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Modding Polishing Steel

Discussion in 'Modding' started by craig_h, 19 Mar 2008.

  1. craig_h

    craig_h What's a Dremel?

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    Does anyone know a technique to polish steel to a mirror finish? I will be getting a bench grinder if that helps.
     
  2. karolis

    karolis Code Monkey

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  3. SkiDave

    SkiDave Minimodder

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    steel doesnt polish well as it soon tarnishes and rusts
    there are several options
    1. polish then immediately lacquer
    2. spary paint (not polishable) but can have a reflective paint applied
    3. or it can be chrome plated
     
  4. rls669

    rls669 i can has dremel?

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    I beg to differ. Here's a steel case panel I polished over 5 years ago, protected by nothing but a coat of Meguiar's Deep Crystal car wax:

    [​IMG]

    This was done entirely by hand with a sanding block. Here's what I did:

    - take off the original beige paint with paint stripper
    - wetsand with 220, 400, 800, 1000, 1500 grit paper

    From the reading I did before attempting this, it seems the preferred method is to sand in straight strokes across the panel. Sand until all the scratches from the previous grit are gone, then rotate the panel 90° and repeat with the next finer grit. I never went beyond this as I got busy and this project went on the backburner, but once you get up to about 1500 grit you'll be left with very fine scratches that are only visible when viewing the panel straight on; this panel has them but they're not visible from this angle. To get rid of these you could keep sanding with 2000 and 2500 grit but it's much easier to use a buffing wheel and some polishing compound, perhaps starting with a coarse cutting compound and then using a finer grade for finishing.

    Now, this is a lengthy process to say the least and not for the faint of heart. When I did this, the experts (whoever they were at the time) were adamant that you couldn't get equal results by going through the same coarse--->fine sandpaper progression with an orbital sander. However, I will surely give it a try when I do this again :D
     
  5. Kylevdm

    Kylevdm The Mod Zoo Podcast Host

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    I have been wet sanding my project for almost 6 weeks now on and off but you must make sure that no water on the panel after sanding i found the best way of doing this is by putting it next to a radiator
     
    Last edited: 19 Mar 2008
  6. rls669

    rls669 i can has dremel?

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    One thing I forgot to mention is that I wouldn't start with 220 if I were doing it again. The scratches are very deep and it takes a lot of work to get them out. I think it would be more efficient to just use 400 from the start.
     
  7. SkiDave

    SkiDave Minimodder

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    it soon tarnishes/rust if exposed to air, the wax provides the protective layer
     
  8. Scirocco

    Scirocco Boobs, I have them, you lose.

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    I guess an easy answer might be whatever people used to protect De Lorean DMC-12s. It was brushed stainless steel for the body, but still would need protection.
     
  9. mr00Awesome

    mr00Awesome YEAH SWEET LEMONADE

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    True, but stainless doesnt corrode nearly as fast as bare steel does
     
  10. craig_h

    craig_h What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks for the replies. I think i will use the technique suggested.
     
  11. Xer0-

    Xer0- Waste of space

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    chromium is in stainless steel that's why it doesn't rust.

    I would recommend a clear coat of paint, it will darken the finish a little but is better protection than just wax
     

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