2 stainless steel .357's... can't get them polished enough. Need help


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donut132
May 14, 2013, 02:31 AM
http://i493.photobucket.com/albums/rr294/donut132/20130514_002121_zpsb30b2edc.jpg (http://s493.photobucket.com/user/donut132/media/20130514_002121_zpsb30b2edc.jpg.html)

Hi, i have spent the last 2 weeks polishing my 2 stainless steel revolvers.... ive washed my rags twice now. I keep getting black stuff off but it does not seem to be getting noticeably shinier. I really want it to be mirror finished almost.


http://www.teslamap.com/public/polish/index.html

Like this one.

So, would taking sand paper to my guns be what I need to do? I do not want to use a drimmel , all hand polish. I dont mind it taking along time only if it works. Can i get the desired results by hand? The only place that looks near what i want is the barrels, but the letters on the side i get really dark black residue every time I scrub them. I have polished both these guns 10+ times takes about 15 mins to do both sides. anyways any input would be appreciated.

http://i493.photobucket.com/albums/rr294/donut132/20130514_001937_zps6c68ea7c.jpg (http://s493.photobucket.com/user/donut132/media/20130514_001937_zps6c68ea7c.jpg.html)

http://i493.photobucket.com/albums/rr294/donut132/20130514_001950_zps9410050d.jpg (http://s493.photobucket.com/user/donut132/media/20130514_001950_zps9410050d.jpg.html)

http://i493.photobucket.com/albums/rr294/donut132/20130514_001955_zps2841b8dc.jpg (http://s493.photobucket.com/user/donut132/media/20130514_001955_zps2841b8dc.jpg.html)

http://i493.photobucket.com/albums/rr294/donut132/20130514_002001_zpsc5a386de.jpg (http://s493.photobucket.com/user/donut132/media/20130514_002001_zpsc5a386de.jpg.html)

http://i493.photobucket.com/albums/rr294/donut132/20130514_002007_zpsd96536c8.jpg (http://s493.photobucket.com/user/donut132/media/20130514_002007_zpsd96536c8.jpg.html)

http://i493.photobucket.com/albums/rr294/donut132/20130514_002025_zps2bb25855.jpg (http://s493.photobucket.com/user/donut132/media/20130514_002025_zps2bb25855.jpg.html)

http://i493.photobucket.com/albums/rr294/donut132/20130514_002038_zps2d90047a.jpg (http://s493.photobucket.com/user/donut132/media/20130514_002038_zps2d90047a.jpg.html)

http://i493.photobucket.com/albums/rr294/donut132/20130514_001801_zps72f41c9d.jpg (http://s493.photobucket.com/user/donut132/media/20130514_001801_zps72f41c9d.jpg.html)

http://i493.photobucket.com/albums/rr294/donut132/20130514_001745_zpse8d85f34.jpg (http://s493.photobucket.com/user/donut132/media/20130514_001745_zpse8d85f34.jpg.html)

Lastly, this is what the gp100 looked like when i bought it. i sanded down the grips and restained them.

http://i493.photobucket.com/albums/rr294/donut132/beforeafter_zps6a802c54.jpg (http://s493.photobucket.com/user/donut132/media/beforeafter_zps6a802c54.jpg.html)

I have made her pretty, but I want her to be prettier still. what say you?

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CPLofMARINES
May 14, 2013, 03:15 AM
Ya know, I happen to have a Security Six and a GP100
If you send then my way I think I could take care of that
Problem for you.

CPLofMARINES
May 14, 2013, 03:18 AM
I think I have a holster for that Service-Six too !!

donut132
May 14, 2013, 03:33 AM
what kind of holster, I am in need of one :)

CPLofMARINES
May 14, 2013, 03:44 AM
My Dad has a Speed-Six, so I think we have all the bases
Covered. I wish I had your problem, LOL
ENJOY your porn. Rugers are a beautiful thing.

SEMPER FI

CPLofMARINES
May 14, 2013, 03:46 AM
BTW welcome to the THR

bannockburn
May 14, 2013, 07:04 AM
donut132

I used Mothers Mag Polish paste on one of my stainless guns (S&W Model 649), and it looks polished enough for me to think it looks very much as if it was nickel plated. I would say just keep at it for a more shinier appearance.

osteodoc08
May 14, 2013, 08:20 AM
They look great. If you're looking for mirror like shine, get a nickle plated gun that's never been handled. The shine done by polishing depends on the metal finishing done before. I've seen Rugers shine nicely, but never mirror like unless some serious sanding and polishing have been done with abrasives.

I'd recommend leave as is and enjoy.

highpower
May 14, 2013, 09:20 AM
The reason that they don't shine more is that all you are doing is polishing the original brushed finish. To make them have a mirror finish, you need to sand the brush marks out before you polish. I have used progressively finer grades of sandpaper to accomplish this with good success.

Start with 600 grit and work your way down to 2000 grit. Buy the time you get done with the finest grades of sandpaper, you will need to do only minimal hand polishing. You could get a cloth buffer wheel and put it on a bench grinder and go after it that way, but if you aren't skilled in polishing metal it is real easy to round off the edges.

Tommy Medlin
May 14, 2013, 09:51 AM
I would try jeweler's rouge with a buffing wheel on a dremel.It does look like some deep scratches from what I can see.I think they need to be smoothed before trying to polish.

MartinS
May 14, 2013, 09:53 AM
Every consider just collecting jewelery?

460Kodiak
May 14, 2013, 09:58 AM
I've spent about 20 hours on each of my guns I've polished. Both are shinny, but if you want a true mirror finish, I think you are looking at many many more hours of hand polishing, or using a buffer. Just a tip, take your time. I usually do about a 2 hour session per gun when I do polish. I put in a movie, grab a beer, the cats get comfortable, and away I go.

CraigC
May 14, 2013, 12:05 PM
The reason that they don't shine more is that all you are doing is polishing the original brushed finish. To make them have a mirror finish, you need to sand the brush marks out before you polish. I have used progressively finer grades of sandpaper to accomplish this with good success.

Start with 600 grit and work your way down to 2000 grit. Buy the time you get done with the finest grades of sandpaper, you will need to do only minimal hand polishing. You could get a cloth buffer wheel and put it on a bench grinder and go after it that way, but if you aren't skilled in polishing metal it is real easy to round off the edges.
Exactly! And you really need to know what you're doing because just rubbing and sanding with your fingers will basically turn it into a shiny blob. Care has to be taken to keep the flats flat and every edge straight and crisp.

dbb1776
May 14, 2013, 12:18 PM
STOP! You've done the best you can do with the finish. The next step is abrasive polishing to remove the machine and brush marks from the metal. This will also blur the markings and stamps on the gun.
It ain't no Glock, leave the dremel in the drawer.
They look great by the way. Shoot em and enjoy.

Fatdaddy
May 14, 2013, 01:00 PM
Whatever you do, don't use a dremel.
you will have tiny swirl marks that will cause you even more hours of polishing.
Don't ask how I know.

icanthitabarn
May 14, 2013, 01:19 PM
Def. dont use dremel

19-3Ben
May 14, 2013, 01:54 PM
How about switching from Mothers to something like Flitz. I haven't used it to polish a gun to a mirror finish, but from my experience Flitz is just better at blasting through crud in tarnishes, and seems to be "stronger" for lack of a more appropriate adjective.

Oh, and I'm envious of your Service Six. That's an exceptional purpose-built wheel gun right there!

98Redline
May 14, 2013, 02:42 PM
As others have stated the issue you have is that the brushed finish you are trying to eliminate is significantly deeper than the abrasive you are using is able to handle, with a reasonable amount of work.

Follow the advice above. Start with 600 or 800 grit and work the metal until all of the marks are going the same direction you are sanding.

Now move to 1000 grit and do the same thing
Now 2000 grit
Mothers after that.

Use a flat edge with the sandpaper wrapped around it to work the flats and especially around the corners. This will take some serious detail work to prevent rounding off the corners and giving the gun a melt look.

Being that you have already started, I would recomend that you use the technique outlined above on the top of the barrel first. It is a big flat surface and should give you the ability to refine your technique of how hard to press vs. what grit to use in order to get the finish you desire. Once you have that part shining like a mirror you can then move on to treating the rest of the gun.

Stay away from the Dremel.

Dremel + Guns = BAD (in nearly all circumstances)

The Dremel tool, because of it's speed and ability to remove metal very quickly will lead to a "wavey" appearance on the flats and will round off corners in a heartbeat.

788Ham
May 14, 2013, 02:47 PM
After you get it all Marine Corps shined, are you going to carry it in a holster, and then go shoot it? Waste all of that time shining and then go blast some rounds through it....... or are you just gonna put a couple of nails in the wall and hang them? Looks as if you've gotten a good shine now, go shoot them, enjoy them for what they are, Picasso's are for hanging on the wall.

Certaindeaf
May 14, 2013, 02:49 PM
If you want it all shiny, they make different grits/grades of polishing/rubbing compound.. then follow it up with the Mother's etc.

BCRider
May 14, 2013, 03:31 PM
What the others said about using sandpaper to remove the brush finish scratches is spot on. To get to the mirror like finish you have to remove enough metal and do it with care so as to keep the surfaces clean and crisp. Nothing worse than flat areas that are wavy and round "cylinder" barrels and cylinders that are wavy. It just makes the gun look like a half used bar of soap.

A couple of tricks you can use with the sandpaper. For the flat areas wrap samll pieces around a small hunk of flat aluminium stock or a good hardwood ply. For the round areas fold the paper around two layers of pop can side metal. The pop can metal will only curve one way at a time which will force the paper to cut flat lines along the cylinder shape at the same time it's cutting curved in the desired direction.

Do not skip grits as you sand the metal. Given that you've done quite a bit so far I'd say you could start with 600. But from there go to 1000, then 1500 and finally 2000 before you go back to the Mother's. And all the sanding should be done "wet" using water with a small drop of dish detergent in it.

Drail
May 14, 2013, 04:36 PM
Yup. Fine sandpaper is the way to polish metal. The polishing compound will eventaully get you there but it will take a VERY LONG time and your arms will get VERY TIRED. Trying to get steel that rough to a high polish with only polishing compound is like bailing out an Olyimpic sized pool with a thimble. I use nothing but wet or dry sandpaper up to about 1500 grit and call it good. But only on a customer's gun. I wouldn't polish any of my guns to that level because you'll forever be polishing out every little scratch that shows up and trying to blend it in. A holster will "de polish" down to a lower level. All of my working guns are either bead blasted or finished to about 400 grit. Besides being hard to maintain, you'll blind everyone on the range and pilots in overflying aircraft.

donut132
May 14, 2013, 05:53 PM
well, I was going to carry the security six, and the gp100 is a truck gun/beside the bed gun - so it will be the one that I want shiney. So the main thing to worry about is over sanding the edges and the cylinder. Also where the hinge for the cylinder is, avoid that area. I might try and take the grips off, and play with sanding the places that are covered by the grips so if I mess it up, it will be hidden.

Certaindeaf
May 14, 2013, 06:01 PM
.I might try and take the grips off,..
I was going to bring that up. It's obvious you didn't take the grips off. Don't try.. take the grips off. The whole handgun can be disassembled.

donut132
May 14, 2013, 06:28 PM
well, I have taken the gun apart (the gp100 at least) when I resanded the grips, i went ahead and took the hammer and triggers out along with the cylinder to get a good cleaning and polished it. But I normally do not take them off to polish, I just polish the area the grips are about 10 times in a row when I do take them off.

Certaindeaf
May 14, 2013, 06:40 PM
I hear you. I'd still take the grips off for the polishing though.

skidder
May 14, 2013, 08:04 PM
I think yours look great!

I recently did 3 of my Six Series revolvers. The top three were done with Mother's Mag (I did not do the bottom Speed Six). I spent about 35 minutes per revolver. The satin brush is still there, but it's just a shinier version. I think I like that better than completely polished.


http://i1212.photobucket.com/albums/cc456/exlogger/Speed%20Six/Sixes_zpse77b57d8.jpg

1 old 0311-1
May 14, 2013, 09:26 PM
Keep going. People think my 'Mothers guns' are nickel plated.

http://i1136.photobucket.com/albums/n489/kcq1/_Preview_.jpg (http://s1136.photobucket.com/user/kcq1/media/_Preview_.jpg.html)

Driftwood Johnson
May 14, 2013, 09:47 PM
Howdy

Is this for real? Why in the world do you need to polish them so much? As several posters have said, willy nilly polishing can do more harm than good. You not only have to be careful to not round over sharp edges that are supposed to be sharp, you also don't want to remove so much metal that you start obliterating any lettering and stampings.

Frankly, I have seen plenty of guns devalued by over polishing. Of course, most of these are old guns that have been refinished and were over polished in the process.

Here is the top of the slide of a nice Browning High Power I own. See how the shield has been partially obliterated by aggressive over polishing?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/browning%20hi%20power/hipower_overpolished_shield.jpg

To each his own, but I'll bet if you bought a few more guns you would not be so obsessed with how shiny they are.

Shiny don't shoot any better, it just looks shiny.

nelsonal
May 14, 2013, 10:17 PM
Your polish is too fine to quickly smooth the marks. You can polish it for a long time, slowly working it down, or switch to a coarser material (and then switch to progressively finer polishes). To find the right starting grit find a piece of scrap metal with a similar finish and test larger grits (sand paper or other compounds) until you find something that smooths the larger marks and leaves smaller ones (then keep working down, until you've got the surface you want).

Your task is to remove all the metal above the newly smooth surface (that's likely near the base of the valleys of the current scratches) so you'll likely remove depth on the imprinted markings, their final depth will depend on how deep the current finish is and how careful you are.

bottom shelf
May 14, 2013, 10:57 PM
http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s12/jwittich/misc/DSC01973.jpg

Here's a 686 I polished. It's so shiny I'm embarrassed to take it to the range. :o

http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s12/jwittich/misc/DSC01979.jpg

Here's a closeup of the area where the logo is with a reflection of the overhead cabinets visible.

WC145
May 15, 2013, 04:24 AM
You can have someone do it that knows how and has all of the stuff needed. I've had stainless guns polished to a mirror finish and a carbon steel gun polished then blued by a gunsmith I trust. The results were well worth the cost and the finish can be maintained using Flitz.

460Kodiak
May 15, 2013, 10:02 AM
The satin brush is still there, but it's just a shinier version. I think I like that better than completely polished.



I agree personally.

Here are the two I've done.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=163397&d=1335365510

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=167408&d=1341250786
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=167409&d=1341250816
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=167410&d=1341250852

The only thing I've ever used for is to remove carbon build up on the face of the cylinder. A rotating brass brush works real well for that, and doesn't hurt the gun. Just don't slip and allow the steel conection point on the dremel to hit the gun. That will cause damage, and it is easier to do than you might think when you have the RPM's turrned way up.

CraigC
May 15, 2013, 10:03 AM
I have seen plenty of guns devalued by over polishing.
A few hours spent polishing in the wrong hands can quickly turn a $400-$500 sixgun into something not worth a plug nickel.

donut132
May 15, 2013, 05:28 PM
Hmm lots of conflicting opinions. Wouldn't a light scrub of 2000 grain wet dry paper give me a better shine and lower the risk of damaging my gun?

gamestalker
May 15, 2013, 05:54 PM
I have a M66 that I polished, so glossy that nearly everyone that has seen it, thinks it is nickel. I took it completely apart, and used two different polishing compounds my Son provided me. I did it completely by hand, which took a good deal of time, but it brought out the shine. I have no idea what those compounds were=, but they sure got the job done nicely.

Make sure you completely remove all remaining compound, or it will accelerate wear on all the moving parts!

GS

adelbridge
May 15, 2013, 06:26 PM
You need a buffing wheel and different compounds. I start off with Tripoli Compound and work up to Jewelers Rouge and finish with McGuires Scratch X auto polish. Dremmels will leave ghosting but if you are careful you can use them on a very low speed for tight areas. I wouldnt worry about rounding out stampings and roll marks unless you are sanding- polishes arent aggressive enough unless you really do something stupid. Finish with a automotive wax. If you are attempting to hand polish to perfection will will drive yourself crazy for months when a buffing wheel can be had for $60

BCRider
May 15, 2013, 06:55 PM
Hmm lots of conflicting opinions. Wouldn't a light scrub of 2000 grain wet dry paper give me a better shine and lower the risk of damaging my gun?

You need to stop and think about what makes a surface shiney or not shiney. To reach a chrome like mirror shine you MUST remove ALL the scratches in the surface. The ONLY way to do that is to abrade down the surrounding area until the whole surface is at the same depth as the deepest of the scratches. Now you can do that slowly with polishing for just shy of forever or you can do it quicker by using the sandpapers we suggested. It's all about using your time efficiently.

At this point if the scratches left are not that deep then perhaps starting with 800 to 1000 would be the way to go. But if the scratches you have in your "polished" guns are the deepest of the deep that were in the original finish then it might still take you a while and a few extra sheets of sandpaper.

Can you get there with 2000 grit? Most certainly. But it's going to take a lot longer and use up more sheets of sandpaper in lowering the overall area down to the depth of the deeper scratches.


Now lots of folks are saying to simply use a buffing wheel and compounds. The issue here is that you still need to cut the metal down so it's as deep as the deepest scratch if you want to achieve a truly mirror like polish. At the same time it's stripping that same amount or more off all the sharp and crisp edges found on the cylinder, frame and stamped markings. Which is why the rest of us are suggesting that you at least initially use the sandpaper with backing blocks or flex backings to remove the metal with more control. That way the flat areas when finally polished well will reflect accurate looking images instead of Fun House like distortions.

The simple way would be to use a grinder set up with felt and cotton buffing wheels and the appropriate compounds. But using a buffer like this in a skilled and sensitive manner is still a skill that only comes with time and practice. Until you get that skill and experience you're at far greater risk of turning your gun into something that looks like a half melted bar of soap.

You've read all the suggestions. But you're simply fooling yourself if you think there's some sort of magic pill or short cut to doing it right.

The best suggestion would be to work on some scraps of stainless steel other than your gun. Go around to shops in your area that make stuff from stainless with a 6 pack in hand. Show up near closing and ask for a few scraps of various bits of tubing and flat stock. Take it home and scuff it with coarser papers to simulate the original brushed finish. Then try whatever method you want to reach your final desired polish. That way you're not risking the guns themselves.

And try a bit of tubing and a piece of flat using the sandpapers with backing blocks as suggested. Work them down to a nice mirror that looks like the image you see when shaving in the morning. Then try the same thing with a buffer and compare.

WC145
May 15, 2013, 08:07 PM
You can have someone do it that knows how and has all of the stuff needed. I've had stainless guns polished to a mirror finish and a carbon steel gun polished then blued by a gunsmith I trust. The results were well worth the cost and the finish can be maintained using Flitz.
Following up on my post, here are before and after pics of a Detonics CombatMaster and a Clark Meltdown Colt 1991A1 Compact that I had professionally polished/refinished. Like I said, if you really want a mirror finish you're better off paying for someone to do it right.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-rAr5pjvad2k/TJIt7P1uOeI/AAAAAAAACQc/Cn6Ug8tBitE/s360/14862.jpg
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-QcI2d_vkVZ8/Tb9WMTss17I/AAAAAAAAC9I/3mfVjUkgg50/s684/SDC11371.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jg8KQKk3OEE/TnZyu0OxegI/AAAAAAAADqA/LTEysvViT74/s576/SDC11661.JPG
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-e8t7nKnPUGI/T6mJD2qYQBI/AAAAAAAAEZg/osGllDE6TII/s640/SDC12065.JPG

bluetopper
May 16, 2013, 12:02 AM
Nothing prettier than an unmarred, unpolished brushed stainless Ruger.

If you want a pimp gun, get a nickel one.

Driftwood Johnson
May 16, 2013, 08:23 AM
Hmm lots of conflicting opinions. Wouldn't a light scrub of 2000 grain wet dry paper give me a better shine and lower the risk of damaging my gun?

BC Rider is correct. Polishing metal is no different than sanding wood, the only thing different is the material. If you start with a rough surface, which is what a matte surface is, you first have to remove everything down to the bottom of the pits. Starting with a mild abrasive will only remove the material above the bottom of the pits, that's why you still see the roughness. Starting with the coarsest abrasive removes material quickly down to the bottom of the pits. Then going to progressively finer abrasives will remove the scratches left behind by the coarser abrasive. You go progressively finer until you achieve the polish you desire. But starting with something too light never removes the original surface roughness.

Of course I completely disagree with needing to polish guns that much, it is too easy for the amateur to round over features that should be left sharp and too easy to dish out holes.

But they are your guns.

ID-shooting
May 16, 2013, 08:54 AM
Be carefull with the buffer wheel suggestions. I had an old Unkle Henry knife the an ex-gf spilled soda on and didnt say anything. I sand blasted the rust off then used a buffing wheel to try to buff out the pits. Got it too hot and the blade lost the tempering. Now I have a really shiny knife that won't hold an edge.

460Kodiak
May 16, 2013, 10:05 AM
All the "Be careful" messages above are exactly why I choose to hand polish only, and just be happy with the shine I have given them.

If I wanted more, I'd take it to a pro.

CraigC
May 16, 2013, 12:38 PM
A buffing wheel will only make a mess, it won't cut through Ruger's utilitarian finish. It should only be used for the final shine, if that. BCRider's post is correct. The only way to do it right is to start low and use progressively finer grits of wet-or-dry. Preferably done wet.


Nothing prettier than an unmarred, unpolished brushed stainless Ruger.
Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. I despise the way Ruger finishes their stainless guns. The brushed finish guns have swirls going in every direction. FA's are okay because they're expertly polished in one direction. The polished Vaqueros are done in a tumbler and it's obvious.

donut132
May 16, 2013, 08:17 PM
after reading all the suggestions and actually looking at it.... i've decided I can not do a good enough job and would devalue my gun, nor do I want to drop $50 to get it professionally done. Ill just keep hand polishing it see how far that can take me-

ApacheCoTodd
May 17, 2013, 12:33 AM
You already have. They look pretty nice to me.

orionengnr
May 17, 2013, 10:56 PM
...nor do I want to drop $50 to get it professionally done

Wow. $50? Really? That sounds like a bargain to me. I have often spent more and have nothing to show for it (but a hangover).

If I wanted a shiny (not shiney, not shinny) revolver and a "pro" was willing to do it for $50, I'd be awfully tempted to let him have a go.

Besides, it's only a Ruger. Not like you'd be messing up a P&Red S&W. :)

skidder
May 18, 2013, 01:08 PM
Besides, it's only a Ruger. Not like you'd be messing up a P&Red S&W.
Beauty can sometimes only be in the "eye of the beholder".:neener:
Some of us really like the look of a classic Ruger.


http://i1212.photobucket.com/albums/cc456/exlogger/ruger/SpeedServ_zpsa45049ef.jpg

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