Ray Dobbins is the master, and this is his 'polishing tips' page:http://www.raydobbins.com/polishing/
I've done a few sets of Shimano cranks and chainrings; mostly older stuff (9sp),
but also one set of 7800 Dura-Ace.
Yes, Easy Off oven cleaner is much better, quicker and easier than sanding,
and it still might not be too late for you to try it. It may take a long time
to get the fine scratches out, assuming you've marked the aluminium under the
anodizing. If you have scratched the alu, I recommend gradually progressing
to the finest grade of sandpaper your patience can tolerate. Then, use an
electric buffer (or drill with buffing attachment) with (obviously) a buffer compound;
or skip the fine sanding, and try going straight to the buffer.
However, if the buffer compound isn't strong enough to remove the fine
scratches that may
be there, you'll probably have to use fine sandpaper (I'm talking
1200, 1500, and maybe even 2000, all wet and dry). After a quick buff, I usually
polish hard with Brasso, then finish off with a chrome/metal polish, such as
Mothers or Meguiar's.
Before i found out about Easy Off, I sanded the first couple of crank-sets
I did, and it was painstaking. I spent hours in front of the tv with very
fine sandpaper, because I found it was more effective than the cheap buffing
compounds i had. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to remove all the fine
marks, but they still turned out pretty shiny, especially the 105 and
The last couple I did was with Easy Off. What I did was apply the
Easy Off; leave for about 10 mins; polish very hard with Brasso
(I don't have a good buffer); then finish with Mequiar's All Metal Polysh
(yes, the spell it with a 'y'
I haven't bothered coating them, so i just give them a quick rub with
the Metal Polysh about once a month.
These are the 7800s that I did.
The photo makes them look a little shinier than they really are.