At Online Metals, we understand that our customers have a wealth of knowledge about working. We routinely get asked questions about sanding and polishing materials. And we are fortunate because one of our customers is polishing expert and influencer, Tyler Elmore.

Why Polish & What Tools Do I Need?

Outside of the fact that each metal has its own unique and beautiful color, there are plenty of reasons for polishing and sanding material. Specifically, polishing metal acts as a sealant. Because of this, it is more resistant to oxidation or chemical corrosion. Also, it makes the material easier to clean and increases wear resistance. If you need your piece to resist friction, polishing metal will do the trick.

There are lots of different methods and tools available to polish metals to a mirror. It’s very similar from metal to metal, but Tyler’s preferred method is sanding to a very high grit and using a polishing compound.

  • Multiple grades of sandpaper running from 220 grit to 5000 grit
  • Finishing pads
  • Lubricant, Polish, and sealant
  • Blue shop towels
  • A drill and the pads needed to hook the sandpaper polishing attachment to it

What is Skills and Trade?

Skills and Trade is a YouTube channel, starring Tyler Elmore, for providing DIY, how-to and informational videos. He has numerous videos on topics ranging from sanding/polishing, product reviews, cooking/baking, electrical working, and photography. Also, you can also find some fun collaborative projects with other artists and channels.

All that being said, his main focus is on polishing and sanding metal to a mirror finish. His channel has 17 videos on the topic and will continue to grow his library. We’ve asked him a few questions about how he got started, his successes, and his failures and hope you enjoy!

How did you get into trade specialties and DIY projects?

“I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands and working on projects. So getting into the trade specialties was a very easy and natural fit for me. Eventually, I decided it would be fun to make a YouTube channel about it and showcase my work.”

While Tyler doesn’t have a dramatic life changing story, he is a great example of getting started and pursuing work you truly enjoy!

What materials do you prefer to work with? What materials have you yet to try?

“My favorite metals to polish would have to be aluminum and stainless steel. They give off a brilliant shine that I enjoy quite a bit.

I would really like to try out the aluminum-bronze from your catalog, or perhaps the copper. I’ve polished other kinds of bronzes and coppers before, and I’m really curious how these particular ones compare.”

What’s your favorite accomplishment? How about a complete fail?

“My favorite accomplishment would have to be the bronze video. While I’ve polished plenty of metals, this product turned out wonderfully.

My biggest fail has to be working with titanium. Even though it looks good, it is a very difficult metal to polish and I had to make some minor adjustments to my usual process.”

What’s next? Where can people find your work?

“I plan to continue working on metal polishing videos and would love to hear from your customers if there are any specific polishing questions that have yet to be answered. Copper and Aluminum Bronze are definitely in the future lineup. People can find my work on YouTube as well as Facebook.”

Would you like to know more?

Check out this blog post that we made with Tyler’s help on how to polish metal yourself!