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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well a few weeks back I picked up a nearly free parts bike with a complete motor. I figured this would allow me to polish some case covers without disabling my bike, then I'll just swap them out when the time comes.

So, what do you think? I'm still working on the clutch cover, hubs, lower forks, and any other aluminum bits I can take off the parts bike. That points cover looks like it needs work too, its not nearly bright enough.

I am going to send a few test pieces off to have them black anodized with the next batch we do at work. I've heard that cast pieces dont always anodize beautifully, but if not, I can always re-polish them.

If the anodizing doesnt take, how do you guys keep this bare soft aluminum looking nice after polishing it? These will haze over with a scotchbright dish sponge, so I'm sure a few weeks of boots rubbing on them will reek havok on the finish.

I'll post more as I finish parts.

TJ
 

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Wow. Nice work!

I too would be interested in learning about your technique/procedures.
 

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My grandpa was polish. He'd be impressed too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the kind words, guys. I had a good teacher.

I use a 6" bench grinder with wheels and all safety guards removed. I put a cloth polishing wheel on one end of the grinder, and nothing on the other. I use a real low hp motor so that when the parts catch in the buffing wheel, it stops the grinder rather than slinging the part out of my hands into the wall. Grinders seem to have lower inertia motors than dedicated buffing machines, probably because they usually have heavy grinding wheels contributing to their inertia. You can buff faster/harder with a larger motor, but it makes mistakes hurt a lot more, broken fingers, getting hit in the groin with parts, etc. Wear heavy leather gloves, a respirator, full facemask and hold on tight to those little parts!

Get the part CLEAN! before starting. Grease and grime and old paint doesn't make good buffing compound. Heavy oxidized parts get scrubbed with 00 steel wool or even 600 grit wetpaper first.

I use a black emory cutting compound for knocking down the real nasty stuff like deep scratches and casting bumps, where it looks like it was sandcast (think around the mounting locations on a fork tube). Then I just use a white rouge. For parts that are nicely diecast to begin with like the generator cover and points cover, I go straight for the white rouge. It seems like you have to get the work piece sufficiently hot before it will really start to polish out, otherwise the compound just sticks to the metal and almost creates a barrier that you have to rub off.

I clean the buffing compound off the parts after every 10 minutes or so of buffing. I usually put a pair of rubber gloves on and dip the part in carb cleaner while its still hot from buffing. Then rub around for a few minutes, rinse with hot water, and get the carb cleaner residue off with dawn, then rinse again. Just let the parts air dry, if you rub them dry with paper towels you'll make them hazy. Then look at your work in a bright light, identify areas that are not up to snuff, and repeat.

I have heard several people say to buff in one direction for the first grit, then change directions for the finer grit, etc. But I always have better luck just randomly buffing, no real method to it, just buff til it gets too hot to hold and then move on to the next place. Keep the part moving around on the wheel at all times, you don't want to put any low spots in it.

Hopefully I'll have these on the bike before too much longer. Will post more pics after anodizing.
 
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