Before and After
Originally uploaded by whipartist.
See this little piece of metal? It's a rather insignificant and yet visually prominent part of the Ducatil. It's a tiny little thing, maybe 2" across and an inch and a half tall. I scrubbed and sanded and polished this part for about 20 minutes, and wound up with it looking like the top photo. It was certainly way better than when I started (it's the base of the tube that goes up along the cylinder), but it didn't feel good enough. If I'm going to put this much effort into restoring a bike, I want it to look good, dammit.
Plus, this level of effort just won't scale. There's a lot of should-be-shiny metal on the bike, and I don't think I'm up to spending countless hours with steel wool, polishing everything by hand. I know myself well enough to know that it just wouldn't happen. And finally, my RSI-plagued wrist and shoulder don't really like that much repetitive motion.
Yesterday I trotted off to Sears and bought a bench polisher. After setting it up I spent about 30 seconds polishing one side of the part and got the finish in the bottom photo. Much better!