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Old 06-17-2010, 05:27 AM
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Polishing aluminum grill help

I have two aluminum grills that I am trying to polish. I picked up the second because mine was badly damaged and the other was near perfect and only $50. also the second has Dennis Carpenter reproduction headlight doors. Here is my problem, I striped the anodizing off headlight doors with a powder and water solution I bought from the auto fair. I decrumpled and pounded straight the originals, I thought this was going to be the hardest part but with a little time they are near perfect (I was going to throw them in the trash). The originals I started with 120 grit and the re pros 320 grit sand paper in 100 increments and ended with 600 grit. Now to the polish, I used a black emery on a sown cotton wheel on the end of my 4" angle grinder (10,000 rpm) it is starting to shine. Next I use the red rouge on a new cotton wheel its getting dull? Maybe ill try the white and it will be like new again? Didn't happen. The only compound I am getting a shine with is the black emery and a good shine but I still have alot of fine scratches in the surface. I tried using a sander I have that spins at 4700 rpm thinking maybe I was losing all the compound from the wheel but I get no shine at all with it. Also the re pro doors are getting almost no shine as opposed to the originals came to a shine pretty quick. What am I doing wrong?

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Old 06-17-2010, 05:45 AM
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Polishing aluminum grill help

I have two aluminum grills that I am trying to polish. I picked up the second because mine was badly damaged and the other was near perfect and only $50. also the second has Dennis Carpenter reproduction headlight doors. Here is my problem, I striped the anodizing off headlight doors with a powder and water solution I bought from the auto fair. I decrumpled and pounded straight the originals, I thought this was going to be the hardest part but with a little time they are near perfect (I was going to throw them in the trash). The originals I started with 120 grit and the re pros 320 grit sand paper in 100 increments and ended with 600 grit. Now to the polish, I used a black emery on a sown cotton wheel on the end of my 4" angle grinder (10,000 rpm) it is starting to shine. Next I use the red rouge on a new cotton wheel its getting dull? Maybe ill try the white and it will be like new again? Didn't happen. The only compound I am getting a shine with is the black emery and a good shine but I still have alot of fine scratches in the surface. I tried using a sander I have that spins at 4700 rpm thinking maybe I was losing all the compound from the wheel but I get no shine at all with it. Also the re pro doors are getting almost no shine as opposed to the originals came to a shine pretty quick. What am I doing wrong?
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:52 AM
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the (deeper) scratches may have already been there from rocks etc and/or you didn't go fine enough grit when sanding before final polishing...

simple trick:
get a can of Walmart $.99 flat black spray paint and mist on just enough to make a color contrast guide coat to show up the scratches when you do sand....
(don't use name brand rattle can,,,you want "junk" paint so it will sand off clean/easy)
second reason to use it is to insure you didn't miss any spots....
(my eye's are failing so I guide coat on each sanding step for no "re-do")

that is pretty "hard" Aluminum so I would go to atleast 800 and 1500 wet/dry paper using it wet and then some white Turtle wax compound...
by sanding wet you will see what the final results can/will be as you go finer and finer on the grits!!!
then hit it with your final "buffing" compounds...

Last edited by red65mustang; 06-17-2010 at 05:58 AM.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:35 AM
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Might try Mothers alum. polish and the power ball polisher sold at your local parts store. i have even gone to the local truck wash like BLUE BEACON
when they are slow on business and have them fire it up with aluminum brightener. They use it on fuel tanks and rims on the semi's and usualy makes a good shine. Once you remove the protective coating on aluminum they are susceptible to corrosion and will turn dull in a short time from road grime and salt solution from the winter time when they spray their salt and beet juice all over the road. hope this helps!
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:59 AM
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Here's a good site for polishing ? Lots of info here!! They have a forum, too!

http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/buffman.htm

Last edited by evolvo; 06-17-2010 at 11:26 AM.
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