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Polishing Aluminum Automobile Wheels





I want to know if anybody is familiar with ball burnishing aluminum. I want to do a set of wheels on a 2000 model Land Rover - this procedure is very common on bike frames.

Also, has anybody ever stripped the painted finish off automobile wheels? want is the finish look like.

George S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Katy, Texas
2001


I'm not sure about cars but I did just polish the rims on my motorcycle. You start by taking paint stripper and get all the paint off of the area that your polishing. If there is a baked on glaze use oven cleaner [on eBay or Amazon affil link]. Once everything is off start sanding. I started with 320 grit and went to 400, 600, 800, 1000 finally ending up with 1500. After everything is sanded use chrome polish and apply a few coats, buff and your done. Keep in mind you want to do all the sanding wet.

Steve [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Bourne, Massachusetts
2001



"Metal Fabricator's Handbook"

on AbeBooks

or Amazon

(affil links)

SOME OF THE COATINGS, ON THESE WHEELS THESE DAYS, ARE EXTREMELY DURABLE, AND THEREFORE VERY DIFFICULT TO REMOVE. SOME STRIPPERS ON THE PUBLIC MARKET, WILL REMOVE THEM AFTER SEVERAL COATINGS, OF THE STRIPPER IS APPLIED. THE BEST ONE AVAILABLE IS Tal-Strip [ed.note: this product is largely (60%+) methylene chloride; most users should consider substituting a less toxic stripper these days] AIRCRAFT STRIPPER. WE USE AN INDUSTRIAL STRIPPER, THAT WORKS IN MINUTES. WE THEN RECOMMEND GLASS-BEADING, TO INSURE EVERY BIT OF COATING IS REMOVED. WE THEN START SANDING USING , TOOLS YOU WONT HAVE. WE TAKE IT TO A 360 FINISH, THIS IS GOOD ENOUGH, BECAUSE WE HAVE HIGH SPEED POLISHING EQUIPMENT, ENABLING US TO BRING THE METAL TO A MIRROR FINISH.

ROB MCKAY
- VANCOUVER, CANADA
2001

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Ed. note: letters 800, 1831, and 10917 go into substantial detail about aluminum polishing.



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