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Nucejoe

How are stainless steel watch cases polished

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Sorry to keep popping up!

I saw the video linked above. It’s pretty good with the exception that no sandpaper is typically used.

Buffing is instead of sanding and then polishing is the finishing step.

I learnt quite a bit from this video from the Lititz Technicum:




Cheers!





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There are many ways to skin the cat.... but

You can get excellent results using a felt wheel, high quality like Bergeron using a heavy cutting compound.

Buffing should remove MINIMAL amount of material but the combo of 1. Felt + 2. Heat + 3. The compound will actually move material from taller sites into deeper (nicks) ones.

This is where a case can lose its form and symmetry.

Buffing alone won’t get you there... this has to be followed by polishing.

For a nice polish a non braided cotton wheel with white followed by yellow compound really bring up the shine.

I have a couple examples:

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b1c9e7bd324cbbdb4f0f3adc2f77ee93.heic

92513fd1ad65c0e4f3f28f9ab2c2c73d.heic

b194d9ff87ca4738db5acce2d11a0c62.heic





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Polishing watch cases  can get to be a hot topic as there are strong feelings for and against.

Done correctly it can restore the look of a tired case, done incorrectky virtually ruins the watch in the eyes of serious collectors.

If you do want to learn buy some cheap watches to practice on first.

I've personally not tried to polish any cases, I just settle for completely cleaning them and replacing the crystal.

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1 hour ago, Tmuir said:

Polishing watch cases  can get to be a hot topic as there are strong feelings for and against.

I think you (and possibly the OP) are referring to buffing. Polishing is a superficial process that doesn't alter the dimensions and look of the watch. It does not remove scratches but cleans up dullness and scuff marks.

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Best not to get too pedantic about the difference between polishing and buffing, If you tried to tell the engineers here that polishing does not scratch, they'd yell at you, and force you to look through a microscope at the surface of whatever is being worked on.

The only thing anyone can say definitively about polishing and buffing is that there are different common usages of the terms in different fields and industries. 

 

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