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How to Restore Stainless Steel Trim Part 3

At this stage, our trim has been finished with the 1500 DA sander. It’s fairly smooth with a satin finish and it’s nice and straight. It’s also been cleaned with a rake.

 

Now we’re ready to use the buffing wheel. Cody will be using a sisal rope wheel with black buffing compound or rouge. The black compound is very abrasive.

 

There are two methods to use with the wheel. You can move or push your object toward the wheel, which gives a very smooth finish. Or you can pull your object away from the wheel (cutting), which is more abrasive.

 

Cody uses both methods, first cutting and then finishing. He begins by adding some black compound to the wheel. He firmly grips the trim and first pulls it away from the wheel, repeating as needed. He is careful to also do the same for the edges. He does not work the piece crosswise.

 

Then he finishes by pushing the trim toward the wheel. Again he is careful to include the edges.

 

Note: Even with heavy-duty gloves on, be careful in using the buffing wheels. And make sure you have no loose clothing near the equipment.

 

Next we use a tight spiral bound wheel. If you need to change the wheel, always unplug your machine first, so that it doesn’t accidentally turn on.

 

Repeat the buffing process as above, by first pulling the object away from the wheel and when it looks pretty good, finish it off by pushing it toward the wheel.

 

The last step uses a loose wheel. Load it up with green compound, which is specifically for stainless. Do not use the “cutting” or pulling movement. Simply push the piece toward the wheel until you see the final polish emerge.

 

The result: A stainless “mirror” finish.

 

As Cody summarizes the video series, you can take just about any piece of stainless steel in any condition and “bump it out,” “file it out,” “sand it out,” and “buff it out.”

 

Video and information courtesy of Automotive Restoration Club

WARNING: Grinding wheels are dangerous. Please refer to ANSI B7.1 Safety Guide. Always wear protective eyewear, face shield, ear protection, and face mask.