How can you tell what metal you have?

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    I’ve been polishing on an aluminum battery box for some time. I can only get results with emory on a spiral sewn 10″ pad. The tripoli doesn’t seem to work at all unless I push really hard and overheat the piece some, causing tears in the metal. The piece seems harder than aluminum, but it is supposed to be aluminum.

    Could I be working with stainless steel and not know it? My only clue is it sands and buffs hard and slow, but other than that it looks all aluminum to me. Is there any way to identify the type of metal you’re working with?


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