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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
anyone have some suggestion on polishing all my aluminum. IE primary, rocker cover etc. just want to use yalls experience rather than waste like 10 hours with 100 different compounds.
 

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i had pretty good luck with starting out with some 600 grit sandpaper to get all the scratches out, then 800, then 1200 & just work on it with some mother's aluminum polish til it comes up like chrome. i did the legs & front hub on my bike & they came out looking really nice. wear safety goggles though because i fucked my eye up pretty good getting aluminum dust in it when i was sanding.
 

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First of all......you ask a boat load of questions that the answers could easily be found with a google search.

But I took this off another board after doing a search.

Go down to Home Depot Chopper Supply, and get a stick of white jewler's rouge (in the tool section) and a stick of green jeweler's rouge. Mash it up with a putty knife , put it in a paint can and add small amount of turpentine, mix it with a paint stirrer attached to a drill, until it is a light green paste. Do not deviate from the ingreidents, (I have tried).

This stuff will put a shine on aluminum that is unreal, and takes only a small amount of elbow grease. On a buffer, it takes seconds. Usually, by hand is plenty.

Shit scratches hell out of chrome, but on aluminum, nothing I have seen can stand with it.

I learned this from a truck driver, years ago.

Keep the shiny side up!
 

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i've been using scotchbrite. it's not perfect but looks good to me. just got a mushroom thingamagig from eastwoods that i'll be testing out on my rocker covers.
 

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sickboi55 said:
anyone have some suggestion on polishing all my aluminum. IE primary, rocker cover etc. just want to use yalls experience rather than waste like 10 hours with 100 different compounds.
it your gonna keep the parts on your bike I like to use never-dull wading polish. the stuff is the shit. if yoru gonna take tings off. get some wheels for your bench grinder some sand paper up to 1200 grit and some red and white rouge. be prepaired to make a mess :)
 

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Gorilla, i think he was more or less implying that sickboi should take some time to look at the threads on this site before posting questions. There have been several discussions, on this topic in the past, that would have answered his questions.

Gas House Gorilla said:
Mike V...so what if he asks a boat load of questions. Isnt that what this is for. A forum to exchange info on bikes. Keep asking sickboi and you'll get the answers here.
 

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I don't know if this is the right way to do it or not, but I knocked down the rough casting with 280 grit paper, then went to 400, then 600. After that I started with course (red) rubbing compound, then fine (white) rubbing compound and finished off with Semi Chrome. I used an air grinder with polishing buffs on some of it, the rest I polished by hand. I've got a buffing wheel on a bench grinder, but I couldn't use it on the heads or intake. I did repolish the valve covers with it though.
And I wouldn't even try to guess the number of hours work I've got in it, probably 10 X 10 hours.
 

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**Wear a fine particle mask when polishing. Inhaling metal is not good for you. Getting it in the eyes sucks too. Wear safety glasses**

As you're probably realizing, the polishing process is dependent upon how rough the piece you're polishing is. If it's sandcast, you're in for some work.

That said, all you're trying to do is get the surface as flat and free of bumps, gouges, pits, and scratches as possible. Ever notice how flat mirrors are? That's so they can reflect light efficiently and w/ as little distortion as possible...kind of like a really nicely polished something or other.

Buy a flexible sanding block or two from an autobody store. They're thin and can be cut up. Use these as the backer for your sandpaper.

-200
-400 w/ soapy water
-600 " "
-800 " "
-1000 " "

Move on to the compounds on wheels now. You must, MUST write down which compound is used w/ which wheel. You mix them up, you're screwed.

If you plan to polish a bunch of stuff, you can buy greaseless abrasive bricks that have to be stored in the refrigerator. You can get these from 36 grit all the way up to 1500. They're expensive and you go through them fast, but they're what the very best polishing shops use for efficiency reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
didnt mean to ask too many ?'s. jst trying to get MY bike right. to where I want it. maybe someother posts would help but things change in this world everyday. but thanks for all the helpful info. i knew it wouldnt be easy but guess it's time to get to it.
 

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Larry T said:
I don't know if this is the right way to do it or not, but I knocked down the rough casting with 280 grit paper, then went to 400, then 600. After that I started with course (red) rubbing compound, then fine (white) rubbing compound and finished off with Semi Chrome. I used an air grinder with polishing buffs on some of it, the rest I polished by hand. I've got a buffing wheel on a bench grinder, but I couldn't use it on the heads or intake. I did repolish the valve covers with it though.
And I wouldn't even try to guess the number of hours work I've got in it, probably 10 X 10 hours.
That is almost exactly my routine. Works great. Touch up with mothers when necessary.
Jakemon
 

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sickboi55 said:
anyone have some suggestion on polishing all my aluminum. IE primary, rocker cover etc. just want to use yalls experience rather than waste like 10 hours with 100 different compounds.
I bought a buffing wheel (Sears) this year and some supplies from Eastwood. Here's a link from the Eastwood forum describing my process:
http://forum.eastwoodco.com/showthread.php?t=2151
The Eastwood Metal Buffing forum is a good place to ask more questions.
Caswell also has a forum for polishing. Both Caswell and Eastwood are good place to buy supplies. Eastwood is on my travel route, so I stop by in person.
http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/index.html
Here's a shot of the forks from my '02 Triumph America. So far, the untreated polished aluminum is holding up fine. I also did the stainless shrouds, tougher to polish but holds the finish.
 
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