Best way to polish aluminum?

Discussion in 'Peterbilt Forum' started by Dave1837, Mar 14, 2020.

  1. Brettj3876

    Brettj3876 Road Train Member

    Haha 6 pack 1st then start the work lol
     
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  3. A5¢

    A5¢ Medium Load Member

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    Get on the internet and watch the videos. There is a lot of information out there, but the main thing is to get the defects out of the surface of the aluminum. It's not a terrible job, but it is a filthy job!
     
  4. clausland

    clausland Road Train Member

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    Make sure you protect your lungs. This is one place where you definitely need to where a face mask.

    I've had good luck by washing the tank first, then sanding it with 600, then 1000 grit, then finishing with 2500 grit. Finish it off by hand with a polishing compound on a micro fiber cloth or a DA pad. Stay out of direct sunlight.

    Some guys use a big grinder with various buffing wheels & compounds, but I haven't found that to work very well for me. If you do, eye, lung & hand protection is required. It is a filthy job; you will get real dirty.
     
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  5. jammer910Z

    jammer910Z Road Train Member

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  6. w9l

    w9l Light Load Member

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    I have done alot of aluminum polishing with a buffer/grinder and rouge. In near all cases it is best to clean it thoroughly and sand it down to fine than 600 and if your gonna do it without a buffer and rouge use red scotchbrite pad and then grey scotchbrite followed by wet sanding with soapy water or wd40 with like 1500, 2000, and 2500 sandpaper. Rinse clean between each wet step. Then pick up some Pro40 Zephyr or other good liquid polish. When sanding, go top to bottom strokes not lengthwise or random. Yes, it is a very dirty job no matter how how you do it (unless you call a polisher guy) I once polished out my wife's aluminum horse trailer over a weekend using a buffer and rouge . For protection I just wore a pair of safety glasses. When I got done I looked like a raccoon when I took the glasses off. Monday, I was so sick I could barely walk. Chills, etc. Pretty sure I sweated and soaked enough aluminum through my skin it poisoned me. Be careful. I was young and bulletproof then. I learned my lesson.
     
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  7. SmallPackage

    SmallPackage Road Train Member

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    D7BD4E01-7020-4C74-B0FF-BEAE76B5CDD5.png This stuff. Since 2003. Bunch of us Texas boys helped Gordon get this started. Best stuff on the market.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
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  8. ANDREWS_METHOD

    ANDREWS_METHOD Light Load Member

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    Does anybody body got a drill attachment they recommend? Preferably from Amazon? I recently got my tanks and boxes cut and polished & they look really nice, but I was thinking about getting a decent drill attachment for upkeep since everything is cut and good to go.
     
  9. w9l

    w9l Light Load Member

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    I have used the Mother's drill attachments and they are ok. Kinda pricey. But if you just had everything cut, especially boxes and tanks, I would just put a coat of good old carnauba wax on them and then as it wears off use a good quality polish by hand to maintain for a long time. The problem with any rotating buffer or polisher is that you sling polish all over the neighborhood if your not extremely slow and patient.
     
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  10. ANDREWS_METHOD

    ANDREWS_METHOD Light Load Member

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    That makes a lot of sense. That’s what I used to do, by hand. I didn’t know if there was a more, expedited-with the right tools type of way. I saw the mother’s attachment on amazon, $30 or so. It seemed like it would tear up pretty quick? But had pretty good reviews.

    hmm, so I didn’t think about the flinging of polish by using the drill. Would you say getting the attachment and using it slow would make for a more convenient touch up? Or just not necessary / worth it? I just remember years ago, the time it took to hand polish and lol getting a cramped up hand off and on throughout the process. Which ultimately is no big deal, just looking at options now.

    when I took everything to my polish guy, he mentioned I could buy an attachment to maintain it if I wanted to. But he wasn’t very specific and just kind of shrugged it off like any attachment will do.
     
  11. w9l

    w9l Light Load Member

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    The Mother's ball is pretty tuff when it is young. Same with the cone shaped one. After they ar e 6mos to a yr old they start deteriorating pretty quick. If you wash them out good with Dawn and store them dry they will do better than that. For doing flat surfaces I would recommend the cone shaped one. It is pretty versatile and works good on wheels too. A little less of a shotgun approach than a ball.
     
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