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Old 01-01-2011, 12:07 PM   #1
pdbigt357
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Default Keg Polishing - How To -

I know this has been done a few times, but I thought I would put these pictures to good use by showing how I polished the metal. I haven't been brewing long and I think this is my first or second post, but I'm very capable and have done something like this before. This will be my first keg and I hope to have another soon and eventually have them on display via a wine fridge conversion that I'm hoping to do in the future. The kegs being polished will add a very nice look to the setup... more to follow on that. With out further a due.

First you need a Corney Keg.

Tools/Materials:
Heat gun or Hair dryer - removing stickers
Acetone
Towels - for clean up and polishing
200/220 grit wet/dry sand paper
400 grit wet/dry sand paper
1000 grit wet/dry sand paper
bucket
dish soap
Sanding block
Polishing Compound
Metal Polish


This is how the keg looked after I striped the stickers off using a heat gun and the acetone to remove any remaining residue from the stickers. You'll notice that the right side of the keg is very shiny in a small area, that was a test area to motivate me to keep polishing.

The following images show the products that I used to accomplish the end result.




Step 1:
Using a heat gun or hair dryer, move the heat back and fourth across any stickers to aid in releasing the adhesive. While heating, using the flat edge of a paint stirrer or a razor blade, gently scrap the material away from the metal. Don't worry about getting all on the residue off with the scrapper, that is where the acetone comes in to play. Once the stickers are removed, soak an old towel or shop towel with acetone and wipe the areas where the stickers used to be to remove any remaining adhesive.



Step 2:
Fill a bucket with approx half a gallon of warm water and a few drops of dish soap. This will allow the sand paper to polish the surface without gouging it, acts as a lubricant, and cleans the metal. Fold one of the sheets of 220 grit in half twice so you can divide it into 4 strips. Place a strip of 220 in the bucket and get it good and wet, wrap it around a block or sponge and get to sanding. IMPORTANT, sand in a back a fourth motion, not in circles.
When you have sanded the entire keg and it has a brushed appearance you will repeat with a 400 grit and finally with 1000. It is also important to frequently dip the sand paper into the soap water to clean off the paper and also to add water back to the work surface. When you begin with the 1000 grit, you will begin to notice your reflection becoming clear. Have a beer and take your time through each step so it is easier in the end to get a mirror shine.



This picture shows a gradual change from 200 to a 1000 then a highly polished area.

Step 3:
Now that you have gotten the keg shining nicely with the 1000 grit paper and it feels as though there is little resistance while sanding, you can now use polish to bring out the mirror shine. Wipe down the entire surface with clean water to remove any remaining grit left over from sanding. Using micro fiber or t-shirt material, apply the polishing compound and work it in little circles, I always focus on a 6" x 6" area at a time. When polishing in the small circles, work the 6" x 6" area in a box like pattern and over lap it several times until it begins to turn gray or black, ten wipe away with a clean microfiber cloth or t-shirt material. Do this for the entire surface. Finally, using the metal polish or even liquid/paste car polish, following the same 6"x6" box pattern, in small circles, complete the final polish. Approximate time is 3 hours from start to finish. Using a grinder with polishing wheels or high speed buffer will also improve the shine and can help to speed the process along.

I did it all by hand and this is the result. I will go over it again with a polishing wheel, but as you can see, besides the dings from it being used over the years, it is a mirror!



Tell me what you think!

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Old 01-01-2011, 01:38 PM   #2
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Can't argue with the results.
That looks really nice.

But is it strictly aesthetic, or is there a practical reason to polish a keg?

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Old 01-01-2011, 01:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by PanuccisPizza View Post
Can't argue with the results.
That looks really nice.

But is it strictly aesthetic, or is there a practical reason to polish a keg?
It makes it go faster.
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Old 01-01-2011, 02:05 PM   #4
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Like how adding racing stickers to the back window of your Civic adds extra torque?

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Old 01-01-2011, 02:33 PM   #5
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I like it. I have seen the thread where they used gator grit pads but for those who are brewing on a budget that can get a little expensive. I like that it uses materials that are pretty common in the average garage, so someone can at least get the polishing process started with the acetone & 220 grit sand paper.

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Old 01-01-2011, 02:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by PanuccisPizza View Post
Like how adding racing stickers to the back window of your Civic adds extra torque?
Don't you mean it adds a little more dork to the car?
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanuccisPizza View Post
Can't argue with the results.
That looks really nice.

But is it strictly aesthetic, or is there a practical reason to polish a keg?
It is aesthetic, but you could argue that all of the junk stuck to the used kegs along with the years of scratches and scuffs are collection points for what ever drips down the sides of them. A smooth surface makes it much easier to clean and it sure looks cool when you open the fridge.
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by PanuccisPizza View Post
But is it strictly aesthetic, or is there a practical reason to polish a keg?
Bling. I can't argue against that.

2 of my 3 keggles are mirrors (thanks bobby). They do stay cleaner, I think. Also, greatly increased SAF (spousal approval factor)
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:31 PM   #9
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Bling. I can't argue against that.

2 of my 3 keggles are mirrors (thanks bobby). They do stay cleaner, I think. Also, greatly increased SAF (spousal approval factor)
You hit that last bit on the head brother..... In this little hobby of ours, more often than not, we have to maintain a high SAF. lol
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:32 PM   #10
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The best way I have found to remove the stickers on the keg is to fill the keg with very very hot water and let it sit for 5 minutes. The heat will soften even 20 year old glue, then peel the stickers right off. Then use BKF ( bar keepers friend) to remove any residue and it will actually polish the keg as well.( not as good as the op's) That stuff is awesome on stainless.

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