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How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

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Old 05-09-2010, 05:27 PM
  #1
Kmot
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Default How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

I polish model airplane engine parts. I have always struggled with getting the buffing compound residue out of the nooks and crannies.

I just tried something new today, using very hot water, a soapy rag, and just rubbing the parts under the hot soapy rag until I got it clean and then rinsing it under hot water. It's an OK method, but not 100% effective. And it burns the crap outta my hands.

Does anyone know of an easy way, for a hobbyist to remove buffing compound? I did search the internet, and found industrial solutions, but those won't do me any good. I want to find something that will melt/dissolve/wash away the residue, or at least easily rub it away with a rag and some sort of cleaner but it must not dull down the shiny aluminum!

Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2010, 05:36 PM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?


Do you have a pressure washer? You could mount it to a bench with a few screws and blast away with water?
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:25 PM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

have you tried 409 or fantastik and a fine paintbrush?
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:29 PM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

No, I have not tried 409. I do not have a power washer. Thanks for the replies.

Re: the 409, have you ever used it on aluminum? After all the work of polishing, I don't want it to get dulled by any chemicals. I have used so called "all wheel safe" wheel cleaner sprays on my polished auto wheels and had them get dulled out by the so called "safe" stuff.
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:36 PM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

WD40
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:52 PM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

The absolute best way to clean parts after polishing is an HeatedUltrasonic Cleaner and one of the cleaning solutions. Then after 10 to 15 minutes in the Ultrasonic, hit with a steam jet. It leaves the metal dry and absolutely clean. Soaps leave a film, and just plane water also leaves a film. The combo of US and steam does the trick.

Now, the next best way is the same jewelry cleaning solution, in a jar and vibrate it. Take a 16 penny nail and bend it slightly then chuck it up in your electric drill Hold the jar on the drill body and start it up. It's not as effective as the US, but it will get the job done. Now, rince the part off with distilled water, the dip i in a jar of Denatured Alcohol and the blow dry it.

You can probably get a local jeweler, one that does work on site, to sell you afew Oz of his Ultra Sonic fluid, shouldn't be much more that a buck or two. It comes as a concentrate, so a couple Oz will mix up a pint or two of cleaning fluid. DON"Tget clock cleaning fluid, it usually has a high amount of ammonia in it and the stuff will knock your head off.

To bad you are not in my area, I've got about a gallon of concentrate left from when I had my shop, I'd be happy to give you some.

Don
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:02 PM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

If you are using rouge or other compound you can get the nooks and crannies clean with acetone and a q-tip. For the Uber shine you might like to try some simichrome paste and pure cotton puffs (not facial puffs, they have too much synthetic material and no toilet paper either they both scratch). You rub that stuff in till it dries back into the cotton and it gives a great deep lustre.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:30 PM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Kmot

No, I have not tried 409. I do not have a power washer. Thanks for the replies.

Re: the 409, have you ever used it on aluminum? After all the work of polishing, I don't want it to get dulled by any chemicals. I have used so called ''all wheel safe'' wheel cleaner sprays on my polished auto wheels and had them get dulled out by the so called ''safe'' stuff.

no i havent tried it on polished aluminum..... have anymore pics of your polished motors?
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:16 PM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

This is great, thanks fella's.

WD40, got lots of it. The miracle spray. I will try some. Thanks Pe.

Acetone is nasty, but I can see how it might be better down in the nooks. Thanks Vic.

Campgems, I have the small US from Harbor Freight. It says not to use hot water, though.

Quote:
have anymore pics of your polished motors?
Yes, polished and painted to be exact.











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Old 05-09-2010, 10:20 PM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

Quote:
Acetone is nasty, but I can see how it might be better down in the nooks. Thanks Vic.

I forgot you live in Cali, lol
Try the simichrome at least.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:09 PM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

Ignore the "don't use hot water". PM me with a ship address and I'll send you a bit of the cleanign solution.

Absolutely great work on the engines. Do you powder coat them?

Don


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Kmot

This is great, thanks fella's.

WD40, got lots of it. The miracle spray. I will try some. Thanks Pe.

Acetone is nasty, but I can see how it might be better down in the nooks. Thanks Vic.

Campgems, I have the small US from Harbor Freight. It says not to use hot water, though.

Quote:
have anymore pics of your polished motors?
Yes, polished and painted to be exact.












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Old 05-09-2010, 11:30 PM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

Hi Don, no they are painted with rattle cans. Dupli-Color engine paint is what I use.

PM coming, thanks for the kind offer.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:33 PM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

ivory dish soap is used by macs products after polishing their headers, it non acidic if you use the plain version
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:27 AM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

Hot soapy water and a very soft tooth brush. Or use the dishwasher.

Cheers
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:23 AM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

In my US cleaner I use dishwasher. It is the nearest best thing to specific US cleaning fluid.

Nice jobs Kmot!
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:36 AM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

Thanks Pe!

So, automatic dishwasher powder? Or liquid? What ratio do you use?
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:56 AM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

The automatic powder is agressive, I have no experience with that. I use the liquid dishwasher as used for manual dishwashing. About 5% dishwasher fluid is all that is needed. In addition, you can mix in other fluids like ammonia or methanol, depending on what you need to do.
Aftr the US cleaning it needs in most cases to have some surface protection, because all of it is removed by the cleansing compounds.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:06 AM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

Kmot I have nothing really to add other than I have used automatic dishwasher powder in small amounts for simple boiled cleanouts for years.

What I really do want to say however is your efforts at polishing and painting to turn engines into show pieces are simply wonderful. Well deserved Kudos to you Sir. Oh and that radial engine crankcase what ever it is, Well spellbinding!

John[8D]
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:09 AM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_93...anchor/tm.htm#

I did find that not rinsing a part will cause it to darken over time. I cleaned, without rinsing at all, a crankcase over a year ago. It's been sitting and has darkened a bit. I usually rinse in hot water and the parts are excellent.

As Pe suggests, steel parts need immediate rust prevention. They will rust in minutes right before your eyes after a US bath. I use motor oil dissolved in kerosene.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:14 AM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

I have used liquid dish washing detergent in warm (as warm as you can stand to put your hands in it ) water...
An old margarine tub, or mixing bowl with a snap on lid...let the part soak for a few minutes, jiggle/shake the bowl occasionally, then scrub w/ tooth brush. Rinse w/ warm water...then oil w/ TAL-5 or similar spray lube.

I've only used this method with non ferrous metal parts...with Steel I use carb cleaner, or acetone, or lacquer thinner and lots of q-tips...then light oil for protection asap.
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:00 PM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

Thanks for the tips guys. Scrubbing a polished aluminum part with a toothbrush is out of the question because it will leave fine scratch marks. I'm liking the idea of hot water and liquid dish soap. A large ultrasonic cleaner would be deluxe. In the meantime, I am thinking I could get a pot of water on a low boil, add a small amount of dishwashing liquid soap, and agitate the water with a hand held mixer like the kind used to make cake batter. What do you think about that?

For small parts, I can probably fit them in my small Harbor Freight US cleaner.

John, thanks for the kind words.
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Old 05-10-2010, 03:17 PM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

do you post on youtube Kmot...ive seen a video of saito like yours a while back
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:56 PM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

Yes, lots of my engines are on Youtube.

Okay, so I tried an experiment today. First, I did the color buffing of the engine parts shown in the OP. What that is, is simply a finer abrasive buffing compound called "rouge" is used to supposedly bring out the natural color of the metal, so it is called "color buffing". Whatever it is, it definitely is noticeable and much more shiny and jewelery like in its finish.

Then I got two stainless steel spaghetti pots, and in one I placed the engine parts and covered them with distilled water. I added an ounce or so of liquid dish soap and brought it to a boil. The other pot I also filled up to the same level with distilled water and brought it to a boil. This was for the rinse water.

At first, nothing much seemed to be happening. Then I used the mixer to stir the water, and it did start to get a little dirty. But mostly it made suds that obscured what I wanted to look at.

Then I remembered I have an electric back massager so I got it and used it to vibrate the pot. I could see the 'waves' vibrating in the water, and it definitely started to get dirtier.

I pulled the parts out, dipped them in the boiling rinse water and set them on a towel. The good news is that the shiny finish was not degraded one bit. And for the most part, the buffing compound residue was washed away. Some remains, but I believe if I had left the parts in the soapy solution longer it probably would all be gone from them. I only left them in for about 5 minutes and vibrated it for about 2 minutes.

Anyway, I think this is going to be a viable method for getting rid of the gunk. Thanks to everyone here for posting your tips and ideas!

BTW, I checked my little US cleaner and about the only thing that will fit in there are the valve covers.

PS: It's very difficult to get a clear photo of the polished center section because the shine reflects the camera flash.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:31 PM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

Totally cool. I have done some similar work but limited to polishing valve covers and painting heads. See the Surpassarossa in the RCVideos .

those engines look awesome.
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:54 AM
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Default RE: How to remove buffing compound residue easily?

I have seen your Italian Stallion Surpassarossa! It looks great!

Going through my old thread on the FS400, I now realize I can use my little ultrasonic cleaner for cleaning the cylinder heads, it is large enough for them. I am excited about this! Talk about nooks and crannies! [X(]

I have to 'color buff' all the remaining aluminum parts. (Buff all engine parts several times, yup) So the US for the heads will be a treat. As well as any other small parts (rods?)
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