It dawned on me that whilst putting together an FAQ section for our new Ebay shop that actually it would be very useful here. These points cover some of the simpler questions but is by no means exhaustive…you’d be exhausted after reading all the possible questions!!
FAQs About Polishing
What is Ferrous Metal? Ferrous metal generally contains Iron and is usually (not always) magnetic. Examples are Mild Steel, Carbon Steel, Wrought Iron, Cast Iron, Surgical Steel and Stainless Steel.
What are Non-Ferrous Metals? Non-Ferrous metals are mainly metals or alloys not containing Iron such as Aluminium, Copper, Lead, Pewter, Titanium, Nickel, Tin and Precious Metals such as Silver.
How do I get compound onto the mops/bobs? Our compound is a made of oils and wax therefore it needs heat to melt. To load it onto a mop or bob you simply need to spin the bob or mop against the compound bar. A thin head of compound is needed with regular top ups as you go along. Too much compound will reduce the effectiveness of the abrasive action and create lots of residue.
What is all this black stuff? That black stuff is a good sign…you don’t want too much of it (you could be using too much compound) but it is a sign that the polishing is working. You’ll always get this residue. It is best to always remove it quickly before the metal cools. To do this use Vienna Lime and a soft lint free cloth to wipe over the surface (available in our shop). The other method is warm soapy (washing up liquid is best) water and a bit of elbow grease being careful not to scratch the metal.
Spindles, Collets, Chucks I’m Confused! This can be the biggest area of confusion in polishing. Rotary tools such as drills, hobby drills, pendant motors etc take items on a spindle (the metal shaft that goes into the drill).
A chuck will clamp down onto the spindle so the important thing to consider is the maximum and minimum size you can fit in when choosing a kit.
Collets sit inside the hand piece and come in specific sizes the most common of which are 2.35mm (3/32’’), 3mm, 1/8’’, 6mm in order of size. It is important that you know what size collets your tool comes with as the same size spindle is needed.
We often find that our customers can make mistakes finishing the right size. If you do get the wrong size, no problem just let us know within 48hrs and we’ll arrange an exchange for the correct size spindle. If in any doubt, please contact us before purchase.
I can’t find the right size! We manufacture a large percentage of our items, if you can’t find the right size please contact us as we may well be able to supply it in the right size.
I can’t find what I’m looking for! We have a huge range of products (not all on ebay), if you can’t find exactly what you’re after please contact us.
Why am I not getting a very good finish? Polishing is incredibly dependant on a number of factors, technique, pressure, heat, preparation. Our kits are designed to be as simple as possible, we know they’re good as we’ve sold thousands over the years. However we know that not everyone polishes the same. There are a few points to consider if you aren’t getting a great finish.
- Did you prepare the surface with wet and dry or similar to smooth out heavy scratches and pits. Otherwise you’ll just be creating the shiniest scratches in town.
- Did you spend long enough on the cutting stage, this is the first compound which flattens the surface and reduces scratches. If you didn’t you’ll still be able to see scratches and marks, even if they are shiny.
- The surface is cloudy and swirled. We recommend using Vienna Lime and a soft cloth to clean up after polishing. It’ll remove the polishing ‘haze’.
- Is the finish just not quite as shiny as you’d hoped, it’s pretty good but not ‘the best’. We have a couple of amazing compounds which will take the finish up that final notch. FF9 is described as the ‘Ultimate Finishing Bar’ – does what it says on the tin but you will need a good finish for this to work at its best.
- Are you keeping your mops clean? We recommend that only one compound is used on each mop, if you keep them in separate bags that keeps them ultra clean. Bits of grit or other compounds will create fine scratches. Using a mop dresser regularly will also keep mops in good condition and working to their best.
- Are you using too much pressure or not enough? If you’re too gentle not enough heat will build up to get the compound working. Too much pressure and the heat will build up and you can create all sort of dips, discolouration, orange peel etc.
- Polishing takes a bit of time to get the knack of, but once you’ve got it you’ll be away.