Polishing your tuck is not that difficult. It's a dirty job, but the results are rewarding. To get you started follow these basic steps. Visit the online store, and enjoy your shine.
These instruction are primarily for polishing surfaces on Semi Trucks. They can be applied to other polishing projects you may be trying to accomplish with adjustments to the machine speed, polishing compounds, and polishing wheels you choose.
Finishing metal on semi trucks is an art all it own, Every truck takes on its own personality, Depending on how the truck is driven, washed, stored and the type of service it works. If you ever have any question when using my supplies I always leave and open line to answer any question, or situations you may come across, firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep in mind that all polishing compounds and pads are not consistent between manufactures. Truckpolisher only sells the best polishing materials available to give you that show truck finish. Keep it simple and safe.
Always wear protective gear when polishing including safety glasses, dust mask, coveralls and gloves. Be aware of wires, light bars, bug deflectors, nut covers, exhaust clamps ect... Either remove them, tape wires up or stay away from thing a grinder can get caught up in. Keep it safe
These polishing instructions will take you from start to finish through the polishing process to help you understand and begin mastering the art of metal polishing. Please note these instructions are basic instruction used to polish surfaces on semi trucks, heavy equipment and other surfaces, Truckpolisher take no responsibility over the use of these instruction because we have no control over the user performing the steps written,
Prepping the surface is the must important step in polishing. road film, soap and wax film from washing, and general wear and scratches while working your truck day in, day out.
If your a driver in the northern states you might want to think about brightening the metal prior to polishing. The most common name is "aluminum brightener", it contains the acid "hydrafloric acid". This chemical when applied will remove wax, road film, oils, and grease. Plus removes oxidation and tarnish on stainless and chrome surfaces (special attention should be taken when using brightener on stainless and chrome). It also brings your aluminum down to a dull sheen to give you excellent results re-polishing the surface. Always read the dilution rate for aluminum brightener. Manufactures have a wide variety of acid percentages and dilutions are not the same.
Just washing your surface to remove the grease, and oil is sometime enough. If you have pepper looking specs (salt corrodtion), tarnish, oxidation on the surface,, aluminum brightener is the way to go.
Sanding aluminum is what we will discuss here. You can adapt these steps for other metals, but your grits used to sand may not be the same. Never sand a plated or painted metal unless you are sure you know how to do it, some mistakes can not be corrected.
When sanding aluminum keep you machine pad as flat as possible to prevent waves in the metal during the polishing process. Determine what you want to accomplish. removing a scratch, pitting chemical burns. ect...
Start with the appropriate grit to accomplish the task. Next, sand with a paper about 60 grits higher than your last sanding sheet. Example 120, 180, 240, then towards the end of the sanding process the grit range jumps to 80 grit higher than you last sheet. 320, 400, then at the very end the grits range jumps 200 grits higher than your last sheet, 600, ,800, 1000, 1200.
Personally I stop at 600 grit and start polishing from there. You will not always have to step the paper in that order, depending on how you sand and the equipment you use.
Polishing is similar to sanding. Now your going to make the surface more reflective and smoother. When polishing you are simply removing or blending the material down to create a reflective surface. Always work from coarse to fine when polishing (the same as if you were polishing faded paint on a car).
I will include three basic step in polishing a surface. For some a simple cut and color polish is acceptable. For others a cut and color plus color with finer buffs and compound are preferred. This choice is totally yours to make.
This is users choice. I have been polishing for over 25 yrs and I like using 5,000 rpm machines. Hand held grinder there called. Years ago the pads did not have a rating that high to use the buffs at that speed . But I see that is changing. Here is the difference: the slower machine that are variable speed are nice, there safer to use. But you need to finish your work with lighter grit sand paper if you chose this way, and the work is slower. The faster grinder /polisher are heavier and not as safe to use but the work gets done a lot sooner using these machines. This is all debatable and is operator choice. I do use both when I polish.
Apply a light coat of Rouge Lube to the surface being buffed using steel wool . Using a yellow airway buff, apply bar compound Tripoli (Brown) by lightly spinning the buff against the bar polishing compound. Now start polishing the surface. (start at the bottom if your polishing a tank). Buff moving you buff from right to left or back and forth pushing the rouge line left by the rouge bar on the surface forward. Continue until the surface is polish. Apply (Brown) bar compound when needed. (you can tell if you need more bar compound if your rouge line that the compound makes on the surface starts to fade),
Since this is your first cut on the surface and your most important cut. you need to inspect your work prior to continuing on to the next step
Polishing with green rouge is the same as polishing with the cut and color bar. Green is also a cut and color bar. It has a finer grain used in the manufacturing process to give you a more reflective smoother surface. When using this type of bar, raking your buff and applying new rouge is needed.
Like I stated at the beginning. Polishing is like buffing paint on a car. Your just using different materials and compounds.
Applying color is no different than the first two step. Your just going to use a softer buff and a color bar. When you color a surface your bringing out all the scratch and producing a more reflective and mirror image. Doing all three steps on all surfaces is a job so most user will stop at either step 1 or step 2. If your in a competition go all the way and color that metal.
Polishing with white rouge is the same as polishing with the cut and color bar. white is only a color bar. It has a no grain used in the manufacturing process. it give you a even more reflective surface. When using this type of bar, raking your buff and applying new rouge is needed. Lower rpm speed works the best
Continue polishing the surfaces to your liking in each step. You will be able to see better results in each step. Continuing to color the aluminum, if needed go back to step 2 or 1 if needed to obtain a uniform mirror surface. For best results use a different buff for each polishing compound. If using a different buff for each compound is not possible then remove the previous compound by raking your buff.