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I am polishing a marble shelf with pads impregnated with a resin containing diamond powder (it has some advantages over sandpaper, but otherwise works in a similar way). I used grit 50 to remove scratches and stopped when I couldn't see any more scratches.

Then I use grit 100, 200, 400, 800 (maybe more) to get a nice polish. But it's hard to tell the difference before and after grit 400 (for instance) by touching or looking. How do I tell I've spent enough time with this grit and I should switch to the next, finer one (in this example, grit 800)?

The final step will be a sealer.

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2 Answers 2

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I would suggest that to get a really smooth polish you will be using sand paper or polishing pads with grit numbers as fine as 3000 or more. The general advice is to switch to the next finer grit when you no longer see any remaining grooves or roughness left by the previous grit.

You may need to experiment with looking at the area that you are polishing carefully to see how it is coming along. It will certainly be necessary to really clean up the area and remove all the dust and particulate that you have created. A bright light shining on the surface that you then look at from an oblique angle can help you to see the fine details. If you are using the dry polishing technique it may be useful to wet the surface to see how your work area compares to other parts of the marble that were previously polished.

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Thanks. Indeed, this is the advice I got from the vendor: polish just enough to remove the scratches from the previous grit. But on a large area, it's difficult to remember the scratch pattern. Plus, it becomes invisible as soon as the marble is wet (which is better for the disks), so it would be tedious to dry it often. I'm experimenting with various polishing times, and maybe my criterion will be time-based rather than "scratch-based"... –  jrouquie Jan 18 '13 at 20:45

I found some use in having a predictable pattern, for instance move from left to right (and back) with a grit, then with the next one move from top to bottom until on doesn't see any left/right grooves.

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