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Your favorite toy car or heirloom hobby airplane may need a good polishing, but which polish will work best? A good aircraft metal polish might be a good choice for the job. Aircraft metal polish is not just for airplanes. The best aircraft metal polishes can go far beyond the norm and work on even hobby projects with above average results.
The ultimate goal of any hobby project is to restore and maintain the original shine or condition of your project. Though a metal aircraft polish may not be your best bet with wooden items and devices, it can do wonders on metal metal alloys and even fiberglass.
Getting Started with a Metal Polish on Your Hobby Project
To start you’ll want to test a small section of your hobby item to determine whether the polish you’ve selected will lead to desirable results. To do this, take a small dab of polish on a soft cotton cloth and slowly swirl in a circular motion. It helps to complete this step in an area that is not readily visible or that is hidden from view – just in case!
Most metal polishes will help to both clean and polish your project. This is especially the case when the polish comes as a system of polishes, each with its own specialties. For instance, the Brightwork polish system comes as a series of three polishes, the first with special cleaning abilities the second for removing clouding and oxidation and the third for restoring a brilliant shine.
A Word on Sanding and Abrasives
Some projects may require a bit of sanding or prepping the surface with a fine abrasive first. A quick perusal through hobby tool and maintenance supply stores will reveal a wide variety of sanding sheets and films to choose from. The best choice is to go with an extremely fine abrasive film to begin, then gradually work your way up to a level of coarseness that will maintain the surface without damaging the quality of material beneath it.
Some hobby projects may not need sanding at all. That’s usually because the type of polish you use can do the trick all by itself. Some polishes contain somewhat abrasive substances that help to gently remove surface deficiencies such as fading, color swirls, cracks and oxidation. You’ll do well to be on the lookout for these types of polishes, especially if your project is a delicate one or has a number of inaccessible spaces that would make sanding difficult or impossible.
After the testing and any sanding is complete, get started with the actual polishing job. Be sure to have all your polishing materials on hand such as buffers and buffing pads. Tools for getting into tight spaces such as soft cotton swabs or other handy home products will help as well. The main goal is to have a thorough preparation process so the entire polish job runs smoothly without interruption.
Is it possible to purchase a rotary polisher small enough complete a tiny hobby project such as a model plane or a metal figurine? Of course! A wide variety of hobby kits are available with parts small enough to produce excellent results for even the tiniest of hobby projects. Some even come in the cordless variety. This system from Dremel is a great example of a hobby polisher system that’s well equipped with a number of quality attachments.
Electroplating and Hobby Polishing
The temptation to delve into the world of electroplating may be quite irresistible when it comes to polishing your hobby project. Electroplating describes the process of polishing an object by dipping it into an electronically charged substance. Both the chemicals in the substance and the charge work to place the plating substance onto the hobby project, coating it with a fresh surface layer.
The reasons why electroplating may be appealing to hobbyists is that it represents a quick and convenient way to approach a polishing job. Electroplating does not involve the manual labor of sanding or applying abrasives or even applying a metal polish to complete the job. Electroplating with hobby projects does have other disadvantages, however.
Electroplating Disadvantages for Hobby Polishing
The process can be dangerous. Electroplating can be completed with a do-it-yourself process easy to find with a quick search on the Internet, but like many DIY projects, electroplating is not necessarily the best task for a novice. That’s because the substrate substances often involve the use of strong chemicals and acids. While these may be easily available at hardware and hobbyist specialty stores, it doesn’t mean they’re any less of a risk for the beginner.
Also, plating a project while quick and convenient, may not be the best choice for some enthusiasts. It’s true that just about anything can be plated when the correct formulas are available, and electroplating, in some ways, can become a hobby in and of itself. However, electroplating does not improve the condition of the project and could be too harsh for the survival of some pieces over time.
Even after electroplating, a good metal polisher may still be necessary. This is because some oxidation may occur while the object is in the electroplating tank. You’ll need a polisher that has the ability to finish the object with a final brightwork sheen to complete the process, so consider investing in a versatile polishing system that carries a finishing step as part of the series before going the electroplating route.
Choosing the Best Metal Polish for Hobbies
The best metal polish for hobbies can be a big deal to decide. The best method is to consider the type of surface you’re working with and the polishing goals you’d like to achieve. A metal or metal alloy surface is the most flexible to work with since there are a wide variety of metal polishes to select from, and even a good aircraft metal polish works well with a metal hobby project.
An aircraft metal polish may also work well with other surfaces as well. This is because a few aircraft metal polishes on the market are versatile and gentle enough to be applied to a wide variety of surface types including fiberglass and gel coated surfaces. They won’t strip the surface and can still bring forward a great shine even though they’re geared to aircraft and metal surfaces. For your next hobby polishing project, consider the flexible advantages of using a versatile polish with outstanding results.