polishing mops?

Hello,
I was looking at the polishing mops on the Screwfix web site. Never used one before, so I am uncertain what I need to buy. They sell a cutting/cleaning mop and a polishing mop. Is it a two stage process: do you use a cleaning mop and then a polishing mop or can you use just one or the other (which would save me buying both).
What is the difference between cleaning and polishing? What does cutting mean? Surely it doesn't mean cutting in an angle grinder, sawing, type of sense?
I see Tool station sells the spindles for half the cost but doesn't seem to sell the mops. What about polish: can you use any sort and where's the cheapest place to buy it?
Thanks.
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Stephen wrote:

Are we talking CDs here, or floors?
Dave
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Dave wrote:

Or car bodywork?
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Dave - The Medway Handyman
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Typical Screwfix, I think they're sharing a photo between two different things.
If you read Oppi Untracht, or the Canning electroplating handbook, they'll go into vast detail on mops. Mostly though:
* It's not so much the mop, more what you put on it. So you'll want a range of compounds, as appropriate, but you'll want separate clean mops dedicated to each.
* Cutting is initial stage polishing where you're removing discernable metal. Coarser compound, more cut. "Polishing" is a softer compound that's doing much less cutting. That's really the crucial part, but chances are that you'll also want a stiffer mop for the cutting phase, a softer mop for final polishing. Usually the material remains the same, but a stiff mop is sewn through the sides to form one block, a soft mop is loose sheets of fabric just held in the centre. Can't tell anymore from Screwfix' photo.
Compounds get cheaper the closer you get to "trade", so try a real jeweller's supplier like Cooksons.
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Stephen wrote:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polishing_(metalworking)
http://www.moleroda.com/index.html
http://www.hswalsh.com/section.aspx?s (
http://www.suttontools.co.uk/acatalog/Section_5___Polishing___Finishing.html
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wrote:

The 'traditional' sequence in polishing is to use a stiff mop ( usually Calico ) along with a coarse polishing compound such as Tripoli to remove any surface imperfections and heavy grime. This is followed by a softer mop ( such as Swansdown ) and a fine polish such as Rouge to put a high shine on the job.
You can do a pretty good job with just a soft Calico mop and a medium-fine compound such as Hyfin.
Cutting is the correct description - a coarse buffing wheel loaded with Tripoli will make short work of any fine soft metal.
The results depend on the metal being polished, the diameter and type of mop and the speed/horsepower of the motor driving it.
Regards,
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Steve ( out in the sticks )
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That depends upon what you want to polish. The mop material and, on stitched mops, the distance between the stitching, change the mop characteeristics and that is even before starting to consider the compounds you put on them.

Again, it depends upon what you are trying to do. Polishing steel needs much more agressive materials than polishing brass.

Your best bet is to find a commercial supplier of polishing materials in your area. They usually have advisors who can give you specific information about your application. Polishing is a complex subject and you will make mistakes to begin with.
BTW I wouldn't run a polishing spindle without a powerful extractor unit attached. This is what I used to use, although it is a bit expensive for occasional use.
http://www.rjheng.co.uk/chamois.html
Were I looking for a polishing spindle, I would visit dealers in second hand industrial machinery, rather then buy new from Screwfix or Toolstation. You will get better value from money from a refurbished commercial machine.
Colin Bignell
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