It’s been more than a decade now since I first put on the Steelheart I usually wear. That kind of blows my mind (which is the only thing getting blown around here, badum CHING). And, honestly, there’s not much that has to be done to it from a maintenance standpoint. Every couple of weeks I need to take it off and soak it in vinegar to get the crusties off. But, you know, it’s made of stainless steel. It’s the OG low maintenance material.
One thing I have always wanted to improve on the device is its gloss. Those of us with a fetish for shiny metal really like gloss and another device I have, the Rigid Chastity Halfshell, has always been way, way shinier than the Steelheart. Some of that may be based on the kind of stainless used by Rigid, but I wanted to know if I could improve on the Steelheart’s decade worth of patina.
One day, I was dicking around in the basement and found my old Dremel. And that somehow clicked with my desire to give the Steelheart more polish. In the past, I’ve used polishing clothes impregnated with some kind of oily compound that did a serviceable job, but all they did was bring the Steelheart back to a reasonable facsimile of its out-of-the-box finish. I wanted something beyond that and realized the Dremel was a possible solution.
A little searching on Amazon resulted in the ordering of some buffing attachments and some polishing compound ✨filled with diamond dust✨! To keep the tube of the Steelheart steady during the procedure, I put it on the end of a mallet handle and then put the business end of the mallet in a vice. Since I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, I decided to try polishing the underside of the tube first. After applying the compound and spinning up the Dremel and then cleaning the excess compound off, I was pleasantly surprised at the difference so decided to sally forth with the rest of the tube.
The thing I didn’t like about the buffers was how the Dremel, even at its lowest speed, would essentially spin them apart and leave a cloud of little woolen fibers floating around the workbench. I found I needed to keep the buffer in contact with the tube to minimize that issue. I was also hoping the polishing compound would work out some tiny scratches the tube has picked up over the years, but no such luck. Perhaps a compound with a larger grit would work, but then I figure I’d need to use the fine grit compound to get the high gloss going.
In the end, it’s still not as shiny as the Halfshell. But it’s noticeably more mirror-like than it was. I may experiment with various compounds and perhaps a longer duration of Dremel usage. In any event, it is improved and there remains nothing at all as sexy as high gloss stainless steel.
2 thoughts on “Polishing the knob”
Try some mothers mag and aluminum polish. I get a little on my finger and just hand rub an entire cage down. It washes off my hands and the cage with dish soap very easily.
To polish the inside, attach a shotgun bore brush to a section of cleaning rod, then chuck the cleaning rod in to a cordless drill. Wrap a strip of old t-shirt around the brush, add the polish, but stick it in BEFORE squeezing the trigger!
For dents and deeper scratches on the outside there are two options. If you want to completely remove the damage you may have to start with a tiny file. You can get sets of them fairly cheap. Then progress through wet sanding. I do a 400 grit, then 800 and 2000. Most times I just straight to sanding.
Once that’s done I get a mirror finish using green buffing compound. It’s a stick of wax with micro abrasives that are great for stainless steel. A loose cotton wheel on a drill press or a bench grinder works best for a whole cage but a dremel can work, too. You might need to switch to felt wheels on the dremel though.
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Awesome tips! Thanks!