"How To" polish aluminum by hand (part 2)
Umm... in this video I show you uhhh... how to uhh... hand polish aluminum lol. This is part 2 of 2. The entire process took roughly 4 and a half hours and I watched movies for most of them. Forgive the speech impediment lol.
Tips And Tricks Of Polishing Aluminum
The different types of polish, and what surfaces you can polish.
How to polish aluminium at home
This is a quick demo on how I polish my stuff. Like my knuckledusters and other things. Just very basic in my opinion. Everyone can do it. Just take your time and don't rush. That's very important.
Polishing Aluminum (GSX is alive)
Tools: You need a big one that can run for long periods of time. Air tools are out of the question because the compressors that can keep up with air DIY grinders use the equivalence of 100 60-watt incandescent light bulbs while running. Mine uses that much power and it CAN'T keep up. I like straight-shaft electric tools because they use less power than air tools in order to do more work. They spin faster and generally have more torque. Electric drills don't have the RPMs needed to work efficiently because you need heat from friction for the polishing process. Cordless, fo'getaboutit. Bench grinders have plenty of speed, but don't make enough torque. Most bench polishing equipment is built primarily for production, not detail. If you have to polish large simple pieces, they're fine for that. The goal is to use a tool that is efficient enough on what you're polishing to make this seem less like punishment. Quality tools. Dremels are only good for grinding and sanding tiny detail stuff, but larger industrial DIY grinders with a .25" chuck are what you need. Power tools are only acceptable for polishing. Power sanding equipment doesn't have a random orbit and also doesn't leave a grain to allow you to gauge how deep to go, so you can't achieve a polishable surface by mechanical means. You'll also notice that sandpaper for orbital and belt stuff doesn't go beyond 320 grit and it's expensive. With a power tool you will inevitably leave marks too deep to remove by wet sanding with 220 grit. You will pay for cheating. Removing casting marks or rough cast with a flap wheel is not cheating so long as you remove all of the defects evenly and still thoroughly hand-sand the part afterwards. About Sandpaper: Anything goes below 220 grit so long as it's dry. You have to wet-sand everything higher than 220 grit, so both electric power tools and non-wet-sanding paper are ruled out beyond that point. The best finishes are hand-sanded in the crosshatch method shown in this video. If there are stubborn scratches that your sandpaper won't take out, go to a coarser grit and work your way back. Step up only one increment in grit with every grade of sandpaper available until there are no visible scratches in the surface. Skipping a grit will just mean you have to work 4x as hard to do the same work. So 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, etc... Depending on what grade of aluminum you're working with, you can sometimes get away with sanding the part only to 600 grit. To get the most out of a shine, you have to go beyond 1000 grit. The farther you go with the sandpaper, the less work it will take to polish and maintain. About Rouge: The black rouge, or emery compound, has an abrasive in it. It's also considered a cutting compound. It removes material and makes easy work of oxidation. Because it has an abrasive it can leave directional swirls in the finish that are visible in some lighting conditions. It's an extremely-coarse polish but in many cases can produce a brilliant shine. Brown rouge is a step between black and white. Though unnecessary if you're using black, brown is less aggressive while still having the ability to remove scratches and defects. You can also polish wood with it. White rouge is ideal for precious metals PLUS aluminum. It removes what a jeweler calls a deep scratch, but what an auto enthusiast may consider invisible. If there's a scratch that the black rouge didn't take out, white rouge won't do it. It will however, bring out the most reflective finish in aluminum that you can achieve mechanically. Jeweler's rouge (red) is not for aluminum. Neither is blue or green. Well... blue is universal supposedly. I haven't ever needed it and don't trust it. About polishing wheels: Polishing wheels come in different textures. For black rouge I use hard or triple-stitched flannel wheels. The more stitching, the harder it is. The soft wheels tend to disintegrate quickly. The harder wheels can contribute to swirl-effects in the finish when they become contaminated. Metal polish: I can't say enough good stuff about cheap-old Blue Magic metal polish. Brightens the best white rouge polish jobs and is really easy to work with. Mothers is good. NEV-R-DULL is an amazing product that lifts and cleans almost anything out of metal. Where to get supplies: You can buy rouge by the pound at truck stops. Lots of great polishing supplies can usually be found anywhere where you'll find the rigs. Ask a trucker. Also there's HarborFreight, Eastwood, PJ Tool & Supply, and lots of others. Everything's within google distance.