Metal Polishing can be considered tricky as it requires artistic touch but scientific technology. There are some steps that are to be done before polishing:
Clean Before Polishing
It is always advisable to clean metal piece before polishing as metals look dull when they are covered in dirt because shining is due to reflection of light from metal surface and dirt prevents reflection thus costs luster of metal.
Always wear protective gear when polishing including safety goggles or face shield. Also protect surfaces and tools with tape or padding to prevent accidental patches.
Steps of Polishing
Step 1: Sanding
For the purpose of making material more reflective sanding is done to remove the material down to its deepest scratch. For this we work in grit from coarse to fine paper applicable. We need to continue sanding until no scratches are visible and satin finish is achieved.
Step 2: Selection of Polishing Compound & Buffing Wheel
We start polishing with stiffer buff as felt bob or felt cone or spiral sewn buffing wheel. A number of variety of buffing wheels and felt bobs are available for getting into hard reach areas of object to be polished.
Now insert the buff on any electric drill, bench grinder, buffing machine and initially chose the coarsest polishing compound by help of jewellers chart.
Step 3: Apply Polishing Compound
Apply the polishing compound on buffing wheel or felt bob by lightly spinning the buff. Use the compound in small amount for proper working. Now, spin the coated buff or felt bob onto the surface to be polished at a speed of 3000 RPM or less applying slight pressure. Low speed and light pressure is ideal as latter will heat up the surface and prevent proper efficiency. There will be residue coming off the material as we polish.
Go on with polishing and reapply more compound if needed. We can also change the buff if not, carefully spin against sharp metal edge and remove the residue.
Step 4: Repeat
Continue this process but use finer polishing compound shown in the chart. Continue polishing until visible scratches are removed and luster is seen.
Step 5: Finish with Fine Compound
To achieve mirror finish use finest compound and loose single stitched buff. As done before use low pressure on material. In most of the cases White Polishing Rogue is sufficient.
Step 6: Wash and Coat
Once work is over wash the material warm soapy water and remove buff compound or residue. Dry the material with soft cloth in the end.