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Metal Polishing (my way).

Discussion in 'Tech Tips' started by Murdo, May 26, 2014.

  1. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew Contributing Member

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    Kiffsta asked me to give some info on the methods I use to polish bits of my bikes, so this is how I do it (there may be other ways but this is mine). There are probably thousands of u tubes on polishing so have a browse and decide what suits you best.
    Safety musts are; close fitting clothing that will not get caught in the buffing wheel,
    eye protection as the soap and bit of pad go every where,
    old clothes as they get really dirty and greasy,
    solidly mounted wheel/stand so it doesn't move while buffing.
    I use three different types of wheel depending on the job.
    A Sisal wheel for badly pitted surfaces or after bead blasting.
    A stitched cotton wheel for most surfaces, and a soft cotton (not stitched) for soft metal (eg carbys) and plastics.

    Sisal wheel.

    polishing 012.JPG

    My main wheel mounted on bench grinder.

    polishing 005.JPG

    Soft cotton wheel.

    polishing 011.JPG
     
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  2. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew Contributing Member

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    My Bike:
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    The wheels are used with a buffing 'soap'. I use a medium grade pink one that I bought with the wheels from a tool shop called Gasweld. Bunnings have similar. The 200mm wheel on the grinder cost $30, arbour to mount to grinder $18 and a bar of buffing soap $12. I have worn out two wheels so far (on four bikes) and have 1/3rd of the soap left. Eye protection is a must when using this as it is gritty if it gets into eyes.
    This is the buffing soap and how to apply it to the spinning wheel. Don't go too heavy as it will only fly off and be wasted. Just a gentle one second rub is usually all needed, apply again when it stops working.

    polishing 006.JPG
    polishing 009.JPG

    I did some bits to show how it works.
    This is the points cover from the YDS-5. It is chromed steel and has suffered the abuse of 47years of use. It has some dents and the chrome is starting to lift where the metal is rusting.

    polishing 001.JPG

    Here I have done half to show the difference. It will never be a shiny as new chrome, but is not too bad (and cheap).

    polishing 002.JPG
    polishing 003.JPG
     
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  3. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew Contributing Member

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    Next I did the flywheel cover from a Honda XL100. It was tarnished from the weather and after washing the dirt off I used the stitched mop on the grinder to polish. Keep moving the piece around as it can get very hot if held in one place for too long.
    polishing 007.JPG
    polishing 008.JPG
    polishing 010.JPG
     
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  4. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew Contributing Member

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    Lastly I dragged out the CDI cover from a Honda XL185. It had a layer of corrosion on it that I removed with a gentle glass bead blasting. I used the Sisal wheel to get the surface back from the blasting and finished with the stitched cotton mop. It is a great improvement on what it was but would never be show quality due to the corrosion pitting.
    polishing 013.JPG polishing 014.JPG polishing 015.JPG polishing 016.JPG
     
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  5. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew Contributing Member

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    When you have polished to your desired state of shininess, clean the pieces with a rag soaked in paint thinners to remove any leftover soap, then hand polish with your favourite metal polish.
    I hope this has given you some insight into polishing bits of your bike with ready to hand and cheaply available tools. So keep them shiny side up.
     
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  6. Phil

    Phil Senior Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    Thanks Murdo, I had one of those brushes, just never knew what to do with it??? you have enlightened me.:thumb_ups:
     
  7. kiffsta

    kiffsta Administrator Staff Member Dirty Wheel Club Contributing Member

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    Nice work Murdo, cheers
     
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  8. GreyImport

    GreyImport Administrator Staff Member The Big Cheese Contributing Member

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    Great write up mate :thumb_ups:

    .... Ill drop a box of covers off in the morning :cool:
     
  9. Phil

    Phil Senior Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    Tell him he's dreaming:lolsign:
     
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  10. Mclaren

    Mclaren Well-Known Member Contributing Member

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    Awesome gear
     
  11. TechHeadFred

    TechHeadFred Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    Nice setup! I remember using something similar to the stitched and soft cotton ones with Brasso in high school metalwork class many years ago...
     
  12. Simon

    Simon Well-Known Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    Nice one for the write up m8..exactly what I need and why my dremel multitool isn't..not as costly as I thought either so will invest a little this side to save much..top notch fella

    Cheers si
     
  13. Murdo

    Murdo The Good Doctor Staff Member Premium Member Ride and Events Crew Contributing Member

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    Thank fellas.
    Simon, the bits to set up are the big initial cost (grinder etc) but the running costs are cheap, just your time.
    Note in the 5th photo all the cotton strings on the ground, these are from the new wheel I fitted before the photos. Yes, it gets messy.
     
  14. zixxer

    zixxer Well-Known Member

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    any of you guys heard of the mothers polishing ball you just attach to your drill, was thinking of getting one to clean up small bits every now and then.
     
  15. Phil

    Phil Senior Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    I've heard of it but not used it. I do however use Mothers Carnauba wax on my bike and my wife's car, very good quality product.:thumb_ups:
     
  16. zixxer

    zixxer Well-Known Member

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    i tried wrapping afew microfibre cloths around a drill bit for the same effect, and im too lazy to polish properly, didnt end well, pretty much ruined 3 cloths and nearly drilled into my frame.

    might invest in the mothers ball and see what its like.

    i've never used the carnauba wax but all mother products i have used are good quality, meguiars are awesome aswell for soaps, wash and wax is a good product.
     
  17. Phil

    Phil Senior Member Premium Member Contributing Member

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    Agreed :thumb_ups:
     
  18. madchild

    madchild Active Member

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    A bit of advice here lads i done this for over a year as a full time job and tbh if you're getting into this make sure ya invest in a good quality face mask coz that's nasty stuff to be lettin into your airways.

    Someone asked there about the drill set up and i used one recently on the exhaust and
    tbh i thought it was a poor job in fairness.

    Tidy work there all the same :thumb_ups:
     
  19. Revolver

    Revolver Big Member

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    Very similar to how I was shown when building mine. Both pillion footpeg brackets were ground off, filled down, sanded and then polished as above pretty much, same as my spare stator cover. That had some deep scratches on it, that were filed, sanded buffed, & polished. Wish I had gotten some before pictures of it.
     
  20. Tim_

    Tim_ resident nutcase Premium Member Dirty Wheel Club Contributing Member

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    Kudos on the thread mate. I used to polish bow rails for riveria on the Coast many a year ago.

    I go about things a little differently. I press the "soap" harder into the wheel and over spray Goes onto the piece I'm polishing. That way you don't need to stop and re apply to the wheel as it will pick up the "soap" off the job. I always press pretty hard with the cutting wax as to get out any small scratches and Knicks. (Remembering to go with the grain). Then I wipe off all the cutting soap. I skip the middle wheel and go straight to the ultra soft wheel. Then I use a high gloss white "soap" to get the mirror finish. Again spraying the excess onto the job. And again with plenty of pressure. Then wipe the excess off at the end.

    Totally agree about PPE. Last thing you want is you clothes caught in these tools. I have seen so terrible things happened to people because of loose clothes and hair. Also I don't remember seeing it. But respirators are a must as this stuff is wax and does get airborne and get get up your nose, in your mouth and in your lungs.
     

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