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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My current 10/22 is based on an old blued (painted) receiver, so for my second one, I decided to go with stainless (aluminum). I bought a new stainless rifle, ordered a Lilja barrel and a Gatewood stock, and inspired by DFOX's photo, decided to polish up the receiver.

First task: remove the wretched clear varnish. Based on advice here, I tried gel-type paint remover, and it did nothing. I ended up sanding most of it off with a sanding sponge, and then later got some acetone, which got the rest off. (It was cool feeling the sponge dissolve in my hand, too.) Even the acetone required a significant amount of elbow grease, though.

Second task: polish. I live in a townhouse with no basement, no workbench, and no bench grinder. However, I found at Lowes an arbor that you can chuck into a drill, to which you can attach standard buffing and grinding wheels. I also got polishing compounds in various grits.

I clamped my panavise (a portable, clamp-on, highly-adjustable bench vise) onto a table outside, clamped the drill into the vise, put the arbor in the drill, and I was good to go. It's stable and works pretty well, although I'm probably not getting the same RPMs as a real bench grinder.

Starting with the roughest grit, I'm slowly getting all of the sanding scratches out of the receiver, and it's starting to look pretty darn good. It is taking a long time, though. I probably have another four to six hours of polishing to do to get it absolutely perfect.

Third task: Protecting that mirror-like finish. So what should I use? I would like something more permanent that wax or a standard metal polish. Has anyone used one of the clear coat epoxies from Brownells? I don't want to go through all this work to put the same crappy lacquer on that was there originally.
 

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Good Deal, sometimes you have to do whatever works. Thats a long time for polishing though, Yikes, mine took about 30 minutes for the reciever and 30 for the action. But hey, doing it is the fun part. Dont forget to post some pics.

As far as protecting them, I leave them bare, because once the initial polish is done, its a snap to touch up.

Are you going to do the barrel? I was REALLY happy with the way my barrel looked afterwards, like a mirror, and since its SS, it will stay that way.

Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, actually, I think I used too coarse a grit for my initial sanding, and it's taking a long time to get the scratches I made out. Yes, I probably will do the barrel too. As a matter of fact, I'm finding a lot of things around the house that could do with some polishing. My stainless steel revolvers, some Spyderco knife scales, my wedding ring...... :)
 

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I'm not sure how it will work on stainless steel, but when I painted my receiver, I used an automotive clear coat overtop the paint. It's made to stand up to the elements so I figured it would work here.
 

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Yes, you definately used too course a grit, You want it pretty shiny before you put aluminum on the wheel. mabey 450 or higher grit wet sand with automotive wet/dry paper. That will give it a satin lustre. then buff! It takes just a few seconds to buff out when you have the alum to that point. Dont bother to coat it, just wipe it with polish like "never dull" or "semi chrome" we use it on 30k custom HDs at my shop and its the best. The aluminum will tarnish over time, just wipe with "never dull" and it will come back almost like fresh off the wheel. White rouge is the way to go. dont bother with the red or brown or black, it will just contaminate the wheel and your parts wont shine as well.
 
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