? Also, how much for a quality drill at Home Depot or Lowes? Are we talking about less than a hundred or a than $200?
              Well, if you got a lot of time of your hands and decent forearms, a rubber sanding block will work well. Or, greaseless compound on a 4" wheel.

              Keep reading old posts...anything that applies to aluminum will apply to your wheels.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Need help polishing my wheels: PLEASE!

                i just picked up a RIGID 7000 from Home Depot. It has a 6.5 amp and says it can do 2,500 RPM. Is this sufficient enough to polish 4 wheels?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Need help polishing my wheels: PLEASE!

                  Originally posted by EazyM3
                  i just picked up a RIGID 7000 from Home Depot. It has a 6.5 amp and says it can do 2,500 RPM. Is this sufficient enough to polish 4 wheels?
                  that drill will give you 2500 surface feet per minute with 4" wheels. generally speaking this is to slow but with the right sanding job and a good "touch" you should be able to get them to shine well. be prepared to spend between 2-4 hrs per wheel for the entire process. best of luck and be sure to ask if you have more questions.
                  when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
                  G2 Polishing and Powdercoating

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Need help polishing my wheels: PLEASE!

                    Originally posted by pickleboy
                    that drill will give you 2500 surface feet per minute with 4" wheels. generally speaking this is to slow but with the right sanding job and a good "touch" you should be able to get them to shine well. be prepared to spend between 2-4 hrs per wheel for the entire process. best of luck and be sure to ask if you have more questions.
                    okay, maybe i'll return it and get the RIGID 7100 (3000 RPM and 9 amps) for $60 more...

                    Anyways, here's what I bought so far:

                    Black, Brown, and White buffing compounds
                    Greaseless Compound Kit (80, 120, 180, and 240)
                    Flitz Metal Polish (liquid)
                    VHT Clear Coat
                    6 Spiral Sewn Wheels
                    2 Loose Cotton Wheels
                    1 Medium Mushroom Buff
                    1 Small Mushroom Buff
                    Assorted Felt Bob Kit
                    Arbor Adapter

                    I realize this is a lil' overkill for my wheel project, but I'm already lining up polishing my alternator next. Did I miss anything crucial? I hope not, because I just ordered a few minutes ago....

                    BTW, the surface is really really textured so I also ended up buying some 120 and 220 grit sandpaper at Home Depot during lunch. Tonight, I'll try to go from 320, but if not, I guess I'll just start from 120 using a rubber sanding block and then transition to wet when I hit 400. Am I losing any quality doing the primary sanding by hand, rather than using the greaseless compounds and drill
                    Last edited by EazyM3; 01-27-2006, 07:33 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Need help polishing my wheels: PLEASE!

                      the list looks like you got most every thing you need. i would also gat some soft cloth wipes from somewhere for when you use the flitz and for cleaning between steps. the drill you want to upgrad to will work better for the extra money. i would also get some scrap aluminum form somewhere to practice the greaseless with before tackling your wheels. that way you will have some time to learn how to work it.
                      when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
                      G2 Polishing and Powdercoating

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Need help polishing my wheels: PLEASE!

                        will this tool work better for $99

                        http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS...4+3966&pos=n24

                        can i use that 5/8" adapter from Caswell's for this? It's 10,000 RPM and 8.5 amps?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Need help polishing my wheels: PLEASE!

                          Too many RPM's. A router would be hard to handle also.
                          SS

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Need help polishing my wheels: PLEASE!

                            okay, i'm probably just going to upgrade my drill to the 9 amp/3000 RPM one. anyways, i 80% completed sanding down the first rim with 150 grit paper. i actually started at 220, but 150 seemed more appropriate.

                            when sanding with 150 grit by hand, is it supposed to look all scratched up like this? here's a side by side comparison...

                            also, should i just wait for my Caswell supplies to get here rather than sanding by hand up to 600? would i get the same quality using a drill and greaseless compounds?
                            Attached Files

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Need help polishing my wheels: PLEASE!

                              Originally posted by EazyM3
                              i actually started at 220, but 150 seemed more appropriate.

                              when sanding with 150 grit by hand, is it supposed to look all scratched up like this? here's a side by side comparison...

                              also, should i just wait for my Caswell supplies to get here rather than sanding by hand up to 600? would i get the same quality using a drill and greaseless compounds?
                              you have to be the judge as to where to start. i always start at 220 then move back if needed. if you start to coarse you will add more work.
                              as for the scratches yes it will look bad at first but each new grit will get better. i would wait for the greaseless as it will save a good bit of hand sanding. since you started on one you may want to finish it by hand while you wait for the supplies. this will give you an appreciation for the power buffing. also if you have not read it yet i highly suggest that you read through the caswell buffing manual located here
                              http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/buffman.htm
                              this will give you some good info on this project in general also look through this sticky thread.
                              http://forum.caswellplating.com/show...inear#post7212
                              look at post #'s 1-4
                              when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
                              G2 Polishing and Powdercoating

                              Comment

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