POLISHING 101

johnu

Over 1,000 Posts
DTT BOTM WINNER
Got the polishing figured out!
 

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DeanJ

Been Around the Block
My two cents on the Mother's aluminum polish referenced earlier:

I sand and polish progressively- finishing with jeweler's rouge on a loose sewn soft cotton wheel. Result is always a flawless raw aluminum shine. So then I tried the Mother's polish as it is supposed to shine and protect. I was really interested in the "protect" part.

So after using the Mother's on one of my case covers, it was very apparent that it actually dulled what was previously a flawless shine :eek:. Keep in mind that this is when sitting right next to another part that was also polished to compare it to. ( I assume the Mother's is a more aggressive polish so it can be used on billet parts and wheels with the power ball. The before and afters of that application can be amazing )

I have found that Autosol is a better final polish and leaves a protectant.......

just 'sayin :D
 

crazypj

Split personality, I fake being smart
DeanJ said:
My two cents on the Mother's aluminum polish referenced earlier:

I sand and polish progressively- finishing with jeweler's rouge on a loose sewn soft cotton wheel. Result is always a flawless raw aluminum shine. So then I tried the Mother's polish as it is supposed to shine and protect. I was really interested in the "protect" part.

So after using the Mother's on one of my case covers, it was very apparent that it actually dulled what was previously a flawless shine :eek: . Keep in mind that this is when sitting right next to another part that was also polished to compare it to. ( I assume the Mother's is a more aggressive polish so it can be used on billet parts and wheels with the power ball. The before and afters of that application can be amazing )

I have found that Autosol is a better final polish and leaves a protectant.......

just 'sayin :D

I found the same thing with Mothers
Toothpaste works just as well and is far cheaper
I found some polish that's even less 'aggressive than Autosol, you have to be careful what rags you use as the fiber can scratch mirror finish aluminium
It's called MET- ALL 'Racing Polish', made in OH and was cheap ($1.99 for 2 oz tube)
 

ILoveThumpers

Everywhere is thumpers!
A fabricator friend of mine swears by a product called Flitz. It's his last step on mirror-polished aluminum. He claims it slows oxidation. Sort of a polish and wax together?

He gave me a tube of it but I haven't used it on anything yet. Does anyone here have any experience with it?

-Deek
 

Captmilk76

Coast to Coast
At a bar I work at we use Flitz to polish the brass and have for several years

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 4
 

fordop87

Active Member
This is my first attempt at polishing forks. I wasn't going for the mirror finish so I'm pleased with the result.
If I did it again, I would sand with higher grit before using the wheels.
 

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lcdm

New Member
One more link to add to the list on the first post:
http://cxgl.wikispaces.com/How+to+Polish+Aluminum+%28by+LRCXed%29
 

crazypj

Split personality, I fake being smart
Northern tool has some highly aggressive grey polishing compound, I used it to go from 80 grit on belt sander (mounted upside down in vice ;D ) to 320 grit on stitched wheel then direct to polishing.
Saved a massive amount of time, swapping to something finer than 80 grit before 320 will probably save even more time
 

Khaos

Cafe Racer in Cardiff, Wales
Not sure what the exchange rate is from £ to $, but I've got $0.02 to throw in ;)

I got turned on to a product called Belgom Alu by an old biker about 15 years ago. It's the final step in the chain - after cleaning, sanding, polishing a final clean with this stuff leaves ally like a mirror, and leaves a protective surface. It's expensive, but you use the tiniest amount and it works wonders. It's also good on bare steel - and seems to withstand high temperatures. Even though they do a chrome version I used it on my GS850's V&H pipes as well as engine cases, forks, etc.

I was sceptical about it - but it works. Back then, the US Navy was apparently using it to clean and protect aluminium landing gear on carrier aircraft. I know it kept my bike tidy through some tough winters with salt on the roads (in the UK, we looooove to make vehicles rust and decay with salt on the roads in winter).

I've got a BAD job coming up - proper first clean on my bike since buying. I figure it'll take me a weekend to get this bike near to presentable, and I'll be using belgom alu to bring back the fork lowers, wheels and exhaust to tidy (after autosol first - I find that autosol's more agressive nature makes it a better cleaner, belgom alu is a better finisher and protector).
 

Trevor May

Been Around the Block
Khaos said:
I find that autosol's more agressive nature makes it a better cleaner, belgom alu is a better finisher and protector.

So would you use the autosol first, straight on the dirty aluminum pieces, or your second to final step? Also I would have accepted tuppence.


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Khaos

Cafe Racer in Cardiff, Wales
Duchat said:
So would you use the autosol first, straight on the dirty aluminum pieces, or your second to final step? Also I would have accepted tuppence.


Sent from my SM-G925W8 using DO THE TON mobile app

Depends how much dirt there is. The bike is going to get a thorough wash and rinse (critical, since many automotive shampoos are loaded with salt) first, so there shouldn't be any loose dirt or grit. No point in polishing until the loose crap is gone as I'd just be scratching while I'm polishing. After that, the autosol, then the belgom alu. People used to ask if I'd chromed parts of my engine and fork lowers on the big ol' Suzuki I used to ride, I'd like to get the Kwak up to that standard.

Which reminds me... that's a great excuse to buy a decent polish for the paint as well ;)
 

fuego

New Member
What do you guys do for some bikes (honda's in this case) that have plastic film over fork tubes and over brake / clutch lever. they are extremely faded don't know how to remove them without damaging the material underneath.
 

crazypj

Split personality, I fake being smart
Paint stripper on cases and forks, peel it off levers with plastic tools.
You can also sand it off (wet sanding recommended to keep dust down)
 

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