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Parts Polishing Service by BF Member?

Old 02-07-22, 11:07 AM
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Catnap 
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Parts Polishing Service by BF Member?

I've got some quill stems, seat posts, and hubs in need of a polish. I can (and do) basic polishing by hand at home, but I don't have a bench-mounted wheel necessary for the bright mirror look I'm going for. I know that some folks on this forum have the right equipment for the job and do beautiful polishing work. I was wondering if anyone would be interested in taking on some extra work (paid of course)? This wouldn't be a lot of stuff; maybe 4-5 stems, same number of seat posts, and 1-2 pairs of hubs.

If this is something you'd be interested in taking on, please drop me a PM or reply in the thread. I'm also open to recommendations of 3rd party shops, but I want to work with someone who shares my passion for vintage bicycle components. I live in NYC and there's lots of polishing operations around here but they're all automotive or industrial-focused and don't want to work with small items.
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Old 02-08-22, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Catnap View Post
I've got some quill stems, seat posts, and hubs in need of a polish. I can (and do) basic polishing by hand at home, but I don't have a bench-mounted wheel necessary for the bright mirror look I'm going for. I know that some folks on this forum have the right equipment for the job and do beautiful polishing work. I was wondering if anyone would be interested in taking on some extra work (paid of course)? This wouldn't be a lot of stuff; maybe 4-5 stems, same number of seat posts, and 1-2 pairs of hubs.

If this is something you'd be interested in taking on, please drop me a PM or reply in the thread. I'm also open to recommendations of 3rd party shops, but I want to work with someone who shares my passion for vintage bicycle components. I live in NYC and there's lots of polishing operations around here but they're all automotive or industrial-focused and don't want to work with small items.
Great idea! While I am not one of them, I do know that there are some folks who derive great pleasure from polishing or restoring silver-like finishes. Much like Catnap, I have certain parts that I would like to see properly finished however I don't enjoy doing it myself and can not justify investing in the equipment and supplies needed for doing it myself. I would love to know the guy who just likes doing it and would finish a few parts for a reasonable amount.
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Old 02-08-22, 09:41 AM
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I know I have seen posts by members that did a fantastic job at this. I have no idea how to search for it, but I do recall a member doing this for others. Whether he was for hire, or just did it for friends, I do not recall. It is time consuming, so having someone else do it us likely not low cost, especially if shipping is involved. As stated, I think the hard part is finding that someone that just likes doing that kind of work and will do it at a cost that makes it a viable option. If that person is found, post the info and they will probably be offered more work than they want.
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Old 02-08-22, 10:03 AM
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if you like the work get a Dremel or such and go for it. a cordless tool like this guy ( I use it to sand all time) and buffing wheels will make it easier. https://www.amazon.com/Bare-Tool-Mil...s%2C197&sr=8-2
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Old 02-08-22, 01:58 PM
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I would buy an old HVAC blower or washing machine motor and attach a wheel to it. My whole setup cost under $30 and best of all it runs quiet, which a dremel does not.

I don't have any time or I'd offer my services for a reasonable fee. One day I will be retired and able to help in this way.

Photos of the parts in question and guidelines of your expectations (remove ALL scratches? Or just most of them?) would help the potential polishing service provider know how much work would be involved.
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Old 02-09-22, 08:51 AM
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This s a great thread !!!!

I hope someone will chime in to offer their services.

Hey scarlson !!!!

When are you going to retire **********???
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Old 02-09-22, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie View Post
if you like the work get a Dremel or such and go for it. a cordless tool like this guy ( I use it to sand all time) and buffing wheels will make it easier.
2nd the rec on the Dremel tool. Like duct tape with a motor. Especially for NYC apartment dwellers. I use it. all. the. time. That and the torque wrench are going to the desert island with me.

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Old 02-09-22, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
2nd the rec on the Dremel tool. Like duct tape with a motor. Especially for NYC apartment dwellers. I use it. all. the. time. That and the torque wrench are going to the desert island with me.
but dust can be a issue so wear a mask.
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Old 02-09-22, 03:06 PM
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An excellent point. If you’re polishing with any kind of power tool, the process will throw fabric particlaes (from the polishing wheel), polishing rouge or paste, and metal bits all over the place.
You don’t want to breathe in any of that stuff if you can avoid it.
That’s why I do all of my polishing for the entire year outdoors on a nice late Spring day, using a commercial buffing wheel setup. Goes quickly, but geez, what a mess!
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Old 02-09-22, 04:40 PM
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I’ve polished a few pieces and there can be many compromises. Do I file the road rash/scratches away? Did I get all of the original coating removed from the nooks and crannies? If not, is it acceptable? Is it too shiny?

I’m guessing others have similar outlooks?
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Old 02-09-22, 05:18 PM
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I like shiny parts where you can see all of the scratches you didn't sand out to prove you skipped a few steps...
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Old 02-09-22, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemike73 View Post
...I hope someone will chime in to offer their services.
Me Too! My polishing set up is an accident waiting to happen!



Hey... It Works!

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Old 02-09-22, 06:18 PM
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At a yard sale, I spent a few bucks to buy this("as found" it was fitted with a grinding stone)...


Then, at Canadian Tire, I bought two cloth wheels and two sticks of metal polish(medium and fine - didn't figure I needed the coarse stick and the sticks last a long time)...


It takes me less than ten minutes to get this kind of result...



It does not cost a lot to get set up to do this but a warning - always wear a mask and eye protection when polishing. Protects from the possibility of flying debris eyes and lungs from the nasty alloy dust that mixes with the polishing compound and floats in the air.
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Old 02-09-22, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
I like shiny parts where you can see all of the scratches you didn't sand out to prove you skipped a few steps...
Often I do too (I’m not Rusty James by accident) but if everything else is really nice that dent, scratch, etc. REALLY stands out. (I’m mostly thinking about road-rashed cranksets and pedals.)

Of course a bike with a lovely patina and a new crankset looks….wrong…

It’s a slippery slope either direction. 😬
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Old 02-09-22, 08:51 PM
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i have a dremel and it works OK but if I have the option, I'd rather pay someone else who has a better setup to do it for me.
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Old 02-10-22, 12:24 AM
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I've got the right tools and know how but lack the time. Vintage bikes and restoration have taken quite a hit in the past few years. Welcome to life with a 4-year old!
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Old 02-10-22, 05:40 AM
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Move this thread out of the wtb/for sale section perhaps?
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Old 02-10-22, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by The Thin Man View Post
I've got the right tools and know how but lack the time. Vintage bikes and restoration have taken quite a hit in the past few years. Welcome to life with a 4-year old!
Mine is 11 and the requisite soccer practices, etc means progress on bikes is slow. I’m using the time and processes to show the little man the value of taking something that was going to become scrap and turning it into a useful device.
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Old 02-10-22, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
Mine is 11 and the requisite soccer practices, etc means progress on bikes is slow. I’m using the time and processes to show the little man the value of taking something that was going to become scrap and turning it into a useful device.
the eleven yr old you speak of is a fortunate child.
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Old 02-10-22, 10:20 AM
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I bought the 1/4" drill polishing wheel, works good, I've polished up a few things

These were badly oxidized.
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Old 02-10-22, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bowwow View Post
the eleven yr old you speak of is a fortunate child.
Aww, shucks….we both make mistakes but that’s all part of the education.
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Old 02-10-22, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rancho66 View Post
Move this thread out of the wtb/for sale section perhaps?

Please don't. I put this up as a WTB. I don't mind that people are using it as a venue to discuss tools, techniques, or how they don't have time polish their own parts, but the original point of this thread is explicitly a request to purchase someone's services.
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Old 02-10-22, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
I bought the 1/4" drill polishing wheel, works good, I've polished up a few things

These were badly oxidized.
Where'd you get the polishing wheel? Any particular one?
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Old 02-11-22, 07:53 AM
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I would be happy to accept you parts and polish them for you. That said, there are two things that you need to know up front.

The first is, I cannot start for at least another two months. My bike stuff is at my summer cottage and I will not be able to get into the cottage until Spring, and that is at least two months away.

Second, there are two standards, in my mind, regarding polishing. The first is mirror unblemished finish of uncast items, such as this old GB handlebar. The handlebar required virtually no pre-sanding, only wheel and compound polishing. That is less time consuming that pre-sanding then wheel polishing. I did sand the steering stem a wee bit, and could have sanded more, but I do not like altering original unless I have to and I rarely have to...


I did some sanding to remove some scratches from the GB stem. Yes, is shines nicely but the surface still sports some casting marks..


Then there is polishing but not removing original casting marks. I, personally, prefer to not remove casting marks, since I usually try to restore to original condition. This caliper is an example of polished original, casting irregularities still in place...


If you want casting irregularities removed, it requires a lot more work and time investment. That, of course, means more cost. Another thing to consider, regarding cost, is the cost of shipping. I have, pretty much, stopped selling complete bikes internationally since the cost to do so is quite high. Frame sets are still pricey, but not as red flag raising. A box of odds and ends might not be too bad, but the costs involved to get anything from there to here and back to there again should be taken into consideration. For example, getting this fork to Australia would have set the buyer back $72.00 US and take close to three months to get there...


All that said, if you have a 1/4" or 3/8" drill motor, you can buy an arbor that will fit, a small cloth wheel plus some polishing compound and get the job done yourself. Might not be the worst way to go and before I got my $5.00 machine, that is how I used to polish.
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Old 02-11-22, 08:24 AM
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Randyjawa explains the process well - polishing is removing surface irregularities (ie scratches, casting marks, etc.). The more you remove, the better the shine.
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