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How To: Polishing 101

The Rules for Starters.

For anyone that is interested in polishing.. You need to know this.. You do it once.. you'll do it again.. It's kinda a drug..

Ready?

First you will need to get a wide arrangement of sand grits. Starting with: 220, 320, 400, 600, 800. 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000 (some people even go up to 3000 but it's not needed). If at all possible buy wet sanding paper (black), using the sand paper with water will make the shine more and more mirror like.

Paint stripper (airline works best.. But also your normal everyday stripper works well.. MAKE SURE! it's in a thick form that way it won't run and be compleatly messy.

If you decide you want to polish more and more.. Investing in an orbital, 1/4 sheet sander, or Dremel Contour Sander (good for hard to get places) will be a great investment. Using a power sander will greatly cut your sanding time. I usually only use the power tool for only the first grit (220).

Now that you have all your tools lined up. It's the stripping process. It is VERY important to get rid of as much paint at possible, because the paint will "goo" the sand paper making you burn through paper like a wildfire.

Once stripping is finished. Move onto sanding.. make sure you sand in one direction. (try to follow the metal's grain) I know I know.. It can sometimes be hard to tell the grain's direction... But when yer hand sanding with 220.. One direction will shine better than the others. That's your grain. THE FIRST GRIT IS VERY IMPORTANT!.. any lazyness in missing pits or leaving scratches will result in a bad apperance.. I can not stress enough the 220 grit is single handedly the one thing you CAN NOT RUSH!.

Once you finish the 220 grit.. the rest is a breeze.. I recomend using wet sanding now. Start with 220 wet (if you have a large tub or shower throw the stuff in there and do this sanding). when you have finished with that grit wash entirely, and move onto 320 to remove the scratches the 220 left. Wash again... use this same system with the 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, and 2000 grits.

When you finish the sanding.. polish the entire thing down with a buffing wheel and White then Red Rouge compound. Then finish it iff with an ally/mag polish. I reccomend "Mothers Incredible Billet Ally Polish" ($11 retail 4oz can). Make sure to buff very well.. The better you buff the better it looks.

Now take a shave in your newly polished part.

I hope this all helps. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd times of polishing are the hardest... Once you become seasoned at it.. It'll become a piece o cake

*ALSO*I will UL my pictures soon (only got one of my bike) But here is some pictures ASHMAN took of his bike.

btw... sorry Winders.. :fact
 

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My bike :hellobye
 

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Auh... I've been asked by some guys what's the best tool to use to cut down the time in getting the rough casting out.

Here's my reply:
Well... to get the rough casting off the wheel... you can buy a die-grinder (smallest disk you can find) with a 80 grit disk. Be careful because at the high speeds a diegrinder goes at.. it'll take your metal off quickly.. use that to get the rough spots smooth.. and then buy...

"Dremel Contour Sander".. this is an awsome tool... work from the 80 "hook-n-lood" up to their 120 grit (80&120)... Then cut peices of sand paper.. and use their custom molds to sand with 220 grit... untill everything is smooth... then wet sand the whole thing down (by hand) from 220-2000.. Hope that helps!

If you have any questions about this process that I have "yet" to explain.. Shoot me a PM and I'd be willing to helpout anyone in need.. :thumbup
 

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I can't keep it on 2 wheels
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I have a few questions.
1. Should I do the whole wheel or just the lips?
2. I am going to get the contour sander to do the wheels with. Do you this it is really necessary.
3. Where do I get the compound from and could I use another polish other than mothers and get a very good shine?
Thanks.
 

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LeMarc said:
1. Should I do the whole wheel or just the lips?
This all depends on the time you are willing to spend.. Doing the full wheel will take a crapload of time.. And some guys don't like doing all the work.. then decide on just doing the lips.. I myself.. Have done the entire wheel.. Because I'm a perfectionist.. Doing the WHOLE wheel is a BITCH tho.. :fact

LeMarc said:
2. I am going to get the contour sander to do the wheels with. Do you this it is really necessary.
Yes, It is by far the best tool anyone can buy to do small space sanding.. (like your wheels).. I would also reccomend getting another high powered sander tho.. Something like a Diegrinder.. or a 1/4 sheet table sander.

LeMarc said:
3. Where do I get the compound from and could I use another polish other than mothers and get a very good shine?
There are many compounds out on the market.. ALL of them work.. You will have to find the best one that suits you.. I used to use Mothers.. Untill I found another polish.. that included a sealer.. It's called "Master Formula". I got this at a show.. and have yet to find where i can order more..

Hope I've answered all your questions..! :hellobye
 

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Pic of my polished parts.. *NOTE* you would be able to see yourself in the part... But I had flash enabled.. so yaknow :finger
 

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again.. flash made her blurry... but you can see the shine to the right lower of the wheel.. :fact
 

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*
 

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I can't keep it on 2 wheels
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You did some great work. Now I definately want to do the whole wheel. Did you have to take the wheels off?
 

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yup... and the sprokets/rotors.. they are tapped on there hard.. so i'd go to a shop (unless you have an impact drill).. and have em take it off... :fact
 

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I can't keep it on 2 wheels
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I will go with that. I have a dremel for the polishing and a countour sander for the sanding. I will try and get by without the 1/4 table sander to try and keep the cost down. I just hope I can find some fine sandpaper to go on the contour sander. I appreciate your help and won't hesitate to bother you again if I have any more questions. Thanks alot.
 

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normal sandpaper will work!.. :thumbup... just cut a strip the size of the bit... wrap it around the fixture.. and clamp in.. you should only powersand with 220 grit.. the rest do by hand.. :fact
 

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I can't keep it on 2 wheels
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Sorry to bother you again but I have to. My friends are tired of hearing about it. I have an extra kickstand. I am polishing part of it to try and get the hang of this thing. I am up to the wet 400 grit. I can't believe my results so far. You are right, this is highly addictive. I can't imagine how much more sanding it will be when I do the rims later this week. Peace and thanks a whole lot. I will post pics when I'm done.
 

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That's why I'm here.. :yesnod and pics will be welcomed :fact
 

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I can't keep it on 2 wheels
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You put extra emphasis on the first grit of 220. How do I know when I have done enough 220 sanding?
 

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When the entire surface looks the same (texture)... and is smooth to touch
 

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Expandable wheels with emory cloth work very well for smoothing very rough castings that'd take you forever with regular sand paper... There may be parts that you may actually have to go to grits lower that 220 to grind smooth, that's where your liable to make the most dmage if you aren't careful...

The wheels from Eastwood are about the best I've used, they hold up well and I use spiral sewn with emory compound to smooth real bad castings... You can also get expander wheels, compounds and other assorted grinding materials...
 

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The reason why I dont suggest going lower than 220 grit.. is the simple fact of one screwing up... 220 you can mess up and just sand over... anything lower.. and that's when it gets messy..

I start from 80 grit and work my way up.. But you need to remember.. I've done this for awhile.. and you CANT sand till smooth with 80... Unlike when using 220.. That's why I call it polishing 101.. When anyone gets better at polishing they'll change the process to their own liking... This post is to get one started... And at the same time.. end with a badass polishin job.. :fact
 
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