Metal polish

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Forum topic by willhime posted 04-02-2016 11:17 PM 653 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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126 posts in 1738 days

04-02-2016 11:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource tip question trick blade chisel plane

I haven’t polished anything since a replica claymore sword I bought at the renaissance festival circa ‘95. My starrett rule is pretty ‘blacked, or gunked, or however you say it’ up and one guy recommended simi-chrome. I saw it has a mild abrasion in it, which I don’t know if that matters for my purposes, aka, rules, planes, tools, etc. I saw Flitz is non-abrasive, being used for antique gun steel and such. Would that be too delicate for what I need ?

Then, past that, what kind of buffing wheel is best for these applications or quick buff ups ? I have a 6” bench grinder, angle grinder, drill press, 1×30 sander, 4×36 sander, 5” orbital…

- Will

-- Burn your fire for no witness

3 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile


12430 posts in 2579 days

#1 posted 04-03-2016 12:33 AM

600 grit on something flat, 400 or 320 if really bad. It won’t mess up the ink numbers.

-- Rick M,

View Kelly's profile


2125 posts in 3143 days

#2 posted 04-03-2016 12:40 AM

It’s probably a lot easier than your worries might lead you to believe.

I use a lot of things to polish plastic, metal, wood and glass. It may be cerium oxide for the glass, chromium oxide for a razor edge. It may be oil and baking soda, rotten stone or pumice for a table top, followed by plastic polish. It may be my most often used McGuires Mag Polish for a mirror finish on my pocket knife, which might be a couple times more expensive than your rule. Of course, making a slurry of hundred grit carbide and oil may not be the solution to bringing luster back to your Starret. In the end, if it’ll cut, it’s fair game. I just have to decide how much I want to cut to determine if I’m doing light grinding, so to speak, or polishing.

For wheels, I use Harbor Freight sewn wheels, and wheels from other sources too. On another occasion, I use a felt wheel. For another application, I might pop a hole saw cut out of MDF in the drill press and put some flex cut compound on it. Too, I keep my granite polishing pads, after they’re too worn for that purpose, and run them on my variable speed angle grinder (if it’d reverse it’d perfect for many applications, but the ability to slow it is still critical).

In the end If it’ll cut, it’s fair game. If it’ll hold compound, slurry or what have you, without the wheel/pad cutting more than my compound, it’s, also, fair game.

To keep frustration levels minimal, I avoid cross contamination (most the time) by tossing wheels and such in bags and labeling them for their polish compound use.

Metal is pretty forgiving, when you’re using fine polishes. As such, I also use a dedicated wheel with red polish compound on it. While the manufacturers vary in how fine their compounds are, they are, generally, close enough to switch brands.

Key here is, if it takes iron off slow, you have a lot of experimental wiggle room.

Keep in mind, some stainless is pretty hard, but can still stain, and those stains may be beyond the reach of a mere polish compound.

Oh, and I slow down even more when playing with plastics, finishes and glass. This, of course, keeps the material cooler, so you don’t destroy your product, or, at best, have to start over.

View HokieKen's profile


7059 posts in 1338 days

#3 posted 04-03-2016 01:58 AM

For the Starrett rule, what Rick said. Scotchbrite pads with some wd-40 if it’s got a lot of build up on it will get it started.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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