A framebuilder friend of the bike co-op that I work at recently donated a box of welded but unfinished 1" steel threadless stems in varying lengths. Each of them still needs to be cut to make the clamps useful, then I need to find some way of finishing them to protect them against rust and general wear and tear. I've decided to make cutting and finishing these stems my project for the time being (I need to stop building bikes for myself!). I hope to make them sellable/useable items.
Does anyone know a good procedure for cleaning, prepping and finishing bare metal? I'd like to use a transparent finish, at least for the one that I'm putting onto my bike, because I think the bare metal has a distinct and unique look that would be fun to look down at for hours every day, but if that's not feasible, I would consider other options.
Solutions that can be implemented in/around my house would be ideal.