How To Polish Aluminum To Mirror Finish

How to polish aluminum to mirror finish:

  1. Prepping the surface

Clean and degrease the item you want to polish, make sure the surface is free of dirt. If the surface of work piece is lacquered you must remove the lacquer.

  1. Sanding

If the parts are heavily scratched, marked, or scored then suitable abrasive should be used prior to polishing to remove. Choosing the grits, most of the jobs can be done with grit 320 followed by grit 400 finishing with grit 600 for aluminum parts. Some jobs will require a bit more work and time, heavily scratched surfaces will need to be sanded with 180 grit first, lower than grit 180 on aluminum is not recommended, it will create more marks. So grit 180, followed by 320, 400 and finished with 600 grit ready for the polishing step.

  1. Polishing
    1. Attach the tapered mandrel to your drill, or angle grinder adapter to your angle grinder/polisher or bench grinder spindle adapter to your bench grinder and fix tightly.
    2. Attach the sisal buffing wheel onto the mandrel/adapter and screw on tightly.
    3. Run the drill/andgle grinder polisher/bench grinder, and apply the brown tripoli polishing compound to the sisal buffing wheel for approx. 2 seconds, the metal polishing compound is wax / abrasive based so the motion of the spinning mop generates heat which melts the wax / abrasive onto the metal polishing buffing wheel.
    4. Apply the sisal buffing wheel to the item to be polished with medium / hard pressure. It is very important that you remove all tiny marks / scratches and leave a uniform finish.
    5. Apply more polishing compound to the sisal buffing wheel if required. When all scratches / marks are removed and the work piece has a uniform dull finish, remove the sisal buffing wheel.
    6. Attach the colour stitch buffing wheel onto the mandel/adapter and screw on tightly. Run the drill/andgle grinder polisher/bench grinder, and apply the Brown or Blue polishing compound to the colour stitch buffing wheel for approx. 2 seconds. https:
    7. Apply the colour stitch buffing wheel to the item to be polished with medium pressure. This will remove the dull finish left by the first process and leave the work piece with a semi-bright finish.
    8. Apply more polishing compound to the colour stitch buffing wheel if required. When you have a uniform semi-bright finish, remove the colour stitch buffing wheel.
    9. Attach the loose fold buffing wheel onto the mandrel/adapter and screw on tightly. Run the drill/andgle grinder polisher/bench grinder, and apply the Blue polishing compound to the loose fold buffing wheel for approx. 2 seconds.

You should now be left with a bright finish. Remove excess polishing compound and grease left on the surface.

Job done.

 

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