Bicycle Mechanics - Polish for ANODIZED aluminum
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11-03-09, 02:36 AM
I read a few threads on polishing un-anodized AL or removing it but I was wondering if there's a compound good for anodized aluminum. I have some Superbe Pro's that look dingy and would like to clean them up.
Also, if I were to remove the anodized layer, would it really tarnish or oxidize that easy?
11-03-09, 07:34 AM
Go to an auto parts store and look around.
11-03-09, 08:05 AM
Try Mother's metal polish. Also, just about any automotive polish or cleaner/wax will help. If the anodize is actually degraded though, you can't work miracles on it.
I've removed anodizing and paint from aluminum parts and polished them, but with home equipment, it does take time. After polishing is when the parts need wax protection.
Their is also a product called Zoop's seal that is supposed to work real well stop corrosion of bare aluminum.
11-03-09, 08:12 AM
You can clean it up some, but ano parts really don't polish well in my experience. Surface scratches remain scratches, etc. If you de-ano, they'll polish up nicely. And they won't tarnish or oxidize that easily. Wax 'em.
use low grit silicon oxide wet sand paper until you get rid of the anodizing, then work your way up in grit until you get to a polishing compound.
start with 400~600grit to get rid of anodizing
polish with 800~1500grit
finally use polishing compound, which is something like 10,000~15,000 grit, for that mirror finish.
much easier if you use a buffing head on a drill.
aluminum oxidizes as soon as it comes in contact with oxygen in air. that's what gives it a tough surface.
11-03-09, 09:48 AM
The problem is that anodized aluminum is harder than most polishing grit. Silicon oxide is not as hard as aluminum oxide by a good bit. You are really breaking through the thin anodized layer with force and then ripping it off the surface of the aluminum. There are some zirconium grit polishes that are used on glass what might work a little. The best thing would be to strip and reanodize. Anodizing shops charge a minimum batch fee of around $80 to $100 usually. If you can round up some other stuff to do at the same time it might work for you. How much is it worth to you? Polishing bare aluminum looks nice for a few weeks until it starts to oxidize and it usually does so in a rather ugly fashion. Then it is polish some more. It becomes a hobby. No thanks.
in my experience, silicon oxide sand paper works quicker and lasts longer than aluminum oxide sand paper for smoothing out aluminum and copper.
you're right about anodizing being harder than the abrasive compounds.
I hear oven cleaner works well in stripping anodizing.
11-03-09, 10:00 AM
11-03-09, 03:28 PM
Use Easy Off spray oven cleaner to remove the anodizing and then polish. Keeping the parts polished is not a problem if you avoid touching them and keep them dry. I go over mine once a month at the most.
11-03-09, 03:59 PM
A good car wax protects the raw polished surface once you get the anodizing off. Some alloys may tarnish a bit faster than others but I've had great luck on a number of older cranks and stems with sanding, polishing and then waxing with Eagle brand Wet One car wax on a yearly basis. It keeps the parts looking good despite regular handling and winter rains and muck.
You can't really "polish" anodizing. The level of shine on an anodized item is set by the surface prep before it is anodized. Bead blasted for a matt or "dust" anodized finish, sanded in one direction for a brushed finish and highly polished for a highly polished finish. Once it's anodized you can't change the sheen other than by slightly shining up a matt finish with stuff that fills in the roughness and fakes it into looking more shiney. The rough matt style finish DOES seem to grab and hold stains. But often a solvent can be used to lift the stains.
11-03-09, 07:57 PM
The only way to get a high gloss shine on anodized parts is to have the part professionally polished before it is anodized. Then the high polish will shine through the anodizing. Looks really good with black anodize. Holds up well, too.
Expensive? Sorta. Paid $65.00 to do my cranks and $125.00 for handlebars. bk
11-03-09, 09:37 PM
You wanted Polish for anodized? You got it. Honestly, doesn't anyone use the Polish-English translation programs online? :D
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