As many of you may know, I have been doing quite a bit of polishing on customer frames lately. I inadvertently created a demand for it on my projects when I innocently released a few pics and then the previous blog. LOL sigh…..
I have had my fair share of blisters and stubbed finger tips in the process of all of the polishing, and the time I’ve invested would equal a nice week in the mountains taking down dinner for a month. Recently I decided to employ some of the bits I had laying around in my shop and much to my delight, found that not only did it improve my product, but that it severely reduced both my labor time and stubbed finger tips!
The product I started using is called Cratex. It’s a silicone carbide infused rubber bit that is available in a variety of grits. The function it serves is to smooth rough surfaces without gouges and while minimizing irregularities. I purchased the CRATEX Introductory Kit #777 which offers (4) varying grits ranging from Course-Extra Fine. I run these following a rough sand with 600 grit sandpaper and in between the 1000 grit final sand before polish. I normally spin them between 12-15k RPM and have had excellent results.
Cratex can be successfully used on many different types of media, but I am specifically utilizing it on polymer and metal. I’ll post links to the Cratex gear as well as all the other peripheral items I use to arrive at the finished product. Hope you find it helpful.
Found a smaller set of 26 Cratex bits if you're looking for a smaller package.
Polishing polymer with a Dremel has proven to be pretty fast and effective for me. I've been receiving several inquiries about how to polish a high shine finish on trigger guards after stippling and contouring a frame, so I've created a short list of tips and the tools for those of you who want to give it a try at home.
Q: What do you use to polish your trigger guards?
You can find the list of tools used below:
3. PLASTIC POLISH
NOVUS 7100 Plastic Polish Kit - 8 oz.
Q: What speed or RPM do you use?
Keep your RPM between 10-12K RPM. Anything more, and you'll risk overheating or melting the plastic and destroying the stippling framework you've done.
Q: Which Dremel bits do you use for polishing?
I like to use the Dremel 422 bit for tight corners and the Dremel 414 bit for everything else.
Things to keep in mind while polishing your polymer:
Make sure to only use a thin coat of polish. Uneven application will result in an equally uneven finish.
Be gentle and keep it moving. Applying too much pressure will also cause the polymer to overheat and ruin your polishing attempt. Staying in the same area for too long will also create too much heat.
Be neat. Keep the polish bottles closed when not in use. Polish tends to get clogged if you leave the caps open.
Polymers are not created equal. Keep an eye on how things progress. The speed you polish a Glock may not be the same as what you would use for a Sig Sauer or Polymer80.