Shiny, Happy Nuclear Weapons...
Before taking the final pics for this article, I needed to give the case a polish. To fit with the theme of the case, I settled on a satin polish up to 280grit. As you can see, this is fairly shiny, but still with a faint 'brushed' look to it. There was no way I was going to attempt this by hand - as it was, using power tools, it took just over 10 hours of non-stop polishing to get all the pieces done, inside and out.
I had to take the entire case apart and polish every part seperately, paying careful attention to the direction of the polishing lines. Anything cylindrical (e.g. main cylinder, front cylinders, res ends) had to be polished around the circumference as polishing lengthways would have left lines that simply look 'wrong'.
Every part was gone over (and over and over and...) with a 120grit flapwheel on my power drill.
The second stage of polishing involved going over (and over and over and...) each part with a 280grit 'Scotchbrite'-type brush, also on the drill. It was tedious and mind-numbing work. Each part had to be secured somehow to stop it flying off across the workshop when the brush would hit it. All the time I had to keep up a consistant light pressure and keep the drill moving constantly back and forth along the same straight lines.
To polish the bands I put down a lot of masking tape and fixed them to the case, so I could run the wheel over them with a fair amount of pressure without bending them out of shape.
A couple of screws set into my wooden jig served to keep the larger flat pieces in place.
The smaller flat pieces I simply taped down on one side, polished, then swapped the tape over to the other side and finished the rest.
Parts like the pipes and res ends had to be clamped to the workbench or in a vise, and rotated as I did each side.
A shot of just some of the parts as I polished them. After 10 hours of polishing, it took another 5 hours to completely reassemble the case (working carefully this time so as not to mess up the finish with greasy handprints, etc).