How to Polish a Polymer 80 Frame

Updated: Sep 5, 2019


Full Video Transcript:

- All right, freedom protectors. Today I'm gonna show you how to do this mirror polish. I'm gonna show you on the trigger guard but the same rules apply to any part of your build so when you wanna have fantastic black tabs coming all the way down nice, smooth, straight and mirror polished. This is exactly how you're gonna do it and apply it to anything with a black frame. Look, this stuff is industry secrets. I'm not kidding you, the difference between people who are good and people who are great come down to frame aesthetics, all right? The people that can do this kind of mirror polishing. As I go through today and I show you it's actually very very simple, I want you to keep in mind but you've got to apply the techniques. Let's get started. First, you're gonna need lots of sandpaper. Here I have 100 grit, I have 150 you might not need any of that depending on what you're doing. We got 600, we got 800, we got 1,500 and we have 2,000. I'm gonna have to use some aggressive stuff here because on the Polymer80 when they go ahead and manufacture them they put the two seams together and so then we have a seam here okay and I need to take that seam out as I'm doing this. I'm gonna use a little more core stuff just to get the seam out, but the reality is is that you might need to use the core stuff when you're doing your tabs so if you had already done your tabs then follow the Tab-Tastic video and do it with the diamond bit which is the easiest way just come up here and get it done. You'll have to go ahead and sand down with some rougher grit paper, those tabs so they're nice and flat before you do this process. And also, obviously, every tool that I have that you're gonna see me use in this video is gonna be on, the marinegunbuilder.com page in the tool section. Getting very fine paper can really be difficult even if you go to Home Depot or Lowe's typically they only go up til about 300, 400 grit but for this project you want the finest grit wet, dry paper that we can get and so I'll have that up there for you and I always always appreciate my friends you using those links, it's what supports this channel it's the only thing that does. I don't have any Patreon account The channel is not even monetized. Because I don't wanna get into all that drama of monetization and do people get demonetize and all that other nonsense, so we just don't even do it. The best way you can always support the channel is, if you're gonna buy a product it's the same price anyway please use the link and I appreciate that. The other pieces that I'm gonna use here is I'm gonna use some Dremel 512E buffing wheels these are the fine, abrasive buffing wheels that are made by Dremel and I'm gonna use some felt pads, now the great thing about these felt pads is they're very very cheap and they're perfect for coming up along the tab area here du du du du du. Really perfect for that, so I'm gonna be using these as well, along with, as I talked about briefly I believe it was in the channel video when I said we gotta get you going on black. I'm gonna be using some Nu Finish Scratch Doctor here and I'm using the Meguiar's Ultimate Back to Black plastic polish. That's gonna be that and last but not least you're gonna see me use, this. Yep, we're gonna use a little bit of Pledge and I'm gonna show you why and how. Outside of that, you'll need your cup of water and you'll want all of your sandpaper in there soaking. You don't wanna start just put it in and then go right to the polymer. You wanna let it sit there and soak for at least 10 minutes before you do any type of wet sanding with polymer and now I'll say again, as I do and preach in every video anytime that we're touching polymer, we wanna touch it wet. We don't wanna do things dry. This is especially true when we're talking about black. Because the issue that people ran in to when they're talking about a black frame is black gets chalky on us, and it's very very difficult to undo the chalkiness if you don't know exactly what to do. You can drive yourself crazy and be bald like Marine Gun Builder. When we're dealing with any type of polymer, anyone we wanna always be wet but here specifically we need to keep black polymer well hydrated. It's pretty simple what I do is I take a sheet of wet sandpaper here and I just dab in here, I want it completely soaked. Once I have this little puddle here what I'm gonna do is, I'm just gonna work the water into the polymer, just like this, I'm just gonna work it in. I'm actually gonna do this section right here. I'm gonna work it in, I want it nice and hydrated. A lot of people what they'll do is they'll take the sandpaper wet and they'll just get right to it but really what we want is the polymer to absorb all that moisture. Lemme just grab some cardboard here. You know Marine Gun Builder loves his cardboard here we go, seeing that I make a mess. I got this water all kind of worked in here nice nice, and I need to take this seam out that's right here, so I'm going to take a more coarse grit. I'm gonna start with a 150, that should be perfect for that and I just wanna use small circles whenever we're working with sandpaper we're never going back and forth like this we're always coming in small circles and obviously wet. I just really wanna take out that seam right there. I'm just gonna work this in, just like that and so here's the rule for wet sanding any type of polymer framing. I don't care what manufacturer it is the rule kind of goes like this. "When you think you're done, keep going. "When you think you've done enough, keep going "and when you finally know that you're 100% there "then you're only halfway." It's kind of the rule to wet sanding these frames. I'll just come along like this, I'll do this side and I'll switch around to this side. And work this for a few minutes and switch back to the other side and so as I do it, now you can really see how pronounced that seam really is. I'm just roughing it up because I really wanna be able to see it here on the frame. Notice I'm doing this by hand so you might be thinking, "well Marine Gun Builder "why aren't you taking a Dremel to it "since you love the Dremel so much?" When it comes to high polishing areas here obviously I'm good with a Dremel but the reality is this, one slip of the Dremel can set you back a ton of time when it comes to an area you wanna fine polish. What I suggest is, if you do use a Dremel in any part of fine polishing an area you're gonna fine polish, is you wanna keep the Dremel still in other words, put it in a vise and move the piece because a lot of times what happens when moving the Dremel and the Dremel nicks it and that's the part that sets us back some time. I'm gonna do the front end too I'm just gonna scuff that area up a little bit. Once we've got to started with taking off this surface polish that they do in the factory, then you can start to apply a little more pressure and really get that seam off. Let's take a look,. Looking pretty good, let's see if that seam is gone. We still see it there, keep going. Like I said, you think you're there, keep going. I'm gonna get up here a little bit. Let's take a look now. Like I said, now we're halfway there We gotta get in here. Okay, surely now we're done. Surely now we're done. It looks done, and so what I'm gonna do is I'm still gonna go for another minute. We went for another minute here, wipe this off. I've been at this, let me see, what does this say I have been at this seven minutes. Just to give you some time. Surely I'm done, nope I'm not, I'm gonna keep going. I'm telling you, because the more you do this the better the finished product is. You don't wanna go and rush this step here because I am telling you from lots of years of experience here. If you move ahead right now and you're not 100% when you get to that last step that fine finishing polish. All of your blemishes are gonna come out 'cause it's black, we keep talking about that but you're gonna see it and then you're gonna have to backtrack. I guess maybe 10 minutes here of solid scuffing small circles, keeping everything nice and even I'm not going back and forth here, is gonna make sure that I have a great quality finished product. Let's clean some of this up, take another looksie here. You can see that I've been done here several times and nope, I don't think I'm done yet, so keep at it. I'm sort of satisfied, so let's move up. I'm gonna move to 600 now, we got 600, 600. What I'm gonna do though is, in between each one of these I'm gonna repeat that process. You have to understand that, when we do this what we're actually doing is taking out the oils from the polymer. It's nice and dry, even though I soaked it. In between each step, before I polish the next piece I wanna make that little puddle again and I wanna work it in to that polymer. I want as least oil loss as possible. Working this in, just like that. Keeping it nice and hydrated. Now we have 600 and again you would just probably start with 600 I mean that's typically what I do if I'm somewhere else unless I have something I need to take out in this case we did. I hope we gonna get that, a little more wet. More water and back to the grind. We'll see you when this is done. Went good with 600, now we're gonna move to 800. 800 now, that's looking pretty good there freedom protectors, looking pretty good not too shabby if I don't say so myself. I'm pretty happy with that. Let's move now to the 1,500, again you know the drill hydration, hydration, hydration, work it in. This is a really good project to do when you're in front of the TV watching Netflix. Watching your show, just go ahead and do this. We're gonna do the 1,500. Let's check the 1,500, now that's done. Let's see, well, looking good, looking good. Final one, let's do our 2,000. Here where we are in the 2,000 you'll notice that, the water stays nice and good here doesn't ever dry up on us. This is an indication that you're getting right where you need to be and it actually starts about, 1,500 where it's really retaining water well within the polymer. You don't need to spend a whole lot of time on the 2,000 like we did with the other stuff but you wanna give it a really good at least once over here, to make sure that you're consistent and even, across the whole area. What really takes a long time, is doing this to the tabs that's why you'll see like in the tabs video when I give you some different finishing techniques I don't cover this one because you get it factory look and it looks great, but, I know some of you Gucci boys and gals out there want that high finish, high gloss so again, this is all you do. Nice and easy, I keep saying that first time quality, isn't about time. We should always be patient when we're building these but it's really about applying the technique with patience. That's really what it is. My number one rule to having a first time quality Polymer80 is no sanding jumps. You're just opening up a whole can of worms that you don't need to be opening up that's gonna cause you headaches. Not only in the finished product but from an aesthetic standpoint. We don't wanna have that. Good, I think we're done with the 2,000. Let's dry this off, our 2,000's done. Now let's start working on some finishing stuff. Patted that dry. Here is our Pledge multi-surface. You might be thinking, Marine Gun Builder you have you lost your freaking mind over here but let me tell you something, for years. For years I used olive oil I would put some olive oil on here 'cause again remember, we took oils out. I would take a little dab of olive oil and I put it on here, I would rub it in to whatever area I'm working and I would let it sit there overnight and really let the polymer absorb the oil. Then I was at a conference a couple of years ago and they had one of their ballrooms rented out to different types of phone companies and I saw this dude who was refinishing old Blackberries remember those? And he had a whole bunch of them soaking in this Tupperware and so I said to him I said, "what is it that you're soaking there? "and he said pledge, I said, "why do you do that? "He said," oh when they get really scuffed up and scratched "I soak 'em in that and it helps bring the oils back." And I said, "hmm", 'cause this stuff's always on my mind. I said, "hmm, let me try that." And Wow was I surprised with the results. All you do, this by the way is not in the Marine Gun Builder shop. Although, now that I'm thinking about it, I should. It's an Amazon product, I should put it on there for you. But just some simple Pledge Multi-surface. You just spray it on here, be liberal with it and you just let that soak, go do something else let it soak overnight, whatever you wanna do and I'm just gonna let it soak. I'm gonna take a little break 'cause I've been a wet sanding fool over here for probably, I don't know, what we're we on? Yeah, 45 minutes I've been a wet sanding fool. I'm gonna go take a little break and I'll be back. We're back, we've been soaking now for probably around 10 minutes. The longer you let this go, the better. That's just kind of the rule the longer it sits there and soaks you can even rub it in like this a little bit and let it sit some more. Like I said, even overnight it's better. The more oil we give it the better the results is gonna be long-term. But we're trynna film here and we only have so much battery life. so we're going to skip to it and continue. Now that we have that in there it'll be completely dried if you leave it overnight but what I'm gonna do is just rub my finger in here and rub any oils from the Pledge into the frame. Just like this. You see already, a much better result as it absorbs those oils and sinks back into the polymer. Perfect. What I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna get the Scratch Doctor. Real simple, I'm just gonna put a little bit right there. Oops, spilled some on the desk. Wipe that up. With this, all I'm gonna do is put my finger in, just a dab that is more than enough for what we need here for this little area. And I'm just gonna work this in with my finger actually it's even too much. What you're gonna do is you're gonna just sit here and you're gonna work this in completely. It's nice and liquid right now and as you keep doing it, it's gonna turn more pasty and eventually, it's just gonna sink right into the polymer. And so that's what you're gonna do you're gonna sit here, just come along with my finger. Keep going in small circles, all the way around the area that you wanna polish until it disappears into the polymer itself. It's just gonna take a little bit of time but that's okay. The edges I'll clean up with another finger and put it there and keep working that until it's into the polymer, nice and deep. Why the Scratch Doctor is so good because it just, all those little hairline scratches that could exist from sanding, it just fills it in and really just blends it into the rest of the area that you're polishing, stuff is magic. Good, next step. We're going to take out Dremel and on the Dremel, I've got a fine buffing wheel here again everything is in the marinegunbuilder.com shop. All of the tools, not just the tools they use on Polymer80 by the way but all of the gun smithing tools that not only I use in my videos but I use in general are there. Everything is there, I am gonna keep the Dremel on eight or nine, this isn't about speed and I wanna buff this out. I'm on speed nine. Let's get to it, I'm just gonna buff small circles in one area and then move to another, all the way down. So what does fine coarse wheel here this buffing wheel is doing, is it's heating up the polymer just a little bit. I'm not putting any pressure on this at all. I'm letting the wheel do all the work right now but it's heating it up, it's bringing those oil to the top from the pledge and it's gonna give us a nice shine. A little sheen here at the beginning you can already see some differences from the ace from where I'm buffing, it's starting to react and come back to the surface which is exactly what we wanna do here. Low-speed, let the buffer do the work. Now that I've done that. Buff this a little bit, took out any fine scratches here. I don't know if you can see it but I can still see that faint line of the seam that I talked about. Remember I said that earlier you think you're done, you're not. This is the way it is man and I'm a perfectionist means what? After this video is done I gotta go back in and re-do all that. But I'm a sicko, so don't pay attention to my OCD. I actually have CDO, it's like OCD except the letters are in order. I think we're pretty good here. I'm gonna put that down for a second. We'll stop that and what I'm gonna do now is that I buff some of that out, oh I already have some. I'm gonna go ahead and take my finger again I'm gonna dab just a little bit and I'm gonna do it one more time. We've buffed out all of the really fine, white scratches that really not there but this gives that one extra layer of protection and if there should be anything it fills it right in for so us. You notice I didn't really use a lot and it's just a little bit here just to coat it again. And now I'm gonna buff it in but I'm not gonna buff it with a fine abrasive wheel. I'm gonna buff it with just a standard, felt wheel. Just using a felt wheel now I'm gonna go ahead and turn this on. I'm just using my micro because I don't feel like switching bits here. And all we're gonna do, is the same thing we're gonna, start to shine this to a mirror now. Have you ever seen anything so beautiful than a polished frame? Now is about the time that you wanna hit that subscribe button in the right-hand corner there freedom protector. All right now. Beautiful. That scratch protect is now in there, really good. That's done, now I'm gonna take our Ultimate Black plastic restorer. Not the Back to Black, the Ultimate plastic restorer I'm gonna put some there, it's way too much as you know. Again, dab dab dab and I'm gonna work this in. I'm gonna do the same process where I'm gonna work it in, it's liquid form until it goes pasty and until it disappears into the polymer. Now that we have this worked in here and keep going, let's just look how beautiful it is. It's absolutely beautiful. This is exactly what it is my friends all you gotta do, mirror shine to work it all the way into the plastic all by my finger here. Perfect, look at that. Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. What I'm gonna do is just buff it out. This takes off any of the excess that would be on there. Working it back and forth lets the wheel do the work. Then you're gonna have that nice gloss finish. Come on to the other side Beautiful. Absolutely stunning. First time quality baby. You do this to your tabs, your channel and it's gonna have a pro Polymer80. Look, I guess the last thing I'll leave you with here is you can repeat this process that I'm doing at the end here with the polish and this wheel until you get the desired look you want because it's gonna continue to get more and more of a mirror finish the more you go but I mean, this is just outstanding right here. This is just beautiful, this is what you want out of a black frame, all right my friends. I think we're done, just gonna come here from across a couple times. Beautiful. Whoa, another video done. My friends, our first-time quality is done just gonna cover a couple of last quick tips and tricks for you. For those of you that didn't start this project from the beginning, but you've already done your build and you wanna go ahead and do some corrections. Now obviously, we can correct with everything that you saw in this video by wet sanding and going through the different grits of wet sanding, by buffing and using the Nu Finish Scratch X. You can use the Ultimate Black by Meguiar's. You can do all that stuff, buff it out, all that stuff but the reality is is that, you might have deep gouges if you use the sanding wheel. You might not have just surface scratches that we created through fine sanding you might have really really difficult scratches to get out. This is Novus. Novus is widely used in our industry when we're dealing in the pistol market with polymer. But specifically one of the things that it has over the Nu Finish is the Nu Finish is really for those fine scratches. This does have a fine scratch remover but it's also got a heavy one that works really well. This one works good with heavy scratches but not like a full gouge. Think of it like paint on a car if I run my fingernail across it and it's deep in there then you're gonna have to get your diamond bits you're gonna have to smooth that out you're gonna have to get your green polishing set and go that route. And even and out, and then either go to a Novus scratch remover or the Nu Finish depending on how well you did here. Remember, hydration, hydration, hydration. It's one of the things. People hit me up and say, "I used a green polish" "I used a green polish "and it didn't look as yours did in the video." and then I'll say look," water water water water water. "Hydration hydration hydration. "Don't ever put a Dremel tool, to the polymer "without hydration, without water" and then they held me back and they're like "That was it, that was the trick." Keep this in mind. We always wanna have lots of hydration when we're dealing with any type of polymer. Today we did black but I want you to understand that these techniques work beautifully on all the other colors. I'm just showing you on black because blacks the toughest. If you like how black came out you're gonna absolutely love something like an FTE frame and even the Coyote frame and the Cobalt frame. Just absolutely spectacular, how they come out. The other thing I wanna talk about real quick before we end this video, is, if you are dealing with more heavy type scratches and you need to move to a different system. You're probably gonna need a different type of buffer too. The Dremel buffers only really come in the coarse the medium and the fine. What you saw us use, a fine buffer today in the video because we didn't create a whole lot of scratches. But you may need something more coarse or more fine and in that case, over on the shop of course I have these here. This kit is fantastic from Amazon, it's great. They're not as durable as the Dremel ones but they send you, a ton of each one. And I think they're under 15 bucks. These are awesome to have on hand. Even if you go through them, one on a build you still got several, eight, nine, ten left after that. These are fantastic again, it will help you if you're finding that, the Dremel wheel isn't coarse enough or isn't fine enough. You also have these options available to you too. My freedom protectors, that's it for today. Simplify, do or die

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