Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Annoying flaws and Mirrior polish Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
Joined: 15 Sep 2010
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 243

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 9:32 pm    Post subject: Annoying flaws and Mirrior polish         Reply with quote

Hello, thanks for looking at my topic. Happy

I recently got a GDFB sallet helm and a GDFB european breastplate from KOA, and on each one are some minor flaws that I'm assuming occured during shippment to KOA (they were too well packed when they arrived at my house to have been damaged on the way to me) that I would like to get rid of, and in addition apply a mirror polish to both items.

First for the flaws, there are numerous scratches and scrapes on both the helmet and the breastplate that although are not that bad, still annoy me. Also on the breastplate are a few areas where it looks like the KOA staff removed some rust, these areas are not all that large, but are a different texture compared to the rest of the breastplate (I'm assuming these would be fixed when I apply the mirror polish). The most interesting is a scratch that has the consistency of the grooved side of a zip tie. WTF?!

The helmet is definitely not as badly scratched as the breastplate, it's main annoyance are some faint rust patches that I am currently planning on removing with a rust eraser bar, is there a better way to remove them or should that be good enough?

After I fix some of these flaws I'm planning on giving both items a mirror polish, which hopefully will fix the rest. I was wondering if the myArmoury community could give me information on how to do this? A blacksmith told me chrome polish, but I forgot what the 3 grains he suggested using are...

So basically my main questions are:

1) How exactly do I give my items a mirror polish?

2) Is there any way to fix the flaws the mirror polish won't fix (i.e. the weird zip-tie like scratch)?

3) Is a rust eraser bar the best way to remove rust?

Any helpful hints, tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated, as this is my first time polishing anything. Happy

On a side note: Just so I don't have to start a whole new topic to ask this question, would painting a helm flat black be historically accurate?

Thanks in advance! Happy

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
View user's profile Send private message
Tom Kinder





Joined: 27 Nov 2008

Posts: 148

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 10:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Robert,

first of all I should warn you that achieving a mirror polish is very difficult. not discouraged? good! ok that said what you need to do first is get the entire polish of the piece the same everywhere. this might mean you need to take the polish down to a coarser grit than it is currently.

for example you could polish at that zip-tie scratch (ick!) with chrome polish or even light grit sand paper forever and still not fix it. you have to use something with a grain coarse enough to take the metal down to the lowest part of the scratch (in some cases you won't want to do that because a scratch can be so deep you'd have to make the piece so thin as to make it very delicate). so lets say you have to use 120 grit sand paper to get that scratch out. you will then have to polish pretty much the entire piece with 120 grit paper (if you really want it perfect) or at least a much larger area than the scratch covered in order to blend it in smoothly. then you would have to polish either the entire piece or a larger portion of the piece than you polished with the 120 up to the next highest grit you can get which is probably 220. then you need to polish the entire piece or a larger area than you polished with the 220 up to the next grit which is probably 300 or 400. and keep progressing this way until you reach 2000 grit. after the 2000 grit if you wanted a true mirror polish you would need to go up to buffing pads and compound. keep in mind that your lowest (coarsest) grit has to erase 100% of the flaw or you will never get it out all the way unless you go back down to that lowest grit or even lower. then the next grit you use has to erase 100% of the scratches made by the previous grit or you will never get those scratches out all the way and they will break up your mirror polish or leave it cloudy depending on what level of scratch pattern you failed to get out. of course this requirement to get all the scratches out continues all the way up to your 2000 grit which must get every scratch from the 1500 grit out. so that when you go to polish with your buffing machine there is no scratch on your piece that is deeper than 2000 grit. also you need to make the pattern on every level of grit as tight and as uniform as possible and it helps to have it go in one direction only and for each level of grit to go perpendicular to the previous one (circles are not good do not polish in circles by hand). that way if you are going right to left and see a top to bottom scratch you know you haven't taken all the scratches out from the previous grit yet and you have more work to do. once you get to the 1000+ grit level it will be very difficult if not impossible to see the differences in the scratch grit level if they are going the same direction but if you don't get them all out at that level you will never attain a true mirror polish.

yes this takes a very long time.

yes there are machines that can make it go faster but they are not set up to get into all the little nooks and crannies of this type of item.

you have set yourself a very daunting task, I hope you can find an easier method than the one I know that will give you what you want. if you do please share it with me. this method is all I know.

Good luck
View user's profile Send private message
Leo Todeschini
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, UK
Joined: 12 Nov 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,505

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 11:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Look up 'Polishing' in the Yellow pages and take it to a professional polisher. It will probably take him 10 minutes and he will charge you 20 bucks and everybody will be happy.

Try to find one who is interested in what you have to polish.

Good luck

Tod

www.todsworkshop.com
www.todcutler.com
www.instagram.com/todsworkshop
www.facebook.com/TodTodeschini
www.youtube.com/user/todsstuff1
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
Joined: 15 Sep 2010
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 243

PostPosted: Sat 08 Jan, 2011 2:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses.

Wow Tom that does sound difficult... Eek! I think I'll use your method for getting out the worst scratches and then follow Tod's advice and get a pro to give it the mirror polish.

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,130

PostPosted: Sat 08 Jan, 2011 4:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My question is why a mirror polish ? I can understand that this would be your preference and there is something to be said about the finer the finish the less microscopic surface area there is for rust to start.

The problem I see is not so much getting a mirror finish but being worried about the tiniest little flaws or scratches: If only touched with cotton gloves and kept under glass a mirror polish should stay perfect but any wearing or serious use of the armour will cause small scratches to appear and the finer the finish the more apparent will be even the slightest scratch.

Personally I prefer a satiny brushed finish that can be easily maintained with an abrasive pad and I prefer the look also.

One thing I don't like about a mirror finish is that one only sees the piece as it reflects the objects around it and to me this distracts from appreciating it's actual shape.

It also depends on how big or deep scratched you can accept as normal wear as opposed to deep gouges or damage which is something else.

Any maintenance of the finish would have to be done using an abrasive or polish as fine as the finish you want to maintain.

You can also have a perfect mirror finish with zero scratches or an almost ( Good enough Wink ) mirror finish where small and light scratches are only visible when seen up close and with this definition of mirror finish keeping it shiny would be easier if you don't obsess about having it remain perfect.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Addison C. de Lisle




Location: Maine
Joined: 05 Nov 2005
Likes: 27 pages

Posts: 613

PostPosted: Sat 08 Jan, 2011 6:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A mirror polish is not really a matter of difficulty as much as a matter of patience. The trick to a good polish is making sure you get ALL the scratches out before going to your next grit of sand paper. Be sure to look at the surface from several angles - you can polish the surface without actually removing the scratches. I usually start at 180, then 240, 320, 240,400, 600, 1000. You may be able to start at 240 if the scratches aren't too bad.

Further, if the scratches are in a small nook you may be able to get at them with a buffing head on a Foredom flex shaft or a dremel tool. You can get little buffing wheel attachments here:

http://www.ottofrei.com/store/product.php?pro...amp;page=1
http://www.ottofrei.com/store/home.php?cat=1374

and if the compounds here:

http://www.ottofrei.com/store/home.php?cat=1084

and here are the others:
http://www.ottofrei.com/store/home.php?cat=1085

I use bobbing compound, white diamond, red rouge, and if I really feel like it, zam (in that order). With these you can sand to 320 or 400 grit and then skip to bobbing. Note that you will need to use a different buffing wheel for each compound.

Or, as Tod suggested, pay someone else to do it and save yourself the trouble. Happy
I hope this is helpful.

www.addisondelisle.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
Joined: 15 Sep 2010
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 243

PostPosted: Sat 08 Jan, 2011 11:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
The problem I see is not so much getting a mirror finish but being worried about the tiniest little flaws or scratches: If only touched with cotton gloves and kept under glass a mirror polish should stay perfect but any wearing or serious use of the armour will cause small scratches to appear and the finer the finish the more apparent will be even the slightest scratch.


The reason I want the mirror polish is mainly for the rust protection qualitys (and also the shiny part Razz ). and to be honest the polish showing off the scratches is almost a plus, I think it would look kinda cool. The problem I have with the current scratches is that they were not incurred during actual use and are ugly.

To be honest if painting the helmet would give those same results (it would at least in rust protection) I'd do that, which is why I attatched that little question at the end of my first post.

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,130

PostPosted: Sun 09 Jan, 2011 12:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Addison C. de Lisle wrote:
A mirror polish is not really a matter of difficulty as much as a matter of patience.


Addison: It's not so much that it's difficult to obtain but my point was maintaining it and whether or not one should worry about the small fine scratches that are inevitable if the piece is handled even a little bit: If one can accept some fine scratches and maintain the polish without trying to get back to a perfect finish it will be much less frustrating than if one can't tolerate any scratches at all after one has attained the " perfect finish ": Just mentioning it and not as a value judgement, only it's good to be clear on one's expectations and goals with the mirror finish.

Robert: Obviously some deep and ugly scratches should be removed whatever level of finish one desires or prefers. Wink Big Grin Cool

Paint does have it's plusses if it's a paint that will not scratch easily and easy to blend in retouches after serious use of the armour. ( Paint on the inside, at least, is a good option as humidity and salty sweat from one's soaked arming clothes can rust the inside surfaces of the armour )

Oh, parts of the armour that rubs against each other with always end up showing signs of their continuous and frequent contact be it scratches in the mirror finish or in the painted finish. ( But from what you said this wouldn't upset you. Wink Cool )

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
Joined: 15 Sep 2010
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 243

PostPosted: Sun 09 Jan, 2011 1:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The more I think about it the more I think I'd like to paint my helm and forget the mirror polish...

Now I just need to find more info about painting helms.

Jean could you tell me how you achieve your "satiny brushed finish"? My armour came with a pretty high polish already on it, and if it got rusty I'd need to ruin that anyways by cleaning off the rust.

Might start a thread about painted helms if there isn't already one. Time to use the search function!

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,130

PostPosted: Sun 09 Jan, 2011 1:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I use Scotchbrite abrasive pads or the locally available equivalent and if one choose a grit close to the original finish one can sort of blend in rust removals or go over the entire surface once and then retouch the finish by sanding always in the same direction.

Since most of my armour is by Mercenary Tailor's the finish is not hard to duplicate or change slightly to the fineness of the Scotchbrite pads.

Although always going in the same direction seems to be the only way to go with a sword blades ( Lengthways ) I personally don't mind sanding in random circular patterns or following the natural curves of the armour.

If you have parts of your armour coming from different sources/makers you can use the same Scotchbrite on all the pieces so that they all have the same kind of finish and this looks better than having a too shiny helm or breast plate that just looks differently polished than the rest of your armour.

The exception to this would be very high end and expensive armour pieces that already have a much finer finish and should be left that way even if they " clash " a bit with the rest. ( Captured in battle high end armour worn with less expensive kit. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
Joined: 15 Sep 2010
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 243

PostPosted: Sun 09 Jan, 2011 1:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scotchbrite, thanks Jean. Happy

Need to go check if my local hardware store has those.

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Annoying flaws and Mirrior polish
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum