KEY POLISHING GUIDE

Files

  1. Flat

  2. Triangular

  3. Rat-tail

  4. (Jewlers kit (6 piece) is available at Home Depot/Lowes)

 

Sandpaper:

  1. at least as low as 100 grit

  2. at least as high as 400 grit

(Sandpaper Sponges work very well)

Fine polishing suggestions:

  1. Fingernail polishing stick

  2. Cornhusk

  3. Toothpaste (it is a mild abrasive)

 

 

 

Black Paint

  1. Flat

  2. Glossy*

What makes keys look bad?

  1. Pits

  2. Scratches

  3. Lack of paint

  4. Carelessness

 

 

Brasso/Polish

  1. Use a soft cotton or microfiber cloth

  2. Bring the final key wrapped in cloth

The Key is to be finished by hand tools only, the use of power tools are prohibited.  

How to make your key look good:

  1. Spend plenty of time with the files. This is how the pits are removed. Material is removed much more quickly with a file than with 400 grit sandpaper. File until all pits are gone. Be careful though, especially with a triangular file in the corners: it removes material very quickly, and you may have to spend time “fixing” your key.

  2. Begin with the lowest grit sandpaper. Make sure your key is thoroughly sanded with a particular grit before moving up to the next grit. Be sure that flat surfaces are flat and that round surfaces are round. Tip: try wrapping your sandpaper around your files.

  3. Pay extra attention to the places that are difficult to file/sand. The upper and lower surfaces of the Carnot Cycle are prime examples.

  4. Do your best to remove ALL tiny scratches. The ideal key will have a mirror-like surface. Brasso does NOT remove scratches! In fact, tiny scratches become more evident once Brasso is applied. You do not have to do the back side.