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Old 07-04-2003, 10:01 PM
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polishing aluminum

After fabricating aluminum pieces out of mill finished aluminum, what are the steps and supplies required to polish them. Searched knowledge base and only found how to polish parts(wheels) that had prior ploishing. That I do know how to do. Thanks for your help.

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Old 07-05-2003, 12:11 AM
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Polishing aluminum is easy. For a nice mirror shine you must have a smooth surface. Your mill finished aluminum is it roof to the tuch like a sand casting or feel like dirty glass?

if it is ruff you will need to start out with 100 grit sand paper with a DA. Not taking alot of metal just nocking down the high spots.

then go with 220 w/ DA

If it is smoth like dirty glass start with 220 grit with a DA

Then 400 grit with the DA just removing the sand marks from the previous sanding.

Now you will need to put some elbow grease into with wet sanding. Use small circular strokes and not alot of presure Like rubbing lotion on a baby. Using running water over the part you are sanding/polishing with wet or dry paper. If you see scratches from the previous grit keep working it until they are gone.

Start wet sanding with 600 removing the sanding marks with each new grit.

Work your way with 1000, 1500

You should start seeing a shine now. when done with the 1500 get some polishing compound not wax, found in the auto section at you local department store. I like the kind that is for removing scratchs from auto paints. Rub this in untill it dries then buff with soft cloth. I use cloth baby diapers.
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Old 07-05-2003, 06:52 AM
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There is several ways to get there.

I sand mine smooth with 320 wet,then go to the buffer, a cloth polishing wheel on the bench grinder, use two steps of compound,it polishes fast,looks like chrome. Be sure and wear safety glasses and breathing filter also gloves as there is lots of heat.You have to be very careful,the cloth wheel will grab it.You can also use small buff pads and cones on a diegrinder.or a drimel tool. HTH.

Good Luck
Troy,
69s forever.
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Old 07-05-2003, 09:31 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Will be trying this out soon!
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Old 07-05-2003, 09:22 PM
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Although Camaro's proceedure will work, it is alot of work. I am lazy and prefer to use tools to do the hard work. Using buffing wheels like Troy said is alot easier. They do cause alot of heat, and throw around alot of fine metal dust. Safety equipment is a must.
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Old 07-06-2003, 01:08 AM
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Becareful not to generate to much heat or you clould warp your panels.

Like Troy said there are many ways to polish, try several and use the one you like.

Rocky
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