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Polishing aluminum?
#1
Ok I wanna hear some tips on polishing aluminum? Anything and everything please ?
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#2
Search "bling bling" on this site. hcjg1 has gone into this and has alot of really great looking polished bikes.
I used his tips on my Y5 polished aluminum frame and on my Y22 polished aluminum URT. A dirty job, but well worth it.

Ride on, keep on riding
Riding on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on
Ride on, gonna have myself a good time - AC/DC

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#3
What polish did you use ?
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#4
Since both the frame and the URT were stock polished aluminum, I just used Maguires (?) aluminium polish. I picked up a package of assorted shape buffing wheels that you use in a drill, (cone, barrel and wheel shapes) and went at it with my 18V variable speed drill. I used a three old 100%cotton t-shirts to buff off the residue 3 times and then put on a couple of coats of good carnuba wax. They still look great and the wax makes cleaning a breeze. My hands and clothes were covered in the black residual aluminum and it was alot of work, but I plan on doing them both again this winter. Maguires is a gentle polish and it didn't affect the decals on the Y5 frame at all.
What are you thinking of doing? If the bike isn't already polished aluminum you will want to strip off the paint. There are some wax based stick compounds available that you apply to a spinning buffing shape, but they can be agressive and are alot more work.

Ride on, keep on riding
Riding on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on
Ride on, gonna have myself a good time - AC/DC

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#5
Dear Bill. How are you? I am fine. Smile
Are we talking 'parts' or 'frame'? Different aluminum parts are treated differently at the manufacturing stage. Some are burnished, some polished and clear-coated, some are forged, some are anodized like my blue eyes... see? These all may require diff polishing techniques depending on what you are doing. It might be best if you clue us in on what the 'Secret Project' is. Smile
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#6
Rob I am doing fine thank you. Glad you are doing good too Smile.

Ok you hit the nail on the spot Rob! It is parts, I wanna shine up all my pretty M550 parts Big Grin . Cranks, FD/RD, etc.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#7
I polished the cranks on my MTB:

[Image: UK05.jpg]

These were originally a sort of matt/satin finish, but had become quite scruffy over the years. I first used some 1200 grit wet and dry to smooth them all over and then used Brasso and a soft cloth (old T-shirt) to polish them and buff them up to a shine.

It took me an hour or so to do both cranks and you can see that it's not a perfect mirror finish and that there are still a few scratches left. If I spent a little longer and perhaps started with a coarser grade wet and dry before the 1200 grit and then the final polish I could get those scratches out, but I was happy with how they turned out and it's a big improvement on how they started.
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#8
WOW!!!! Nice job on the shine!!! My cranks are about as dull as the chain rings you have there xer. Since I am being nosey lol how many tooth is your outermost ring?
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#9
(08-25-2012, 01:39 PM)Bill Wrote:  My cranks are about as dull as the chain rings you have there xer. Since I am being nosey lol how many tooth is your outermost ring?

The cranks were originally a similar "satin" finish to the chainrings and the outer chainring has 46 teeth.

I had a go at the hubs and mechs at the same time, you can see the rest here: http://forums.bicycletutor.com/thread-4264.html
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#10
Bill - refresh my memory, please sir? 550 was Deore LX, I think?
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#11
Yes the hubs, crank set, deraillers, and shifter/brake levers are all deore lx. Well the last ones maybe
Another type of deore model.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#12
Hmm I will probably have to take a picture for all to see what I am up to. I saw this and was wandering if a dremel buffing wheel would be idea....

Again this is only to show how the buffing process goes...
http://youtu.be/e13dafqipFc
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#13
In the nature of Rob's post I figured I'd post a pic and see what the best advice was for tackling this faded crankset....

Compounds and tools appreciataed!
[Image: scaled.php?server=842&filename=crank...es=landing]
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#14
That should clean up OK. It looks like it has a lacquer, or possibly a silver paint finish on it which you will need to remove before you can polish it.

Try a small area on the back of the crank arm first. Start with a piece of 800 grade wet and dry, then 1200 grade, then try some metal polish on it.
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#15
There are lots of aluminum polishes available at least in the USA at automotive stores. Check them out. Flitz and Simichrome are some of the best. Other great products are Brasso, and Never Dull, cotton/cleaner polish that has been around forever. Not waving the flag here, but got no idea whats available anywhere else. Although Flitz and Simichrome are Made in Germany so should be available in Europe.

BTW do not use steel steel wool for polishing aluminum it embeds steel particles in the aluminum which rust. Find brass steel wool fine grade use it with polishing compound above. I get mine at boat supplies store.

Where I live I got lots of stores for everything. :-)
Never Give Up!!!
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#16
I wanted to add this as it was done just earlier. I used a Dremel 4000 with a #512E bit (about 320grit). Being my dremel has variable speed I only turned it up half way. When using one I highly recommend using light passes on the aluminum to be cleaned. Also please please please use protection for eyes lungs and hands, as pictured.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#17
Might be helpful:
http://www.raydobbins.com/polishing/
http://www.dieselbombers.com/general-diesel-related-tech-articles/21143-how-polish-aluminum-tutorial.html
Craig Domingue - East Texas Hick
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#18
Wow thank you for the links Big Grin .
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#19
Thanks for providing the information....
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