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It's a long story... Every action causes a reaction. Had extra paint ( a common problem painting minis, as they don't take much,) and painted 4 hardtail frames which have hung like sausages from the ceiling of my shop the last couple years. Well, the Scorpion bike build left me with some take-off original parts, and the blue Z 50 got started with them. So I started thinking the only thing keeping me from finishing the blue one is some wheel hubs and panels getting polished. One of the other bikes I painted, a yellow K1, got on my assembly table when someone on PM was interested in it, and I started putting it together as well. That deal didn't pan out, but now there are two half-done bikes needing these parts. Whenever I have more than one of something, I try to work several pieces at once, to take advantage of the set-up.Well, 4 wheel hubs, 4 triple clamps, eight brake panels into the slog so far. The brake panels are in process, and show some of the sanding stages. One thing I have found with metal finishing is that you have to spend the time with sandpaper, if you want the best results. Pics of cad-plated hardware. All new bearings and seals for the wheels. Almost all these parts were beat-up, and most are not perfect. I will have to look for some before pics for the next post.
 

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The ugly before pics, done a year and a half ago. All the hubs I can find in the shop, some that have been cleaned and polished a while back, but never got rebuilt (bearings and seals.) Everything gets stripped out and thrown in the parts washer, then bead blasted, then worked with sandpaper, and finally polished. All the screw threads on the hubs get chased, or in some cases, heli-coiled. If you have ever tried polishing a badly oxidized hub, you know how hard it is to get that pitting completely out. I have a little trick for speeding hub polishing... next post.
 

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Looks good!! I'm in the process of polishing on my k2 as well. Got most of it done, and the hubs are taking forever. It looks like the brake panels are cleared over. Do you just polish and leave them or do you clear these? I also wanted to ask what your trick was on bolts and accessories, like in picture 2? Do you get them re plated?

I just use a buffing wheel and three different compounds on the bench grinder, for polishing the other stuff. Works awesome!
 

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DOOD, I know your pain. I have atleast 10 hours in he hubs on my C70. They look sick though. The trick is the blue 3m sanding disks..well they look like a hardass sponge. I went through quite a few of em but they take just enough material off and leave it rather smooth so you can go straight to 800 grit sand paper and up to 2k...mirror
 

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blast em
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Looks good!! I'm in the process of polishing on my k2 as well. Got most of it done, and the hubs are taking forever. It looks like the brake panels are cleared over. Do you just polish and leave them or do you clear these? I also wanted to ask what your trick was on bolts and accessories, like in picture 2? Do you get them re plated?

I just use a buffing wheel and three different compounds on the bench grinder, for polishing the other stuff. Works awesome!
I don't like to clear my aluminum because eventually, it breaks down and the aluminum oxidizes, but you can't polish it out till you strip it. I hit all my aluminum with aluminum polish (Mother's brand,) right after buffing, while the metal is still warm. This takes the left-over compound off pretty good, and leaves some protection. After that, I just hit them with polish whenever they look like they need it again.
As far as the screws, large parts get bead blasted, smaller stuff usually gets tumbled in a rock tumbler I fill with plastic polishing pyramids, fine tumbling compound, and some Simple Green cleaner. Tumble no more than a couple hours, or you will notice some loss of detail in the screws. The screws then get hammered or filed as necessary to take off burrs, straighten out, etc... Some of the stuff gets threads chased with a die or tap, heads for axle bolts get chucked in the drill press, and smoothed out with sandpaper (easy to do, but keep your drill speed low, 700-900 RPM,) and when everything is looking pretty, it gets sent off to Texas Precision Plating in Garland. They have done several batches of parts for me, and charge individually for larger parts like sprockets or footpeg assemblies, but always seem to give the same price on screws and bolts, whether there is one pound or ten pounds. It is usually $100, as they have a $95 minimum. The finish is called clear cadmium, which is the correct original one. New Honda parts are all zinc plated these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
DOOD, I know your pain. I have atleast 10 hours in he hubs on my C70. They look sick though. The trick is the blue 3m sanding disks..well they look like a hardass sponge. I went through quite a few of em but they take just enough material off and leave it rather smooth so you can go straight to 800 grit sand paper and up to 2k...mirror
Pain is the word. I have to give my hands and arms a break after this. Just finished the first round of buffing on the last 8 pieces (the brake panels.) Post some pics of those hubs, man!
 

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OK, so here is the method I came up with to speed up the buffing process on wheel hubs. I have an old axle that I have run threads down on, so that it can be used as a shaft to mount the hub on the drill press. The bearings and spacer need to be used, and a rubber spacer with a cupped washer on top (from a front sway bar off a car.) This allows for a tight enough fit for it to turn, but a little slippage in place so you won't pull a finger off. Use low speed (7-900 RPM, place a bowl underneath, and something to keep your press from getting wet. Then you just work through the sanding grits starting as low as 120 for really bad cases, and going to 600. You can actually take it all the way to 2500 and then crokus cloth, and only need high polish to get the mirror finish. This method is useful on the front hubs, but on the back ones, the top parts have to be done by hand. You can see the difference in the last picture between final polish and a hub taken to 800 grit. I have to give the power tool disclaimer here: BE SUPER CAREFUL WITH POWER TOOLS.
 

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OK, so here is the method I came up with to speed up the buffing process on wheel hubs.
Great method you have there. I've polished hubs before with a buffer using different buffs, but that doesn't remove enough material to remove pitting. I like your method of spinning it; kind of a mini-lathe technique. I'm gonna use this next time I buff out some hubs.

I've had decent success with gloss clear powder coating after my parts have been buffed and I think it works pretty good. Not sure how long it will last but I've never had good luck with the finishes without some kind of coating. They always oxidize quickly. I've tried clear epoxy paint over polished parts, but it doesn't last very long either.

I'd like to see how you prep and refinish one of your old Z50 tanks. I have a '68 welded neck tank I need to refinish but the front is banged up from the stearing stop. Would like to see a nice write up of someone's refinishing technique for tanks.
 

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Great method you have there. I've polished hubs before with a buffer using different buffs, but that doesn't remove enough material to remove pitting. I like your method of spinning it; kind of a mini-lathe technique. I'm gonna use this next time I buff out some hubs.

I've had decent success with gloss clear powder coating after my parts have been buffed and I think it works pretty good. Not sure how long it will last but I've never had good luck with the finishes without some kind of coating. They always oxidize quickly. I've tried clear epoxy paint over polished parts, but it doesn't last very long either.

I'd like to see how you prep and refinish one of your old Z50 tanks. I have a '68 welded neck tank I need to refinish but the front is banged up from the stearing stop. Would like to see a nice write up of someone's refinishing technique for tanks.

Hey X, The "mini lathe" technique, as you named it, takes about ten minutes per hub. I have taken the most F'd-up hubs and gotten a mirror this way. I used to make a lot of jewelry, and have probably a couple thousand hours with buffers and polishing. When i figured this one out,it cut at least an hour off how I was doing it by hand. This method gives the best and fastest results, and you can spend a lot less time with the buffer and all the nastiness that entails.
As far as the tank, I have done probably a dozen tank restorations, and built some special tools to do exactly what you are talking about. I will have to post some pics.
 

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Hey X, The "mini lathe" technique, as you named it, takes about ten minutes per hub. I have taken the most F'd-up hubs and gotten a mirror this way. I used to make a lot of jewelry, and have probably a couple thousand hours with buffers and polishing. When i figured this one out,it cut at least an hour off how I was doing it by hand. This method gives the best and fastest results, and you can spend a lot less time with the buffer and all the nastiness that entails.
As far as the tank, I have done probably a dozen tank restorations, and built some special tools to do exactly what you are talking about. I will have to post some pics.
It's a pretty brillant technique, and although it almost seems like an obvious way to do it, those obvious techniques never really are. I'm always glad to see people like you around that introduce these great methods and builds. I was going to try an expander sanding wheel next, but this looks like a much better idea. Looking forward to the tank resto. Your SL70 flat tracker tank is great, but I'm partial to the lines of flat tracker bikes. Thanks for sharing.
 
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