Again it was bit difficult to decide on which part of the site this article belongs. Now that I have more or less stopped on writing those small tutorials for manufacturers to copy, I still decided that it is time to make something happen on the modding front.
This time I'm introducing some really great polishing products from English Custom Polishing. This was the first time that I have ever polished anything so this review/modding article will show you how easy it is to start making your computer components shine. While I'm targeting this ST61G4 XPC from Shuttle it doesn't mean that these products work only with computer cases. You can use them on any metal you can possible think of and this is all because of English Custom Polishing and their unique range of target polishes. It doesn't matter if you are a total newbie on polishing or seasoned veteran, with these products you will succeed.
Where do we start?
While the Shuttle boxes are pretty stylish on their own, you may have been getting bit bored with your own unit. This ST61G4 model has a nice little feature, a mirror positioned to the front face. While it makes the case stand out a bit, we can still do a lot to make it look even better.
Housing is made out of aluminum and the front bezel is made from plastic. Also the 5.25" drive bay cover is made out of plastic and this rules out modding of the front of the case with these polishing products. Well, still plenty of metal to work with so lets move on.
Surface of the case cover is anodized. It is also brushed to have this beautiful texture that we have accustomed to see in so many aluminum cases already. It will be bit difficult to dig through the anodizing but with proper tools it will not take that long.
There are also other ways to remove this layer. Methods that doesn't require mechanical tools but I will do this piece with good old sand paper. How you should do it? It all depends on the tools that you can get your hands on to.
Tools and Chemicals
Polishing products from English Custom Polishing
These are the bottles that will provide the solution to our problem; How to make metal shine like a mirror? For this little project of ours you don't need to get every item on the store but the key is to utilize the right product at the right time. These bottles are not the same as you buy them as retail because the English Custom Polishing just introduced them to their product lineup. Retail packages can be seen on their site and the product names are the same that we are using in this article.
Not everything can be done with just a drop from the bottle. We are going to need sanding paper and something to apply the polishing products to the bare metal with. On the top left corner you will see a rubber sanding block that will give support while you are wet sanding. It will apply a steady pressure and cover larger surface area that you could manage with your bare hands. Next to it are the three different wet sanding paper grits that we will be using. Starthing from 600 and working our way up to 1200. To complete the list, on the right are the two different cloths that are needed for different stages of polishing.
1200 - 800 - 600 grit
1200 is the finest and the 600 coarsest wet sanding paper used in this project. They will be used after the removal of the anodizing. I first tried to remove this layer by hand and by using this 600 grit but it didn't even scratch the surface. Anodizing clearly does what it is supposet to do, protect the metal beneath. Why it is called wet sanding paper? Because the sand in these papers is so fine, you will need to use plenty of water to keep the paper clean from sanding dust. Without water the paper will get useless after few seconds of usage. Use water, plenty of it.
These are the two different cloths that we are going to use in the article to polish the metal with. White cloth is used to apply the polish in early stages and the yellow micro fiber cloth is used to obtain that shiny mirror effect finish. Good quality and clean cloths are a must because they will provide us with the smoothest and highest quality results.
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