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Polishing Aluminum Wheels

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  • Polishing Aluminum Wheels

    Ok, experienced polishers. I will mostly be polishing wheels (auto and big rigs). Also other car/engine parts. What's the best setup?

    Handheld polisher? Drill? I was thinking of a 3/4 hp bench grinder with flex shaft for doing wheels in the shop, but that's not at all portable. What makes the quickest job?

    Any suggestions/tips?

  • #2
    The BEST setup?....see http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/lustre/marlin.html

    It's a beautiful machine.
    --
    Mike Caswell
    Caswell Inc
    http://www.caswellplating.com
    Need Support? Visit our online support section at http://support.caswellplating.com

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    • #3
      Ok, I set myself up for that. It is a beautiful machine ...BUT...
      1. I will be doing this part time.
      2. Cost IS a factor (don't have 12 grand). Would like to spend <$1000.
      3. I also want to be able to polish other parts (engine parts/auto trim/etc).
      Let me be more specifc. For under $1000, what would you (anyone) suggest that I buy to set myself up to be able to polish anything from auto parts/trim to rims to antiques. I'm doing this both as a hobby and source of extra income.

      If you can (I know I'm asking a lot ) be specific about what tools you use to polish certain items. I've done some polishing before, mostly by hand, and that is just too much work for too little result.

      Thanks.

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      • #4
        I expect that for big jobs, most people here are using a handheld buffer with 6" wheels.

        An electric drill works well too, with an arbor adapter and 4" wheels. The smaller wheels make the job go more slowly though.
        --
        Mike Caswell
        Caswell Inc
        http://www.caswellplating.com
        Need Support? Visit our online support section at http://support.caswellplating.com

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        • #5
          Anyone else?

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          • #6
            a variable speed dremel for the small antique parts will work well

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            • #7
              I found a great resource for everyone. It specifically discusses polishing rims. The author is a customer of ours.

              http://www.78ta.com/rims.htm
              --
              Mike Caswell
              Caswell Inc
              http://www.caswellplating.com
              Need Support? Visit our online support section at http://support.caswellplating.com

              Comment


              • #8
                polishing rims is easy once you get the hang of it. Heres one of my own. Please excuse the crappy paint it sucks I know, and I dont have hub caps cause I plan on painting all my rims when it gets warm enough to work on my car outside.But at least the polished part is good.
                This is my 85 Sport Coupe that I have nearly fixed up completly.
                http://www.thirdgen.org/rides/rideimages/ACFmIX2CQ.JPG

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                • #9
                  CamaroMike, what tools/methods do you use for polishing wheels?

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                  • #10
                    I use a air powered die grinder with 120,320 grit sanding rolls and tapered rolls. A da sander with 120,320 grit glue on back sanding disks. I used a bench grinder 3/4 horse I think. Then a 6" sisal polsihing wheel with black grease, then onto a 6" cloth sewn wheel with tripoli grease, and finaly finishing it off with a 6" loose buff.
                    This is my 85 Sport Coupe that I have nearly fixed up completly.
                    http://www.thirdgen.org/rides/rideimages/ACFmIX2CQ.JPG

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                    • #11
                      CamaroMike...you use a bench grinder to polish wheels

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                      • #12
                        This is what I mean
                        This is my 85 Sport Coupe that I have nearly fixed up completly.
                        http://www.thirdgen.org/rides/rideimages/ACFmIX2CQ.JPG

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                        • #13
                          I realize what you meant (a bench grinder with buffing wheels)...I was just wondering if you actually carry the rim and hold it up to the buffer?

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                          • #14
                            Oh yes, I suggest you get a back brace. At first that rim is light but after going over it for a while it gets reall heavy.
                            This is my 85 Sport Coupe that I have nearly fixed up completly.
                            http://www.thirdgen.org/rides/rideimages/ACFmIX2CQ.JPG

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Why not invest in a flexible shaft? I know they're expensive, but it would save the wear and tear on your body.

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