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polishing aluminum

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by CAT420, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. CAT420

    CAT420 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    im not quite sure where to post this so move it if need be please. I just built an aluminum back rack (well my neighbor did most of it) but i am now polishing it. I already have it sanded and 95% of the scratches removed and started polishing it using a buffing wheel on the end of an electric drill with some aluminum metal polish that i bought at a local truck and trailer supply. I seem to not be winning the battle i will polish and polish then buff it out and some spot are like a mirror and others are dull. I need help and advice on what you guys have used or have experience with. thanks and sorry for rambling.
  2. heavychevy01

    heavychevy01 Member
    Messages: 91

  3. Crash935

    Crash935 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    You need to cut it with a more aggressive polish first, problem is your dealing with it in the rough state. Had to do it to the wheels of the truck in my avatar after a rough winter, dont remember what brand i used but once i had them done with a cutting agent they polished up by hand really nice all summer long.
  4. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    You have to use something agressive to remove scratches (abrasive) only thing a polish does is add shine, as in any detail job there's steps...

    Try something for paint .I use Meguiars compounds on just about all surfaces, but I believe they have a select product....
  5. CAT420

    CAT420 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    yea, i have been using a compound, i guess my real concern is how are you guys buffing it? with what kind of pad or buffing wheel? theres no way to do it by hand from this stage in my opinion, nor do i want to do it by hand.
  6. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,613

    Busch's aluminum polish is good stuff- not sure if they make a cutting compound but its worth a try.
  7. Elite Property Services

    Elite Property Services Senior Member
    Messages: 230

    As for the polishing Hoosier metal polish is the best I have ever used. I think they have a website, or it is available at some truckstops. Awesome product.:nod:
  8. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    What about wet sanding it with 320 then 400 grit Automotive sand paper? It needs to be wet sand type. It takes material off, but not real aggressively. You need the garden hose in hand with a low flow. Rinse off removed materail and keep the paper wet.

    Then buff it with compound.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  9. x.system

    x.system Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    The finer you sand it the easyer it is to polish. If you have a DA you can sand up to 3000 grit and it will basically be polished after sanding, just need to go over it with an aluminum polish. 2000 grit will work if you hit it with a auto paint buffing compound like 3M. 1000 grit will get you the same results but will require more buffing.

    I would start with 400 grit, then 600, then 1000 wet, 2000 wet and buff.

    These were raw aluminum and done up to 3000 grit and polished with mothers.

  10. CAT420

    CAT420 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    hey i did wet sand but i only went to 600 lol. i guess im gonna stop killing myself buffing and sand up to atleast 2000 grit but seeing that aluminum i may go to 3000. but i have to do it all by hand because theres to many little corners and i had to leave mechanics wire hanging out where my strobes and light wires need to be ran so they catch in the damn buffer/da and wrap all up. Thanks guys
  11. x.system

    x.system Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    If sanding by hand do one grit like 1000 in one direction and then 1500 or 2000 and cross cut the 1000 grit. Once you get up to 1000 grit the sanding gets easyer and quicker. Got any pics of the rack? I was thinking about making one myself.

    Add soap to the water and it will sand easyer.
  12. CAT420

    CAT420 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    i will post pictures of it when i am all done in the truck and equip forum. i cant wait to finish it
  13. ColliganLands

    ColliganLands PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,854

    i was just gonna tell you to post some pictures lol.. even though im sure i will see it around town soon enough
  14. CAT420

    CAT420 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    yea i have been seeing you around alot lately lol, i honked in the little dump the other day you were pulling out of dd.
  15. ColliganLands

    ColliganLands PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,854

    yea i think i waved that time.. today i completely didnt realize it was you untill i passed.. i have been up since 530 this morning and working since 6 .. i was trying to get my last job done at that point.. next time i see you ill be sure to stop
  16. pelt35

    pelt35 Senior Member
    Messages: 131


    You could get yourself a bar of jewlers rouge, comes in various grits, thats the old time way of polishing aluminum and it is still a good one.
  17. snowrules

    snowrules Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    flitz and the mothers polishing ball i have done my skidoo tunnels and then if you wax it the shine will stay for a while