Author Topic: what was polished?  (Read 732 times)

Offline coater87

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what was polished?
« on: 15.07. 2015 19:04 »
 I see so many bikes so many different ways, I think I know what was polished originally, but I am not positive.

 I think the inner and outer timing covers were both polished.  I think the inner and outer gearbox covers were both polished. Is this correct?

 I believe the inner and outer primary covers were both polished, but I could be wrong about the inner.

 I am not sure about the rocker box, but I think the tappet covers were probably polished but not sure what was originally done.

 I know a guy can polish anything he wants, I have run into a couple with completely polished engine and gearbox cases, not my taste but each to his own.

 I  only want to polish what BSA did, the rest will be left raw.

 So what bits originally came all shined up?

 Thanks guys
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Online bsa-bill

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Re: what was polished?
« Reply #1 on: 15.07. 2015 19:37 »
just my non expert opinion , I think your correct with all except the rocker covers, don't think they were bright, I'll be as interested as you as to what was in fact pollished
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All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco

Offline East_Coast_BSA

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Re: what was polished?
« Reply #2 on: 15.07. 2015 23:23 »
I just have my outer cases (inner on the clutch as well), outer gearbox and rocker covers polished.  The rest is just clean aluminum.  This has been a topic for a long time in my other hobby, Vintage Snowmobiles.  A lot of vintage sleds had aluminum parts that were bare aluminum.  They really didn't come from the factory in a polished condition.  Now the quality of metal polishes and cleaners have allowed aluminum to be polished like chrome.  More importantly you don't need a buffing wheel to achieve great results.  The "Purists" claim that there should be an "Over-Restored" class.  In theory this is fine, but how do you polish something to look like it did 40 years ago?  Going crazy and making everything look like Chrome doesn't really do it for me.  There is no doubt that a bike restored today looks much better than it did from the factory.  I apologized if I got "tangential" and highjacked the thread.
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Online RichardL

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Re: what was polished?
« Reply #3 on: 16.07. 2015 00:48 »
Well, in this factory film, everything looks pretty shiny, but the quality of the picture is so bad it's hard to tell exactly. Ya know, you might reckon that a motorcycle manufacturer that wanted a lot of bling on its bikes, like a chromed gas tank, would opt for a lot of polishing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTwbqo9e5W8

Richard L.
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Offline Brian

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Re: what was polished?
« Reply #4 on: 16.07. 2015 07:25 »
I dont have a definitive answer but going by what I have seen, and I pulled my first A10 apart 44 years ago, this is what I think.

The rocker box and covers definitely not polished.
The inner gearbox section definitely not polished.
I dont think the inner section of the timing cover was polished either but I'm not 100% sure on that one.
The timing cover and outer gearbox cover were polished but not as you would consider polished by todays standards. East-coast-BSA is right, what is considered polish today is way more "shiney" than they ever were and that goes for just about all modern finishes.
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Offline duTch

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Re: what was polished?
« Reply #5 on: 16.07. 2015 08:53 »

 On the first build of my Plunger rig, I had everything polished by a prick rellie who worked at a polishing shop- fairly sure I gave him that box/carton/slab... *conf*....
    but on the be kind, re-wind build, I did some myself but got bored- so long as it runs (well), I don't give a...
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Started building in about 1977/8 a on average '52 A10 -built from bits 'n pieces never resto intended -maybe 'personalised'
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Online Topdad

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Re: what was polished?
« Reply #6 on: 16.07. 2015 10:54 »
The other factor is the dealer involved , some dealers couldn't be bothered with finish others would put the model centre window high up and would have had the lads polish the living daylights out everything before it got there, from my experience it worked ! , and with some of the crap about in my day ( not BSA of course )it disproved the old adage that you can't polish a tr*d, but some people can't see past a bit of bling, Bob
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Online bikerbob

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Re: what was polished?
« Reply #7 on: 16.07. 2015 20:15 »
I had a few years ago a 1957 A10 Gold Flash and I was at a local show when a guy that I knew from drinking in the same pub came up and looked at my bike and said it looked very nice, I thanked him and said that I tried my best to get it to look like it left the factory. His reply was well you should not have polished the aluminium cases they never left the factory like that they were just clean smooth bright finish. At the time which was about 5 years ago he owned a 1956 A7 and a 1959 A10 Gold Flash both bikes he bought new from the same dealer He still rode the A10 but had never ridden the A7 for a number of years but would not part with either bike. He also said the the Ariel hubs on the A7 were actually painted silver when it left the factory, now I have never been able to confirm that but he was quite adamant that it was true and he said I could come to his house and check for myself as both his bikes were totally original and had never been restored in any way he was on his A10 at the time and I did go and have look at it and sure enough none of the cases were polished and it was totally original, original paint and chrome the only addition was an Avon handlebar fairing which was fitted from new. I wish now I had took him up on the offer as I have not seen him around for a few years.
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Online bsa-bill

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Re: what was polished?
« Reply #8 on: 16.07. 2015 22:09 »
Quote
He also said the the Ariel hubs on the A7 were actually painted silver

my 61 Flash had silver hubs and a sort of light gray / silver brake plates
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1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco

Online RichardL

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Re: what was polished?
« Reply #9 on: 17.07. 2015 01:43 »
... they were just clean smooth bright finish.

To me the question is exactly where do you stop in the process of getting a "clean smooth bright finish" when bringing back old parts. Obviously, no buffing wheels or compound. So, at what grit do you stop?  1000, 2000, 8000? "Bright" is really an ambiguous term. If the factory got the castings "bright" right after coming off the die-casting machine (to me, at least the primary cover looks die-cast), I would think buffing wheels would have been less tedious than loose-belt sanders.

I'm sure others here have more first-hand knowledge of this, but I'm just throwing it out there.

Richard L.
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Offline East_Coast_BSA

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Re: what was polished?
« Reply #10 on: 17.07. 2015 03:20 »
I think the "Human Factor" comes in here.  I didn't do my engine cases, the guy who originally assembled my engine had them done as part of the rebuild.  I did everything else with 2000 and then "Black Diamond" polish (by hand).  I worked really hard on the clutch cover and the backing plates.  The clutch cover came out nice, the backing plates, not so much.  I think it also depends on the aluminum.  Some aluminum polishes up better than others.  Needless to say I did my best to make it look as nice as possible.  It's not really in anyone's nature to put a lot of effort into something to strive for an "average looking result".
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