Kevin was having problems, especially when grinding nice, soft aluminum. When you put it on a metal bench to polish it, one side polishes up fine, but when you turn it over, you put all your scratches back in it again because it’s moving around on the bench.

Kevin just happened to have some old drawer liner that keeps your kitchen utensils from rattling around. He also uses it in toolboxes to keep tools from sliding all around.

He originally thought it would work to hold metal while polishing. First, though, he takes a moment to remind everyone how important safety gear is when working with aluminum, especially if you’re using any kind of polishing wheels. Th aluminum dust gets in the air, through your nose and your sinuses and right into your lungs. It is not healthy stuff. So always wear a dust mask, or a respirator is even better, hearing protection and eye protection.

Kevin has his safety equipment on and polishes one side of the piece of aluminum, then flips it over.

He shows the results. The front is nice and shiny, but the other side has problems. Not only does the aluminum get hot enough that it starts to melt to the rubber mat, but you also wind up with a pattern from the mat itself.

There has to be a better way!

Kevin holds up a white rectangular board and says, “I think this is the better way.”

“This” is a cheap plastic cutting board. It’s a nice, dense plastic that doesn’t melt from the heat of polishing so your piece isn’t going to stick to it. And it’s a nice smooth surface, so it won’t put scratches in the metal you just polished. And they cost about $5.

Kevin hopes this free how to video helps you keep your work a little bit neater, a little bit cleaner while you’re polishing metal. He’s ready to go back to work, but you might want to hang around for another moment to see the problem up close for yourself ….