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How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome  RSS Feed

#1 2011-01-17 10:37am

wired
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How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

I just discovered this technique and figured it was beneficial enough to post as a standalone how to.  You can see these same steps in my Royce Union progress thread (http://bmxmuseum.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=292792).

Here is a seat post that had some good wear and tear plus some zig zag marks I made when pulling it out.

http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l258/GHS_Wired/BMX_Museum_Posts/RU_SlashFS_Pro360_12.jpg

I took it to my soft buffing wheel with Ryobi grade H polishing rouge.  This is the final grade polishing compound in their line.

http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l258/GHS_Wired/BMX_Museum_Posts/RU_SlashFS_Pro360_53.jpg

After about 3 minutes I could see the marks starting to come off.

http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l258/GHS_Wired/BMX_Museum_Posts/RU_SlashFS_Pro360_52.jpg

After about ten minutes I had most of the marks completely gone.

http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l258/GHS_Wired/BMX_Museum_Posts/RU_SlashFS_Pro360_58.jpg

I was so floored by how well it worked I tried it on some brake cable rub marks on a frame.  Here is a before shot.

http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l258/GHS_Wired/BMX_Museum_Posts/RU_SlashFS_Pro360_07.jpg

After just a few minutes it looked like this.

http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l258/GHS_Wired/BMX_Museum_Posts/RU_SlashFS_Pro360_61.jpg

Edit (2011-11-21): if you look closely you will see the area of nickle I uncovered on the frame.  Although the scratches are gone I took off too much chrome.  Don't ruin your nice bike by not knowing when too stop.

If you try this and have success, post up your results here.

Last edited by wired (2011-11-21 7:59pm)

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#2 2011-01-17 10:43am

bigbubba
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From: Nashville, TN
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

WOW...that came out great! I have been thinking about getting a bench polisher and trying a few things. After seeing this I will have to give it a shot.

Great job!


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#3 2011-01-17 10:43am

Auburn_Fanatic
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From: Illinois
Registered: 2008-07-22
Posts: 3660
Bikes: 24

Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

Damn dude! That's some nice work. I want to buy a polishing wheel now. lol

Last edited by Auburn_Fanatic (2011-01-17 10:44am)


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#4 2011-01-17 11:31am

electrongeek
Pro MemberHabitual Line Stepper
From: So Cal
Registered: 2010-10-28
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

That looks great!  Thanks for posting it.  I'm going to give this a try!

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#5 2011-01-17 2:41pm

adamdawson
Pro MemberHoffman Overlord
From: Jacksonville, FL
Registered: 2008-05-14
Posts: 3804

Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

itll work very good, but be careful about it heating up too much. itll start turning a goldish tint.

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#6 2011-01-17 2:45pm

chromey
Pro MemberObi-Wan Chromey
From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2007-07-19
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

WOW... REALLY Impressive!
Seriously.
When I see marks like that - I usually just figure it'll always look like that!

Very nice!
smile


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#7 2011-01-17 2:55pm

jayoldmanbmx
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From: Middleboro, MA
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

let me ask this   did you buff the chrome right out to the nickel    only reason i ask  one time i had a mark on a frame and i was determined to get it out as it was the only mark but what i did not realise was that i actualy buffed the chrome right down to the nickel under neath   still looked good but you could see the difference in some light and when really takeing a look at the area   never the less  both came out nice so thanks for the how to


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#8 2011-01-17 3:00pm

Childude
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From: Mexico
Registered: 2010-04-10
Posts: 195

Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

I need a buffing wheel! what is the best recommendation if I only want to use it to polish? a 1/2hp?

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#9 2011-01-17 4:03pm

wired
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

jayoldmanbmx wrote:

let me ask this   did you buff the chrome right out to the nickel    only reason i ask  one time i had a mark on a frame and i was determined to get it out as it was the only mark but what i did not realise was that i actualy buffed the chrome right down to the nickel under neath   still looked good but you could see the difference in some light and when really takeing a look at the area   never the less  both came out nice so thanks for the how to

Well, I don't think so but it's possible.  It all still looks the same color and I've had it out in daylight for some of the pics and didn't notice anything strange.

Childude wrote:

what is the best recommendation if I only want to use it to polish? a 1/2hp?

I can't really recommend one as this is the only one I've ever owned.

http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l258/GHS_Wired/BMX_Museum_Posts/Mirra_540_26.jpg

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#10 2011-01-17 4:55pm

nightsblood
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From: Fredericksburg, VA
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

Dude, you kill it everytime.  This thread is marked.  Ive got a set of Elf Blast Bars that are gonna get this treatment this weekend.


Yeah I want Cheesy Poofs!

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#11 2011-01-17 5:45pm

butlerglc
Pro Member"Rim Specialist"
From: Port Angeles, WA
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

Also marked !!!! Awesome!!! coolcoolcool


No more media blasting at this time.
I am always glad to give advice any time!!!

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#12 2011-01-17 5:54pm

dookie
Pro MemberKoala Ninja
From: Kansas
Registered: 2008-08-06
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

Nice thread.  Turned out great.  Ill have to try it soon. Thanks for the pics.


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#13 2011-01-17 6:06pm

townslo
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From: Colorado
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

Dang Kelly that is really nice!

Last edited by townslo (2011-01-17 6:07pm)

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#14 2011-01-17 7:32pm

Roboprop
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From: Gotham City, CA
Registered: 2009-04-28
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

Marked!


Don't mind me. I'm just here to look at pictures.

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#15 2011-01-17 7:41pm

mongoosedrummer
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From: Twomey, TN
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

Nice work! great thread! smile


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#16 2011-01-17 9:04pm

Cb Lee
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Registered: 2008-11-06
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

jayoldmanbmx wrote:

let me ask this   did you buff the chrome right out to the nickel    only reason i ask  one time i had a mark on a frame and i was determined to get it out as it was the only mark but what i did not realise was that i actualy buffed the chrome right down to the nickel under neath   still looked good but you could see the difference in some light and when really takeing a look at the area   never the less  both came out nice so thanks for the how to

I have seen that before. It almost shows up as a light copperish color. Usually it comes from the higher horsepower motors on the bigger buffers taking off more than what you wanted or expected. More torque and higher speed will also cause wavy lines too especially if you work in one area too long.

Those small bench type buffers work great and they are more forgiving. Another setup that works good in the garage is a 3/8 cordless drill with a small buff wheel in the chuck.

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#17 2011-01-22 12:27pm

kurt88
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From: Toledo, OH
Registered: 2008-11-13
Posts: 2517
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

yikes now i have faith that some of my chrome bikes will be shiney again  big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile

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#18 2011-01-22 12:31pm

Mesh
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From: Michigan
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

leavin a skid mark:cool:


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#19 2011-01-22 12:36pm

superdave
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From: Arkansas
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Posts: 509
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

thats amazing that  frame looks brand new

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#20 2011-01-22 1:51pm

oldskoolGT
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Registered: 2010-10-27
Posts: 157

Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

Great work dude!

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#21 2011-01-22 3:10pm

Duke 01
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From: Greece, Athens
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

adamdawson wrote:

itll start turning a goldish tint.

+1

You did good and pointed this out.
The goldish tint is the area where the chrome plating has been actually removed and is very vulnerable to start rusting.


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#22 2011-01-22 6:32pm

jlewis
Pro MemberDiving Suits & Fishin' Sticks
From: Rochester, NY
Registered: 2009-09-19
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

Myth confirmed!  big_smile  I wanted to try it out on something, so I grabbed a rider condition Anlun stem from the parts box.  Not the best before pics, but it's all I had.  There were a couple of fairly deep horizontal scratches, not the normal zig-zags.  You can see one of them right below the Haro sticker, and another about 1/2 way up the post.  They're not completely gone, but they are much fainter.  I think the scratches may have gone through the chrome, and I didn't want to take off any chrome, just make it look a little more presentable.  Looks almost perfect from a couple feet away.  Good stuff:

Before:

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy124/jlewiscpa/Reference/Anlun1.jpg
http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy124/jlewiscpa/Reference/anlun2.jpg

The Set-Up:

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy124/jlewiscpa/Reference/IMG00646-20110122-2033.jpg

After (I didn't do below the minimum insertion line):
Some weird reflections in the after photo, but take my word that it looks pretty damn nice!

http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy124/jlewiscpa/Reference/IMG00645-20110122-2032.jpg

Last edited by jlewis (2011-01-22 6:55pm)

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#23 2011-01-23 4:14am

kurt88
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From: Toledo, OH
Registered: 2008-11-13
Posts: 2517
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

where would one find this kinda polish ? any auto store ?

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#24 2011-01-23 6:10am

TORKERBLOKE
Museum Addict
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: 2009-09-16
Posts: 1081

Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

smile very cool - thanks for the info


Looking for  - Blue anno TUF NECK seat clamp 1 1/8th" - or i have a black one or silver one of the same size to trade

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#25 2011-01-23 8:30am

wired
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From: 6202', CO
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Re: How to remove swirl marks and scratches from chrome

kurt88 wrote:

where would one find this kinda polish ? any auto store ?

I bought mine at Home Boy Depot.

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