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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.


This is really good stuff.  I don't think I've ever seen this topic covered in one place :ThumbsUp: :ThumbsUp:


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,

Tennessee Whiskey:
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:.


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



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