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Burnishing pictures
Ahh. How's it look after a few hours swimming in the tank?

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Before and After.

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Some Margay and MC parts for a New Breed in the North East. 

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After some blasting and 1.5 hrs they look better than new. The color is as close to bright white as possible while maintaining the luster.

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It's not really burnishing, but those same Series 24 halves from above got some extra love. With 8 hrs of free time and some basic equipment, you can get these same results. Too bad these aren't mine! 

I burnished the halves first. Not really necessary, but I like the unseen side of the rim to look nice too. The tough part about these Margays is obviously curb damage and the tool marks from the die. Here are the tool marks.

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I don't have a lathe, but a home made turning machine using a kart axle. 

I start with 220, 320, and finally 400. 
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I think this is 400.
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Then the scary part. There is a lot of risk in polishing the Margay rims because they open ended on have those little tabs which could grab on the wheel. The VanK rims aren't as bad.

I do the same process I've mentioned other places here. Emery/Sisal, Tripoli/Denim, white/loose cotton.

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Sterling asked me a good question about how to attack the wheels on a stationary buffer, and what size wheels.
I usually buy 10" diameter wheels and wear them down to nubs. When they get around 4" - 6" I can use them for rims. 

I stack them so the wheel I'm polishing with is furthest out. All the others are acting as spacers. The extra wheels keep the main wheel from flexing under load, and you want to keep the nut far from your piece. Not pictured here, but I tape the nut with electrical, duct, or PET tape.
And I'll never polish indoors again. I buried a tote full of rocks and concrete in the backyard and anchored the buffer stand and tube bender to the pad. 

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Don't attack the buffing wheel head on like this. When you're done sanding, your next step is "cutting" with the Emery/Sisal wheel here. The purpose of cutting is remove the groves from sanding by going across them.
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Attack the buffing wheel at a 45* angle like this. Why? When you were sanding the wheel down on the turning machine you made groves in the direction of rotation which need to be cut down. Since you really can't work at 90* relative to the groves, 45* works best. 
You'll want to wear heat resistant gloves. You'll slowly spin the wheel in your hand keeping part of the rim at a 45* to the wheel. 
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Hope this helps.
I'm doing some work for minibike guys. We all like looking at pictures of finished vintage parts whether 2 wheels or 4 wheels. These wheels below are from kart/minibike guys in the West and the North East.

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Very nice work Sam.  Those 24's are exceptional.  Almost chrome!

Reply to your edited post showing the buffing set-up.  What kind of electric motor are you using that accepts a 1" kart axle?  And boy you are so right about buffing and polishing outside!  Man, that is a messy process!
Blaine K. was nice enough to send some Lil Indian wheels my direction. 4/6 halves were polished, but he wanted all of them to match. I'm going to show the results of the steel burnish and come back after doing a cob finish. I was supposed to leave tomorrow and now I have until Monday morning to make some magic. 

Here are the 2 blasted ones. Blaine points out "real Lil Indians" have the recessed area around the hole. 
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Here are the 4 polished halves.
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Let's see if we can clean hubs too?
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I run 2 halves for 2 hours. I was in front of the machine for 6 hours. I could run all 6 at once, but if 2 halves spoon each-other with a pin between them, I'm screwed. 

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The color is good, but I can't see the reflection like I want to. I got Blaine's o.k. on the cob. It will take at least 24hrs to cob the wheels. I'll edit the post later with some results.
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After the cob below. 

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Larry Hook is a member here and literally The Premiere Pinstriper (yes, that's the correct spelling) in the U.S. If he is the premiere in the U.S., that means the world, and the known universe. And, he is a fellow vintage karter like us.

Larry has a soon-to-be revealed project which I was happy enough to assist with. We're looking at 4 Hands halves, 2 early MCs, mounts, heads, FW's. I hope I'm not giving too much away, but Chris Sahagian was nice enough to facilitate this part of the restoration.

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After some blasting.
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The blocks and FWs went through the same process.
Everyone comes to this thread to see the befores and afters. Larry made a request to have the beads on the Hands polished up. This is a tricky deal. With almost 60 year old rims and no mandrel to chuck them up on, I had to free-hand without ruining the delicate lip on the 4" fronts.

I love doing cast aluminum. High-pressure die cast never looks as good as sand cast. The color is the whitest I've ever seen aluminum.
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Early FWs with lots of love.
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I bought this Sirio TT45 from Kelly West and had myself convinced I could leave it alone for a week. That lasted about 18 hrs...

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These IAME engines have great castings and clean up nicely.
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Big difference in color just from the blast.
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Here are some more parts from Larry Hook I got this morning. If you've seen the other parts I've done for him, it should becoming clear what kind of project he is working on.

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After some blasting.
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The finished parts have great color and luster.
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those parts are going to look fantastic on that kart. Well done, Sam

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