Help w/ bench buffer & polishing stainless steel - Vintage Mustang Forums

Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Northern, VA
Posts: 416
Does anyone have any experience with buffing metal (stainless steel, aluminum, etc) and with what compounds? I have done research and everyone has some different suggestions for polishing (cutting/coloring). Over the weekend I tried placing the stainless in the Sun to warm the parts up but could not get the cut/polish method to work correctly. The buffer I'm using is the 8" on Harbor Freight's website (3/4 speed) and have 3 different wheels and 3 different compounds (white, redish and gray).

Please feel free to make any suggestion as all are welcome.

Thanks in advance,
EGaillard is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 10:25 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 124
Check out info and tons of supplies
HTH, Stan
bolloskis is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 10:30 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Idaho
Posts: 522
When I polished the window moldings for my 66 coupe, I used a 6" polishing wheel attached to a bench grinder. I used a 3 step process, starting with tripoli compound (probably your gray, but it was a brownish color when i did it), then using the white rouge (white), and finally the jewelers rouge (dark reddish). The results were quite good, but it does take a significant amount of time to get those results, so perhaps you just weren't giving it enough time. I'm not sure about the buffer, but if it doesn't have enough speed/horsepower, then it might be even harder to get the cutting compounds to work well.

DAVZ289 is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 11:53 PM
Junior Member
epjohnston's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 28
Having spent many years as a jeweler and metalsmith, I can tell you it's a matter of 2 things, (1) the speed of your buff, and (2) the compound you use. Warming up the metal has no effect.

Stainless is a hard metal and so you need a lot of speed on the wheel and you need a strong cutting compound. Consider the cutting compound like sandpaper. It's used to smooth out very fine, and sometimes not so fine scratches. After that, you use either a white diamond or red rouge polish to brighten it. Never put two different compounds on the same buff.

Keep in mind that you should always keep the piece moving, especially when using cutting compound, otherwise you'll risk "drawing" the metal (wearing grooves in it). And when doing your final polish, keep changing directions, it'll give you a nice bright shine. You can finish by washing the piece with slightly diluted sudsy ammonia. It's the best at removing the compound film and buildup from the metal.

I just polished my glass trim a couple months ago, and they came out very nicely.

Good luck
epjohnston is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 03:52 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 3,628
used exact same setup as you did and my backlight and windshield trim looks like its out of factory. used Eastwood's compounds and spend atleast 6 hrs doing it. if you need name of compounds PM me and i will hunt for it.

'68 6-cyl coupe
Canadian Mustang "Big Kit"
Pony Carb
BillScott is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Vintage Mustang Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome