What Finish Will the Scotch Brand Pads Give??

Discussion in '1911 Gunsmithing' started by Nalajr, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Nalajr

    Nalajr Well-Known Member

    397
    Feb 17, 2015
    Hey all,

    I'm kinda curious about something and hope you all can help or give some examples. I have a Colt XSE Commander in Stainless that I have had bead blasted about 10 years ago. I did that cause a year or so after I bought it, I wanted a change in the finish and I took some FLITZ and polished it. It looked great but after a while I tired of constantly wiping it down cause every little thing showed up on it. So, I sent it off to a gunsmith to have it blasted with whatever media would give it a close to factory finish and sort of a dull stainless look.

    Now I am looking to either have it blasted again or do something else, but just on the slide. I guess I should've added that I only polished the slide and left the frame alone. I guess it's from handling and such that there are places on the slide that are not uniform and are a bit off compared to the rest of the slide. It's not bad and it still looks good to my eye, but I'd like to do some "spring cleaning" on it, for lack of a better explanation.

    I've read many times over the years that people would recommend the SCOTCH brand pads to work on the finish of their pistols. I've never used one. Have any of you used one of these pads on a stainless pistol, rifle or any other stainless item that you can tell about the results?Do you have any pics as I'd really like to see how it turned out. Do they come in different grits or textures and if so, which one is the most often used on firearms?

    I'd like to hear or see some results and if possible it would be awesome if you had some before and after pics that you could post.

    Thank you all for any help and advice you care to give me. I appreciate your help.
    Have a good week everyone.
    Larry
     
  2. Slapshot

    Slapshot Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    I've got a SS XSE Government that I bead blasted and polished the flats with 220 grit W/D paper that came out nice. I'll post pics later tonight. The gun had an idiot scratch when I got it and I buffed it out with a combination of red and green scotchbrite and a regular pencil eraser. It was pretty close to factory but I think it would leave an inconsistent finish on a bigger surface. Bead blast or bead blast and polish is the way to go. @Steve Owens can get you where you want to be. You can always give the scotch brite a try the worst than can happen is you end up bead blasting it anyway.
     
    wcanterbury likes this.

  3. Apollo99

    Apollo99 Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2017
    I start with the green then finish with the grey. It gives it a nice brush stainless finish. I use long strokes from end to end, going in one direction. Then I rub oil on it to clean off the dust.
     
    wcanterbury likes this.
  4. azguy1911

    azguy1911 I'm done buying guns, I'm just a bystander now

    Oct 22, 2015
    It's a watch but same process

     
    Batty, ronin11, boatdoc and 2 others like this.
  5. TheCollector

    TheCollector Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2018
    I kept turning up the sound.... checked for "mute" .......blasted the volume... and then DUH!!!! I heard the faint whistling that some of us "old timers" do when we're lost in our own thoughts.
    :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  6. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    Don't use the store brand scotch bright, the green is too coarse. Go to your local auto.motive store and get grey and maroon, roughly equal to 400, 600 grit. If you use this run in one direction only on your pistol with a square flat block. Also make sure to make straight even strokes. It will give you a brushed polish finish. Also don't over use. Cause after the grit starts to wear it will start to polish the surface. Also if not kept straight can look a bit cheesy. Have to stay straight and flat.
     
  7. Rezarf

    Rezarf Active Member

    71
    Dec 30, 2018
    This is good advice, the only thing to worry about with the flats of the gun is that these pads have some "sponge" effect to them meaning... to keep a sharp cut off at any surface transitions (say the slide flats to the round portion of the top of the slide) You need to tape off any part you don't want the pad to scuff. For example adding some tape where a french cut would be added will allow a nice crisp transition from the slide to the top of the slide.

    All that said, I would prefer to work the flats of a gun on a slab of granite with sandpaper and some lubricant to avoid the aforementioned issue with the surface transitions. Obviously, sanding or scuffing in one consistent direction is key. Check out the process for hand rubbing flats on a knife blade and you'll see some great techniques.
     
    Slapshot, WWB, ronin11 and 3 others like this.
  8. Shocker2000

    Shocker2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2016
    I think you've received some good advice so far.

    I have some small, flat pieces of hard maple I work with. I typically use wet/dry sandpaper for scratches and various grades of Scotch-Brite pads from red, green, gray for light touch ups. I also use oil while working the flats. If you screw up, no problem, with stainless you can pretty much fix any mistakes. Just work slow and careful.

    This gun was scratched up when I got it. I also blasted the non-polished areas. I don't really have a picture that shows a closeup of the metal texture, but the finished product gets some attention at the range.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    One before picture.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
  9. boatdoc

    boatdoc Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2015
    used them to remove light scratches then polish the SS to get rid of the marks from the pad. never quite looks new again
     
  10. TheCollector

    TheCollector Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2018
    Very nice!
     
  11. rhjeepdriver

    rhjeepdriver Survivor Supporting Addict

    152
    Nov 12, 2018
    You used wet or dry paper on this ? If so, what grit. I'm looking at doing one with light scuffs and a very light scratch or two, ( can't catch my fingernail in them). I'm thinking 1000 grit lubed with a little oil.
     
  12. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    1000 grit will polish, if your trying to get a brushed finish 600.
     
  13. rhjeepdriver

    rhjeepdriver Survivor Supporting Addict

    152
    Nov 12, 2018
    Thanks. Trying to get away from the polished look. Scuffs too easily.
     
    Steve Owens likes this.
  14. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    I would use 600 dry.. Personally, that will give you a brushed look, change paper often as it can polish as grit wears. Also make sure to go one direction straight, use something really flat as a sanding block.
     
    Journeyman1234 likes this.
  15. Shocker2000

    Shocker2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2016
    It's a bit trial and error to match the original finish. I started with 400 grit for the assembly scratch, hit it slightly with 1000, then used various Scotch-Brite pads (gray and maroon). You can also use a little polish if you want to take some grain out.

    If you just have light scuffs, just a Scotch-Brite pad might do it. I keep a small gray and maroon colored pad in my cleaning kit for little touch ups. It really depends on your original finish. It typically doesn't take many swipes to clean up light scuffs.
     
    Journeyman1234 likes this.
  16. Slapshot

    Slapshot Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    A couple of thoughts concerning grit. The little that I've done I've always started out with too fine a grit making it take longer than it should. Also be aware that most slides are not really flat and it may take awhile to get an even finish. A squiggly line with a sharpie will let you know where you're making contact and where you're not. 220 grit will get you there much quicker. I bought 220 and 320 but I was happy with the 220 finish so I stopped there. 220 grit with oil below.
    Image-2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
    Journeyman1234 likes this.
  17. Shocker2000

    Shocker2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2016
    Totally agree with this. For example, if you have stainless appliances, I was completely surprised how coarse of a grit I had to use to get a match on my refrigerator.
     
    Slapshot likes this.
  18. EvolutionArmory

    EvolutionArmory Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2011
    If your flats are beadblasted, you’ll be there for days trying to give it a brushed look with scotchbright pad.

    Polish it first with a sanding block and paper. Something that will be rigid enough but have some give to compensate for the fact that zero Colt slides are parallel or even. Using a sanding block won’t roll the material over like a Scotchbright pad will and will keep the transition from the flats to the rounds crisp.

    220 grit paper will be plenty grainy enough for a nice brushed look. Or you could take it to 400 and brush the slide and frame lengthwise with Scotchbright after you’re done.
     
    Shocker2000 and Journeyman1234 like this.
  19. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    Personally if I intend on a brushed finish. I usually end up polishing the slide to 1000 then come back with 400 or 600 to brush. But, like Evo said 0 Colt frames are flat.. As well as a lot of other manufacturers.
     
  20. pistolwretch

    pistolwretch Dremel jockey Supporting Addict

    Aug 26, 2011
    All depends on what you want.
    Good looks or durability.
    A blend of Aluminum Oxide and Glass beads produces a 'durable' finish.
    Polishing to 400 grit then blasting with large grit glass beads gives a pretty finish, but more prone to handling marks.
    A 'swirl' finish with med/coarse ScotchBrite pads is easy to maintain.
     
    azpoolguy and Steve Owens like this.

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