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  • stainless trim polishing taking forever..

    i am restoring a 63 lincoln with miles of stainless..
    ive been working on the smaller parts first using a da sander with grits from 320 to 1500 then move to a spiral wheel with emery..
    problem is the wheel takes forever to get the sandpaper scratches out...i could spend 2 hours on a 2 foot long trim piece and it still wont be perfect..

    heres my pile of homework..minus two 4" x 5 foot rocker panels..and fender trim..

    i just ordered the sisal wheel and the f515-6154 and f515-6147 compounds should this solve my problems??...


    i was also wondering about this thread...could it possibly be that easy to remove the chrome/chromium plating that it on these lincolns..i just cant believe a chemical could remove the outer plating without harming the stainless underneath..right now i am sanding off the outer layer and that step actually doesnt take too long with 320 on the da sander..but still am looking for an easier route if possible..
    http://forum.caswellplating.com/showthread.php?t=3562
    Last edited by blacklincoln; 03-15-2006, 01:59 AM.

  • #2
    Re: stainless trim polishing taking forever..

    First off I believe you're taking the sanding way beyond what's needed. Up to 600 should be plenty.

    As far as the scratches coming out with the emery, there shouldn't be any to take out, especially if you're taking it to 1500! You don't say what the steps are, but if there are any gaps greater than 100, you may be missing a grit. Also, in my experience 320 is rather puny if there are actual scratches to remove in the first place. It is possible you're not getting them out from the get-go, and they just show up when hit with the emery.

    I got very nice mirrored results recently on a piece of Corvette trim using 120/220/320/400/emery-sisal/white-spiral. Sometimes green works better than the white.

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    • #3
      Re: stainless trim polishing taking forever..

      my stainless trim must be harder than most..if i stopped at 600 grit i would be buffing into eternity..
      to test myself i even resanded a shiny piece with 1500 and tried to buff out the scratches and it still took a few minutes..
      i ordered a sisal wheel like i said earlier i hope it will speed things up..

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: stainless trim polishing taking forever..

        i would also recommend the extra fast cut s.s. compound bar that caswell offers i just did a s.s. tool box this past weekend and sisal and that bar worked wonders. i will post pics tomorrow
        when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
        G2 Polishing and Powdercoating

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        • #5
          Re: stainless trim polishing taking forever..

          A couple of things:

          Spiral sewn wheels aren't manly enough to use for the first stage of buffing on stainless. That's a guaranteed time extender. You're headed in the right direction by having ordered sisal wheels.

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          I've found that the amount of compound that I use and the duration of time that I allow to pass before replenishing the wheel with compound is apples and oranges between aluminum and stainless. With stainless, I replenish the wheel every 10 seconds. Yes, every...ten...seconds. Only viable explanation that I've been able to come up with as to why compound lasts longer in between replenishing sessions on aluminum is that aluminum is excellent at dispersing heat. Stainless on the other hand is a good reflector of heat. (Which is why it's such a popular choice for exhaust components: holds heat inside pipes better.) Heat is what consumes compound, so it seems logical that the compound is going to get burned up quicker by the part that reflects the heat back at it vs. the part that the heat "flows" through.

          --------------------------------------------------------------------------

          What are you using for power on your buffing wheels? What size wheels are you using? You're going to have a significantly harder time buffing out scratches if you're using a die grinder/electric drill and a 4" wheel as opposed to a bench grinder and an 8" or 10" wheel. I have Caswell's 2hp buffing machine, (from when they used to still sell it), and I have to say that judging by the effort that I've had to put into polishing stainless using THAT motor, using anything less than at least a 3/4hp motor would take a certified miracle to make the finish come out right. Stainless likes to be LEANED on, if you get my drift.

          --------------------------------------------------------------------------

          In my personal experience with stainless, I've had the highest degree of success by using 3 wheels instead of two: sisal/black, spiral/white, loose/white. You can achieve excellent optical clarity from a head on viewpoint with the spiral/white, but it still seems to leave that "halo effect" you get from looking at the metal from an angle and focusing on the point where light hits it. Loose/white seems to help in minimizing this.
          "Some people are like sandpaper: they may delight in the misery they inflict by rubbing up against you, but in the end you will come out smooth and polished while they'll just be ugly, wrinkled, and used up." - Beyonce Knowles

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: stainless trim polishing taking forever..

            Originally posted by thesound

            In my personal experience with stainless, I've had the highest degree of success by using 3 wheels instead of two: sisal/black, spiral/white, loose/white. You can achieve excellent optical clarity from a head on viewpoint with the spiral/white, but it still seems to leave that "halo effect" you get from looking at the metal from an angle and focusing on the point where light hits it. Loose/white seems to help in minimizing this.
            That's my usual routine on stainless too, but don't rule out the green...on some alloys it does work better than white.

            I wish I got more stainless to do, certainly less trouble than aluminum which is like buffing lead sometimes in comaprison, lol...

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            • #7
              Re: stainless trim polishing taking forever..

              What are you using for power on your buffing wheels?
              i have a delta 1/2 hp with a ten inch buff...i put three 1/2 inch wide buffs together..it doesnt seem to slow the motor but maybe im not pushing hard enough..

              i appreciate your feedback..

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: stainless trim polishing taking forever..

                thanks for the advice on loading the wheel often and applying a lot of pressure..things are going faster now even though i havent received the sisal wheel yet..i got two pieces done in under three hours..its not gonna break any records but its faster than i was going before and the finished result it what im after..the pieces look really nice..

                speaking of.... i almost chickened out on my rockers and 4 foot pieces and went and got a quote for 900.00 to get them all done (6 pieces total)
                luckily i asked to see some of their polished work and it looked no where near as nice as the finish on the ones ive done myself..
                i grabbed my pieces and left home to prepare myself for a stiff neck coming this month from too much buffin time...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: stainless trim polishing taking forever..

                  Originally posted by blacklincoln
                  ...got a quote for 900.00 to get them all done (6 pieces total) luckily i asked to see some of their polished work and it looked no where near as nice as the finish on the ones ive done myself..
                  Jeeze, I'm not charging near enough...

                  Glad it's going better for you.

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                  • #10
                    Re: stainless trim polishing taking forever..

                    Jeeze, I'm not charging near enough...
                    whats your shipping address..ill send you the pieces then..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: stainless trim polishing taking forever..

                      Originally posted by blacklincoln
                      thanks for the advice on loading the wheel often and applying a lot of pressure..things are going faster now even though i havent received the sisal wheel yet..i got two pieces done in under three hours..its not gonna break any records but its faster than i was going before and the finished result it what im after..the pieces look really nice..

                      speaking of.... i almost chickened out on my rockers and 4 foot pieces and went and got a quote for 900.00 to get them all done (6 pieces total)
                      luckily i asked to see some of their polished work and it looked no where near as nice as the finish on the ones ive done myself..
                      i grabbed my pieces and left home to prepare myself for a stiff neck coming this month from too much buffin time...
                      I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with how much easier sisal wheels will make your scratch removing process. As far as how much you were quoted: that's just straight up highway robbery. Reason I say this is because if you do this long enough to get a wide variety of different parts under your belt, you'll eventually come to appreciate any occasion where the parts that you get are nice nice and flat, and a-symmetrical. People who do polishing for a living PRAY to get parts like this: they're easy. The guy who gave you that quote was either: A-extremely proud of himself, or B-already had his bills taken care of for the month so he figured he could afford to roll the dice. Either way, once you get your stuff done you can silently bask in the glory of the idea: "I just did at LEAST $900 worth of work here. Go me."
                      "Some people are like sandpaper: they may delight in the misery they inflict by rubbing up against you, but in the end you will come out smooth and polished while they'll just be ugly, wrinkled, and used up." - Beyonce Knowles

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: stainless trim polishing taking forever..

                        Originally posted by thesound
                        I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with how much easier sisal wheels will make your scratch removing process. As far as how much you were quoted: that's just straight up highway robbery. Reason I say this is because if you do this long enough to get a wide variety of different parts under your belt, you'll eventually come to appreciate any occasion where the parts that you get are nice nice and flat, and a-symmetrical. People who do polishing for a living PRAY to get parts like this: they're easy. The guy who gave you that quote was either: A-extremely proud of himself, or B-already had his bills taken care of for the month so he figured he could afford to roll the dice. Either way, once you get your stuff done you can silently bask in the glory of the idea: "I just did at LEAST $900 worth of work here. Go me."
                        When I was starting out, I did an intake plenum that had a lot of flat surfaces. You're right, they are easier to work on, but they had better be good because everything shows up. Well, I couldn't get them perfect but charged the guy accordingly, and he was most understanding. When he called a big "professional" shop they wanted to charge him another $750 because it had "already been worked on" - all they had to do was to color it up properly - I already had it level and scratch-free. Robbery.

                        I've been jacking up my prices just to get some time off...it's working beautifully, lol...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: stainless trim polishing taking forever..

                          i feel for you guys who do this for a living...
                          its definitely a dirty job..lol

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: stainless trim polishing taking forever..

                            hehehe thats why its called the "black art"
                            when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
                            G2 Polishing and Powdercoating

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: stainless trim polishing taking forever..

                              man im so glad i found this forum..you guys are life savers..i would have buffed myself into eternity..

                              the fist thing i was clueless on was that my stainless is chrome plated which was taking me tons of time and sand paper to get through..thanks to the advice on the muriatic acid stripping (which works great by the way) i can get straight buffing the stainless now..

                              the second thing was the sisal wheel...night and day difference..and you guys were exactly right no need to go higher than 800 on the paper..

                              also thanks to caswell products their compounds work great..(i ordered the super black and white) i can believe how the white cuts and polishes so fast and the result is super bright..to top it all off the sticks were gigantic and should last me forever...lol

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