If you go to that link from FGG that 128 put up, you'll see he uses a buffing wheel and what looks like a big a** crayon. That's polishing rouge, it's basically a stick of buffing compound. You can get a grinder motor, a buffing wheel, and some of that stuff for like $30. Throw in a wire wheel and you can make anything shiny with way less effort than other methods. Be warned that it will cover your floor and table in red crap that gets in everything, so do it in the garage or the alley.
Hot Tip: toothpaste is a decent polishing compound -- I use it to buff plastic crap like safety goggles and cell phone screen covers all the time. Just rub it with your fingers. Probably won't do crap for metal, and doesn't leave a mirror surface, but it's great for knocking down big scratches and getting a little more mileage out of stuff.