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Discussion Starter #1
The wire wheel is good at removing rust and aggressively removing weld splatter. I have wire wheels for my drill motors. For a more gentile surface finish, bolt on a 3M Scotch-Brite wheel. It's REALLY good and cleaning and polishing metal of all types. My bench grinder has 1/2 " shaft.

It can polish metal to a brilliant shine, removes paint and other surface coatings.
Like this one:
My wire wheel is way too aggressive!

I use Scotch-Brite roll lock disks with my drill and my high-speed porting tool as well.
For really polishing metals, get a buffing wheel with the abrasive "sticks" and get a chrome-like finish!
The tops of our cam covers and the flat upper part of our 5M/6M intakes would look very shiny.
These wheels can make aluminum look like chrome.

It can make high-carbon steel knife blades look like new, again. Axe heads and hatchets, too.


See my My mechanics polishing @ 4:14.

I opted for the 3M disk over the polishing bonnet.
I seldom need to make anything THAT shiny. One exception: my L type wheels, after I removed the clear coat.
I chucked it up to my drill motor.
 
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Interesting timing as I just blasted the valve covers and have the wrinkle paint drying. I was planning on using the bench wire wheel to lightly clean the embossed sections and leave a slightly striated surface like the original machining. Maybe I'll use one of these in a medium grit instead.

Semi-related, I just started using the Scotch Brite roloc bristle wheels recently. GREAT for cleaning gasket surfaces since I'm just using a 2" white wheel in a drill instead of a die grinder. Usually I'm opposed to anything mechanical for gasket surface cleaning, but I noticed these recommended for the purpose by some of the bigger OEM manufacturers.
 

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3M has great stuff you can usually only get from an industrial supply house, RS Hughes is my local shop but you may not have one nearby. The scotch-brite stuff is great in all forms.

Roloc bristle discs rule, you need the backer pad to use them in your drill though. RS Hughes will set you straight though if you call em up and place a curbside order, that's how I'm still able to get things. 'roloc bristle' search results (R.S.Hughes) The main thing to watch out for is the super aggressive rolocs, make sure you aren't flinging old gasket material or anything into someplace you don't want it. I had to plug a punch of holes and clean throughly when cleaning gasket surfaces on my motorcycle clutch cover, didn't want that old crap getting into the oil.

For general grinding you'll find nothing better than 3M cubitron II fiber discs, again you'll need a backer to use it, but then the pad changes are quick. These things tear through metal insanely fast, and cleanly if you're careful... 3M Cubitron II 982C Fibre Disc 27631, 4 1/2 in, 60, Medium, Ceramic | RSHughes.com

The cubitron name goes on lots of great stuff, like sanding belts. The ones that came with my file sander were a joke, the 3m ones are no laughing matter though.

Angle grinder cutoff wheels i can't seem to justify getting 3m stuff, get whatever thin stuff home depot has in a 10 pack because they wear out fast anyway and i'd rather grab that off the shelf until 9pm than go to the supply house in the morning if i need to resupply. I think the diablos in 10 packs for ~$2.50 a piece is what i usually go for. The super cheap ones seem to wear out much faster than the price difference math adds up to, so definitely don't get the cheapie ones.

I will say though, if you can swing a band saw/portaband, go that route over angle grinder with cutoff wheel all day. I hate cleaning up the abrasive mess from grinders, and the amount i'm coughing out of my lung the next couple days as well. Bandsaws kick out about as much debris as a hack saw would, which is to saw not much. M18 FUEL Deep Cut Band Saw

I've been getting into welding lately, so nerding out on abrasives to make everything as best I can has been great. Get 2 grinders at leaaaast when you get into it, leave one for grinding and another with the cutoff wheel, flap disc one if you can swing a third.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I did my intake manifold with a 6 " 3M rollock disk on a drill motor.

I did my cam covers with 400 grit sandpaper with a DA sander. Looks OK.
 

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If you left click the photo, you will see some circular scratches on the manifold.
I replaced that leaky plastic vacuum fitting yesterday and emptied out my puke can.

Don't buy a Chinese puke can! They leak vacuum.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

One more use for this bench grinder attachment: It sharpens knives to SCARY-sharp.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Shiny and sharp is GOOD! Even old high-carbon knives polish up very well. Hatchets? Yeah. Axes? Yeah. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You can go through my rear end, anytime.
Am I out of bounds here? :oops:
 
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