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i just purchased a bench grinder and got a polish wheel. I had some questions on how the best way was to use it. when i apply the compound to the wheel, how much should i use and when do i know when to add more? when i apply it to the wood it made the wood darker, is this normal, or am i doing something wrong? do you have any tips about polishing that i should know?

any of your thoughts about this subject would be apprreciated!

thanks

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To get the mirror finish on a blade, you will need to step the belts down grit wise. Than start polishing.
I put a hand finish on all my blades now, no mirror finish at all. As far as making your wood dark? The compound is getting into the grain probably? When I did do mirror finish, I used the white and green compound.
Keep practicing it takes a LOT of work to do and to do well.
Here is a bowie I did win D2 with a mirror finish. Bob Dosier looked at it and could not believe it was D2.

Good luck. - TA
how do you shine the tang on a full tang knife without hitting the hndle material? do you have a dedicated buffing whell for your metal, and another for the wood? are there different polishing wheels like there are different compounds?
thanks !
Hi Capt. I only use my polishing wheel for the blade. If I'm going to buff up the pommel, then I neatly tape off all the wood. Wood I hand-finish upo to 0000grit steel wool and Danish Oil
For Bob Dozier to not recognize D2 is a pretty nice feeling I bet. great work.
Hi,
Can you tell me about Danish oil? So far I have only found 3 oils around here. A huge gallon of boiled linseed oil. Tung oil and Teak oil. I used teak oil on some Walnut recently and it came out nice, but dark.
Thanks,
Alec
Hi Alec. Sorry for the late response. Danish oil is used by furniture restorers for a 'french polish'. It is applied, allowed to dry and then sanded with steel wool. Do this several times for a beatiful finish in the wood. I get mine from specialist wood working stores.
wow! that is an impressive mirror finish! excellent job!
thanks for your response !
OK, this is a late entry, I know, but I've had it up to here with the responses to CaptJeff Saylor's questions about the best way to get a polish finish on your custom knife!!! ; ) I've been waiting for somebody from my low end of the power tool spectrum to tell us all how to get a mirror finish on a blade with just sandpaper, a buffer, and buffing compound. I don't have a racy belt sander with 1000 to 2000 grit belts, so how do I get a mirror finish without 'em?
Also, I'm totally frustrated with trying to get a nice hand finish on a blade. I've tried sanding the blade with 120 to 1000 grit sandpaper with sanding blocks, but I can't get a uniform lustre on the blade. PLEASE, SOMEONE TELL ME HOW TO DO IT!!!
Can you get a mirror polish on brass and nickle using 0000 steel wool?
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After nearly 35 years of seeking the best finish on a blade, I have come more dependent on hand sanding but I use every trick in the book and every new blade is yet another experiment.

A blade should be carefully ground to proper shape prior to final finish and the better the job of grinding in the flats, bevels, distal tapers and plunges, the easier it will be to finish. Mastering the grinding part takes time and patience and sometimes you may find it useful to learn to draw file a blade in order to get the proper shape.

The first grit used to hand sand is about 120 or 220 grit and it is the most work as it levels the high and low points of the blades surfaces and removes any deep scratches left by the grinder. I sometimes will return to the grinder if I find that the blade is not of a level and even finish.

Once all of the low spots and scratches succumb to the first grit you should travel the full length of the blade with even strokes to get a very even looking finish. You then change grits and change directions until you remove all of the scratches left by the first grit.

Each grit will take less work and time as you progress but you need to make sure that each grit does a complete job of removing the previous grits work. If you fail to get all of the previous scratches with a grit, it will still be there at the final finish.

The last grit should be done straight down the blade and care should be taken to finish with strokes that are full length and straight. Take care and lighten up at the tip of the blade so that you do not lose the point.

You can proceed to polishing the blade with a buffer and it can be done now with only the two green rouges. Often the hand sand will look better than when it is polished to a mirror.

The biggest mistake that I see students or beginners do is to polish a blade to a mirror before the blade is ground to its final proper size or before the blade is ground level and even.

This will get you the best looking finishes with the sharpest grind lines.

Lyle
Do use a flat sanding block in order to keep the blade surface flat and level.
I clamp my blade on a piece of plastic (Teflon 50mm x 50mm x 400mm), with the blade lying parallel to the length. When I do my final sanding, I hold my sanding block between my thumbs and index finger and press the knuckles of my other fingers against the side of the plastic. This helps to make sure that when I pull the sanding block down the blade, that I do this in one straight line, giving a nice finish with all the sanding lines running in the sang direction. This makes life much easier. I usually finish with an 800 or 1200 grit. A good mirror finish looks great, but I rather do a good satin finish than a scratched mirror.
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