Alfa Romeo Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok... Grahameo's cheap and often, free fixes!
Continues...

So we all have alloy, chromed or even stainless steel items on our cars aka "shiny bits" that need TLC now and then.

Bare alloy in particular can end up with fine scratch marks and end up pitted and no matter what you use, it just ends up no better:rolleyes:

If you have a detail sander like Black and Decker mouse, it can make this tip a much lighter work load. but by hand will get the same results just a bit slower.

Bare with me, there is a tip and a point to what follows:lol:

When I was in the Army we used alloy mess tins, you would have seen them before no doubt... These used to get some hammer as you can imagine!
But... The powers that be used to be anal about the condition of these mess tins when it came to room and kit inspections, they had to be shinier than a ***** house door!

Fast a forward a few years and at one stagein my career I was a humble "full screw" (corporal) and put in charge of 40 young junior leader's (16-17 year old new recruits who were too young for regular service).

Needless to say these lads were fresh faced from home with no idea what to expect and a short, sharp, shock treatment was the way the Army works, always!
I had to teach these lads everything from scratch and in particular how to prepare for inspections from officers and the dreaded RSM with almost impossible standards to meet!

So there I was one evening with 40 young lads at the end of their tether and crying when it came to these mess tins that literally were in a state following a training exercise and a full inspection looming in the morning!:rolleyes: 80 tins to do in all!

I wasn't so hard faced at the time so I decided to show them a tip that my Grand Father (also a former para who served in Arnhem, WWII) had taught me about polishing metals.

What you need is.... Brasso or even T-cut and just some everyday run 'o' the mill, corrogated cardboard pieces.... You simply put a small amount on the metal surface and start rubbing it in with the cardboard in small circular motions... It uses the property of the ammonia based chemicals, the heat generated by the friction and the gentle roughness of the cardboard... Try it for two minutes in a small section and watch the scratches disappear slowly!
Simply keep at it with fresh blobs of the product you have chosen and a fresh piece of cardboard... The old cardboard will be black with in ground dirt lifted from the metal surface... Its ideal for small detail work:thumbs:
Now going back to these tearful recruits...
I had a sander in the back of the car but as we know even smooth emery paper is far too harsh for such a job... So knowing that time was getting on I decided to use some cheap Velcro style hook and loop tape that was sold in the local NAAFI shop. I simply stuck the cardboard to the sander via the velcro and added the brasso to the mess tins and away I went!:D
Something that was taking 30-40 minutes to achieve by hand was actually only taking about 5 minutes... It was like a bloody production line at the end where the lads were adding the brasso, starting to rub it into the metal and corners I couldn't get to and then me buffing them up and passing them on to others after the main cleaning was done for them to buff up with clean cloths to a mirror shine...

I know, I know... I was too bloody soft with them:rolleyes: but it was something that these lads will always remember how to do when it comes to cleaning metals up to a high polish, besides... My Grandad would be proud that I passed on his tips to other solders too;)


Needless to say the mess tins shined like mirrors ready for inspection the next morning, I was knackered but satisfied... Shame the RSM noticed that the rooms weren't dusted down properly with his famous white cotton glove treatment... erm... We forgot about that bit after spending most of the night polishing metal tins:rolleyes::eek:
But he was impressed by the humble mess tins!:D

There you go
A tip of the day and a story... what more do you want?:thumbs:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
415 Posts
Might give this a bash on my kick plates... They are looking a bit tired and they won't be getting replaced any time soon (certainly not for the £185 most places want!)

What did you do in the Army Grahameo?
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Started off as as afv cvr(t) driver mechanic instructor in the 15th/19th The Kings Royal Hussar's R.A.C. Then did 'P' company training and transferred to 3rd Battalion The Royal Parachute Regiment where I eventually ended up as a staff sgt. ;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
42,922 Posts
Cracking story Grahameo :thumbs:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42,287 Posts
Gor' Blimmey' Guvnor' I've lost me button stick! :(: JLR's '50's, WWI serge tunics and trews, high hook and eye collars with dogs, and superb brass buttons. :cheese:

None of that 'Staybright Malarky' and the FSMO kit was solid brass buckled too. :D :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42,287 Posts
PS I snitch the wife's MAAS metal polish which is streets ahead of anything else, with no residues and it gives a very long lasting effect to all metals? :thumbs:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,371 Posts
As an apprentice we polished mild steel by using the finnest grit enery paper you could find but then rubbing chalk sticks into it. This made the enery paper almost smooth but still enough bite to polish. A trick I had forgotten until now!

I might give it a go the next time I need to polish something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
My brother taught me the cardboard trick nearly 30 years ago after a spell in the army, so yes it works.
Autosol and cardboard on the exhaust tip of my sedicivalvole, as I recall
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top