How-To: Polish aluminum

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BlackRoseRacing
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How-To: Polish aluminum

Post by BlackRoseRacing » Fri Apr 22, 2005 6:20 am

Buff & Polish Metal--

The list of tools/equipment needed and a step by step how to polish your Throttle Body... A good reference video on the "how to polish" can be purchased from Eastwood. I use Craftsman and Eastwood Tools, and all Eastwood buffing wheels & compounds 1

A 1.5 hp Craftsman 8 inch buffer (3450 rpm), a .5 hp variable speed craftsman grinder 6 inch (2000-3450rpm) with an expander sanding wheel from Eastwood, a craftsman dremmel, a Craftsman detail sander, Craftsman palm sander, and a good pair of gloves are needed.

The Compounds and Wheels Needed--

There are 3 main compounds needed for buffing. (There are other compounds for plastic, non stainless & aluminum metals)
1. Tripoli compound, which will have a slight cutting ability used for aluminum.
2. Stainless compound, which will also have a slight cutting ability used on stainless steel.
3. White Rouge compound, which has no cutting ability and polishes either aluminum or stainless to a brilliant shine. Again, White Rouge only polishes no smoothing / cutting ability.

Buffing Wheels

There are 2 main types of buffing wheels needed. Each wheel must only have 1 type of compound on it, never mix compounds on the same wheel.

1. A spiral sewn buffing wheel, used for Tripoli or Stainless compound.
2. A loose wheel, used for White Rouge compound. The size of the wheel depends on the application. The 8 inch wheel (spiral or loose) is for the buffer and fairly large metal pieces. They make 1 inch wheels for the dremmel as well as other small buffing attachments for tough to reach areas.

Sanding Materials/Paper...

There are several types of sand paper needed. I mainly use the 6 inch Eastwood expander wheel to sand with. Then I will use the detail sander, palm sander, and sanding accessories for the dremmel for tight areas.
1. Eastwood Expander Wheel – 220, 400, 700, 1200 grit belt wheels.
2. Detail Sander – 400grit.
3. Palm Sander – 400grit.
4. Dremmel – 220 grit drum sander. Getting started on the Throttle Body... Make sure the part being polished is at room temperature along with the buffing area. This will allow the compound to flow evenly on the part being polished.

Step 1. Sand the entire TB. I used 400 grit belt then finishing with a 700 grit belt. Do not exceed 2000 rpm using the variable speed Craftsman 6in grinder and the Eastwood Expander wheel. Use the 400 grit belt to sand off any casting marks and rough areas. Then use the 700 grit belt to sand the TB perfectly smooth. Note: Sanding is an art; make sure there are no low and high spots especially on larger flat surfaced parts. If there are it will show and have poor reflective properties. After using the expander wheel, use the detail sander and dremmel for the tight areas. This is a very important step, if it is not smooth like glass it will not shine like a mirror. A shiny rough surface looks bad and has a poor reflection.

Step 2. Then use the 8 inch spiral wheel on the 1.5 hp 3450 Craftsman buffer with Tripoli compound. The Tripoli compound will smooth any sanding marks to make the surface smoother. Remember, Tripoli has some cutting/smoothing ability to remove small scratches. For the tight spots use the dremmel and a 1 inch spiral wheel and a cone attachment with the Tripoli compound. This is where 75% of the buffing takes place.

Step 3. After you are done with step 2, you may need to re-sand if there are marks left after buffing with the Tripoli Compound. Remember smooth = great shine.

Step 4. Then use the 8 inch loose wheel on the 1.5 hp 3450 rpm craftsman buffer with White Rouge compound. The White Rouge compound does not have any cutting ability. Remember, White Rouge will only shine the metal. For the tight spots use the dremmel and a 1 inch loose wheel and a cone attachment with the White Rouge compound. After completing step 4, the part should shine like chrome. Reminders & Tips:
1. The metal you are buffing must be warm to the touch or the compound will collect on it.
2. Also, use lacquer thinner to clean the part to remove the excess compound in the cracks after you are complete.
3. Do not mix compounds on the same wheel.
4. Use a metal polish such as Blue Magic Metal Polish 2 to maintain the shine.
5. Remember, you can shine a rough surface but the reflection will not be as good as a smooth surface. Basically for Stainless parts substitute Stainless Compound for the Tripoli Compound and use the same steps above.

JC
- Mission, TX
East wood company ->>http://www.eastwoodco.com/jump.jsp?item ... itemID=432
Blue Majic ->>>>http://www.autobarn.net/ch200.html
Last edited by BlackRoseRacing on Fri Nov 17, 2006 6:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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stratton08
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Post by stratton08 » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:36 pm

good write up...have any pics?...i plan on doing it to my wheels got any tips?
2004 Dodge SX 2.0 R/T

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BlackRoseRacing
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Posts: 12666
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2004 8:58 am
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Post by BlackRoseRacing » Fri Nov 17, 2006 6:19 am

This was an internet topic I found a while back, I have no pics....
The links above should help ya...
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