How to Polish, in Real Time.

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Introduction: How to Polish, in Real Time.

About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.

This video is in response to questions I've gotten on polishing. As always, be careful and work within your experience. When I say "32 RPM's" I really mean "3200" RPM's". WIth or with out the drill press, this process is how I polish everything I make. Hope this helps.

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    nail polish is not completely smooth, however there is a nail polish gel that you put on and then put under a special light to cure. This nail polish is supposed to melt slightly and smooth out completely. This is what I want to use on copper pendants and rings. Hopefully it works

    What method would you recommend to keep copper from oxidizing? Is there any coating that I can put on pendants and what not to keep them from getting any 'green' or yuck on people?

    2 replies

    You can spray it with clear coat. I've also heard of a liquid called gold dip. It's supposed to coat metal with a thin coat of gold. Nail polish could be used too.

    Gold Dip, I'll have to look into that. I've seen those gold plating machines for like $200... way too much for a beginner!

    I'll have to try out the clear coat/nail polish. Only trouble will be that copper takes time to oxidize so to know if it worked will take a while. :)

    Your instructables are amazing too btw. I'm going to have to try out some of this stuff!

    Could you post something on soldering the nail to the coin? I've tried, but it always falls apart if I even touch it, let alone spin it around in a drill.

    2 replies

    Yes. I'm working on a "how to solder amature jewelry" instructable.

    Thanks for posting this. Really helps to see your set up.

    WOW! That is impressive!

    Maybe you can advice me. I bought a sheet of aluminum 0.3 mm thick, in order to mirror polish and use it for a solar cooker. I tried to do it with a polishing cap and liquid metal polish/cleaner, but after an hour of work over an area of less than one square foot, the only thing I did was barely see a shadow reflection of my face. By this instructable I realize should have used fine sandpaper, I will try to follow your instructions.

    But once polished, aluminum quickly oxidizes. There are somehow to avoid it? Any super transparent lacquer?

    10 replies

    It's not very suitable for a solar cooker even if you did manage to get the top layer of oxidation off (except for one time use). Aluminum easily oxidizes and a protective clear coat will rapidly wear away in an application where it's not just purposefully subjected to as much sun as possible but doing so to create heat.

    If you want to try it anyway, your best long term result would be as mentioned, use sandpaper to cut through the outer surface layer, polish it as much as possible, then anodize it. Anodizing it will reduce shininess initially but in the longer term, keep it from getting even worse.

    However, if you shine a piece of aluminum to a near mirror finish, it doesn't oxidize to a dull finish all that fast, relatively speaking. A very thin oxide layer over the surface drastically decreases further oxidation and it still looks like a near mirror finish for a fair amount of time. You could simply clean it with very fine steel wool after each use and retain the beat finish possible with the least amount of work over the oven's lifespan.

    Fine steel wool alone will restore a previously polished aluminum surface to very near mirror state, especially when used wet (with detergent solution) as people did in the past decades to clean cookware.

    Thanks for the suggestion, ac-dc. Maybe clear car lacquer is weather proof.

    The problem with clear car lacquer is twofold. One, being a solar oven it is getting as hot as possible, which not only breaks down the lacquer faster, but it causes metal expansion to a larger extent so the lacquer will crack.

    Two, it is meant to be applied over a painted surface, at normal viscosity levels you are likely to find that it beads up on a polished surface when you try to spray it on, or if you brush it on then it would be too thick to be ideal. You could thin it with solvent, that might work if applied in very light coats but I still feel the best option is to just scrub clean it with very fine steel wool and detergent solution every now and then.

    Thanks for the info, it sounds reasonable. A point: the mirror surface will be far from the focus (~80cm), the only heat source will be the direct solar light. In this case, its influence will be less important due precisely to the good reflecting factor. That of the beading is a real problem, maybe I will ask help from a car painter to do the work. I am not glad to spend money...

    What we used to do to keep the mirror finish on the alloy covers of our motor bike motor was to wipe/rub regularly with auto wax polish on a rag if we wiped it over regularly / daily it stood up to the heat & weather & only took a few minutes each time. But in your solar cooker it isn't subjected to the weather & road grime like the bike so it should last quite some time between rub overs / polishes

    Thanks for your concern! But my design for solar oven/cooker has 85 mirrors. It is impractical to rub each of them every some days. Should have a transparent and outdoors proof coating. Maybe NASA can help me!

    Have you tried using polished thin guage stainless steel? They can be polished to a near-mirror finish and are relatively lightweight...

    No, it is too expensive. I tried to design a cheap solar cooker to be used by the poor people (aborigins and so, that live far of the cities).

    Thanks anyway.

    Surely you mean "aluminized mylar". It is good, but tends to form wrinkles, like all thin films. Each wrinkle is like a black spot in the reflecting surface. I tried it and abandoned it.

    My last testings were using glass mirrors. They are better, but too heavy.