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ROMCO Manufacturing
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#29 Do you Polish Spinners?

 No, we do not polish spinners, it just takes too much time and we don't want You to miss out on all the Fun. However, we can tell you what we found to be the best and safest way to do it.  Put your dirty clothes on and follow me!

"POLISHING AN ALUMINUM SPINNER IS NOT A MYSTERY.... IT IS A MESS !"

THE ONE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER ABOUT POLISHING A SPINNER IS THAT "IT DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY POWER TOOLS"! TRYING TO POLISH A SPINNER IN A LATHE, OR WORSE YET, IN A DRILL PRESS OR MOUNTED TO A HAND DRILL IS "JUST PLAIN SUICIDE".

THE ENTIRE JOB OF POLISHING AN ALUMINUM SPINNER CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED WITH YOUR BARE HANDS, BUT YOU BETTER DO IT OUTSIDE, OR IN THE BASEMENT SINK.  THE BLACK COMPOUND THAT COMES OFF OF THE SPINNER IS ALUMINUM OXIDE AND DOES NOT WASH OUT OF ANYTHING VERY WELL.

THE BEST WAY WE HAVE FOUND IS BY USING "WET OR DRY" SAND PAPER. YOU CAN GET THIS PAPER AT MOST HARDWARE AND AUTOMOTIVE STORES.  YOU WILL NEED SOME 320, 400, AND 600 GRIT.  ONE SHEET OF EACH WILL DO THE JOB AND YOU WILL HAVE SOME LEFT OVER FOR THE NEXT TIME.  WE LIKE TO START WITH "320 GRIT" AND WORK DOWN THE MAJOR AMOUNT OF TOOL MARKS AND THEN PROGRESS TO THE FINER GRITS.

THE BASIC THEORY OF THIS TASK IS TO REMOVE THE RIDGES MADE WHILE MACHINING THE SPINNER.  THERE IS A MICROSCOPIC RADIAL GROOVE CREATED BY THE TURNING TOOL, MUCH LIKE THE OLD VICTROLA RECORD.  THE BEST WAY TO SMOOTH OUT SOMETHING LIKE THIS IS TO SAND ACROSS THE RIDGES INSTEAD OF ALONG THE RIDGES.  "PERPENDICULAR NOT PARALLEL"

THIS IS BEST ACCOMPLISHED BY "WET SANDING" THE SPINNER WITH A STROKING MOTION FROM THE POINT TO BACKING PLATE. "FRONT TO BACK" IF YOU WILL, NOT RADIAL.  THIS IS, OF COURSE, DONE WITH THE BACKING PLATE SNAPPED IN PLACE TO KEEP FROM ROUNDING OFF THE PARTING LINE.  A LITTLE EXTRA "ELBOW GREASE" WILL BE NECESSARY IN THE AREA OF THE SLOTS.

THE SPINNER WILL DEVELOP A NICE SILVER SATIN LOOKING FINISH ALL OVER AND THE AREAS THAT YOU HAVE MISSED WILL SHOW UP READILY. "KEEP IT WET", OR THE SANDPAPER WILL LOAD UP WITH ALUMINUM AND SCRATCH THE SPINNER INSTEAD OF SMOOTHING IT.  A SLIGHT AMOUNT OF CRISSCROSSING MOTION IS ALSO GOOD TO KEEP THINGS UNIFORM.

WHEN YOU HAVE REACHED THE SATIN FINISH ALL OVER AND YOU CAN NOT SEE THE TOOL MARKS ANYMORE, IT IS TIME TO PROGRESS TO A FINER GRIT.

WE USUALLY GO IN STAGES OF "320 GRIT" FOR ROUGH, "400 GRIT" TO SEMI FINISH, AND "600 GRIT" TO REALLY SMOOTH IT OUT FOR THE POLISH.  YOU CAN EVEN GO ONE STEP FURTHER AND USE "1000 GRIT" IF IT IS AVAILABLE IN YOUR AREA, BUT 600 WILL DO THE JOB JUST FINE.

WHILE RUBBING IT WITH THE 600 AND 1000 GRIT, YOU WILL BEGIN TO SEE A SHINE TO THE METAL BUT DO NOT GET IN A HURRY.  THE BETTER JOB YOU DO WITH THE SANDPAPER, THE EASIER IT WILL BE TO POLISH THE SPINNER.  IF YOU HAVE SCRATCHES, EVEN VERY SMALL ONES, THEY WILL SHOW UP "BIG" WHEN YOU PUT THE FINAL SHINE TO IT, AND YOU WILL HAVE TO DO THE WHOLE THING ALL OVER AGAIN.

ALL THIS TIME YOU ARE THINKING, "WHERE IS ALL OF THIS METAL GOING THAT I AM SANDING OFF OF THIS SPINNER?"  AM I GETTING IT OUT OF BALANCE OR SOMETHING? IT LOOKED BETTER BEFORE I STARTED, WILL IT EVER BE SHINY AGAIN?  "ALL IS O.K. WITH YOUR SPINNER". WHAT YOU NEED TO BE WORRYING ABOUT IS WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO TELL THE "LITTLE LADY" ABOUT THE TOWEL YOU JUST WIPED YOUR HANDS ON!!!

YOU HAVE SEEN A LOT OF BLACK COMPOUND BUT WHAT YOU HAVE REMOVED FROM THE SPINNER IS SO SMALL IT IS HARD TO MEASURE.  YOU HAVE ONLY SANDED OFF APPROXIMATELY TWO TO THREE TEN THOUSANDTHS OF AN INCH.  THIS WOULD BE THE EQUIVALENT OF ONE TENTH (1/10) OF A HUMAN HAIR!  NOT MUCH, HUH!

I GUESS TOO MUCH OF ANYTHING IS NOT GOOD, SO KNOWING WHEN TO STOP OR GO TO THE NEXT STAGE IS IMPORTANT.  IF YOU GIVE A LITTLE ATTENTION TO UNIFORMITY OF YOUR MOVES YOU WILL NOTICE THAT THE FINISH WILL TELL YOU WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO DO! WE HAVE DONE A LOT OF CHECKING AND TESTING AND WE HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED ANY IMBALANCE FROM POLISHING A SPINNER. I THINK YOU WOULD HAVE TO RUB YOUR ARM OFF TO DO ANY APPRECIABLE AMOUNT OF DAMAGE TO THE BALANCE!

"WE ARE CLOSE BUT NO SHINE YET"

THE NEXT THING YOU WILL NEED IS GOING TO BE A COMBINATION OF CHOICE AND CHANCE.  "YOU NEED A POLISHING COMPOUND".  THIS COMPOUND SHOULD COST ABOUT $4.00, GIVE OR TAKE A LITTLE, AND SHOULD BE A CREAM BASE POLISHING "COMPOUND", NOT A CLEANER. YOU "DO NOT" NEED ANY EXPENSIVE $75.00 TUBE OF DIAMOND POLISH, THE LOW COST STUFF WILL DO THE JOB JUST FINE.

I WILL NAME A FEW, SUCH AS "MOTHER'S", "NEW MAG", "MAG-BRIGHT", AND MANY OTHERS, BUT I DO NOT SUGGEST THAT ONE IS ANY BETTER THAN THE OTHER.  MOST OF THESE COMPOUNDS WORK GOOD AND MOST ARE AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL AUTO PARTS STORE.  SOME WORK BETTER THAN OTHERS AND SOME ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN ALL AREAS OF THE U.S., SO YOU WILL JUST HAVE TO PICK ONE AND TRY IT.

"LETS GO TO WORK"  PUT A LITTLE POLISHING COMPOUND ON A SOFT CLOTH AND BEGIN TO RUB THE SPINNER ALL OVER.  PLEASE REMEMBER WHAT I SAID EARLIER, "THE TOWEL AND YOUR HANDS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME".  THE CLOTH MUST BE SOFT COTTON AND MUST BE VERY CLEAN, AS IT WILL NOT TAKE MUCH TO SCRATCH THE SPINNER AT THIS POINT.

THIS IS THE EASIEST PART OF THE JOB AND IT GOES PRETTY FAST.  AS THE COMPOUND POLISHES, IT STARTS DRYING AND "UP COMES THE SHINE". THE MORE YOU POLISH, THE BETTER IT GETS, BUT "ALL SPINNERS ARE NOT ALIKE".  SOME SPINNERS WILL SHINE BETTER AND EASIER THAN OTHERS.  THE MAIN REASON FOR THIS IS THE TYPE OF MATERIAL THEY ARE MADE FROM, AND ALL YOU CAN DO IS TRY IT.  (Tru-Turn is the best way to go!!)

TO KEEP YOUR SPINNER SHINY, KEEP SOMETHING ON IT LIKE LEMON OIL OR A GOOD CAR WAX. 

Fly Safely, It's More Fun!