How to Clean and Polish Metal to Mirror Finish

How to Clean and Polish Metal to Mirror Finish


Hello and Welcome to another video. In this Video what I am going to do is show you the process that I use to clean, polish and buff the metal components for the bikes I have been often can I show in more detail so that is exactly what I am going to do today and I will be showing you how to basically from start to finish how to clean up the components all the way up to this standard so yes it looks absolutely gleaming so hold on tight and lets get started Step 1 First we need to wash the components down dismantle as much as possible I generally use a small tooth brush something like that just to give the components a good scrub it gets rid of all the grease and grit ready for polishing the metal what it also does is show up any actual scratches that we need to deal with STEP 2 Deal with any scratches that is on the metal itself Use a Metal sand paper start off with quiet a grainy sand paper and work down to a really fine paper at first you will think that what you are doing is wrong But what you are doing is getting rid of that scratch you are rubbing down into to it to smooth it out so it does feel a little alien actually doing this but it is the way forward we do have to do this to get rid of this scratch from the metal itself STEP 3 Once that we have got rid of all the scratches from the metal itself we can then start to Polish the Metal in this case we are just using a Metal Polish a Cream Polish Just using a clean rag to actually rub into the metal and than buff off with a nice clean cloth However, if we do have access to a drill or even better still, a bench grinder then hold on tight because we are going to take this a step further STEP 4 Well this involves a rubbing compound, several of! and very fast turning wheels which is provided by the bench grinder So before we start we need to start thinking safety First things first we need to think about our eyes so I have got some safety glasses So need to get them on and then we also need to think about a dust mask and the reason for that is because a lot of air borne metal particles that is produced from it the compound and also the metal So, we need a dust mask OK and also a good set of Gloves As I say the wheel do turn very fast and also we are dealing with metal as you can see I have been using these already so just keeps the hands clean and also protects them as well from the fast turning wheels so lets get these wheels turning OK, so we start off with quiet a hard rubbing compound Black or Brown on the hard wheel itself What is very important is to move the metal into different directions as possible So don’t keep it going in the same direction move it around and turn it into different directions You don’t have to apply that much pressure to it Once that we have done this We then move over to the other softer wheel and use the green compound Then to give that final buff move over to a soft wheel Using either a white or blue compound Finally finish off by getting rid of any excess polish using a cloth with chalk powder OK and what I will also do, I have also got a drill attachment that I use for getting into any little details for the metal itself, so not only do I use the bench grinder I also use a drill with a soft felt nib to actually get into all of the nicks and crannies that I can I hope that this has been helpful for you and that you can use it in your own projects Thanks for watching! and if you have not already subscribed then please Subscribe other than that drop us a like and Bye for Now!

85 thoughts on “How to Clean and Polish Metal to Mirror Finish

  1. Great video as allways.
    Do you know how to protect a raw steel frame from rust? Stripped down an old frame, because the paintjob was awfull and like the raw look.

  2. Those are amazing results. I've seen that process used before on auto parts.They called it Lineshing? I'm not sure how to spell it. I was looking for auto correct to help me out. Thanks Andy. Merry Christmas.

  3. Excellent video, thanks very much for posting, I shall bear this in mind next time I am working with aluminium parts 🙂

  4. nice video, maybe I should do my whole bike. Just wanted to say that I was always taught not too wear gloves when operating rotating machinery as it can be more dangerous if it gets caught up. wearing no gloves you might get cut but will instinctively pull away.

  5. Thank you Andy , 2 items on my list that u mentioned the bench and the hand grinders :)great video !! ps, nice glasses, look like a rock star 😉

  6. Excelente trabajo sr. Andy siga así y esperó suba pronto otro vídeo de restauración felicidades saludos de México

  7. The result of that polishing was very shiny indeed!

    I wonder if in some restorations you might not polish so much to keep a more original look and avoid what some call “over-restoring”?

    Great video. I always enjoy your videos.

  8. well worth buying got my bench grinder with the kit a couple of days ago wouldn't have known how to use it with the instructions provided. great results. thanks mate made it a lot easier

  9. removing an alu seatpost from a steel frame?i am sure you must have come across this over the years,any points? thanks

  10. Great stuff, looking forward to trying this out. I've used the techniques for jewelry, never thought of scaling them up for bike parts!

  11. Someone once said: "Rise and shine". And some did! Nice work. However, there are two schools : the high polish school, and the more subdued, which can be quite refined too. I did nearly thirty five years of antique furniture restoration, including nearly thirty in Paris. It provided me with an insight into the difference between shine, and glitter. However, you got your joeys into lovely shape, and I believe that a properly polished chainset and cranks are more water repellent. Good advice would be to degrease with meths or so, and then clear laquer to protect- and prolong- the finish. Good work.

  12. Awesome video, just subbed. What is the difference between the black and the green compounds that you used on the wheel?

  13. STEP 0.5 : Strip the anodizing with Lye (oven cleaner – EZ-OFF or equivalent, look for a spray-on oven cleaner that has warnings for lye). Spray the part, scrub gently with a plastic (worn-out vegetable) brush, then lay it in a pan for 5-10 minutes. This will evenly strip all the anodizing which is 3x harder than the soft aluminum and will produce a much more uniformly smooth result. Do not leave the part in lye for too long or you could get pitting or uneven stripping.

  14. Thank You Andi for showing your Polish Methods. What are the Polishing Discs you use? I thing this is very usefully, because when you are using the wrong Polishing, it all can get very bad….

  15. be careful with those gloves on with a spinning machine! dont want to get youre hand caught in it. thats what i was always taught anyway.

  16. Hi Andy,
    I love to watch your instructions. They seem the most informative of all bike restorations on youtube to me 🙂
    But just a little safety thing – you especially with fast turning wheels or tools you shouldn't wear gloves. They get caught easier than the hand itself (one of the first things i learned as a mechanic).
    🙂 keep up the good work!

  17. good video, I've always wanted to strip the paint off of a frame and finish the entire frame like this, then apply a clear coat. I'd love to see you do a resto like that.

  18. awesome job also what grit sand paper did u use start out with i want to clean polish and remove the stratches off my shimano ultegra crankset

  19. Where could I pick up those rubbing compounds you mentioned? And how much are they going to cost me?

  20. THANK YOU so much for replying to my question, u have helped me soooo much!!

    Another question: I have a 1999 Peugeot Paris bike. Very nice shape, curious if u could give me a rough idea of what they are worth??

    THANKS again.

  21. great job. I do it by hand , my steps are. 1) to wash with gasoil and 30% water(remove all) 2) to wash with detergent and water ( very cleany) 3) Fine sandpaper. 4) sandpaper with polishing paste . 5)Fine steel sponge with polishing paste, 6) polishing paste (frotando como loco ), 7) use your aluminium piece as a nutrir. thank you google translate

  22. Hi Andy. For smaller parts eg derailleurs would you still sand down even if not scratched, or simply wash and go directly to metal polish? Thank you for your help.

  23. Polishing aluminium….? And damage the anodise layer…? Nop! The anodise layer on aluminium parts are to protect the metal from rust , and aluminium get rust as well.

  24. As most Cranks are an aluminum alloy, presumably they have a anodised coating, would sanding and polishing not remove this protective coating, and mean your mirror finish would turn dull very quickly?

  25. Love your videos especially what you can do with a frame! What do you do about rusty parts? We've got 4 seasons and lots of road salt where I live so most of the vintage bikes I take in have a fair bit of rust on them.

  26. I love your video! Do you have any tips on how to grind off logo markings made the manufacturer? Thanks!

  27. Hi, nice video.
    I'm going to polish my stem and handlebars, but my handlebar has a trademark right on the front.
    Can I apply sandpaper/bench grinder/drill on it (step 4)? of without damage it.
    By the way, I've been following your channel and it's very helpful. Definitely I'll use all these tips on my own project.
    thank you very much!

  28. Hi and thanks for a really good channel ! Very inspiring 🙂
    I have a question: I have a steel frame which I would like some parts to be chrome (fork for example). But it's painted at the moment – is it possible to get rid of the paint and polish it up to mirror finish? 🙂
    Thanks !

  29. DO NOT USE GLOVES ON A TRADITIONAL BENCH GRINDER YOU ARE AT RISK OF YOUR HAND GETTING SUCKED INTO THE MACHINE ID RATHER A GRAZE FROM THE SPINNING WHEEL THAN THAT

  30. Regards from Czech! Very nice job on polishing crank set, tried to polish my shimano arrow vintage bit wasnt so succesful. What was the last think you put on the polishing wheel, white one I mean, at 3:30? Thanks and keep posting such a nice videos!

  31. Hi mate just want to say that your channel is excellent. This video in particular, in addition to all the comments and your regular replies to them have helped me no end in my new found hobby of restoring vintage bikes. Massive respect and appreciation. Cheers :).

  32. Tight fitting elasticated gloves only on the buffer. Also the machine should be mounted on a stand not a bench. If it grabs the part it will just rip it out of your hand and put it on the floor quicker than you can blink. If there's a bench underneath then that crank will bounce off that bench and into your head before you realise what has happened…and it's going to ruin your day 🙁

  33. Question, why do I see some people polish using 200-1000 grit sandpaper and then polish it with compound after? I see videos like this with only one size grit paper and then go straight to polishing without the slight climb in grit sizes.

  34. Hello. Great video, but I have a question. What exactly are the hard, green and softer compunds, so I can buy them? Also, I've been trying to get the polish finish, but in my bench grinder I only have the softer compound & wheel, so I couldnt really make it work out. Appreciate the video!

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