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I'm collecting parts for a Caspian based custom 1911. My question is more metal based in general though. I'm going for a more bright polished stainless steel look than the traditional brushed look. What steps do I need to take to achieve this finish?
 

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Jewelers rouge

cobbhc:

SS is a hard metal. A jeweler turned my onto the green Jewelers Rouge. Its a polishing compound that I've had excellent results with. I put it on with Dremel polishing tips and polished to a mirror like finish. Any areas you don't want polished, just tape. I've tried other compounds like Semichrome etc. They are not very aggressive and it takes forever. I've used the green compound supplied in the dremel polishing kits(I think its Jewelers Rouge), works well also.
Good Luck,
Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #3
.45nut said:
cobbhc:

SS is a hard metal. A jeweler turned my onto the green Jewelers Rouge. Its a polishing compound that I've had excellent results with. I put it on with Dremel polishing tips and polished to a mirror like finish. Any areas you don't want polished, just tape. I've tried other compounds like Semichrome etc. They are not very aggressive and it takes forever. I've used the green compound supplied in the dremel polishing kits(I think its Jewelers Rouge), works well also.
Good Luck,
Regards,
Thanks .45! That's what I needed to hear :)
 

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Actually, SS is not all that hard. To do it right you need a very flat surface like a thick piece of tempered glass. On the frame, remove the grip screw bushings and safety spring tube unless it is the built in kind if they aren't installed already.

Caspians are pretty nice and flat out of the box so are fairly easy to do.

I start with 320 cloth on the glass rubbing the slide flats and frame going length wise. If there are any deeper dings then 240. When that has taken any marks out and trued everything up then 400 to remove the 320 marks. Then 600 wet or dry with oil to remove the 320 marks. Then crocus cloth. This should get you real darned close to a mirror.

Unless you need to go across grain to remove deeper flaws stay with the grain of the metal especially in the final stages.

This method keeps everything straight with no waviness and the stampings crisp and clear without rounding the lettering which looks pretty bad.
It takes awhile but worth the effort.

Don
 

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I used a process similar to Stdon's above a few years ago when building two caspians - I did just the receivers. This is a great way to go, and you can use jewler's rouge, too, to get the final results.

I also finish with a fine polish like simichrome or mothers used liberally - it will really de-oxidize any "invisible" rust in the steel and brighten it up. I also use this as a 'maintenance' finish every few years, just to keep it from dulling as SS will do (fyi - it's not truly "stainless" - it just oxidizes much, much slower than carbon steel).

Do not use 000 or similar steel wool pads. They will leave behind small carbon steel particles that will promote oxidation/rust.

I also cannot stress enough Stdon's point of going with the "grain" of the steel. A real pain on the grip sometimes, but necessary to keep from getting swirl marks and a cross-hatching pattern in your finish.
 

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Mirror process

IMHO you are really at the right place! Caspian doesn't make any junk and is very easy to work with. Their quality is second to none!!! Their quality control is great and parts are the perfect blend to match your frame and slide.

I use the same process as stdon only I go on to 800, 1000, 1200 and 1500 grit papers before I use Simichrome polish. You WILL love that mirror finish!!
I have heard a lot of good things about Mothers too but have never used it.
That same process works great on a carbon slide before you blue it and the flats have a deep, subdued shine that looks superb.(Last build was a blue Commander slide on a bobtailed stainless frame and a stainless Government slide fitted to the same frame.)

Did I say I like Caspian!!! OH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Another product to try is Blue Magic. This can be found at most auto parts stores. I usually don't use media like this on firearms but on other objects Blue Magic removes the haze left behind by Mothers and other media.

Afterwards to really clean the media out of the microscopic pours a clean soft rubber eraser rubbed on the finish works well and for general cleanup too.

Don
 

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What do you mean by with the grain? I don't really see a grain in my pistol, and don't want the polish to come out hideous.
 

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This is my SS Caspian Officer model. I built it with a caspian frame and slide with Wilson Combat barrel and internal parts. Trigger is from a series 70 Colt. Slide is highly polished and frame was left factory matt. It is a dream to shoot and carry
 

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Nipper that a beautiful no BS looking gat.

This is my Caspian Race ready. I sanded the frame flats with 600, 800,
1000, and 1200 grit paper. Then I polished with Flitz. The frame is Rogard.

This is the best shooter that I own.



 
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