How to polish stainless steel

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Just a quick guide for anyone who wants to achieve something like this:


but doesn't have access to, or the inclination to use, power tools. What you will need is:

  • Some wet and dry sandpaper - I used 4 grades (320, 800, 1500, 2000)
  • Some autosol metal polish
  • A cape cod polishing cloth (optional)
  • A rainy Sunday

All of these are available at ebay, except the rainy Sunday but there's no shortage of those! I wanted to do a nice step-by step pictorial guide but was sabotaged by my lack of photography skills and my camera phone but I think what follows is relatively clear.

OK, heres the item I was working on today, it's a topcap for the fogger v2, note the flat, dull, uninteresting matte finish.


If you look real close like you can see that the brushed effect is like a series of tiny horizontal lines running around the cap. The first thing you want to do is get rid of those. Use the lowest grade sandpaper (I used 320) and get to work.I sanded the topcap at a right angle to the existing brush marks until they were pretty much dealt with. Keep adding water to your paper, keep the whole thing nice and wet. This is a messy process!I got to this stage after about 30 mins:


I repeated the process with the 800 paper for about 15 mins - this time sanding horizontally:


Then the 1500 paper for about 10 mins:


The 2000 paper for about 10 mins:


That'll do for the sanding. Got the autosol out and gave it a damn good rub for 10 mins:


And that's me about done, gave 'er a quick wipe with a cape cod cloth and she's good to go:


As you can tell, it's not perfect. I cut a few corners. To get a perfect mirror finish by hand you're going to have to spend more time, use more grades of sandpaper. It's good enough for me though, if you want really startling results try it with brass, you can slash those sanding times by more than half and end up with something like this:


OK thanks for reading this, hope it was of some use/interest. Have a great day, Paul

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This page was created by forum member pauly meatballs and the original thread can be found here.