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Metal Polishing How to remove oxidation and polish to perfection aluminum, stainless, brass, chrome, and copper surfaces.

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badly oxidized aluminum railing
Old 06-09-2014, 08:28 AM   #1
kinder car care
 
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Default badly oxidized aluminum railing

Here's what I'm working with.


And after 8 hours or so with a rotary, wool pad, M105 and with about 3000 rpm and 15 to 20 lbs. pressure. Then lower speed and pressure and go back over railing again so to remove the buffer trail/ holograms on aluminum.


Thought I was really going to be in trouble with the top but here's some test spots using Meguiars Ultimate Compound on a terry towel and about 20 seconds of rubbing by hand.


And same technique on other side.


My question Mike, is the tubing at the top is worse then the bottom and I've had to use 0000 steel wool with M105 on it and rub what seams like forever and then buff but not really doing any good. Would Marine 31 metal polish be alot more aggressive then Meguiars M105?

And/or what would you use in a case like this? I'm wasting why to much time to try to get every inch of these bars to a mirror shine to all blend in together.

Will get some pics of the condition of tubing and post up so you can get a better ideal, Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: badly oxidized aluminum railing

Quote:
Originally Posted by kinder car care View Post


My question Mike, is the tubing at the top is worse then the bottom and I've had to use 0000 steel wool with M105 on it and rub what seams like forever and then buff but not really doing any good.
While any decent automotive compound will abrade oxidized aluminum and in so doing remove the oxidized material to uncover a harder, smoother shinier aluminum surface, abrasive technology more tuned for metal will work faster and better.

M105 is a SMAT product, that means Super Micro Abrasive Technology. This abrasive technology was a real game changer when it was introduced to the body shop industry as well as car detailing industry because it has the ability to cut fast and finish out like a quality fine cut polish.

Traditionally, most aggressive compounds will cut fast but they don't finish out like a quality fine cut polish but instead leave the paint looking scratched and scoured meaning more steps would still be required to create a customer pleasing finish.

A quality metal compound or polish will cut fast and even faster than a compound made for thin, scratch-sensitive clearcoat paints. A quality metal compound and polish will also work faster by hand.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kinder car care View Post

Would Marine 31 metal polish be a lot more aggressive then Meguiars M105?
Yes.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kinder car care View Post

And/or what would you use in a case like this? I'm wasting way too much time to try to get every inch of these bars to a mirror shine to all blend in together.
I would use the Marine 31 Finish Cut Metal Restoring Polish with a wool pad on a rotary buffer.

If you're seeing swirl patterns left in the aluminum that's the nature of a rotary buffer when using things that cut, that would be the wool fibers of a wool cutting pad and the abrasives in the polish.

To remove the swirls simply hand apply the polish with a little elbow grease and a terry cloth applicator pads. You can try to re-polish with a foam cutting pad and the metal polish but as long as you're using a rotary buffer you'll likely see some type of swirl pattern in the metal.

Another option would be to use some type of dual action polisher with foam at high speeds to do a "finishing step" to remove the swirl pattern left by the rotary buffer.

For rails like you're working on I've had good luck to just quickly rub the tops visible surfaces by hand with the same polish but use some terry cloth to applying the polish and rub hard for a few seconds in a back and forth or straight line motion over the rails.

A couple of years ago I buffed out some stainless steel fender skirts using a wool pad and a metal polish and while this combo removed years of oxidation, light rust and swirls and scratches it also left holograms in the stainless steel.

I simply re-polished the stainless steel fender skirts by hand using the same polish and was able to remove the holograms as they tend to be very shallow.


Stainless Steel Fender Skirts - Before









Side-by-Side







After



Much better...






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Old 06-09-2014, 02:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: badly oxidized aluminum railing

Thanks for your help, as always greatly appreciated.

Will be ordering 2 things of Marine 31 Finish cut metal restoring polish and 3 wool twisted pads.

Will be going back to the boat to start polishing the painted surfaces and gel coat, and wait for the metal polish to come in.

Starting to get a nice little arsenal of Marine 31 products, lets just hope that I can get started in boat detailing!

Thanks again Mike
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: badly oxidized aluminum railing

Sorry to possibly hijack the post but does anything get out the pitting that gets on the aluminum. Don't know if that is the right word. But when I rub my hand on the hard top legs there are some rough spots.
Thanks
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: badly oxidized aluminum railing

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Sorry to possibly hijack the post but does anything get out the pitting that gets on the aluminum. Don't know if that is the right word. But when I rub my hand on the hard top legs there are some rough spots.
Thanks
Game Changer

Sanding the aluminum will level the surface. There's no practical way to fill in the pitting or voids where aluminum has corroded.

You could smooth the rough surface over with paint, using paint to fill in the pitting or voids. Probably not the best option for your project.


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