I just finished derusting some plane irons. Many have a dull dark gray appearance and some mild pitting. I have quite of bit of them to do. On other parts, I would sand them down and then move up the grit to 400-500. This method, however, removes the pits and the engravings.
I would like to keep the engravings and I don't mind the pitting. I want to bring the surface to a reasonable shine quickly. I tried polishing compounds and buffing wheels, but they seem to only turn the dull gray into shiny gray. I tried emery compound and a sisal wheel, but it didn't do much better and the sisal kept tattering up on the edges.
I added some photos of some plane irons FYI.
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