Stainless Trim Polishing Cliff's Notes

Discussion in 'Stainless Trim Repair' started by Smartin, Mar 25, 2021.

  1. Smartin

    Smartin Staff Member

    I had a friend inquire about doing a quickie polish job on his stainless moldings before he sticks them back on his race car. I took the opportunity to make a short video outlining how to do this. He wants to do it himself, so I wanted to make sure I covered the basics on materials and method.

    Forgive my stage fright on camera...I'll eventually get used to it. I plan on making a bunch of videos, so stay tuned.

  2. 72 goat herder

    72 goat herder Well-Known Member

    Great video. Thanks for posting it. I've always wondered if I could polish my own stainless. Your video has given me the confidence to start learning on some damaged pieces I have, before I move on to the good stuff.
    Smartin likes this.
  3. Nearing

    Nearing Well-Known Member

    Appreciated the video.
    Max Damage and Smartin like this.
  4. Dano

    Dano Platinum Level Contributor

    Thanks Adam. Everyone make sure to subscribe to Adam's channel.
    Smartin likes this.
  5. Briz

    Briz Platinum Level Contributor

    Its not hard to polish a straight piece but taking the dings and dents out is a art form in itself which Adam does very well.

    I worked at a plating shop way back in the early days. My job was in the polishing dept. Learned quick not to let the part get caught up in the wheel. Back in 11 I had a headlight trim ring get out of hand and it fractured my eye socket. Take off my gear, see a small spot I missed, just a quick touch up and pow, ur on the floor knocked out and bleeding. So be careful if ya wanna tackle this at home.
    mrolds69 and Max Damage like this.
  6. Smartin

    Smartin Staff Member

    Headlight rings are the single most scariest item to polish. I usually have a death grip on them, and just lightly do the outer side surface....and if I feel lucky, I'll go for a once around on the side the faced with the headlight.

    ...and 67 GS grille stainless...who on Earth thought it would be smart to install paper-thin pieces of stainless right where you lean into the engine compartment?
    Brett Slater and mrolds69 like this.
  7. Briz

    Briz Platinum Level Contributor

    Near as I can tell from the damage on the ring other than the flat spot where it smashed into my face at 13000 rpm it got caught on the seem where its welded together.
    Smartin likes this.
  8. mrolds69

    mrolds69 "The Cure"

    Good job on the video, Adam.
  9. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    Very good video Adam. I hardly noticed your gooberness:D:D:D
    Brett Slater likes this.
  10. Smartin

    Smartin Staff Member

    I'm a professional it's difficult to turn it off when I get in front of the camera.:D

    Thanks guys...I'll get better at it, I promise!:cool:
    Brett Slater likes this.
  11. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    Im just bustin on ya! You did just fine and I learned something.
    Brett Slater and Smartin like this.
  12. Mike Trom

    Mike Trom Ugg


    What do you do when parts have "flash" chrome? I assume it has to completely removed for it to look good again? How do you tell if has chrome? I sent my trim rings out to get re-polished and they said they were flash chromed so I assume my trim rings are raw stainless now?

    Nice video
    Dano likes this.
  13. Smartin

    Smartin Staff Member

    The flash has to be removed. I use the “green” muriatic acid from Lowe’s so I can get to the stainless and polish from there. The chrome is a different color than stainless. If you break through in a spot, and go to polish it, you can see that the stainless is more yellow than the chrome.
    Dano likes this.
  14. Briz

    Briz Platinum Level Contributor

    Do you use any dc current when the parts are in the muriatic acid?
  15. Smartin

    Smartin Staff Member

    Nope just let them sit in there for 20 minutes and pull....rinse with water
  16. Briz

    Briz Platinum Level Contributor

    I remember back in the plating shop all the tanks had current running through them.
  17. Smartin

    Smartin Staff Member

    This is the backyard version sans power.

    Item of note: if you use the muriatic acid, don’t leave them in too long. The parts will disappear :D
    Brett Slater likes this.

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