Polishing Castings

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Polishing Castings

Postby Nick » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:40 pm

I posted this question under Repair/Restoration, but have not had any comments, so I will try posted it here.

If I want to just brighten up the castings on some old machines, is there a method that I can use to do this myself, by hand? Not sure I want to have them stripped and professionally polished, but just brightened up a bit.

Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Thanks.

Nick
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Re: Polishing Castings

Postby Rudyjr » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:27 am

Nick, I am certainly no authority on this as it has been forty years since I restored my one and only slot machine! When I did mine it had years of dirt and old silver furnace paint on it. I chemically stripped the paint and then used 3m automotive machine rubbing compound and an electric buffer on the smooth parts of the castings. I think it came out pretty good and has held up well. There are pictures of it in my thread "Mills Castle Front" in the topic slots that I started today.
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Re: Polishing Castings

Postby Nick » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:39 pm

Rudyjr,
Thanks for your reply. I looked at your photos and the machine looks really good. I might try your suggestion. I would just to brighten it up a bit without doing a total striipping and commercial polishing. Thanks.

Nick
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Re: Polishing Castings

Postby JPCass » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:22 pm

It depends on just how much polishing it needs.

Nevr-Dull magic wadding, or the Cape Cod brand equivalent, is usually a good place to start. It tends to dissolve various surface crud as well as to polish, though it can leave light scratching on fine surfaces that may have to be worked out with another pass with a finer polish. Always try an inconspicuous area first, and see how it's working.

Simichrome is a relatively fine polish paste used in automotive and other applications, and should be fine enough for any slot machine work, though it may be too fine for some applications. I find it very easy to work using cotton cosmetic pads available at drug stores.

If what you're doing requires more than that, then you're into the complexity of finding the right combination of buffing pads and compounds to do the job.

Also, always polish in a circular motion or in different directions, as much as possible.
Restored Mills 5c Extraordinary "barn find", long gone - now restoring 1934 5c Extraordinary Gold Award with original World's Fair reel strips
Restoring early Mills 5c Firebird (large coin view window)
About to take on a Mills 5c Vest Pocket
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