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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2014 8:34 pm    Post subject: Sandpaper polishing metal reduce thickness?         Reply with quote

Hello

I recently started polishing my sword and armor by using 3M sandpapers, and it's working very well. I start from 400, 600,1200 and 2000. I'm also very confused, am I reducing the metal thickness of the sword and armor by throwing the sandpaper on them? By the time I lift my hand it's all black and I assume the stains were iron. Is it true that sanding with low grit reduce metal thickness more than higher grit? Thanks

Ed
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G Ezell
Industry Professional



Location: North Alabama
Joined: 22 Dec 2003

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Sat 24 May, 2014 12:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, sanding abrades the steel, so you are thinning the steel. The finer the grit, the less metal is removed. One of my favorite tools is a belt grinder that uses what is basically a sand paper belt. It amazes me how quickly a 40 grit belt removes metal...

Any form of polishing I am aware of, other than burnishing, removes metal.

" I have found that it is very often the case that if you state some absolute rule of history, there will be an example, however extremely unusual, to break it."
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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Sat 24 May, 2014 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply.

I have never used 40 grit, the lowest I've seen around my place was 400, and they call it a finer grit at the store. But 40 grit, I could probably grind my hand with that Laughing Out Loud
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 24 May, 2014 7:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well a lot depends on how mirror polished you want to get or restore, and if you have deep scratches you want to remove ?

Personally I like a satin finish that is easy to restore in the 400 to 600 grit.

If you want to get a general sating finish, and are not too OCD about getting a perfect finish with zero scratches, you wont be removing very much in metal thickness with the finer grits ..... at least not enough to matter unless you keep re-polishing a few thousand times !

The problem with mirror finishes is that with any use at all you will get very visible wear marks where armour parts slide over other armour parts and some scratches are bound to come back unless you put the polished armour under glass in a display case.

If it's working armour a sating finish can be restored easily if minor wear marks are accepted as " normal ".

Rust removal is probably the most frequent reason to need to re-polish the surface, but if you use the same grit size as the original polishing, there should be minimal need to re-polish the whole piece of armour or the whole armour to get it to be uniform in the degree of polish in my opinion.

A metal polish like " METAL GLOW " is not very abrasive and removes light surface rust and rust in shallow pits fairly well.
It can also polish out very fine scratches but wont do anything to any deep scratches.

Cleaned out of active rust the pits are not a problem and it makes the armour look campaign used but well cared for: Any rough grits and heavy metal removal is only if you want to bring the surface of the armour down to the level of the bottom of the pits, but that take a lot of work to get back to a fine surface polish and would thin the metal if overdone too often.

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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Sat 24 May, 2014 10:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I started out on the breastplate with 800-1200 and then 2000 purely for looks. The sanding revealed hammer marks but it's pretty shiny now. The sword however has lots of scratches near the CoP and as you say I had to use a lower grit sandpaper to remove them as higher ones didn't do anything. Thanks for the information.
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Mon 26 May, 2014 5:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

if your using 400 and up in your sanding, I wouldn't worry too much about changing the shade of things too much. these grits are so fine that with several passes you may only be removing .001 of an inch at a time (if that) yes it does take meat away from the surface, but with something like a bench sander and 40 grit - something like this has the potential to change the shape of things pretty quickly.

a satin like finish will also hide imperfections, minor hammer marks etc. a mirror polish - is almost like the black paint on a show car, it shows off everything, and your wanting to constantly rebuff it.
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G Ezell
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Location: North Alabama
Joined: 22 Dec 2003

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Wed 28 May, 2014 12:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Wallace wrote:
these grits are so fine that with several passes you may only be removing .001 of an inch at a time (if that) yes it does take meat away from the surface, but with something like a bench sander and 40 grit - something like this has the potential to change the shape of things pretty quickly.
.

Yes, that is the purpose behind it. It will also remove skin and flesh at an alarming rate, my knuckle has almost grown back...

A 400-600 grit finish is also my preferred finish. I've experimented with various 'scotchbrite' products, these might be ideal for keeping armour shiny.

" I have found that it is very often the case that if you state some absolute rule of history, there will be an example, however extremely unusual, to break it."
Gabriel Lebec

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