Author Topic: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS  (Read 7167 times)

Offline Don1966

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FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« on: March 18, 2016, 03:48:58 PM »
There has been question about polishing ones projects and finishing. I am no expert on the subject by no means, so if there are some that can shade a light on this subject please do within this thread. This thread is to help those that are new to the hobby and have questions. I will try to answer what I am able to for you. I just started this hobby in 2010 so bare with me.
I will first start with tools need to start finishing your projects. I for one feel if it isn't finished then the project is not complete, some my feel different, but this is my view. I will spend as much time ever more to complete, by finishing my project and the fruits of your labor will show in the finished project. To give you an example I spent five days finishing the fly wheel on my E&S engine. Plenty of hours to achieve results.
For those that haven't seen it, herre is a photo of the finished fly wheel.

Some of the tools I use for finishing.
The Foredom and it's work station and accessories.


A buffer with one soft and one thick buffing wheel. As you can see the ones on the buffer has a lot of wear.

A few selected tools to hold, grab and debut.

More tools to hold and grab for finishing small pieces.

We do need a good selection of files. Large and needle flies as well as smaller needle files.

For sanding we have sanding pads, sanding wands, sanding sticks alone with the use of the Foredom diamond bits to help by feathering the removal of metal.

Also a Micro Sander with different attachments helps to get in those tight places for finishing. This tool is a jewel to use and have. This tools was instrumental in completing my flywheel above.

My workmate that I use for my finishing table. I have a one foot square glass plate I use for my sand paper along with a good edge to do my finish sanding.

Last is the metal polish and this is my favorite, because it helps to keep the surface shined.

 
On the next post I will go through some of my procedures on finishing.

Don

Offline philjoe5

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2016, 04:02:09 PM »
Don,
This is really good stuff.  I don't think I've ever seen this topic covered in one place :ThumbsUp: :ThumbsUp:

Cheers,
Phil
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.  - Mark Twain

Offline Don1966

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2016, 04:17:50 PM »
Using the glass surface I like to finish the flat surfaces with a sheet of sandpaper taped to it. Then work the part back and forth with a figure eight pattern. You start with your courses paper for heavy removal and work up to the higher grit paper.
Make sure your paper is cleaned as you progress with your sanding especially when you get to the higher grit. The particles of metal you remove will start working against you. When your working toward a good shiny finish they will scratch the already shiny finish. So always keep you paper clean and you can use wet sandpaper as well but keep water flowing on you surface.

It is also a good idea to have a straight edge to work your part against to keep things square when doing heavy sanding.

By holding your part with you fingers placed as in this photo and using a figure eight pattern, you should get good results.

Again when sanding edges use a straight edge to support your work. If you don't you will notice it when fitting things together.

After you have achieve good results with files, Foredom, and sanding we want to get a good surface shine on our work and the way to do this is to use a buffer with the different colored polishing sticks. Each color represents a grit just like sand paper. You apply the stick to the wheel as you need it. Below is a photo I did in which I intentionally polished the surface with scratches it it. All that happens is that you intensify the marks in the metal. You have to have a prepared surface before polishing. Even lines will stick out after polishing.

When polishing there are time when it hard to polish because of the valleys in the piece. I use a brush on my Foredom and apply polish with it.

Then to clean it I use Preps it degreaser and run water over it using a soft brush to clean the degreaser off with. Then using a terry or wool cloth to dry it with. Don't touch it with your hands or the grease on your hands will show itself. If the are spots that need attention use  metal polish on a cloth to polish it with. Or just run your cloth over the whole thing making sure to keep fingers off.

One of my completed engines.


I hope some find this useful and hope some of you that know about finishing will chime in should I of missed something.

Happy finishing,
Don
« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 04:23:16 PM by Don1966 »

Offline Tennessee Whiskey

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2016, 04:22:33 PM »
You da man Dog,  :ThumbsUp: :ThumbsUp:. Now,  I just gotta ask : how many weekend passes did this caliber of brass polishing get you in the uncle's army  :naughty: :thinking: :cheers:.

Cletus

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2016, 05:14:47 PM »
Excellent thread Don and wonderful pictures too. One question, do you keep a separate buffing wheel for each grade of buffing compound?

Bill

Offline mikemill

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2016, 05:26:10 PM »
Don
I notice from photo’s of exhibits in US ME shows a high number of people who polish their engines as you do, is there a reason for this way of finishing an engine?
The majority of exhibits in UK shows, engines are mostly painted with maybe polished brass oil cups, but not overall polish. I think this is because it emulates the finish of full size engines!

Mike

Offline Flyboy Jim

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2016, 05:45:18 PM »
Don,
This is great stuff!  :ThumbsUp:  Thank you very much.

Mike,
I don't know if they have hot rod/custom car shows in the UK, but it might be best described as comparing a model custom car/hot rod vs a model stock restored car. They are both items of beauty. Just depends on the finish you're after.
That's my take on it anyway.

Jim
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Offline Don1966

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2016, 06:13:55 PM »
You da man Dog,  :ThumbsUp: :ThumbsUp:. Now,  I just gotta ask : how many weekend passes did this caliber of brass polishing get you in the uncle's army  :naughty: :thinking: :cheers:.

Cletus
Eric my brother I did polish quiet a bit of brass in my military days, but it didn't get me passes...... :lolb:

Excellent thread Don and wonderful pictures too. One question, do you keep a separate buffing wheel for each grade of buffing compound?

Bill
Bill it is a good idea to have separate buffers and not mix the grades. I keep different ones for aluminum, brass and iron. The wheels are cheap and most of my polishing is brass I did do some stainless.

Don
I notice from photo’s of exhibits in US ME shows a high number of people who polish their engines as you do, is there a reason for this way of finishing an engine?
The majority of exhibits in UK shows, engines are mostly painted with maybe polished brass oil cups, but not overall polish. I think this is because it emulates the finish of full size engines!

Mike

Mike my take on this is, it's up to the individual as to how he or she wants their projects to look like. When I do brass engines, I do this to immortalize the engine and make it attractive so collectors or executives my want it to put on their desk. Not that I plan to sell my models but if I should have to I can. Even my non brass projects gets my best.  But I have always been attracted to the look of brass, so like I said it's up to the individual.

Don

Offline rklopp

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2016, 06:45:44 PM »
What about vibratory polishers? That is what industry uses. I have a Gy-Roc B that I use with plastic pyramid and rouge walnut shell media. It works great, and saves absolutely enormous amounts of hand work.

Offline Don1966

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2016, 07:07:02 PM »
What about vibratory polishers? That is what industry uses. I have a Gy-Roc B that I use with plastic pyramid and rouge walnut shell media. It works great, and saves absolutely enormous amounts of hand work.
Yes! Thanks for the input. This is what this thread is about and we're always open to new and interesting ideas....... :ThumbsUp:

Don

Offline swwi

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2016, 07:18:49 PM »
Don,  Thank you for this post. Some of us on here are just novices and do appreciate all the help that comes our way.

Offline 10KPete

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2016, 08:19:03 PM »
Vibratory polisher with crushed walnut shell and a bit of rouge brings brass right up. Used it for decades on cartridge brass.

I think brass was meant to be shined.

Pete
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Offline Gas_mantle

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2016, 08:47:15 PM »
Don,  Thank you for this post. Some of us on here are just novices and do appreciate all the help that comes our way.

Yea I agree, as a beginner to this game I often struggle to get or maintain a decent finish so I look forward to reading what others have to say.

I use quite a bit of EN1a steel as it's cheap and fairly easy to machine but I find it very quickly starts to look dull, I did wonder if it's worth trying to use a clear lacquer of some description.

Peter.

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2016, 08:57:22 PM »
Nice write up Don
For anyone wishing to have a go without investing to much cash try these little polishing sticks or use peg wood sticks although I find bamboo chopsticks handy. Edges can also be burnishes instead of polishing as polishing can leave grit embedded into the surface.
When I served my first apprenticeship  at Smiths Industries buffers were banned as it was all to easy to round over corners.
Or it may just have been a case of doing it the traditional way
They taught us that the finish starts at the machine stage.Keep tooling sharp and dont bruise the job as you machine it always use protective packing on any surfaces you are later going to polish.
When not using polish equipment clean it and put it away from contamination .
Theres so many way to polish a surface .
No criticism intended
cheers

Offline Doc

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2016, 09:06:50 PM »
First off Don thats some beautiful work you've done!

I use sand paper to start with on flat surfaces too (1200 wet dry). Then I wet sand until machining marks are gone then polish with jewelers rouge.
Nice work Don!  :NotWorthy: 

Offline sshire

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2016, 09:27:14 PM »
Excellent post, Don. Your engines are jewels and it's good to see how you do it.
Two things which I find very helpful.
3M Radial Bristle Discs. I use the 3" diameter on the Foredom bench polisher. I can put a different grit on each spindle. My grit range is from 80 grit to 1 micron. (80-120-220-400-6 micron-1 micron)

Cratex wheels and points for the Foredom hand piece.
 
Best,
Stan

Offline zeeprogrammer

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2016, 09:49:19 PM »
Excellent excellent excellent.
This is going to be very helpful.

Thanks for stepping up Don.  :ThumbsUp:
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Offline Don1966

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2016, 11:55:48 PM »
Thanks for your inputs guys and anyone else that have anything to add. Please don't be afraid to post your comments we are open to suggestions from all.

Don

Offline Tennessee Whiskey

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2016, 12:05:35 AM »
Do you seal with anything after you finish?

Cletus

Offline Don1966

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2016, 12:10:13 AM »
Do you seal with anything after you finish?

Cletus
No I don't Eric, not when I have moving parts.

Don

fcheslop

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2016, 12:21:30 AM »
Eric, I use these for clock parts and the odd bits on my toys
https://www.cousinsuk.com/content/common/images/categoryproductsku/L0898Group_cmyk.jpg

Offline Dave Otto

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2016, 12:24:19 AM »
Don, the master polisher.

Thanks for your work sharing your process of polishing; there really is an art to it, and you have mastered it pretty darn well!

I have a set of the color coded sanding sticks that use the small belts and have had them for many years and love them, much more precise than a file. I finally ordered some of the Micro-Mesh sanding sticks on the Micro Mark 20% off sale; looking forward to trying them out.

The Fordom work station is real nice! I wouldn't mind adding one of those to the shop.

Bill; WRT the cloth wheels. I only use one grit per wheel and keep them in a zip lock bags when not in use.

Dave

Offline Don1966

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2016, 12:33:45 AM »
I finally ordered some of the Micro-Mesh sanding sticks on the Micro Mark 20% off sale; looking forward to trying them out.

The Fordom work station is real nice! I wouldn't mind adding one of those to the shop.

Bill; WRT the cloth wheels. I only use one grit per wheel and keep them in a zip lock bags when not in use.

Dave
Dave you may want to order straight from micro mess because Micro Mark sells them with different grits sizes only. So to buy separate ones go to Micro Mess.
The Foredom work station is a treat but expensive. It has a light, magnifier, air nozzle and vacuum tube output. http://www.foredom.net/LightedWorkChamberMALC15.aspx

Don

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2016, 12:48:14 AM »
I looked at the workstation too...nice but pricey. If it had its own exhaust system for that price I would be all in, but don't like listening to the shop vac that much!!

Bill

Offline Don1966

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2016, 01:44:02 AM »
I looked at the workstation too...nice but pricey. If it had its own exhaust system for that price I would be all in, but don't like listening to the shop vac that much!!

Bill
Bill I haven't used the vac on mine yet, just the air supply nozzle and the light. But I think I will look into a small furnace blower to suck air through it. This is what I did with my bead blaster and it pulls a good vac.

Don

Offline crueby

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2016, 02:19:07 AM »
I do a lot of wood carving, and built a dust box using half a dozen surplus computer muffin fans mounted in the back wall of a plywood box, front wall is a standard furnace filter, and added some plexiglass panel wings on the front to make the work chamber. Sucks in an amazing amount of air, the chips from the flex shaft tool turn in midair and get pulled into the filter. Vacuum that off after a session and ready to go again. Total cost about $20. No where near as noisy as a shopvac.

Offline Don1966

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2016, 02:41:49 AM »
Well that's pretty much what this unit was designed for .....http://www.foredom.net/MAFH25.aspx

Don

Offline petertha

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2016, 04:03:42 AM »
Good post Don1966. Couple questions
- where did you source that electric micro sander unit?
- I've been eyeing a Foredom for many years. (My Dremel's are kind of crappy, but they just wont die yet). I'm still kind of confused by Foredom's vast array of hand pieces (the business end with collet or chuck). What do you have for your various grinding & polishing needs?
http://www.foredom.net/handpiecesforkeytipshafting.aspx

Offline PStechPaul

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2016, 05:02:59 AM »
I wish I had learned some of these skills from my German grandfather, who was a metal finisher in Germany before he came to America around 1926, where he got a job at Stieff Silver. My father was taking a metalworking class at school and he took a project home where his father showed him how to polish it to a mirror finish. But the instructor gave him a failing grade because he swore that he had cheated by having it chrome plated!

Offline fumopuc

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2016, 07:14:35 AM »
Hi Don, thanks for starting this thread. A good information about all these sandind and polishing jobs.
Kind Regards
Achim

Offline gbritnell

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2016, 11:59:46 AM »
Great post Don,
As has been mentioned the part that has to be watched out for is rounding of corners. A lot of times I have reverted to buffing and polishing in the initial stages and then doing the finished drilling or machining. That way the corners stay nice and crisp.
It takes a fair amount of work to get ones engines looking as good as yours.
gbritnell
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Offline sshire

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2016, 12:22:02 PM »
The Foredom H30 hand piece is the general purpose one that is included in most Foredom kits. It's a small, 3-jaw, (like our larger drill chucks)
Most of the others either take only one shank size or collets. I've put everything in the H30 from sanding drums, grinding wheels, (anything that fits in a Dremel) down to dental burrs in a variety of shank diameters.

Best,
Stan

Offline Don1966

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #32 on: March 19, 2016, 01:16:15 PM »
Great post Don,
As has been mentioned the part that has to be watched out for is rounding of corners. A lot of times I have reverted to buffing and polishing in the initial stages and then doing the finished drilling or machining. That way the corners stay nice and crisp.
It takes a fair amount of work to get ones engines looking as good as yours.
gbritnell
George glad to see you still with the living buddy and yes my engines take a fair amount of work.

Good post Don1966. Couple questions
- where did you source that electric micro sander unit?
- I've been eyeing a Foredom for many years. (My Dremel's are kind of crappy, but they just wont die yet). I'm still kind of confused by Foredom's vast array of hand pieces (the business end with collet or chuck). What do you have for your various grinding & polishing needs?
http://www.foredom.net/handpiecesforkeytipshafting.aspx
Hi Peter, you can get the Micro Sander here.....http://www.micromark.com/micro-sander,7704.html But they have got 20% off on their tools till Sunday so you would have to acr fast. You will also need a link to the sale if your not on their list mailing list and I can do that if you want.
As for grinding I use stones, burrs and I love the diamond burrs for feather removal of metal. I do have an angle grinder with varies pads and wheels for heavy removal down to pads for lite removal. Then an assortment of different shape buffing pads and disc.

Don

Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2018, 10:46:57 AM »
Very useful thread, Don. Thanks for sharing this info.

gary

Offline mikehinz

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2018, 12:35:20 PM »
I'm extremely glad that thread was recently resurrected.  Since I'm new to the game, this has proved most useful and interesting to me.

Thanks very much for the excellent reference material!

Mike.
MIke
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Offline Lew Hartswick

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2018, 02:11:49 PM »
I'm sure glad that "bug" never bit me. :-)  My projects (not model engines) often still have the lay-out ink on them when I consider them "finished".   :-)
   ...lew...

Offline Don1966

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2018, 03:58:16 PM »
Guys glad to see your still making use of this thread and find it helpful. Anyone wishing to add there comments or suggestions please feel free to do, because all information will help others.

Don

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2018, 05:23:53 PM »
I think Don mentioned these and I know he uses them. I have found it far less costly to by them direct than through places like micro-mark. They are available is assorted grits or you can buy single grits (actually each side has a separate grit. They work very well and I keep them on hand now always.

http://micro-surface.com/index.php/products-by-type/dual-angle-detailing-files/dual-angle-micro-mesh-regular-files.html

Bill

Offline JC54

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Re: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2018, 09:55:10 PM »
Many Thanks Don. :praise2: :praise2: As a new comer to model engine building I have wondered how some of the finishes were achieved.  Your thread has really helped throw light on the process. Now to find a reliable "Elbow Grease" supplier :Jester:  John