Updated: Dec 23, 2020
A friend of mine who I met at motorcycle show several years ago contacted me and asked if I could restore a generator cover for a Honda CL350 he was working on. Here's what the part looked like when I received it from him:
I started out by vapor honing the part to remove the corrosion and to give me a better idea of how bad the nicks and gouges were. Here's what the cover looked like after vapor honing:
As you can see, there were numerous nicks, gouges and scratches on the the piece which were not clearly evident before vapor honing.
Next, I moved to my rough polishing wheel. It's made of a semi-rigid material that is kind of like a rough Scotch Brite pad, but made to fit on a buffer:
I used the rough wheel to very carefully blend out the gouges, nicks and scratches. Here's where the "art" is, because you need to be careful not to work too hard in any one area lest you leave "divots". The cover looked like this when I was done:
I then used a finer wheel to smooth out the surface a bit:
Next, I hand-sanded the cover using progressively finer wet/dry paper (320, 600 , and 1,000 grit) to achieve a very smooth surface, free of all visible lines, before heading to my buffing wheels. After buffing first with Tripoli, then with white compound, I used a fine paintbrush and some black paint (and a steady hand!) to fill in the logo background. I finished up with a coat of carnauba wax. Here's the final item, ready for installation:
Quite a transformation, wouldn't you agree?
Give me a call and let me know what I can do for your old aluminum parts!