Polishing for Mirror Finish
I've polished just about everything there is to polish on my '85 S. First and foremost wheel polishing is hard, dirty, and time consuming if you're as particular(READ OBSESSIVE) as I am. Kits are available from companies like Eastwood firstname.lastname@example.org, C & D 1.800.255.0615. To do it right(MIRROR FINISH), you will need pedestal mounted "Buffing" motor. This DOES NOT have to be what is commonly sold as a "Buff or Grinding" motor. I'm using an old 2 hp, 3250 rpm Dayton single shaft(I fabricated an extension), pump motor. Works fine. You do need AT LEAST 1.5-2.0 hp. 110 volt single phase is O.K. Rotation is not important as long as you remember as you face the edge of the wheel, the TOP should be traveling TOWARDS you. It's also a good idea to have a pneumatic "Die grinder" angle or straight. As far as supplies and process goes, Aircraft stripper, lots of sandpaper (6) sheets Ea.(320,400,600 & 1000 grit),(2-3 Bars) white(NO-CUT) rouge compound, faceshield, cotton buffing gloves (6) 6-8 inch Dia. Loose section cotton buffing wheels,(3-4 Ea.) 1,2,& 3 inch mini loose sections(for the die grinder), Buff rake and 6-8 sq.ft. of high-density foam padding.
Start by removing the paint with the "Aircraft stripper", then start sanding with the 320 grit and work your way up to the 1000. Use plenty of water(with a few drops of dish liquid) when sanding. Rinse the paper and wheel often. Change paper often. The sanding should produce a polished but cloudy finish(Like when you breathe on a mirror). This takes T_I_M_E. But, keeps you from having the piece on the buff wheel too long. Buff polishing is MELTING the aluminum. To much "wheel" time and your very expensive wheels are shiny, wavey, and gouged! If you want a clear, distinct, smooth finish, it takes TIME and WORK!
When you get to this stage, your ready for the buffing wheel (And a few beers too!) Use a "Loose section" cotton wheel(6-8 inch Dia.). For large objects like wheels it's best to stack them as wide as possible.(6-8 inches if poss.) Take this into account when you have the motor shaft extension made up. LEFT HAND THREAD! Load the wheel with lots of compound, GENTLY touch the part to the wheel
using a circular or side to side motion. keep the piece slightly below the centerline of the wheel.RAKE the wheel often to remove the aluminum and compound build-up! WATCHOUT for the edges or the wheel takes you toes off AND it's dented or cracked. Use as little pressure as possible to avoid "tearing" the aluminum. When it's just starting to look good. STOP! Set your die grinder up with a small buff wheel and take care of all the places the big wheel can't. After that's done, thoroughly clean the wheel with "Neverdull". Go back to the big buff and, and using PLENTY of compound and raking often, finish 'em off. They should look like the mirrors on the telescope at Mt. Polamar. Before you even think about touching your wheels you should find some scrap aluminum of various sizes and shapes and PRACTICE!
With some time and effort you'll be able to make a turd shine like a diamond!(excuse the reference). You'll definitely have a better understanding of why those polished wheels from "Woods" are so expensive! Hope this hasn't discouraged you. But generally you'll find lots of guys out there that can "polish" your wheels for THIRTY dollars a wheel. What you normally end up with is poor quality! It's VERY hard work. Anyone that does a GOOD job for less than $100.00-$150.00. is either sittin' on a bridge playin' banjo in their spare time, or should be! Unfortunately, you don't know 'till you get them back. TOO LATE THEN! If you need more info...or whatever...email
1985 S Auto Shieferblau ober Dunkelblau
A few things I need to clarify regarding the motor rotation and extension shaft set-up.
Take this into account when you have the motor shaft extension made up....
1. LEFT HAND THREAD(if motor rotation=clockwise)!, RIGHT HAND THREAD(if motor rotation = counterclockwise)!
2. The motor end of the shaft extension should have be a "slip fit" I.D. hole utilizing (2) set screws (side by side or 60 degrees apart either works) to secure it to the motor shaft.
3. If the shaft on the motor does not have a "flat" on it, put one on (corresponding to the location of the set screws) using the die grinder or a "Dremmel" tool. This makes it easier to remove the shaft extension if needed.
1985 S Auto Shieferblau ober Dunkelblau
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