Author Topic: FINISHING AND POLISHING YOUR PROJECTS  (Read 7134 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: