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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an older Delta 6" inch grinder and would like advice on adding a wire wheel (or other wheel for that matter) for the sole purpose of shining up the old nuts and bolts etc. as I slowly venture down the road of restoring a '69 CB350. Should it be brass, stainless, brand, model? Thanks!
 

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These roloc discs are pretty good at removing clearcoat and giving aluminum a flat initial polish very quickly. These have been a huge time saver for my polishing process, they seem to get the job done easier than anything else so far ive tried. You have to use them with a drill or a high speed rotary. I use this Chief. As for a bench grinder I think a brass wire wheel is best. Then a cotton polishing wheel, some people have a few fabric type wheels dedicated to use with thier type of cutting compound. I use this Harbor Freight polisher after roloc discs, then 400 grit, 1000 wet sanding and done.
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I have an older Delta 6" inch grinder and would like advice on adding a wire wheel (or other wheel for that matter) for the sole purpose of shining up the old nuts and bolts etc. as I slowly venture down the road of restoring a '69 CB350. Should it be brass, stainless, brand, model? Thanks!
First off, welcome to the forum, ausman1000!

I hate to rain on your parade, but if you shine up old nuts and bolts on a wire wheel, the beauty will be very short lived. The reason they look dingy and dirty is because the original zinc or cadmium plating has slowly weathered away over the past 50+ years. If you clean the hardware with a wire wheel, you will remove the last remnants of the plating, leaving bare steel which will immediately begin to rust.

Your grinder is a valuable tool to have. I couldn't get by without my ancient Sears Craftsman grinder. It has a grinding wheel on one side and a steel wire brush wheel on the other side. I use it all the time for a lot of different purposes, but it won't polish exposed hardware for a bike restoration. I do polish aluminum parts on it by removing the wire brush wheel and installing sisal or sewn cloth wheels and using polishing compounds. I would get a bigger polishing machine if I had more space. If you want to learn about polishing, check out the Caswell page. They sell wheels of all types and a variety of polishing compounds. They also sell a booklet with some helpful info on the process.

While you are there, take a look at their plating information. If you want to shine up your old hardware, it is going to need to be cleaned and then plated again, as it once was. A better way to clean the hardware for plating is to glass blast it. Here are some parts from a 1970 SL350 basket case that I have been working on:

Seat latch as found:


Disassembled & Blasted (along with some other parts):


Plated and back together:




Home plating is a pretty tedious process, but is great for doing a few parts at a time that are too small a quantity to send off to a plating shop. I don't use the Caswell plating kit, but I know some people who do. They get good results with it. I just made up my own, based on information I read on-line. Here's my kit:





Since those pictures, I have moved to a larger plastic tub, because I started using a taller Folger Coffee can for my plating bath, and it was too tall for the tub shown here. It does still fit into a single plastic tote though. 😏

Good luck with your CB350. I have a 1971 CL350 and I love the little bike.
 
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Good writeup on polishing/plating. I've been polishing alum for years and I have never tried plating, but it is on my list of skills to acquire. I have a bead blast cabinet and got glass beads from an auto parts store years ago. That source dried up so I got some at Harbor Freight. Big mistake. I think it was more like Silica sand than it was glass beads. I recently found a new source of glass beads at Grainger the industrial supply company. I ordered a 50 lb bucket and picked it up at the local distribution center, they do not charge shipping when you pick it up. I dumped the Harbor Freight crap and reloaded with the new beads, night and day difference!
 

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I have an older Delta 6" inch grinder and would like advice on adding a wire wheel (or other wheel for that matter) for the sole purpose of shining up the old nuts and bolts etc. as I slowly venture down the road of restoring a '69 CB350. Should it be brass, stainless, brand, model? Thanks!
I just buy two regular steel brush wheels from the local Home Depot/lowes and install both together, gives an aggressive brush. Not to be used on aluminum, but great for cleaning surface rust from misc. hardware. Sure, you could replate or replace all your hardware, but if you are just trying to make your ride a little nicer by cleaning off surface rust, a regular wire brush works well. Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just buy two regular steel brush wheels from the local Home Depot/lowes and install both together, gives an aggressive brush. Not to be used on aluminum, but great for cleaning surface rust from misc. hardware. Sure, you could replate or replace all your hardware, but if you are just trying to make your ride a little nicer by cleaning off surface rust, a regular wire brush works well. Cheers
I went out to Home Depot today and did exactly as you suggested. I now have two steel brushes doubled up and wow that makes for one very quick aggressive cleaning/stripping machine!

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