Tips For Finishing Aluminum With A Buffer Polisher

Posted on: 26 August 2018

Although you work in a machine shop that usually works with other metals, you may be faced with a job that requires you to finish pieces of aluminum using a buffer polisher. If you are unsure as to how to proceed, use the following tips for properly finishing aluminum with a buffer polisher.

Make Sure You Are Polishing Bare Metal

Before you start polishing the aluminum, you need to make sure that the surface is completely bare. If there is any coating at all on the metal, the buffer will dig into it and create a messy, uneven finish.

However, it can be difficult to tell whether or not aluminum has a coating. The easiest way to tell is to wipe the surface with a clean, white microfiber cloth. If the aluminum is bare, you will be able to pull dusty metal shavings off of the metal.

If the metal has a clear coating on it, however, the cloth will stay clean. If there is a coating, you will need to use an industrial-strength stripping solution to remove it before you start polishing.

Use Only a Small Amount of Polishing Compound at a Time

Once you have made sure that the aluminum's surface is bare, you can start using the buffer polisher. To use the polisher, you will need a polishing compound specifically designed for both the metal and your equipment's model.

The compound is used to reduce the amount of friction between the polishing pad and the metal's surface. It also helps add to the shine of the aluminum once the job is finished.

However, do not rub the compound over the entire piece at the start of the job. If you do this, the compound in the areas where you polish last will harden, making it difficult to spread with the buffer and leaving a rough finish.

Instead, apply a small amount in each section on which you will be working within a few minutes. Use small, circular motions with the buffer to fully spread the compound and polish the metal. Then, apply more compound to the next area, and repeat until the piece is completely finished.

Using the above tips while polishing aluminum can help ensure that the finish is smooth and shiny. However, if you are having problems obtaining the finish you need and desire, contact a metal finishing service to discuss your options for having them do the job for you.