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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Md suburbs of Wash. DC
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    2,131

    How to polish a steel bike?

    I'm surprised I couldn't find anything on this with a quick search 'cause I swear I've seen it discussed here before, but a friend is stripping an old Schwinn and wants to polish the steel to a mirror shine before putting on a clear coat. Anyone have any recommendations of the best way to polish steel?
    "How about if we all just try to follow these very simple rules of the road? Drive like the person ahead on the bike is your son/daughter. Ride like the cars are ambulances carrying your loved ones to the emergency room. This should cover everything, unless you are a complete sociopath."
    David Desautels, in a letter to velonews.com

    Random babblings and some stuff to look at.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,238
    Well, I'm not sure about steel...but I have a bare titanium bike and I've been told by my bike manufacturer to use Lemon Pledge on it.
    2012 Seven Axiom SL - Specialized Ruby SL 155
    2007 Trek 2100 WSD road bike - FOR SALE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
    Posts
    4,172
    2007 Seven ID8 - Bontrager InForm
    2003 Klein Palomino - Terry Firefly (?)
    2010 Seven Cafe Racer - Bontrager InForm
    2008 Cervelo P2C - Adamo Prologue Saddle

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    DE
    Posts
    1,206
    I don't think using Lemon Pedge or Pedro's Bike Lust is what she's after here. She wants to polish it to a shine before applying a clear coat. I'm pretty sure that any substance like Pledge or Bike Lust would need to be removed before applying the clear coat.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    9,312
    Unsure, but perhaps you could call an approachable frame builder or company that makes steel frames and ask? I've found Waterford to be quite approachable, and if they could handle the rather odd questions I came up with during the design of my one-off custom Gunnar, I am sure that they would take this question quite in stride...

    Would steel wool scratch? I just don't know, but that was the first thing that came to my mind.





    2011 Custom Gunnar

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Md suburbs of Wash. DC
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    2,131
    Quote Originally Posted by withm View Post
    I don't think using Lemon Pedge or Pedro's Bike Lust is what she's after here. She wants to polish it to a shine before applying a clear coat. I'm pretty sure that any substance like Pledge or Bike Lust would need to be removed before applying the clear coat.
    Exactly. My first thought was, like Catrin's, steel wool, but I also wasn't sure if that would leave a smooth finish so I didn't suggest it to him.
    "How about if we all just try to follow these very simple rules of the road? Drive like the person ahead on the bike is your son/daughter. Ride like the cars are ambulances carrying your loved ones to the emergency room. This should cover everything, unless you are a complete sociopath."
    David Desautels, in a letter to velonews.com

    Random babblings and some stuff to look at.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Over the top
    Posts
    13,530
    I don't know if I've done unplated steel, but I've had really good results with Simichrome.
    Trying to live every day as though it were my first

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
    Posts
    4,172
    Quote Originally Posted by withm View Post
    I don't think using Lemon Pedge or Pedro's Bike Lust is what she's after here. She wants to polish it to a shine before applying a clear coat. I'm pretty sure that any substance like Pledge or Bike Lust would need to be removed before applying the clear coat.
    You're right. I didn't really see that until after I posted and then had to scoot - so no time to revise!

    Would something on this page help??
    2007 Seven ID8 - Bontrager InForm
    2003 Klein Palomino - Terry Firefly (?)
    2010 Seven Cafe Racer - Bontrager InForm
    2008 Cervelo P2C - Adamo Prologue Saddle

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    8,713
    We've had two bikes powder coated and in both cases my LBS had them sandblasted and smoothed first.

    Sandblasting's self explanatory, strip the bike and sand blast. Could you get equal results by laboriously using steel wool? Dunno.

    He explained then they:
    1) carefully check it for rust of course then ...
    2) Check for dents, dings, scratches. They fill those. Don't quote me I think they used copper. Some kind of metal. They fill the dent then roll it down using a weighted tube to level consistent with the tube. If they have to do it several times to make it perfect they do. Why? Because stripped whether painted or clear coat those dings just stand out.

    The result almost mirror like surface. Here's one he did (BTW no longer for sale):

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showthread.php?t=23135
    Last edited by Trek420; 04-10-2012 at 02:28 PM.
    Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on the road ~ Motobecane Mixte
    N+1 new bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Commuter ~ Soma Buena Vista Mixte

    http://madeinusareviews.blogspot.com/

 

 

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