View Full Version : Polishing How-to

01-20-2005, 05:40 PM
So how do you guys polish parts? I'm wanting to do my valve covers for my 6.0l. Wonder what the best way is to do them? Polishes, tools, etc.

Thank you guys!


01-20-2005, 07:50 PM
i love to polish things. first you need a bench top grinder to convert to a polisher, then you need multiple compounds. i typicly use a 3 compound system and you need seperate wheels for each compound the most abrasive compounds use a stiffer wheel where as the finishing final polish is best with a super soft floppy wheel. if the valve covers arnt smooth and they are rough cast then you need to grind them smooth and then use a "scotch bright" wheel to get the grinding marks out. polishing is a ton of work but very satisfying in the end. make sure you use polishing compound that will work with aluminum! also make sure the wheels have frsh compound on them and make sure to "clear" them every once and while by taking the blade of a flat head screw driver to the surface to pull all of the spent compound out of the wheel. then re aply. also remeber a crap-ton of compound isnt the answer you dont need much, too much will clog the wheel and make a mess of your part. feel free to ask if any thing is unclear

01-21-2005, 10:22 AM
The only aluminum I've polished was fairly smooth to begin with. For aluminum plate i started out with 250 grit wet paper and worked my way up to 2000 grit. Believe it or not, I used an electric palm sander to speed things up. Just keep the motor out of the water. After I finished with the wet/dry sand paper I used polishing compounds untill I got a finish I was happy with.

01-23-2005, 11:53 AM
Dollar for dollar; the very best money you can spend to polish stuff:


I bought mine from Harbor Frieght and it is a MONSTER!!! Don't waste your time using a bench grinder with polishing wheels on it.



01-23-2005, 12:04 PM
Thanks for the tips guys!

However right now...I'm thinkin I'm gonna spend that time cleaning the rest of the engine so it looks good. I'll attack this when I have some extra time and nothing else to do.

Great info for other guys too!


01-24-2005, 08:43 AM
i agree with rich the bench grinder is a bit limmiting due to the fact the wheels are too close to the drive motor, the only advantage is its duel purpose. but a dedicated buffer is nice for big parts