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Old April 19, 2013, 11:19 AM   #1
TennJed
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Dremel question for polising slide

Ok I am new to dremels but not guns. I have several stainless revolvers and semi autos that I have polished with a rag and mothers mag over the years. I have seen all the post about DO NOT POLISH GUNS WITH A DREMEL. YOU WILL RUIN THE GUN, ect.

My question is, are there soft tip tools for your dremel that you can use with something like mothers mag? Looking at dremels in the store and there seems to be some softer tips, almost like cloth. I was just wondering if this would accomplish the same thing as a rag and polish, only quicker
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Old April 19, 2013, 11:37 AM   #2
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Slow and light

Quote:
I was just wondering if this would accomplish the same thing as a rag and polish, only quicker
Yes and I'd suggest that you go light and slow. Dremels are great but they do have a way of being mis-used. They have a tendency to get away from you. I too use Mother Mag, on cloth, Q-tips and the soft white felt "rounds" of a Dremel tip.. ...

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Old April 19, 2013, 12:19 PM   #3
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Consider finding yourself a piece of stainless steel to practice on before you take your dremel to your gun. Easier to learn from your mistakes on a cheap piece of steel than a cherished revolver
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Old April 19, 2013, 01:02 PM   #4
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The problem with using a Dremel is speed. Even at a low setting they are very fast, polishing works best when done at lower speeds. A cordless drill would work better.

A tool like this http://www.harborfreight.com/power-t...8861-8493.html with polishing attachment would probable do much better
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Old April 19, 2013, 02:00 PM   #5
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The other problem is the torque. Because you're basically holding an only slightly modified electric motor in your hand the ergonomics suck. Supposedly they are a little better now. Back in the day when I was lifting and turning heavy patients nearly every night, all night, I could almost literally crush walnuts with my bare hands. Even with that amount of strength sometimes it was hard to keep control of the tool. For most jobs like this I would clamp the tool in a vise and move what I was polishing back and forth.
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Old April 19, 2013, 02:15 PM   #6
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Dremels are good for small areas. For big parts, it's better to use a buffer wheel.

That said, I prefer to hand polish and then finish with a buffer. A buffer can be very aggressive and can remove markings, dish out screw holes and round corners.
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Old April 19, 2013, 02:21 PM   #7
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Dremels and similar tools are best left to professionals. There are a few things they do exceptionally well. Polishing large objects is not one of those things.
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Old April 19, 2013, 06:33 PM   #8
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If you want a flat surface to remain flat,I suggest a flat tool rather than a small round one.
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Old April 19, 2013, 07:54 PM   #9
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The problem with using any type of polishing head or polish with a Dremel on a large area is that it simply can 't give a uniform finish.

No matter what or how you do it, the smaller polishing head will leave the surface with a very uneven, blotchy look.
To polish a large area, the bigger the polishing wheel is the more even and uniform the finish.
Professional polishers use very large diameter HARD polishing wheels that they stack to form wheels as much as 6 inches wide.
As example, Colt used to make their own polishing wheels out of wood, covered with walrus hide. These were over 1 1/2 feet in diameter.

This allows keeping a flat surface like a slide perfectly flat, and gives a very uniform unvarying finish.
Try to polish a big area, especially a flat surface with a Dremel and it'll look terrible.
If you want to polish a large surface like a pistol, do it by hand with a metal polish and a cloth. It's slow and won't bring the surface to as brilliant a polish as a professional can, but it's look okay and won't ruin the surface.

As an experiment, get a flat piece of steel and try to polish a larger area with a Dremel. It'll look uneven and terrible.
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Old April 19, 2013, 08:17 PM   #10
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OMG NOOOOOOOO!

Dfaris nailed it. Someone asked me once. Flat tool with polish, he thought dremel would be quicker. It was. Now the gun looks like total trash.
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Old April 19, 2013, 10:14 PM   #11
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I did not realize a soft cloth like attachment would do that much damage to a finish
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Old April 20, 2013, 10:35 AM   #12
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it just does uneven damage to a finish which makes it much more noticable to the human eye. Our eyes tend to notice things we deem out of place if the finish is wavy instead of smooth our eyes will notice.

I won't say its impossible to make a gun look good with a dremel but it would be pretty tough for 99% of people.
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Old April 20, 2013, 10:43 AM   #13
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Sears has polishing wheels that will fit on your bench grinder. - sticks of polish, too.

Just get the wheel that is the same diameter as your grinding wheel.

If you have a way to slow down your grinder, such as a variable speed control, that helps too.
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Old April 20, 2013, 03:46 PM   #14
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Um.....

Remember a few things:

1. Polishing is actually metal removal.
2. A Dremel (even at its lowest speed) operates at a VERY high speed.
3. Even with a fine polish, a Dremel WILL dish out the workpiece, round off sharp edges, blur letters, and give a REALLY uneven finish.

If you want to polish metal, you'll need to get:

1. A dedicated motor/polisher. Your bench motors run about 2500 to 3000 rpm. This is a good speed for polishing.
2. You'll need a number of wheels; for the best results, you should not mix different grades of polish on the same wheel.
3. You will need to not only mount the wheel to the buffer, but carefully balance and true the wheels prior to adding polish. This will give a good, smooth finish, even and ripple free.
4. Loose and bound muslin wheels are the best bet for polishing at the beginning and intermediate level. Use good 6" wheels--8" wheels when you get used to it. Avoid ANY felt wheels until you get your polishing techniques down.

And, finally--as a poster above said it--slow, steady and smooth does the trick. Always, TAKE YOUR TIME. Go slow. It's always much better to polish just a wee bit more--than to apply too much pressure and see a dished surface appear--or notice that your roll marks are now blurred.

Curved surfaces do present a challenge--but there's a way to do that without a Dremel as well.
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Old April 20, 2013, 05:14 PM   #15
TennJed
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Dremel question for polising slide

Thanks guys
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Old April 20, 2013, 06:03 PM   #16
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Dremel question for polising slide

Tennjed, the best thing I've found for polishing stainless steel in Semi-Chhrome. ..BY HAND!
You can find it at some cycle shops or eBay. Works great on all types of metals.
As far as Dremels, I've mainly used on feed ramps with felt point , coarse then fine rouge. Polishes to mirror finish. I use dremel hung up, connected to a speed control foot pedal with a flex shaft from dremel accessories.
Most everything else its better by hand IMO.
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Old April 20, 2013, 07:00 PM   #17
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Gary, that's the set up my Mom always used and I'm fairly sure she could have built the Eiffel tower from scratch with a just a Dremel and what seemed like the million attachments she had. Every once in a while I'll run across Martha Stewart on TV. I always think about Mom when I do and can't help but think "Amateur".

My kids would ask Grandma for something, you could hear the dremel start as we left, and the next day or next week (depending on the size or complexity of the toy involved) the child would get a visit from Grandma at which point the toy (made from scratch normally) would appear. How do you compete with that? Dead humbling the whole thing. We were just their parents, their hearts belonged to their Grandmother. One of my kids once asked if "Santa got his toys from Grammy?"
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Old April 24, 2013, 02:35 PM   #18
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TennJed I was at Harbor Freight looking for something else and ran across this metal polishing kit that is attached to a drill, and I decided that I should have one for my stainless 1911s. It cost less then $6 and it has 3 different size polishing wheels and the polish. I think with a cordless drill (low speed) this should work like a charm.

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Old April 24, 2013, 03:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Dremel question for polising slide
Dremel answer for polishing slide: DON'T
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Old April 24, 2013, 05:08 PM   #20
Harry Bonar
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dremel

Sirs;
More stuff has been ruined by improper dremel tool use than any other; be careful!
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Old April 24, 2013, 05:44 PM   #21
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if you want to polish big flat surfaces

pay to have it done if this is a one shot thing.

if you want to do some pieces or want to say you did it then I suggest:

go to mscdirect.com

buy a cheap surface plate, import ok, but bigger width and length than your parts. Thickness isn't an issue, thin is ok, thick just costs more.
(might find one on craigslist too) or a perfectly flat piece of steel works to but it must be surface ground and known to be flat.

buy some 1000, 1500 and 2000 grit paper.

with a clean surface plate, lay the grit paper, face up.

place your metal part on the paper and work it in a figure 8 motion.

It is is going very slowly, go down in grit. It all depends on what the finish is you are starting with. Start with 1000 and look to see is it is getting better or worse.

Realize you are removing the peaks of the metal and working down to the valleys. If you have deep spots you may have to go down to 500 paper to get it flat before the polishing begins.

If 2000 grit paper is still not the desired finish, go back to mscdirect and get small small tubes of diamond polish. Green is coarse, yellow then white. mix some oil or wd 40 with the paste so it is slippery enough to continue the figure 8. (the working motion of the figure 8 is critical in keeping it flat.)

As you work thru this process you will find that polishing will reveal deep scratches, so you may have to work back and forth, getting enough grit to work out the deep scratches and back thru the polishing steps.

Most importantly, you must be clean between steps. If your metal or work area has grit from the last step, it will damage your work. So clean your metal between steps, clean the plate, the area and especially your hands.

If you work towards the diamond polish, you can accomplish a mirror finsh without scratches.


you can shop at graingers or other industrial suppliers, I have no connection to msc, just used them for many years with good service and price.
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Old April 24, 2013, 05:54 PM   #22
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dremel use

if you want a mirror finish on your ramp and want to dremel things like this,

get the felt bullet shaped tips for the dremel.

smear some diamond polish listed above that is premixed with a little oil, starting with coarse, dark colors, thoroughly clean between colors.. Use a different felt pad for each color as the diamond chips will be engrained in the felt and you will not see change.

It won't take but a few minutes and you will have mirror finish.

Again, as you begin to see a mirror effect, deep scratches become apparent.
Drop back to a coarse paste and make sure those scratches are gone before moving back up to white.

good luck.
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Old April 24, 2013, 10:23 PM   #23
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An entire page of people telling him not to do it, and now you tell him to!
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Old April 25, 2013, 03:19 AM   #24
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There has been much discussion now and in the past concerning the polishing of the feed ramp on the 1911 pistol. I'm not trying to flame the poster above, but simply trying to prevent the OP from making a potentially costly mistake.

First, as I mentioned before, polishing is metal removal. If you see a mark in the feed ramp and polish it out, congratulations--you have just altered the geometry of the feed ramp. It is a crap shoot at that point.

Even worse, I have seen people actually polish out what they thought were worthless "bumps" located on each side of the feed ramp. These are properly called "bullet guides" and they hold the cartridge in alignment with the axis of the centerline of the chamber as it is stripped out of the magazine.

A mirror bright feed ramp sure looks good--but that high polish disappears after the first few rounds. It gets all sooted up and looks just the same as if you hadn't polished the ramp at all.

Here's a hint--if the receiver is made from the proper steel, and the ramp is configured properly, the act of feeding a round from the magazine should NEVER damage the ramp. Lead bullets darned sure won't do it. Remember, that configuration is designed to feed 230 grain jacketed ammunition.

Still, some folks just LOVE that shiny ramp If you simply MUST do it, then use a felt tip with Simichrome polish ONLY. This will give you mirror brightness in a hurry--and will leave the metal alone.

For general polishing, a 3/8th speed VSR drill can be used with excellent results. It's top speed is around 3000 rpm--the same as a buffing wheel. As for polish, I use and highly recommend the Polish-O-Ray polishes, available from Brownells. It is designed specifically for polishing gun steel.

Make sure the work is secure, and WILL NOT TIP OR SHIFT. Load the drill-mounted muslin wheel with polish. Now, GENTLY move the running wheel over the work. Don't lay into it--let the wheel do the work. This is better done with a dedicated polish wheel, by the way.

Start with a medium grit on work with a good surface. I start with 320 grit myself. NEVER attempt to polish out a pit or a deep ding--learn metal contouring with a fine file and the way to properly use a draw file first. Give yourself a good, clear surface to start on.

Make sure that you move the work (or the mounted wheel) in one direction and one axis ONLY. Now, after you have completed the first "pass", change wheels for the next finest grit. Make your next cut at a 45 degree angle, and polish out all the wheel marks from the last grit.

Here's my method: As mentioned before, I start with 320 for good clean metal. 240 grit gets the nod on lightly scratched surfaces--there is also a 140 grit. Be careful! These coarser grits WILL remove roll marks and round edges, and dish out metal if you're not careful. I'll progress to 400 then 500 grit Polish O Ray.

Now, here's the secret to that mirror bright bluing job--555 polish, also from Brownells, done on soft, then hard felt wheels. 555 black goes first; then 555 gray, and finally 555 white. When done properly, after the 555 white that metal looks like the smooth surface of an ice cube--it actually looks wet, and has a true deep gleam--you can stand a ruler on it and see up to 6 to 8 inches.

Of course, there's the rust prevention measures, and then the bluing itself--but that's for another post.
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Old April 25, 2013, 05:26 AM   #25
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don't do it!

Truthfully don't know the op or his appititude.
Using diamond paste isn't extremely aggressive.




If he truly wants to learn some skills and without someone at his side, then he has a right to learn if he wants to.

This method of trial and error may give undesired results but isn't that how we all learned to some degree? The worst that can happen is a lesson learned and a part replaced. The op may find he is a natural and has great talent or he may find that this isn't for them. Either way, they followed their passions.

If we tell everyone not to do something they have never done before, then our sport of guns is going to shrink pretty fast.
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