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Old 03-31-2018, 08:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default There must be a trick...

.. but I can't figure it out. And the search doesn't seem to pull an answer. So here it is. Is there a trick to evenly polish threads on "plastic" material? What I have tried (toothbrush, cotton rag, blue workshop towel) can't seem to reach the "valleys". Tried with a few plastic polish compounds to no avail.
If it makes a difference, I am working with galalith.
Thank you for any help!
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Old 03-31-2018, 10:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Fred, I am interested in the answers you may get so I am piggy-backing (subscribing) on your thread !

Hope you don't mind ... LOL
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Old 03-31-2018, 11:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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When I need to get my threads super shiny I use flame polishing. I use a very small tip in a propane torch. Make sure you get some practice on a few pieces first, there is a sweet spot, like fast but not too fast.
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Old 04-01-2018, 12:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I don’t think the flame polishing is a good idea on the vintage materials. Best usually is to cut the threads as clean as you can to start with. A lubricant like cooking oil helps but not a petroleum based one. Petroleum oils and solvents can be detrimental to plastics. You might try some of the non-waxed flosses to hold the polish. Either single strands is several held together but not twisted. That’s all I can suggest.
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Old 04-01-2018, 01:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Iíve used polish on the threads using the cap to polish the body by threading it on and off. For metal threads Iíve used Braso the same way.


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Old 04-01-2018, 01:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Curly, I find your comments very helpful as always. But why not twisted together ?
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Old 04-01-2018, 03:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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If you twist it it would be like string and not get to the bottom where loose strands pulled tight would conform to the V form of the thread. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it. :)
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Old 04-01-2018, 03:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Sounds perfectly reasonable ... I get what you meant now. .... to take advantage of the smallest fibre diameter possible.
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Old 04-01-2018, 09:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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My answer involves a way to spin a buff wheel. If you have a motor off of something else, or a method of attaching to your lathe, or even a drill could work (just take longer), just mount a string buff and buff the threads without any pressure on the wheel. Let the ends of the wheel just touch the material.
Don't linger, it will heat up and melt or distort the threads.

A string buff is designed to stay cool, and to reach complex shapes without cutting the details. They work great on plastics.

I would use two compounds, which requires two individual wheels. One wheel, one compound. Never apply different compounds to the same wheel.
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Old 04-01-2018, 03:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Thank you everybody for the suggestions!!
That piece might have been doomed from the beginning, I used WD40 as the lubricant not sure but I won't do it again.
John thank you for the buffing wheel idea. I don't have one for the lathe but I have some with my Dremel tool. I had only one string wheel on hand and gave it a try. That's probably the most promising thing I have used and I could see it do the trick. It didn't completely work though, but it could well be because I futzed with that piece for a while already and might have ruined it. On my way to remaking it right now :) And I can use the doomed piece to try the other suggestions!!
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