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May 20, 2022, 11:26:14 PM

Author Topic: Transformer Bell Polishing  (Read 248 times)

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Offline eozen

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Transformer Bell Polishing
« on: January 08, 2022, 02:18:57 PM »
Hello all! I've just received my Crack kit and am antsy to get working on it as I am sure everyone is upon opening the box.

I am inclined to try to polish the transformer bell to a (near) mirror finish and clear coat it. Has anyone had luck doing this with sandpaper and polishing compound alone? I am guessing I will have to work up to around 5000 grit or so to get a nice shine. I am less inclined to use a chrome effect paint as I've only seen one that truly mimics chrome but figured I might have better luck polishing.

As for the top plate, I plan on getting it black powder coated locally.

If anyone has any recommendations for approaching this kind of finish on the bell, it would be greatly appreciated!

 :D
Cheers,
Emre

Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: Transformer Bell Polishing
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2022, 02:38:36 PM »
If you're going to get your plate powder coated, just handing them the plate and the cover would be very convenient. 

When I have polished these out, I used a wheel and various compounds.  You may also be able to find someone locally who does chrome plating, and I have seen that look really awesome on these covers.
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline eozen

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Re: Transformer Bell Polishing
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2022, 02:54:10 PM »
If you're going to get your plate powder coated, just handing them the plate and the cover would be very convenient. 

When I have polished these out, I used a wheel and various compounds.  You may also be able to find someone locally who does chrome plating, and I have seen that look really awesome on these covers.

I was considering handing the transformer bell over to be powder coated as well, but think I would like to bring out some contrast between the plate and the bell.

When polishing the bells, did you start with any sanding, or was it straight to the buffing wheel? Were your results merely shiny, or could you get it mirror-like? I have access to a buffing wheel and  can use some compound.
Cheers,
Emre

Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: Transformer Bell Polishing
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2022, 04:14:06 PM »
I was not able to get one to look as nice as the chrome plated ones. 
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline Doc B.

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Re: Transformer Bell Polishing
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2022, 04:39:11 PM »
Steel can't be polished to look like chrome. It looks like polished steel. True chrome plating is great but $$$. Prismatic Powders SuperchromeII powder coat is pretty darned close to chrome and even closer to well polished aluminum. Most of the other chrome powder coats are pretty unrealistic. Another alternative is Caswell Copy Chrome plating, which is DIY nickel plate with a slightly more bluish chrome cast to it. It does require meticulous polishing to get a good finish.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Bottlehead Corp.

Offline Mucker

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Re: Transformer Bell Polishing
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2022, 05:42:10 PM »
I did a brief polish of my bell with Mothers Mag aluminum polish and it turned out great for the little time I spent doing it. The thing I learned with this polish is the more time you put into polishing with it, the better the shine. It works really well on the bell steel and I've used it on different metals with great success. You may want to first do a high grit sanding to take off the first layer, and then do the polish.

This vid shows how it works on stainless, but you may be able to achieve this level of polish with some effort. Pretty great bang for buck, IMO.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2022, 05:49:55 AM by Mucker »

Offline eozen

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Re: Transformer Bell Polishing
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2022, 06:30:39 PM »
I really appreciate everyone's input! It made a huge difference in how I decided to approach the transformer bell, and I am happy with the direction that I went.

Just to follow up, I decided that what I really wanted was a chrome plated look and was just going to be (minorly) disappointed in anything that fell short of that. With only so much money to spend on my initial build, I decided to paint the transformer bell with a reflective bright blue (Rust-Oleum Chrome Blue Oleum) with the intention of using the saved money toward an upgraded case for the chassis.

Still in the works... but I have some quilted maple that I hope to do a double stain to pop the figure and recreate the PRS "Copperhead" look. I think I'll finish it with a satin polyurethane and hope to post my finished result when I get there.
Cheers,
Emre