I'm quickly learning that the trick to cleaning and polishing metal is to. go. one. step. at. a. time. If you try and skip forward, you mess up and have to go back to the beginning. And by that I mean that it's vital that you do your rough removal of material all at once. Then, you graduate up one step. 400 grade to 600 grade to 1200 grade to 220 grade, for example. And we're not even ready to talk polishing. I took a quick trip to my local Sears and bought all kinds of barrel sanding bits, as well as adhesive backed circular pads , a set of files. I used a 400-grade grinding wheel on my angle grinder and 400 grade circular pads for all my initial removal. Remved the nasty edges, ugly seams, shoddy manufacturers flacking, etc. Then I got impatient and tried to move up to a fine polishing grade. Trouble is, I didn't get all the nooks and crannies cleaned up and found myself trying to do the rough work with fine papers and dremel bits. Then I read up on the subject online and discovered the dirty truth. I needed to take more steps, be patient and go back to the course paper to get everything right.
So off to Sears and Lowes I went to get sandpaper and barrel sanding bits in numerous grades. I predict the next week or so to be a lot of meticulous work, carefully done. Live and learn, eh?