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Polishing Stainless Steel Trim
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jboymechanic
Posted 2017-12-16 9:52 PM (#554445)
Subject: Polishing Stainless Steel Trim



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Anybody have any experience polishing stainless trim? All of the trim around my front and rear windshields are really straight, they just need a good polish. I would like to do the work myself, but I don't have a buffing wheel. I was thinking of purchasing a pedestal mounted buffer, but I have no idea what type I should get. How big of buffing wheels? What compounds? If anybody has some advice, please let me know. Again, my trim doesn't need to be restored, but I want it to shine similar to my new chrome.
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Powerflite
Posted 2017-12-16 11:10 PM (#554452 - in reply to #554445)
Subject: Re: Polishing Stainless Steel Trim



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When you do get your polisher, run it with 2 polishing wheels together on it. If you just run 1, it will grab the stainless and throw it. 2 wheels together are more forgiving. Use the highest grade buffing compound, usually white rouge, if your stainless is in good shape already and just needs the shine. If you have to rework them, you will need to start with a coarse buffing and progressively move to finer grit.
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LD3 Greg
Posted 2017-12-17 12:18 AM (#554454 - in reply to #554452)
Subject: Re: Polishing Stainless Steel Trim


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I managed to do all the stainless for a bunch of these cars. I just used a 1/2 HP bench grinder with 8" buffs. Nathan is right. Always use two buffs sandwiched together. They hold together better and run a lot cooler. I pissed around with a lot of buff wheels and compounds but finally zoomed in on Eastwoods buffs and compounds. Great products! Always use a "rake cleaner" to clean the buffs frequently during use. You will need the complete assortment of buffs and compounds.

You will find that different alloys of stainless were used in these cars so no specific recipe of compounds/buffs will always work.

Greg

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LD3 Greg
Posted 2017-12-17 12:49 AM (#554457 - in reply to #554454)
Subject: Re: Polishing Stainless Steel Trim


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Oh, Yeah, remember that the factory "clear coated" all this stainless. As you cut through this "clear coat" it will contaminate your buff so you must constantly "rake clean" the buffs!!

It took me a long time to figure this out!!!
Greg
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60 dart
Posted 2017-12-17 7:18 AM (#554464 - in reply to #554445)
Subject: Re: Polishing Stainless Steel Trim



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i've done polishing myself and am doing non-car stainless now . multiple wheels sandwiched work best , i use 3 8's on both sides of a 1/2 hp craftsman buffer . as for compounds , i've
found that black emery is nicely aggressive followed by white finishing . i've never seen stainless trim with clear coat , not saying there isn't . oh , and by all means never forget nice
gloves . something like mig welding gloves works good . thick enough to help with heat build up , light enough they don't wear your hands out . should i mention a face mask to help keep
junk from getting to your lungs . paper 3m works . remember compound , little and often . after you get your own technique you'll be good to go ---------------------------------------------later
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jboymechanic
Posted 2017-12-17 9:59 PM (#554514 - in reply to #554445)
Subject: Re: Polishing Stainless Steel Trim



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Much appreciated guys.
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lozrox58
Posted 2017-12-30 3:07 PM (#555249 - in reply to #554445)
Subject: RE: Polishing Stainless Steel Trim



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You can generally pick up kits off eBay. You will need a soft rag wheel, which are generally white and a rough rag wheel (generally black). the wheels are stiched cotton. Most kits will come with an appropriate arbour to mount on your bench grinder, and 2 or more polishing compounds.
There are a lot of youtube clips which show you how to polish, so it's a self education process.
You may also need some fine grit sand paper to remove any scratches.
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springsweptwing
Posted 2017-12-30 3:40 PM (#555252 - in reply to #554457)
Subject: Re: Polishing Stainless Steel Trim



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LD3 Greg - 2017-12-17 5:49 AM

Oh, Yeah, remember that the factory "clear coated" all this stainless. As you cut through this "clear coat" it will contaminate your buff so you must constantly "rake clean" the buffs!!

It took me a long time to figure this out!!!
Greg



Flash chromed over stainless, when you go through the chrome you will see it change colour as you start polishing the stainless steel.
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lozrox58
Posted 2018-01-03 12:17 AM (#555502 - in reply to #554457)
Subject: Re: Polishing Stainless Steel Trim



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LD3 Greg - 2017-12-17 2:49 PM

Oh, Yeah, remember that the factory "clear coated" all this stainless. As you cut through this "clear coat" it will contaminate your buff so you must constantly "rake clean" the buffs!!

It took me a long time to figure this out!!!
Greg


I know none of my stainless was clear coated. Seems odd that the factory would do this, as there really is no gain is there?
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LD3 Greg
Posted 2018-01-03 12:32 AM (#555503 - in reply to #555252)
Subject: Re: Polishing Stainless Steel Trim


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springsweptwing - 2017-12-30 3:40 PM

LD3 Greg - 2017-12-17 5:49 AM

Oh, Yeah, remember that the factory "clear coated" all this stainless. As you cut through this "clear coat" it will contaminate your buff so you must constantly "rake clean" the buffs!!

It took me a long time to figure this out!!!
Greg



Flash chromed over stainless, when you go through the chrome you will see it change colour as you start polishing the stainless steel.


That's it! Thanks, Paul. I really didn't know what needed to be "cut through" before one got to the actual stainless steel.

Everyone knows that a highly polished surface of stainless is very, very fragile and subject to even finger tip scratches. Of course it had to be protected from everything to stand up to be a surface of a car!!

Greg
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60 dart
Posted 2018-01-03 6:36 AM (#555512 - in reply to #554445)
Subject: Re: Polishing Stainless Steel Trim



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maybe that cut through is just plain old oxidation of cheap stainless-------------------------------------------------later


and if its clear coat , why not uses a faster means of removal than buffing

Edited by 60 dart 2018-01-03 6:38 AM
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jboymechanic
Posted 2018-01-03 8:55 AM (#555517 - in reply to #554445)
Subject: Re: Polishing Stainless Steel Trim



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I purchased the kit in the link below just before Christmas, it was heavily discounted at the time. I don't have any oxidation, coating or flash chrome to remove. Everything that I'm doing is straight, just needs a good polish after aging for 60 years.

http://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-1hp-buff-motor-buffing-kit-and-sta...
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big m
Posted 2018-01-03 5:24 PM (#555552 - in reply to #554445)
Subject: Re: Polishing Stainless Steel Trim



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Another thing to be careful of is warpage. Getting curved pieces too hot can cause the curvature to change. How do I know this? I ruined a few roof moldings this way.

---John
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LD3 Greg
Posted 2018-01-03 10:50 PM (#555569 - in reply to #555552)
Subject: Re: Polishing Stainless Steel Trim


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big m - 2018-01-03 5:24 PM

Another thing to be careful of is warpage. Getting curved pieces too hot can cause the curvature to change. How do I know this? I ruined a few roof moldings this way.

---John


That's why I never wore gloves to do the job!

Greg
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