Polishing the Grille

Polishing Grille: Day II

We had a couple of cold rainy days, so I managed to find some time to work on polishing the grille. I don’t need to tell you guys out there with families how hard it is to get work done on your car, but it’s even harder when you also want to squeeze in trips to Vermont to look at cars!

I decided to concentrate on the grille shell a little bit, and figure out the best way to get it polished. As you can see from last time, I made this jig to hold the shell securely so there would be no accidents when a buffer or sander catches the soft aluminum and bends things up. This jig also helps stabilize the shell as I progressively sand the shell to higher and higher grits before polishing. As I got to 600 grit, I switched to wet sanding the aluminum by hand. This helps wash away the aluminum out of the sand paper, and makes the paper last a lot longer. Without the soapy water, the sand paper would “load up,” and be useless within a few minutes. It’s a pretty messy job, but it was perfect for this rainy day!

I took a small section of the grille shell to 1500 grit and polished it to see if I was heading in the right direction, and it’s looking pretty good. Some small scratches from a lower grit were still showing through, so I made a note to be a little more thorough with the sanding.

Unfortunately, I don’t have pressurized air in my garage, so I needed to find another way to polish my grille. With air tools, one could have used a die grinder and attached a buffing wheel to it, but I found this bench top motor from Eastwood that should do the job. I would have preferred a stronger motor, but with more power, you need a stronger flex shaft and collet, so I decided to stick with something that wouldn’t send my grille shell flying out of my shop!

This motor is 1/8 of a hp, but seems to get the job done, let’s just hope I don’t burn it out before I finish the job!

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