Polishing stainless steel

I have a couple of stainless steel pots that have had long usage and
don't look so hot.
One is an 18/10 16 oz Italian "espresso" coffee maker (that you put on a
stove burner) that's been used something like 20,000 times! I just spent
almost an hour buffing it with a wheel with polishing compound. It
proved to me that it IS possible to bring back that mirror like lustre
but it's just too much work to warrant the effort. I figure there must
be ways to speed up the process. I have 4 different grades of polishing
compound and I could theoretically start coarse and go finer with 4
different wheels. However, I'd have to go out and get at least 3 more
wheels. My grinder is homemade (from a dryer motor), and so is slower
than a regular store-bought grinder (about 1/2 the speed).
The tarnish on the coffee maker is kind of copper colored, some sort of
baked-on coating, maybe oxidation. Once in a while I wash off a coating
with metal cleaner or Bon Ami, but this harder/tougher copper colored
coating remains, which only seems removable (so far) by hard-nosed
buffing with polishing compound.
I also have a stainless steel boiler (18/8), which is one of those
coffee servers you see (or saw?) in coffee shops. Makes a nice boiler
(that's what I use it for), but is now so tarnished that on the bottom
in places it's is downright black. I'd like to shine it up too, at least
occasionally, if it can be done without too much effort.
Thanks for any tips.
Dan
Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net
Reply to
Dan_Musicant
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It sounds like you're using traditional cutting and buffing compounds. For stainless, or for any steel, for that matter, I use Dico stainless steel polish and it's probably three times faster than any general purpose compounds I've ever used. It leaves a great finish, too.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
:
:>I have a couple of stainless steel pots that have had long usage and :> don't look so hot. :> :> One is an 18/10 16 oz Italian "espresso" coffee maker (that you put on a :> stove burner) that's been used something like 20,000 times! I just spent :> almost an hour buffing it with a wheel with polishing compound. It :> proved to me that it IS possible to bring back that mirror like lustre :> but it's just too much work to warrant the effort. I figure there must :> be ways to speed up the process. I have 4 different grades of polishing :> compound and I could theoretically start coarse and go finer with 4 :> different wheels. However, I'd have to go out and get at least 3 more :> wheels. My grinder is homemade (from a dryer motor), and so is slower :> than a regular store-bought grinder (about 1/2 the speed). :> :> The tarnish on the coffee maker is kind of copper colored, some sort of :> baked-on coating, maybe oxidation. Once in a while I wash off a coating :> with metal cleaner or Bon Ami, but this harder/tougher copper colored :> coating remains, which only seems removable (so far) by hard-nosed :> buffing with polishing compound. :> :> I also have a stainless steel boiler (18/8), which is one of those :> coffee servers you see (or saw?) in coffee shops. Makes a nice boiler :> (that's what I use it for), but is now so tarnished that on the bottom :> in places it's is downright black. I'd like to shine it up too, at least :> occasionally, if it can be done without too much effort. :> :> Thanks for any tips. : :It sounds like you're using traditional cutting and buffing compounds. For :stainless, or for any steel, for that matter, I use Dico stainless steel :polish and it's probably three times faster than any general purpose :compounds I've ever used. It leaves a great finish, too.
Thanks. Where do you get that stuff? B&M, online?
Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net
Reply to
Dan_Musicant
On Tue, 30 Oct 2007 17:40:01 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm, Dan_Musicant quickly quoth:
--snip--
Run down to your local Wally World and pick up a 4 oz. tube of MAAS Metal Polish for $3 and change. I just tried a bit on my stainless steel sink and it amazed me in ten seconds flat. If not, try the DICO (which Ed keeps forgetting to tell us where he sources.) Knowledge and timber shouldn't be much used till they are seasoned. -- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Reply to
Larry Jaques
I got mine from a mill supply in Union, NJ, but I see it's available from many places online. Search on Dico buffing rather than Dico polish, because there apparently is some translation software called Dico that translates from Polish. d8-)
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Force Machinery, Union, NJ. It's a long ride for you. They're well known on the commercial side of the business. I'm surprised you haven't seen them around.
I see that it's available online. Check out Dico's site while you're at it. They have some tips that look useful.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
What about electro-polishing?
j/b
Reply to
jusme
:
:> :> :> :
:> :>I have a couple of stainless steel pots that have had long usage and :> :> don't look so hot. :> :> :> :> One is an 18/10 16 oz Italian "espresso" coffee maker (that you put on :> a :> :> stove burner) that's been used something like 20,000 times! I just :> spent :> :> almost an hour buffing it with a wheel with polishing compound. It :> :> proved to me that it IS possible to bring back that mirror like lustre :> :> but it's just too much work to warrant the effort. I figure there must :> :> be ways to speed up the process. I have 4 different grades of polishing :> :> compound and I could theoretically start coarse and go finer with 4 :> :> different wheels. However, I'd have to go out and get at least 3 more :> :> wheels. My grinder is homemade (from a dryer motor), and so is slower :> :> than a regular store-bought grinder (about 1/2 the speed). :> :> :> :> The tarnish on the coffee maker is kind of copper colored, some sort of :> :> baked-on coating, maybe oxidation. Once in a while I wash off a coating :> :> with metal cleaner or Bon Ami, but this harder/tougher copper colored :> :> coating remains, which only seems removable (so far) by hard-nosed :> :> buffing with polishing compound. :> :> :> :> I also have a stainless steel boiler (18/8), which is one of those :> :> coffee servers you see (or saw?) in coffee shops. Makes a nice boiler :> :> (that's what I use it for), but is now so tarnished that on the bottom :> :> in places it's is downright black. I'd like to shine it up too, at :> least :> :> occasionally, if it can be done without too much effort. :> :> :> :> Thanks for any tips. :> : :> :It sounds like you're using traditional cutting and buffing compounds. :> For :> :stainless, or for any steel, for that matter, I use Dico stainless steel :> :polish and it's probably three times faster than any general purpose :> :compounds I've ever used. It leaves a great finish, too. :> :> Thanks. Where do you get that stuff? B&M, online? : :I got mine from a mill supply in Union, NJ, but I see it's available from :many places online. Search on Dico buffing rather than Dico polish, because :there apparently is some translation software called Dico that translates :from Polish. d8-)
Thanks. A mill supply... I bet I could find such a thing here (Berkeley, CA) if I'm industrious. I presume you use this stuff with a buffing wheel? I should probably get another and not try to reuse the one I used today. It was virgin this morning, but is now impregnated with brown polishing compound.
Dan
Reply to
Dan_Musicant
:On Tue, 30 Oct 2007 17:40:01 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm, :Dan_Musicant quickly quoth: : :>I have a couple of stainless steel pots that have had long usage and :>don't look so hot. :--snip-- :>I also have a stainless steel boiler (18/8), which is one of those :>coffee servers you see (or saw?) in coffee shops. Makes a nice boiler :>(that's what I use it for), but is now so tarnished that on the bottom :>in places it's is downright black. I'd like to shine it up too, at least :>occasionally, if it can be done without too much effort. :> :>Thanks for any tips. : :Run down to your local Wally World and pick up a 4 oz. tube of MAAS :Metal Polish for $3 and change. I just tried a bit on my stainless :steel sink and it amazed me in ten seconds flat. If not, try the DICO :(which Ed keeps forgetting to tell us where he sources.) :Knowledge and timber shouldn't be much used till they are seasoned. : -- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Mmm. Wally World? Is that for real or are you being flippant and referring to Walmart? I called two large hardware stores in the vicinity today and asked for Dico polish but they don't stock it. I could call again and ask for MAAS, though. I figure I'll need another buffing wheel for my grinder. My homemade grinder has an extra shaft coming out the other side of the motor, which I reserve for things like buffing wheels, wire brush wheels and believe it or not, a homemade table saw.
Dan
Reply to
Dan_Musicant
A mill supply is an old name for a machine-shop supply store. Try a big, old hardware store if you have such a thing. I used to get Dico compounds at an old hardware store in downtown Princeton, NJ, but that store, and most like it, are gone the way of the dodo. They may even have it at Home Depot. I've never looked. If you don't find it easily it's probably easier to order it online. Machine-shop supply stores are pretty rare except in industrial areas.
Yes. It's a waxy-type compound made for use on buffing wheels. I use it on regular muslin wheels on my bench grinder and on little bobs on my die grinder and my Dremel. I also use it for stropping knife blades and plane irons, but that's another story.
In general, you can charge a wheel with a coarser compound, or with a more-aggressive compound of equal coarseness. Just not the other way around, because the coarser or more-aggressive compound will remain on the wheel. If the brown polishing compound was rouge, no problem, just don't use it for rouge again. If it was brown tripoli, you're probably still OK to use it with Dico stainless polish.
There is a way to strip almost all of the old compound off a wheel but I don't discuss it in public, for the same reason I don't discuss lighting charcoal fires with gasoline. d8-) It's a good way to put an eye out if you aren't good at it.
Otherwise, yes, get a new wheel and reserve the old one for the compound you were using. I have five or six buffing wheels that I reserve for one type of compound each. I keep them in Ziploc bags between uses.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
On Tue, 30 Oct 2007 18:48:42 -0400, with neither quill nor qualm, "Ed Huntress" quickly quoth:
Joisey? Ayup, it would be. ;) I drove through there twice (to and from planes in Newark in '98.) You can keep it, thanks.
haven't seen them
They have compound sticks but no polishing cream, I see.
-- Knowledge and timber shouldn't be much used till they are seasoned. -- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Reply to
Larry Jaques
"Polishing cream"? What's that, facial moisturizer for machinists?
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
MAAS Polish then clean it once a week or so with some Bartenders Friend. All available at Wal~Mart, near the rest of the cleansers.
Reply to
Steve W.
On Wed, 31 Oct 2007 01:25:10 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm, Dan_Musicant quickly quoth:
Yes, WalMart. (see sig)
Dico is a hard stick polish used with a wheel. MAAS is a gel used manually with a polishing cloth. Choose wisely, Grasshopper.
--- - Sarcasm is just one more service we offer. -
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Reply to
Larry Jaques
On Tue, 30 Oct 2007 22:30:21 -0400, with neither quill nor qualm, "Ed Huntress" quickly quoth:
Aw, ya lazyarse machinist. Manuel, he use it by hand, senor.
I was reacting to the subject line and read "polishing", not "buffing". YMMV
-- Knowledge and timber shouldn't be much used till they are seasoned. -- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Reply to
Larry Jaques
:
:> :> :> :
:> :> :> :> :> :> :
:> :> :>I have a couple of stainless steel pots that have had long usage and :> :> :> don't look so hot. :> :> :> :> :> :> One is an 18/10 16 oz Italian "espresso" coffee maker (that you put :> on :> :> a :> :> :> stove burner) that's been used something like 20,000 times! I just :> :> spent :> :> :> almost an hour buffing it with a wheel with polishing compound. It :> :> :> proved to me that it IS possible to bring back that mirror like :> lustre :> :> :> but it's just too much work to warrant the effort. I figure there :> must :> :> :> be ways to speed up the process. I have 4 different grades of :> polishing :> :> :> compound and I could theoretically start coarse and go finer with 4 :> :> :> different wheels. However, I'd have to go out and get at least 3 :> more :> :> :> wheels. My grinder is homemade (from a dryer motor), and so is :> slower :> :> :> than a regular store-bought grinder (about 1/2 the speed). :> :> :> :> :> :> The tarnish on the coffee maker is kind of copper colored, some sort :> of :> :> :> baked-on coating, maybe oxidation. Once in a while I wash off a :> coating :> :> :> with metal cleaner or Bon Ami, but this harder/tougher copper :> colored :> :> :> coating remains, which only seems removable (so far) by hard-nosed :> :> :> buffing with polishing compound. :> :> :> :> :> :> I also have a stainless steel boiler (18/8), which is one of those :> :> :> coffee servers you see (or saw?) in coffee shops. Makes a nice :> boiler :> :> :> (that's what I use it for), but is now so tarnished that on the :> bottom :> :> :> in places it's is downright black. I'd like to shine it up too, at :> :> least :> :> :> occasionally, if it can be done without too much effort. :> :> :> :> :> :> Thanks for any tips. :> :> : :> :> :It sounds like you're using traditional cutting and buffing compounds. :> :> For :> :> :stainless, or for any steel, for that matter, I use Dico stainless :> steel :> :> :polish and it's probably three times faster than any general purpose :> :> :compounds I've ever used. It leaves a great finish, too. :> :> :> :> Thanks. Where do you get that stuff? B&M, online? :> : :> :I got mine from a mill supply in Union, NJ, but I see it's available from :> :many places online. Search on Dico buffing rather than Dico polish, :> because :> :there apparently is some translation software called Dico that translates :> :from Polish. d8-) :> :> Thanks. A mill supply... I bet I could find such a thing here (Berkeley, :> CA) if I'm industrious. : :A mill supply is an old name for a machine-shop supply store. Try a big, old :hardware store if you have such a thing. I used to get Dico compounds at an :old hardware store in downtown Princeton, NJ, but that store, and most like :it, are gone the way of the dodo. They may even have it at Home Depot. I've :never looked. If you don't find it easily it's probably easier to order it :online. Machine-shop supply stores are pretty rare except in industrial :areas.
Thanks. Ya know, there's a machine shop I've gone into a couple of times and there's a genius in there who has helped me out. I have a feeling he can tell me where to get that Dico polishing compound locally. It's actually near my closest Home Depot. I can try there but I'm not hopeful I'll find it there. I can definitely look for more buffing wheels there, maybe Harbor Freight too. I know they have some, don't know how good they are, but maybe they're OK
: :> I presume you use this stuff with a buffing :> wheel? : :Yes. It's a waxy-type compound made for use on buffing wheels. I use it on :regular muslin wheels on my bench grinder and on little bobs on my die :grinder and my Dremel. I also use it for stropping knife blades and plane :irons, but that's another story.
The 4 sticks of buffing compound I have are shaped kind of like Snickers bars, but a little bigger, made by "Coast". I guess it's waxy. I bought them around 25 years ago, I guess... cheap at some local store. Colors are (coarse to fine) black, white, brown, red. Actually I can't tell the difference between the brown and the red (partially color blind). I think I used brown yesterday, but am not sure. It sure did a good job but it took forever to just do a patch around 1 square inch all told. : :> I should probably get another and not try to reuse the one I used :> today. It was virgin this morning, but is now impregnated with brown :> polishing compound. : :In general, you can charge a wheel with a coarser compound, or with a :more-aggressive compound of equal coarseness. Just not the other way around, :because the coarser or more-aggressive compound will remain on the wheel. If :the brown polishing compound was rouge, no problem, just don't use it for :rouge again. If it was brown tripoli, you're probably still OK to use it :with Dico stainless polish. : :There is a way to strip almost all of the old compound off a wheel but I :don't discuss it in public, for the same reason I don't discuss lighting :charcoal fires with gasoline. d8-) It's a good way to put an eye out if you :aren't good at it.
Guess you use a dangerously volatile solvent. I figure I'll stick with your method below, store in plastic bags. : :Otherwise, yes, get a new wheel and reserve the old one for the compound you :were using. I have five or six buffing wheels that I reserve for one type of :compound each. I keep them in Ziploc bags between uses.
Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net
Reply to
Dan_Musicant
No and yes. The method involves using a knife or a sharp chisel on the spinning wheel. It's widely used by buffers in the plating business. Don't do it. That sucker can flip and come right back at you. I have a big framing chisel (called a "slick") that my great-grandfather used for timber-framing houses. It has a two-handed handle and it's almost 3 inches wide. Unless you have one of those, you're asking for trouble.
I don't know the MAAS polish that a couple of people here have recommended. If it works as well as some have said here in the past, I'd give it a try. It sounds like it might be chemical because the hard part about polishing really bad stainless is getting through the oxide layers. Chromium oxide is harder than a witch's heart, and it can get pretty tough on old pots and pans. If they've been overheated, you also pick up some nasty iron oxides to go with it. Polishing old, beat, overheated stainless can be difficult, at least until you get down to clean metal. I've found that the Dico stainless polish is relatively good at getting through that stuff without scratching the steel, among the mechanical methods.
The only chemical I know of that eats it right off is hydrofluoric acid, which is what welders use to clean stainless welds. Don't even think about it unless your health insurance is very good.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
WHILE WE ARE ON THIS (TIMELY! :) SUBJECT, could you address passivating(sp?) welded stainless?
There are a few (very few) welded parts I have to have done, and the local welder, who does really pretty work, doesn't know the term.
Whazup?
Richard
Reply to
cavelamb himself
Yes. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC. If there's any address that needs passivating, that's it.
I'm going to pass on this for now, because the welders and other experts probably will give you the lowdown. There is a paste of hydrofluoric acid and something that's available from welding supply shops for small jobs, and there are ways to do bigger jobs without killing yourself. I've also heard of nitric acid being used but don't quote me. This is not my department.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
:
:> : : : :> :There is a way to strip almost all of the old compound off a wheel but I :> :don't discuss it in public, for the same reason I don't discuss lighting :> :charcoal fires with gasoline. d8-) It's a good way to put an eye out if :> you :> :aren't good at it. :> :> Guess you use a dangerously volatile solvent. I figure I'll stick with :> your method below, store in plastic bags. : :No and yes. The method involves using a knife or a sharp chisel on the :spinning wheel. It's widely used by buffers in the plating business. Don't :do it. That sucker can flip and come right back at you. I have a big framing :chisel (called a "slick") that my great-grandfather used for timber-framing :houses. It has a two-handed handle and it's almost 3 inches wide. Unless you :have one of those, you're asking for trouble. : :I don't know the MAAS polish that a couple of people here have recommended. :If it works as well as some have said here in the past, I'd give it a try. :It sounds like it might be chemical because the hard part about polishing :really bad stainless is getting through the oxide layers. Chromium oxide is :harder than a witch's heart, and it can get pretty tough on old pots and :pans. If they've been overheated, you also pick up some nasty iron oxides to :go with it. Polishing old, beat, overheated stainless can be difficult, at :least until you get down to clean metal. I've found that the Dico stainless :polish is relatively good at getting through that stuff without scratching :the steel, among the mechanical methods. : :The only chemical I know of that eats it right off is hydrofluoric acid, :which is what welders use to clean stainless welds. Don't even think about :it unless your health insurance is very good.
I called Harbor Freight and they only have a kit with one bar, who knows what it is.
I recalled an old quite large hardware store that I figured for something. When I called a few days ago, asked if they have Dico, I was told "no," and I took it for an answer. So, I call back today and ask what they DO have (I figured they HAVE to have something!). A guy says he doesn't know (read I'm too lazy to find out). I was persistent and he finds out... He says they have a package of 4 tubes for different types of metal. I ask him how much, he says $7.49, I ask what brand, he says "Dico!" Bingo. One of the tubes is for stainless and from what he described I figure it for 2-3 liquid ounces per tube. I guess I'll truck on over there today and pick it up. I suppose it's cheaper than getting something shipped.
Dan
Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net
Reply to
Dan_Musicant

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