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Virtually all aluminum can be sanded and polished to a mirror like shine with a little time and elbow grease.  The first step in the process is to sand or file any casting pits, marks or damage with a coarse sanding disc or sand paper.  Next is to then sand the entire surface with a slightly finer grit until you get rid of all the previous grits marks.  I usually finish the sanding process with 280 grit paper on a 6 inch orbital air sander; this will remove the scratches that the courser sanding media left behind and is fine enough to go straight to cotton wheels and polishing compounds.  I start the actual polishing process with a 6 inch sisal sewn wheel chucked in an air drill and use the emery (black) compound, the compound is applied by simply holding the stick of compound on the spinning wheel.  As you progress with the cutting action of the black compound the wheel will start to get “plugged” with aluminum and extra compound, the wheel need to be “raked” by spinning the wheel in reverse against a wire brush, sharp edge or a wheel rake.

The black emery compound will produce a relatively deep shine, but the real deep shine we’re after will come from using a different spiral sewn cotton wheel with a white (diamond/rouge) compound.  Be sure to use a different wheel for each compound or fully rake out the previous compound before applying a new one.

 

Villain Motorsports can polish most aluminum from cast to billet and from small engine brackets to a set of four rims for your car or truck.  If you would like to try your hand at polishing aluminum I have included a link to a great printable instruction booklet from Caswell Plating at the bottom of the page.  Beware! The process is very messy and time consuming, make sure to wear the appropriate protective gear; safety glasses, dust mask and gloves.  The aluminum dust is very hazardous to you’re health so be sure to AT LEAST wear some kind of breathing apparatus.

 

 

Caswell Buffing Booklet

 

 

info@villainmotorsports.ca

 

(204) 999-1325