Question: Favorite metal polish and tool for polishing

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by cvitter, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. cvitter

    cvitter New Member

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    I am considering trying out polishing some internals and was interested in getting some feedback on what others might have used in the past in terms of:

    • Metal Polish
    • Polishing Tools

    So far I am looking at Flitz polish and waffling between trying to do the work with q-tips and a polishing cloth or buying an inexpensive Dremel type rotary tool. I don't want to spend a lot on tools because this isn't something I plan on doing a lot (a handful of my own personal weapons only over time).

    Any experiences with the process would be appreciated.
     
  2. bhale187

    bhale187 New Member Supporter

    Flitz is great, stay away from a dremel, you'll be too deep before you know it
     

  3. MrG2286

    MrG2286 New Member

    A nice craftsmanship sander from sears and mothers aluminum polish is what I used to used on my engine parts
     
  4. G-23

    G-23 Premium Member

    1000 rounds of your favorite ammo will do nicely and you get to practice shooting too! Two birds, one stone, well, sort of anyway.

    All kidding aside, I have polished both ways and the shooting working best. Only the area of metal that needs polishing gets it and no wasted effort.

    Polishing a flat surface with any round object is going to change the surface shape. Yea, Glocks aren't all that precision anyway, I get that. But facts are facts.

    Here's an idea. Get some very fine grinding/lapping compound. Place a dab where you want to polish say, the connector and the triggerbar. Shoot 300 rounds (maybe dry fire), clean and repeat. That way you get a good mating surface and their both polished too. Same for the cruxiform/firingpin lug. Don't think I would worry about the verticle extention and firing pin safety tho.

    Just an opinion.... The problem with using any power tool is that you are not experienced enough with what you are doing the first time. You will most likely, like said before, over do it. I work with small parts in my line of work so I kind of know how this goes. Even learning to use a small hand file can open open your eyes if you were to determine how much metal any file can cut per path (depth cut rate) with a micrometer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  5. cvitter

    cvitter New Member

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    Good feedback G-23. I don't disagree at all with your premise that shooting is possibly the best way to polish the contact points. My G34 has 800 rounds through it all ready.

    I am still interested in giving the polishing a try just out of curiosity. Fortunately it is easy to replace parts if you screw it up.

    The grinding/lapping compound idea seems like a good. Have you tried it out?
     
  6. G-23

    G-23 Premium Member

    No, except for other venues in metal working. But if you used the same compound that you would use to polish with, I imagine the results would be close to the same idea.

    The idea is to NOT change the manufactures intended angles/surfaces as designed but to polish the contact points through wear patterns. Any compound intorduced in these areas will have the same results I would think, just like lapping a valve into a seat.

    Like any intrument, the compound can remove too much metal too depending on it's design and how long it is present during the process. The key/secret is to understand, "WHEN TO QUIT!"

    All you are looking for is a distinct wear pattern with a shiney finish between the two parts where they meet. Once that has occured, you're done.

    Because the parts we are working with are stamped out, they have irregular surfaces and may most likely not fit up to each other perfectly. Trying to get that result is where most people allow their eyes and brain overtake the procedure and wear out the parts with too much polishing.
     
  7. Eye_Peeled

    Eye_Peeled 8th Gen. Fla Cracker (not creepy though)

    I did this.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4BccY7wmIE&feature=youtube_gdata_player[/ame]

    We don't have flitz available locally so I used Mother's Mag Polish. I've used it for years, it's good stuff. It's available at any auto parts store and probably Walmart as well. My parts came out to a shiny polished finish. He has a couple very good videos on detail stripping as well in case you aren't familiar with how to disassemble. I am on my phone currently so if the link doesn't take you to the video, just do a search in YouTube "Glock 25 cent trigger job"
     
  8. cvitter

    cvitter New Member

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    Thanks guys.

    I have seen the videos and read about polishing. Just curious what other's have done.

    The stripping and reassembling part will be easy enough for me. And I have actually got some Flitz on order...
     
  9. Eye_Peeled

    Eye_Peeled 8th Gen. Fla Cracker (not creepy though)

    Oh. Sorry I didn't come up with something you've never heard of.
     
  10. cvitter

    cvitter New Member

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    No worries at all peeled, that is a good video.
     
  11. david1962hd

    david1962hd Premium Member

    Harbor freight Dremel tool along with a set of magnifying glasses, valve lapping compound to cut it down to remove the "machining marks" Flitz or semi chrome to polish after removing machine marks. That is what I have used for years and it works for me, just remember to go Slow.
     
  12. cvitter

    cvitter New Member

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    Thanks David!
     
  13. Argyle64

    Argyle64 New Member

    A Dremel tool on a low setting with a cotton polishing attachment will work fine. Think back to junior high geology/earth science. If your polishing medium's hardness is less than your target's hardness, you won't "cut" into it. You can always refer back to Mohs scale. Your Dremel tool's motor will burn out before you change the shape of any metal part while using cotton to polish.
     
  14. cvitter

    cvitter New Member

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    That sounds like a reasonable plan then. Seems like most vendors offer felt polishing wheels. I can't imagine that felt would be any harsher than cotton.
     
  15. cvitter

    cvitter New Member

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    Ok... purchased a Dremel tool and some felt polishing wheels. Now just waiting on my tube of Flitz to show up. I am looking forward to detail stripping my G34 and making it shine.
     
  16. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Sponsor Lifetime Supporting Member

    Flitz and my Dremel...
     
  17. Argyle64

    Argyle64 New Member

    I think you can get a gallon bucket of elbow grease at the same place your ordered your Flitz.:p
     
  18. Eye_Peeled

    Eye_Peeled 8th Gen. Fla Cracker (not creepy though)

    I redid everything today with a dremel that I had done previously with a Q-tip. I got a pretty good finish with Q-tips (better than I thought I would get) but not near as good as the dremel did. The pieces look chromed now. I thought my trigger was pretty good until I dry fired a gun belonging to a Glock armoror at the gun shop yesterday. I told him I used Q-tips, he said "oh no, you have to use a dremel."
     
  19. cvitter

    cvitter New Member

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    LOL, I wouldn't say I was lazy but...

    Not to mention I thought of several uses for the Dremel beyond polishing trigger parts so I think I can just about justify the cost...
     
  20. cvitter

    cvitter New Member

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    This morning I finally had time to sit down and polish my G34's internals.

    Other than the standard Glock punch and small screw driver I used the following tools:

    - Q-tips
    - Cotton cleaning patches
    - Flitz polish
    - Dremel with felt polishing wheel
    - Small jewelry pliers

    I polished the following parts:

    - Locking block
    - Trigger bar
    - Connector
    - Ejector
    - Firing pin safety/plunger

    I did not work on the striker.

    The internals look beautiful now. Very clean and shiny. Did it make a difference to the feel of the trigger? No. I can't tell the difference at all.

    That's okay, I enjoy detail stripping my Glocks and seeing the internals shine and having everything continue to work flawlessly is satisfaction enough. ;)