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How to Metal Polish Like A Pro
Metal exposed to the elements will lose its shine and oxidise. To polish metal properly is a process of removing the top oxidised layer. Metal is harder than paint, so the polishing process is different. Zephyr polishing wheels are used on their ends, on a sander/polisher, not your normal polishing machine. It’s important to have a variable speed polisher as you will use different RPM for different steps.
Zephyr is the #1 metal polish in the USA for a reason. Here we explain the steps for a full metal polish. You don’t always need to do all steps. You could just do step 4 by hand, or step 1, and Step 4, but if you want that real show stopping Zephyr shine here’s how to do it like a pro:
Step 1: Primary Cut, higher speed (3200rpm)
The first cut it the most important. Each additional step builds on this so take time to get this right before moving on, the 2nd and 3rd steps will amplify this first step. Use a Buffing rake to fray up the ends so that it can pick up more compound. Start at 3200 rpm, with Zephyrs Kwick Kut wheel and Tripoli compound bar on aluminium, or their 87-Stianless bar on harder metals like stainless. With the wheel spinning hold the Tripoli bar on the wheel and move side to side for 3 secs or so. You don’t need too much compound, just a bit. Work a small section at a time, and move evenly left to right, top to bottom. Don’t push to hard, you want the compound and the wheel to do the work, not your force or you will get marks. Take your time and be even and steady, overlap by 50%, work backwards and forwards until you get a mirror shine. You will see a black line as you go, when this starts to fade stop and rake out the burnt compound off your wheel and repeat with new compound. It takes a bit of practice and getting used to but after a while you get the hang of it and it becomes a lot easier. If done right the metal will look impressive already after this step, but to get that real Zephyr mirror shine lets go further. Don’t move on until this is looking good though, as the next steps will magnify the first step, if step 1 is done well, step 2, 3, 4 will make it look more and more amazing. If not done well it will magnify that as well.
Step 2: Secondary cutting, higher speed (3200rpm)
In between each step wipe the metal down with Zephyr Pro 50 and a clean Zephyr polishing towel. This will remove any old compound for the previous step and open up the metal, a Key trick to getting pro results. By now the metal should now be very shiny but it is normal to have some light haze and possibly some polishing marks. Swap to Zephyr’s Green wheel and Green moss jewelers compound, and repeat as in step 1. This should give you a much higher show quality shine almost perfect.
Step 3: Final finish, slower speed (1600-1800rpm)
Wipe down again with Zephyr Pro-50, then wipe the metal with Zephyrs Pro 25 or Pro 40 liquid Metal Polish. Then use One of Zephyrs white untreated, flannel or satin polishing wheels with the Blue Moon or Max Red compound bar. Follow the same process as before but at a slower speed. If all the previous steps were right you should revel a real mirror shine as you work here.
Step 4: Seal in the shine
Now that we have the metal looking like a mirror, we want to lock that in for as long as we can. The easiest way to do this is with Zephyrs Pro25 metal polish that has a built in sealant. Use one of Zephyrs polishing microfiber towels (these higher quality polishing towels make the job a lot easier and are designed to hit scratch mirror show metal. Don’t bunch the towels up, use them flat folded in 4 so they are the size of your hand, its quicker and gets better results as you have a larger more even surface area. Put about a 10c piece sized of Pro-25 on your towel and wipe it all over the metal. Work with the grain of the metal and apply evenly all over the metal, let it dry and then use a different clean Zephyr Polishing towel to hand buff it off.
Use Zephyr Pro 25 or Pro-40 to maintain it.
What’s the difference between Zephyr Pro 40 and Pro 25?
Pro 40 is the top metal Polish in the USA, while Pro 25 was created by Zephyr with American Force wheels to create a much finer lower cut polish for American Forces show wheels. Zephyr Pro 25 also includes a sealant to protect the wheels after polishing. This means the shine lasts a lot longer.
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