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Who wants to learn to polish?
Ted Carl
post Nov 27 2006, 06:26 AM
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Who wants to learn to polish?

I know more than a few have asked me to do something on the topic. But the question has been the format.

So I decided that the logical choice would be one that progresses. So I am going to start with basic polishing 101 for a few reasons;

1. So you can buy the tools needed to polish a little at a time.

2. So you can have a chance to practice with the 101 class.

3. So I can take my time at doing a thread that makes sense, and leads up to the real bling stuff.

So be patient, and let's try to keep the comments focused on the 101 class, there will be more towards the wicked stuff to come.

For starters there are 2 basic kinds of polishing. First is abrasive. Second is non-abrasive. This 101 class only talks about NON-abrasive polishing with paste type polish.

We are starting with Aluminum and Anodized Aluminum only!


Here we have a set of basic used pedals.

So you ask, what can we do with these to bring them to life?

I would say....follow me. I will show you how to do a no reflection, basic restoration polish.
(IMG:http://img165.imageshack.us/img165/2340/beforebothrz9.jpg)

Take a close look at them and remove any dents or damage before you get started. These pedals are going up for auction after I am done with this portion of the presentation, so I am not going to be too fussy with that part of it.

Not only does the aluminum look bad, but the anodized part looks bad too.

Step One. Is there anodizing on it. Colorless or clear, or colored? The most you can do with anodized parts is really make the natural color come out. We will go on to stripping ano much later in the presentation. How can you tell if is clear anodized? In short, if polish does little to the shine, then it is clear anodized. Anodizing is ONLY on aluminum.

For now. I am just going to tell you that these pedals are not anodized except for the gold.
(IMG:http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/4355/closeupbeforejc7.jpg)

Step 2. Disassemble them. Degrease them. And give them a bubble bath. Remove all dirt.

Step 3. Choose your weapon. Here is a very much needed tool to do polishing. A multi-speed Dremel with a small cotton/linen wheel. Felt wheels have a use, but mostly they suck.I am going to use Met-All polish. If you want to use mothers or something, that's fine. Again, we are only going to discuss non-abrasive technique for now. If you don't have these tools, put them on your x-mas list.

(IMG:http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/9574/dremelwheelsr9.jpg)

Here is the other weapon of choice. The Black and Decker Mouse Sander Polisher. If you don't have one of these, put it on your x-mas list now! You want the newer one with Gel pads, and tip sanding attachments.

(IMG:http://img157.imageshack.us/img157/2757/mouseat1.jpg)

For starters, lets work with the Dremel.

First little hint. put some paste in the lid and put the lid on the can. 2 reasons. First you don't want the paste to dry up and get thick. Second, (Hear me now, or hear me later!, lol) you don't want to contaminate your paste with junk flying around off the wheel! This will ruin it for any future bling jobs later!

Take some paste.on an acid brush and brush it on. You need paste to get the job done. No dry wheels here. You want it to stay moist and fluid here. The longer it is fluid, the longer it works. Use slow speeds with the wheel. It is not about pressure, it is about contact time, and number of times the wheel goes around on it. If your paste dries up and turns to black goo, you are spinning the wheel too fast and getting it toooooo hot! Slow down, let it work.
(IMG:http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/4980/goopingupfv8.jpg)

Now, you will quickly see that you can't get into many of the areas on these pedals.
Here is the next trick.
Take some PLASTIC Q-tips and cut them in half. Try and keep them in 2 separate piles! Keep them oriented! Some are wound backwards to the direction of rotation. Put some goop in the holes, and go to town with the q-tips. Don't spin them too fast, and dont push hard on them. They will tell you that you are doing it wrong when they fly off, and hit you in the forehead.
(IMG:http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/5223/qtipsah8.jpg)

Now, if they are the ones that are wound the right way, they will work for a very long time. Sometimes they will grow a booger on the end, but they work really good. Just cut the booger off with a razor blade and keep going.

IF the q-tip flies apart right away, it is wound backwards. Get a new one from the other pile. You will use the backwards ones for clean up, later.

(IMG:http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/1441/dremelqtipbooger2ew2.jpg)

Remember, as long as the paste is gooey and black, keep going. If it dries up too fast, you are spinning the tool way too fast.

This tool can get into all the good places that you want to get into. I prefer to do this kind of area first. It is faster, and it just makes for a better finish in the end, you will see why.

Now don't forget to do the inside cut outs of the pedal cages! It's all about the detail!

(IMG:http://img299.imageshack.us/img299/1769/dremelholesmx9.jpg)

[ November 27, 2006, 07:30 AM: Message edited by: Ted Carl ]
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Ted Carl
post Nov 27 2006, 06:27 AM
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Next, let's assume you have tried the dremel, but now you want to try your mouse.

The mouse is a much better tool overall than the wheel. It gets larger areas done. It keeps the polish moist longer, and it makes better bling. However, the wheel gets the heavy stuff done better, as it can remove stuff in concentrated areas.

Here is the magic trick. A 3M white scotch brite pad. Now I am going to tell you that the ones I use are industrial, and are softer than the ones that come with the mouse polishing kit, and thicker, denser, and softer than the ones you find at Menard's. BUT the ones you can get over the counter are sufficient for this project. The rest comes later.

(IMG:http://img293.imageshack.us/img293/6779/padzi1.jpg)

Cut them into strips and stick them to the velcro tip sander like this.

Now you can see that this covers more area, more better, or is it more gooder? When polishing the anodizing, it will not remove the color, but will remove all the oxidation from the surface. Even NOS parts are like night, and day, when you take the time to polish them before installation!

Here is a tip. Use the Dremel for the rivets to concentrate the polishing on them, and make them really bling, THEN use the mouse over the top of everything!

Again, keep it gooey and moist. And contact time is paramount.

Each time you wipe it off, and add more polish, and repeat, the shinier it will get!!!
(IMG:http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/9457/tippolishoutsideuv4.jpg)

Here is the really useful part of the Mouse! You can get into all kinds of areas, and even use the sides of the pad in the corners! The MOUSE IS PRICELESS! (Get it on the x-mas list!)
(IMG:http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/7965/tippolishinsidehr4.jpg)

Now for clean up.

Use a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol or de-natured alcohol, and wet it down and wipe the big stuff off.

Wet a few q-tips with alcohol and wipe out all the holes.

Then, start to make use of all your backwards q-tips and run them into the holes and start cleaning them out. Hint, if you used 4 q-tips for polishing, you will use twice that for cleaning it up!

Then wash your hands and get a fresh rag, and start doing the final clean up!

(IMG:http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/1205/finsishedbothyf7.jpg)

And what would be complete without a before and after.
Before....

(IMG:http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/4355/closeupbeforejc7.jpg)

After...

(IMG:http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/8268/finished1eg8.jpg)

Now, give me some time to get some other things done. I have a project for a fellow member to do. It will be a super bling job, but I still can't get to it for a while. In between, I may go for the next level.

So let's try and keep the questions to the 101 class, and I will go to the advanced stuff as I find the tiime. For now, get the tools you need and start working with them as 101 homework.

You ain't ready for this yet.
(IMG:http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/117/refect9ei.jpg)

But I will get you there if you want. Just be patient, I got a lot of stuff on my plate at the moment!

[ November 27, 2006, 07:32 AM: Message edited by: Ted Carl ]
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Ted Carl
post Nov 27 2006, 06:51 AM
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BTW, if you want the pedals they will be up for auction very soon. Er, when I find the time to grease em up and assemble them. These were done strictly for the team...lol

One cap is missing though...
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oldracer88
post Nov 27 2006, 07:20 AM
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so how would i polish my yellow '99 p24 to that*bling* sheen?? wow! you rock,thx for the info!!pl
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Pauly
post Nov 27 2006, 08:16 AM
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I'm signing up for this class!
I bought a bench grinder a few months ago and was looking in to getting a polishing wheel set for it. Is that too advanced for this class? I have the dremel. I won a mouse sander/polisher as a raffle prize 7 years ago. I only recall using it once. I assume this is too old for the tip attachments though.
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Keep_It_Warm
post Nov 27 2006, 08:23 AM
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I'm reporting for class too. I have both a Dremel and mouse sander as well.

I'll be following this thread....
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Frostie
post Nov 27 2006, 09:43 AM
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Me too, the mouse sander is now on the xmas list, the dremel is already and waiting with one of those bendy extension attachments as well!!

Cheers

Ted
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Motor City Mongo...
post Nov 27 2006, 09:57 AM
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Mouse sander = the new Elmo TMX.
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MiniZ
post Nov 27 2006, 10:27 AM
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Thanks Ted! I can't wait for the class to make my Tuf Neck look like that one!
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Monster-Robot
post Nov 27 2006, 12:08 PM
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Much needed! Thanks Ted, it's good to have a mentor!
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