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Alum Polishing HELP

This is a discussion on Alum Polishing HELP within the Showcar and Detailing forums, part of the General Help category; HELP........... here is the deal, some of you have seen the parts I made from alum. I have tried everthing ...

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    Member BDowning's Avatar
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    Alum Polishing HELP

    HELP........... here is the deal, some of you have seen the parts I made from alum. I have tried everthing I know to get a mirror finish. I still see a good amount of scratches.

    Here is what I did so far: wetsanded all the parts with 320, 400, 600, 1000, and finally 1500 grit. I purchased from Home Depot (4) buffing pads, (2) hard & (2) soft. I also bought there buffing compounds Sticks which range from Hard buff to a finish buff. They have them numbered from 1 to 5. I also bought a white rouge compound and used if on a new soft wheel. Hand polished with Mothers and Blue Star polishing compounds. I'm missing something, it's not the bright finish I'm looking for........ I need help from the experts...............

    The picture looks good but.......



    Any thought or advice would be greatly Appreciated

    Bill

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    00 TA PWTR, 98 VertTA NBM
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    im no profession but have done my fair share of aluminum polishing . . . i find that the 1000 grit range is the most important for getting that mirror shine . . . then maybe finish up with 2000 if your not getting that desired shine. Ive piddled with the rouges but couldn't ever get comfortable with the results, so after im done wetsanding i go straight to mothers. Maybe you need to use the mothers on a cotton goblet in a drill or on a buff pad, then hand polish after. Also, ive heard much praise that mothers billet being amazing, myself i haven't noticed much difference between it and regular, but you may try it.

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    Member BDowning's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply........anyone else

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    formally 01 T/A 0verkill's Avatar
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    take a look at the eastwood com and see what they have to offer. they have kits for this stuff. i know you need to start with a cuting compound as i have bine told them move to the buffing compounds. here is a link to the start of the buffing area of the eastwood cat.
    http://www.eastwoodco.com/jump.jsp?i...ORY&itemID=432

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    00 TA PWTR, 98 VertTA NBM
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    i agree . . eastwood has so many products for polishing

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    Member BDowning's Avatar
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    Thanks guys....I've been to Eastwood,and I have just about everthing they are showing to buff alum. Soooo it's probably me!!! I have the tools just need the no how

    Everything points to the white rouge (which I have)maybe I need to get a clean buffing wheel and work a little longer with that!!!

    Thanks
    Bill

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    formally 01 T/A 0verkill's Avatar
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    mybe you need to look at diffrint wheels.

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    00 TA PWTR, 98 VertTA NBM
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    Quote Originally Posted by BDowning View Post
    Thanks guys....I've been to Eastwood,and I have just about everthing they are showing to buff alum. Soooo it's probably me!!! I have the tools just need the no how

    Everything points to the white rouge (which I have)maybe I need to get a clean buffing wheel and work a little longer with that!!!

    Thanks
    Bill
    i hear ya . . . sometimes i feel like there isn't enough direction on how to polish aluminum correctly . . especially when it comes with the rouges. i know i was using the hard small buffs on my wheels with white rouge. . and it would work great until the buff glazed over and startin heating up. i was using the small kobalt air rotary and they would start smelling burnt after just a few minutes. So i know keepin the buff cool and clean is a major key, but yet its tough to clean the buff i have at least.
    Last edited by GULLETT17; 05-12-2009 at 10:06 AM.

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    Member BDowning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GULLETT17 View Post
    i hear ya . . . sometimes i feel like there isn't enough direction on how to polish aluminum correctly . . especially when it comes with the rouges. i know i was using the hard small buffs on my wheels with white rouge. . and it would work great until the buff glazed over and startin heating up. i was using the small kobalt air rotary and they would start smelling burnt after just a few minutes. So i know keepin the buff cool and clean is a major key, but yet its tough to clean the buff i have at least.
    What is the differance between the grease compounds and the others. I thought the rouges worked better when you got them hot.......maybe thats where I'm screwing up!!!!

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    00 TA PWTR, 98 VertTA NBM
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    Quote Originally Posted by BDowning View Post
    What is the differance between the grease compounds and the others. I thought the rouges worked better when you got them hot.......maybe thats where I'm screwing up!!!!
    i don't know what the difference is. . . i can never find good information on them! thats why ive gave up on them until i do.

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    formally 01 T/A 0verkill's Avatar
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    the greseless stuff is for real bad stuff like castings. i know you need to use diffrent wheels with diffrent compounds and the White Rouge is for the finish and the last thing you should use.

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    Member BDowning's Avatar
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    I'm getting some goodies from Eastwood today!!! What kind of polishing rag should I be using?? I used a Mirco fiber towel but it also scrached the alum. Maybe a diaper?

    Bill

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    Senior Member GULLETT17's Avatar
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    00 TA PWTR, 98 VertTA NBM
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    Sorry for a delayed response . .
    What goodies did ya get from eastwood? I usually just use micro fiber, but there are some foam-type hand held polishing "blocks".

    Oh and I was playin around with the rouge this weekend. I was using a tapered buff with white rouge. Seemed to work pretty well, but wasn't getting a "great" shine. I was gettin different amounts of shine depending on which direction i used the buff. Never noticed this before. I know the aluminum has a grain to it depending on the way it was machined. . . but hell I wetsanded with 2000 grit so the grain should be not existant I would think. I had a frustrating weekend of polishing (as also seen in my thread about tryin out the black magic bullet)
    Last edited by GULLETT17; 05-27-2009 at 11:47 AM.

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    One of the best things I have found is Meguires Hot Rims Aluminum Polish. It really finishes off the job.
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    I have used a product called Wenol that I bought at a car show and have used it on smaller alum parts and it made them look like new. I would think that it may be available at Autozone or Advance. It comes in a tube and is a paste.

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