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Author Topic: Strightening and polishing stainless trim a Primer  (Read 1633 times)
firstgenaddict
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« on: October 13, 2012, 11:57:13 AM »

If anyone is interested...

I suggest you find a few pieces of mangled trim which you do not care about to test your abilities...

1.  I use a leather bag filled with shotgun shot as a backing to tap into and various pieces of wooden dowels shaped to fit what I need, most can be pushed out with light pressure.
 

 

2. After which I use a small rubber pad with 220 to find the highs and lows, repeat above until the dents and dings are near flat,

3. Then I use a fine diamond nail file to file the minor highs and lows smooth.

 


3. The next step is sanding with 180 grit length wise until the finish is uniform,

 

4. Then using progressively finer sandpaper 220 - 320 - until I am using 400 wet I sand the surface in the same direction until the previous sanding scratches are removed.

BELOW (this is the front side of the first piece of trim shown here. Passenger side lower rear glass trim for a 69 Z28 the slight smudge horizontally across the trim in the bright area is the exact position of the pushed out dents shown in the first picture.
 



Here are 3 different stages.



 

Next is polishing on a buffing wheel with rouge.
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James
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Check out the Black 69 RS/Z28 45k mile Survivor and the Lemans Blue 69 Z 10D frame off...
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lakeholme
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2012, 05:09:50 PM »

Our local community college offers a class on trim. That way you can use their equipment and tools. Not a bad deal.
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Phillip
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69z28302
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2012, 07:14:39 PM »

Looks great James. Thanks
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firstgenaddict
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2012, 07:52:30 PM »

Most fail to realize that with enough time even the worst stainless can be fixed.

I have tig welded holes in conv top trim that was drilled for snaps. I used an old piece of trim as my feed stock to ensure the stainless will color match

that is when time was much less valuable to me...
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James
Collectin' Camaro's since "Only Rednecks drove them"
 
Check out the Black 69 RS/Z28 45k mile Survivor and the Lemans Blue 69 Z 10D frame off...
https://picasaweb.google.com/112392262205377424364/1969_Z28_Restoration
IZRSSS
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2012, 08:54:05 AM »

James Ė Nice work! I think all of us who take on this challenge are very apprehensive at first but itís much easier than people think. All it takes is a bit of practice (w/junk yard trim) and youíre off to the races. Hereís a link to what I think is the best online description of this topic; http://www.corvettefever.com/techarticles/corp_0506_stainless_steel_corvette_trim_restoration/steps.html

The best advice anyone gave me is to buff/polish each piece beginning against the grain and finishing up with the grain (for each grit of rouge).
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68camaroz28
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2012, 11:15:55 AM »

Nice info James and work..... Smiley
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Mike S
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2012, 06:07:10 PM »

 I had an old timer restore my SS trim around the rear conv. trunk lip back in the 80's. Metal restoration was his life long business. My trim had the same dings as yours and his methods for removing them were the pretty much the same. When I got them back, and if I didn't know better, I could swear there were store bought new.

Mike
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JohnZ
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2012, 11:32:35 AM »

James – Nice work! I think all of us who take on this challenge are very apprehensive at first but it’s much easier than people think. All it takes is a bit of practice (w/junk yard trim) and you’re off to the races. Here’s a link to what I think is the best online description of this topic; http://www.corvettefever.com/techarticles/corp_0506_stainless_steel_corvette_trim_restoration/steps.html

The best advice anyone gave me is to buff/polish each piece beginning against the grain and finishing up with the grain (for each grit of rouge).


That's an excellent article, and it's one of the few that properly explains how the original stainless moldings were flash-chromed after final polishing, protecting the stainless substrate from oxidation and providing the "icy-blue" appearance. Flash-chrome after final polishing is the only way to achieve a "correct" appearance.
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firstgenaddict
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2012, 03:22:23 PM »

John do you know if the other manufacturers flash chromed their stainless as well?

Reason I ask is my dad restores Flathead Fords and has relayed to me that the OLD Ford stainless was a blue shade where as the repro is a warmer color.
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James
Collectin' Camaro's since "Only Rednecks drove them"
 
Check out the Black 69 RS/Z28 45k mile Survivor and the Lemans Blue 69 Z 10D frame off...
https://picasaweb.google.com/112392262205377424364/1969_Z28_Restoration
JohnZ
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2012, 11:17:05 AM »

John do you know if the other manufacturers flash chromed their stainless as well?

Reason I ask is my dad restores Flathead Fords and has relayed to me that the OLD Ford stainless was a blue shade where as the repro is a warmer color.

Don't know about other manufacturers, but flash-chrome after final polishing was the GM standard in the 60's for stainless steel moldings.
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'69 Z/28
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 05:07:56 AM »

Great demonstration James - you've inspired me to try it myself!
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Tim - New South Wales, Australia
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tom
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« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2012, 07:22:45 PM »

I take it from the posts above, that flash chrome plating is chrome plating without the copper or the nickel plating. Is that correct, or am I reading something extra into the posts?
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JohnZ
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2012, 11:24:55 AM »

I take it from the posts above, that flash chrome plating is chrome plating without the copper or the nickel plating. Is that correct, or am I reading something extra into the posts?

That's correct - flash chrome is just the (clear) chrome layer, with no copper or nickel underneath it.
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'69 Z/28
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