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Need help polishing aluminum tanks

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  • Need help polishing aluminum tanks


    Just got my Brown and white compound from Caswell.

    I've got 3 25 foot long aluminum pontoons (like semi gas tanks) that need compounding and polishing. I'm using a variable speed commercial B&D angle buffer with a wool pad. I've used this in the past with rubbing compound with pretty good success.

    This time I thought I'd buy the correct professional compound to do the job.

    My problem is this, I can't get any of the brown cutting compond to adhere to the wool pad, nor will it stick to the aluminum tank. This stuff is so dry it won't stick to anything. I managed to get a bit on the pad and to shine a bit, but this can't be right. I thought that this cutting compound should be a bit greasy in order to stick the bonnet or work surface.

    What am I doing wrong here?

    Does the stick of compound need to be a certain temperature?

    Thanks guys


  • #2
    Re: Need help polishing aluminum tanks

    the bars you got are for use with buffing wheels, not polishing bonnets. if you have a right angle buffer, and the spindle is 5/8-11 threads then you should look at getting this adapter.

    and some spiral sewn wheels as well as some loose cotton wheels. at least 1 of each. the size will be determined by the speed of your buffer. let me know and i can recommend better what to get. the problem with wool bonnets is they are not turning fast enough on the side you use. but on a wheel you use the face or outer diameter so the surface speed is greater. this will cause more heat when applying the compound thus melting it to the wheel. give me info on your buffer and i can get you going in the right direction since i use a combo like that often.
    when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
    G2 Polishing and Powdercoating


    • #3
      Re: Need help polishing aluminum tanks

      Hi and thank you,

      In my case, I have approx. 300 - 350 square feet of flat surface area to compound and polish so a buffing wheel really would not be to practicle.

      I had an idea after reading your post. I spead up the buffer and I am now almost achieving results that I was looking for. Still a bit of clouding. The higher speed is now allowing the bar to melt somewhat, maybe not as much as it should but its much better now.

      I had the buffer at 1000 rpms and now increased it to 2400rpm. Should I speed it up or slow it down?

      The buffer I'm using is a commercial black and decker buffmaster 6138

      I think maybe they sent me the wrong tripoli compound. This is what I asked for what they sent me was BRBC7

      Thanks for the help.
      Last edited by GNXGuy; 03-15-2006, 04:07 PM.


      • #4
        Re: Need help polishing aluminum tanks

        if you can go a little faster it should help the clouding. as for the tripoli bar i see what you mean. i would reorder the other and see if it helps or better yet if the part is badly oxidized or real dull try some emory first then use the tripoli you have.
        when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
        G2 Polishing and Powdercoating


        • #5
          Re: Need help polishing aluminum tanks

          I use that T-12 compound all the time,& find it to be real well.Did you try acid washing the work first?
          Also I would buf with a yellow vented airway wheel,,10" and turn the speed up to 3000 rpm
          We Dazzle With Brilliance


          • #6
            Re: Need help polishing aluminum tanks

            I have tried all of the above w/o much luck. I even tried to use a 1600rpm drill w/wool pad. Can not generate enough heat to melt the bars. (Brown, White or Black)) Is there any other safe way to melt the bars?

            From the little transfer of material to the pontoons the resultes are great but Oh so slow.


            Never an X!