Author Topic: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.  (Read 7054 times)

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Offline Magpie

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Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« on: December 08, 2012, 09:56:13 am »

Offline NobleHops

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2013, 10:11:26 am »
Dead link :-(
Nils Menten * Tucson, Arizona, USA

I have a motorcycle problem.

My build thread: NobleHops makes a 400F pretty for his wife: http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=131210.0

Offline inv3ctiv3

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2014, 10:59:04 am »
I'd really like to see this, anyone have another link?
1975 CB400F

Offline Magpie

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2014, 01:21:23 pm »
No other links but youtube has a ton of videos on polishing, like this one How to Polish Aluminum to Look like Chrome  The secret I found was to use a different buffing disk for each compound, let the grit do the work and be patient. Cliff.

Offline edwardmorris

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2014, 02:10:23 pm »

Offline NobleHops

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2014, 02:22:13 pm »
Nils Menten * Tucson, Arizona, USA

I have a motorcycle problem.

My build thread: NobleHops makes a 400F pretty for his wife: http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=131210.0

Offline edwardmorris

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2014, 02:52:14 pm »
You're very welcome. Taking up a build is about the best thing you can do to become a search expert :D

Offline NobleHops

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2014, 02:56:56 pm »
You're very welcome. Taking up a build is about the best thing you can do to become a search expert :D

I think you just spawned an idea for a new thread, a bookmark-o-rama. I have a pretty big stash too.
Nils Menten * Tucson, Arizona, USA

I have a motorcycle problem.

My build thread: NobleHops makes a 400F pretty for his wife: http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=131210.0

Offline inv3ctiv3

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2014, 04:27:38 pm »
Thanks for the responses! I'll be re-doing my wheels soon and will probably do this with the hubs, fork bottoms, etc.
1975 CB400F

Markcb750

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 05:44:52 pm »
I seldom sand finer than 320 anymore, Met a guy from Colorado Norton Works who led me to believe he never sands finer than 120. ???

I use a random sander 120/320 to start, then some Browning metal polish on a buffing wheel usually 500 grit.

Then Tripoli. CNW recommended to me, it does seem to work better than the red rouge I had been buying; Butthoonose?

Then white.

Good times.

Offline seanbarney41

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2014, 06:01:52 pm »
+1 Mark, on the sandpaper, none of these parts were really ever polished in the first place.  All this blinged out shine, although beautiful, is not correct for a restoration.  Red scotchbrite leaves the finish similar to factory.  If you have deep scratches and gouges, start with a file.
If it works good, it looks good...

Offline d9canada

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2014, 12:41:49 pm »
One thing no one mentioned was the original factory finish.  All the 60s and 70s Japanese bikes used a very durable gray paint on the engine side covers.  Though often it's pretty much gone, it's a good idea to start out by degreasing, then use a paint-on paint remover, let it sit for 15-20 minutes then lightly work it over with a plastic bristle brush or Scotchbrite pad, then powerwash.  Sometimes you'll be surprised by the chunks of gray paint that come off.  But certainly if you skip this step and then find a weird gray patch that won't polish out, chances are good that it's paint. 

Wet sanding also gets the worst of the oxidized material off the metal.  Some castings like the strange valve covers used on the DOHCs, there are a lot of marks that will not polish out.  The only way to get a good finish is to wet sand.  Start with fairly course stuff, like 150, unless the finish is pretty nice already.  Step down to 240 then 360 at least before attempting polishing.

Also, you do not need a commercially built bench buffer, as you can see from the video Magpie posted, a cotton wheel in any sort of arbor or bench grinder will work.  You can also buy inexpensive adapters as pictured, that will fit threaded or keyed shafts.  I scrounged a 2.5HP motor from a blown up portable compressor.  With a 1" wide 8" diameter sewn cotton wheel on one of those adapters, I get great results.

For hand held tools, small angle grinders and die grinders are very useful but do be careful so the tool doesn't kick if the wheel grabs.  But a great money saver for Dremel type tools - don't use the original little shaft and buffer pads (WAY too expensive).  Use a long machine screw, cut the head off and grind the shank to fit your chuck.  Use a few nuts and washers to clamp the pads on.  You can do similar with a drywall screw (remember to round down the point) but the downside of the drywall screw is that the felts can grab the work and tear out their center, then they just spin on the screw.
Brian

CB350F to CB900C
GL500
GL1000
CBX
02 Sportster 883
64 Suzuki M15D Sovereign 50cc

Offline Stev-o

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2014, 12:47:31 pm »
  All the 60s and 70s Japanese bikes used a very durable gray paint on the engine side covers. 

Ahhhh no, the SOHC Honda's were not painted gray. They were shot w/clear.
'74 "Big Bang" Honda 750K [836].....'71 Honda 750K project.....'76 Honda 550F.....K3 Park Racer.....K5 Fiddy Dolla Special!......and a Bomber!............plus plus plus.........

Offline seanbarney41

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2014, 08:10:07 pm »
  All the 60s and 70s Japanese bikes used a very durable gray paint on the engine side covers. 

Ahhhh no, the SOHC Honda's were not painted gray. They were shot w/clear.
yeah, but it's the same damn stuff on the crankcase and cylinders
If it works good, it looks good...

Offline HondaAddict

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2017, 04:22:58 am »
I made a PDF showing the basic process I use to restore aluminum pieces, if anyone's interested.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FAOYX9h6xigg1QKuq9nN4SKt--7eMnYu/view
1975 CB550K  Project thread
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Offline Magpie

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2017, 08:32:27 am »
Awesome! Thanks for that HondaAddict! Saved it. merry Christmas. Cliff.

Offline HondaAddict

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2017, 06:09:25 am »
Awesome! Thanks for that HondaAddict! Saved it. merry Christmas. Cliff.

Thanks, Cliff. Merry Christmas!

FYI, here's a useful ebook that's mentioned elsewhere on these forums.

http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/images/Buffbook.pdf

I recommend it for anyone doing much of this work.
1975 CB550K  Project thread
1984 V65 Sabre Project thread on V4Musclebike.com
2002 Ninja 250R
1986 Z50R

Offline HondaAddict

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2017, 08:15:06 am »
One thing no one mentioned was the original factory finish.  All the 60s and 70s Japanese bikes used a very durable gray paint on the engine side covers.  Though often it's pretty much gone, it's a good idea to start out by degreasing, then use a paint-on paint remover, let it sit for 15-20 minutes then lightly work it over with a plastic bristle brush or Scotchbrite pad, then powerwash.  Sometimes you'll be surprised by the chunks of gray paint that come off.  But certainly if you skip this step and then find a weird gray patch that won't polish out, chances are good that it's paint. 

Wet sanding also gets the worst of the oxidized material off the metal.  Some castings like the strange valve covers used on the DOHCs, there are a lot of marks that will not polish out.  The only way to get a good finish is to wet sand.  Start with fairly course stuff, like 150, unless the finish is pretty nice already.  Step down to 240 then 360 at least before attempting polishing.

Also, you do not need a commercially built bench buffer, as you can see from the video Magpie posted, a cotton wheel in any sort of arbor or bench grinder will work.  You can also buy inexpensive adapters as pictured, that will fit threaded or keyed shafts.  I scrounged a 2.5HP motor from a blown up portable compressor.  With a 1" wide 8" diameter sewn cotton wheel on one of those adapters, I get great results.

For hand held tools, small angle grinders and die grinders are very useful but do be careful so the tool doesn't kick if the wheel grabs.  But a great money saver for Dremel type tools - don't use the original little shaft and buffer pads (WAY too expensive).  Use a long machine screw, cut the head off and grind the shank to fit your chuck.  Use a few nuts and washers to clamp the pads on.  You can do similar with a drywall screw (remember to round down the point) but the downside of the drywall screw is that the felts can grab the work and tear out their center, then they just spin on the screw.

Excellent info. Thanks!

I often don't know whether a piece has a clear coat, so I try the stripper just in case. Good point about using paint-on-paint remover. I should look for it, as my stripper didn't soften the paint on parts like the CB550 control housings.

Also a great suggestion about wet sanding. I think I'll try it, as I'm about to tackle one of those daunting SOHC valve covers.
1975 CB550K  Project thread
1984 V65 Sabre Project thread on V4Musclebike.com
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Offline RAF122S

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2017, 10:45:26 am »
If your 650 control housings were metal then a soak in Castrol Super Clean I believe works to break the clear and sanding will cut through to the aluminum and sand to at least 320 wet or 400 wet and then start with tripoli and do a white on a different wheel.  Mark your buff wheels and only use one compound on that wheel for best results.
 David
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Offline mrbreeze

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2017, 11:03:48 am »
The controls are anodized. I used easy-off oven cleaner on mine. You don't want to leave it on too long though.
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Offline RAF122S

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2017, 11:02:28 pm »
The Castrol Super Clean when used full strength can soften the urethane or whatever clear they used on many aluminum parts or as a fuel proofing protection...
David- back in the desert SW!

Offline HondaAddict

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2017, 08:03:52 am »
Good to know about Castrol Super Clean and Easy-Off. I ended out just sanding my housings. I should have done more research here first.  :)
1975 CB550K  Project thread
1984 V65 Sabre Project thread on V4Musclebike.com
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Offline HondaAddict

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2017, 10:37:41 am »
The rear hub from my 1975 CB550K appears to have a clear coat, although it could be an illusion. My stripper won't touch it. Is this a job for Super Clean or Easy-Off?

1975 CB550K  Project thread
1984 V65 Sabre Project thread on V4Musclebike.com
2002 Ninja 250R
1986 Z50R

Offline Maraakate

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Re: Excellent polishing "how to" advice/lessons.
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2020, 11:11:53 am »
The rear hub from my 1975 CB550K appears to have a clear coat, although it could be an illusion. My stripper won't touch it. Is this a job for Super Clean or Easy-Off?



Necropost, but yes, any kind of yellowing like that is very likely a clear coat that has been breaking down.
1977 CB550K
1979 CM400A