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Beginners Guide To Metal Polishing

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A Beginners Guide To Metal Polishing With Our Products

 

What is Metal Polishing 
Metal Polishing sometimes known as finishing or buffing is the process of removing scratches and abrasions from a surface, and creating the desired brightness of finish on that surface. Polishing, like using sand paper, consists of procedures each of which is less abrasive than the previous. A combination of polishing and buffing wheels (mops) and compounds are used with a buffing machine or a household electric drill (pneumatic tools may also be used but only at relatively low speeds of 3000 - 4000 rpm max.)  

Metal polishing is the particular combination of metal polishing buffing wheels and metal polishing compounds which gives the desired cut and colouring action

Important: Please remember to clean and de-grease the item you wish to polish. Unclean / dirty / greasy material should be prepared properly before being polished. Deep scratches need to be sanded out with suitable abrasives e.g. wet and dry paper, sanding mops etc. before the polishing process.

 
    

Step By Step Guide To Metal Polishing

For polishing soft precious metals or Chrome please start at step number 7 on the guide below.

1. Attach the tapered mandrel to your drill, or bench grinder / angle grinder spindle adaptor to your machine and fix tightly. 

2. Attach the Sisal polishing wheel onto the mandrel / adaptor and screw on tightly.  

3. Run the machine and apply the relevant polishing compound to the sisal polishing wheel for approximately 2 seconds. The metal polishing compound is wax and abrasive based so the motion of the spinning polishing wheel generates heat which melts the wax and abrasive onto the polishing buffing wheel.  

4. Apply the polishing buffing wheel or present the the item to be polished with medium pressure. It is very important that you remove all marks and scratches and leave a uniform finish. 

5. Apply more polishing compound to the Sisal polishing buffing wheel when required.  

6. When all scratches and marks are removed and the work piece has a uniform dull finish, remove the Sisal polishing wheel. 

7. Attach the Colour Stitch or White Stitch polishing buffing wheel onto the mandrel or adaptor and screw on tightly.  

8. Run the machine and apply the relevant polishing compound to the polishing buffing wheel for approximately 2 seconds. 

9. Apply the polishing buffing wheel or present the the item to be polished with soft to medium pressure, this will remove the dull finish left by the first process and leave the work piece with a semi-bright finish. 

10. Apply more polishing compound to the polishing buffing wheel when required.

11. When you have a uniform semi-bright finish, remove the Colour Stitch or White stitch polishing buffing wheel. 

12. Attach the ‘G’ Loose Fold or Swansdown WDR buffing wheel onto the mandrel or adaptor and screw on tightly.  

13. Run the machine and apply the relevant polishing compound to the buffing wheel for approximately 2 seconds.

14. Apply the polishing buffing wheel or present the the item to be polished with soft to medium pressure. This will remove the semi bright finish left by the second process and leave the work piece with a bright finish. 

15. Apply more polishing compound to the buffing wheel when required.

16. You should now be left with a bright finish.
  

17. Rub the polished article with Vienna Lime and a dry soft micro fibre cloth. This will remove any excess polishing compound and grease left on the surface. 

 

Metal Polishing Top Tips

  • Try to constantly vary the directions of which you polish. This is not always possible but recommended as some articles may be an unsuitable size and shape.

  • Use the polishing compound sparingly, black grease marks will appear on work piece if too much polishing compound has been applied to the polishing buffing wheel.

  • Remove black grease marks with Vienna Lime and a dry soft micro fibre cloth.

  • Remember: apply polishing compound little and often. 
  • If it is possible, polish across marks / scratches - not along them. 
     
  • If the surface of the work piece is lacquered you must remove the lacquer before polishing, use a household paint remover available from your local DIY store. 
     
  • Remember to wear appropriate safety gear.

  • Use a different polishing buffing wheel for each colour of polishing compound.

  • If you need to use a different polishing compound on the same polishing buffing wheel, or just to clean the wheel, you can apply a wire brush or a blunt knife against the rotating wheel to clear the compound residue.

  • Do not mix different polishing compounds on the same polishing buffing wheel.

  • If you are polishing small articles then you can fix your drill into a vice, this will enable you to polish these small articles with ease.
     
  • Sometimes when you have polished a surface you may see a slight coat of grease or finger marks on the work piece - these can be removed with Vienna Lime powder. Just rub the powder onto the work piece with a dry soft micro fibre cloth.
      
  • Protect polished articles with a good wax polish.

  • If you wish to electroplate or lacquer the polished article, please make sure you use a good de-greaser and do not protect with wax polish. Any dirt or grease / wax will interfere with the adhesion of the plated metal or lacquer. 

 

Health & Safety


Always use safety equipment - dust mask, safety spectacles and gloves should be worn at all times. 
 

Always apply the item being finished to the area of the mop which is rotating away from yourself.