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  1. #1
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    dealing with a bonded aluminum frame

    Picked up a weird old MTB today. All aluminum. "Lugs" are cast and then bonded to the tubes. Not welded, but bonded. Presumably this means glued somehow?

    The main triangle is just polished aluminum. The rear stays are painted red. The red paint is pretty nicked up. So here are the questions:

    1. If I can take off the red can the newly exposed aluminum be made to look like the already exposed alum?

    2. Once I get the paint off, how should I buff the alum? Rubbing compound? 000 Steel wool? other?

    3. I have used "Aircraft Remover" in the past to remove paint. Works great. But, and here is my main question, will this in any way harm the bonding of the lugs to the tubes? I might cry if I managed to disolve that glue and it fell to pieces.

    Don't let me make a huge mistake,

    thanks,

    jim

  2. #2
    Yet another vegan biker
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    Got any pics?

    I'm wondering if it is a red anodized finish and not paint.

  3. #3
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    No good pics yet, but here is the Ebay auction for it:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...4125&rd=1&rd=1

    I guess I never considered that it could be anodized. Seems like paint though. How can I tell the difference? Can anodizing be taken off somehow to look decent?

    jim

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgedwa
    No good pics yet, but here is the Ebay auction for it:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...4125&rd=1&rd=1

    I guess I never considered that it could be anodized. Seems like paint though. How can I tell the difference? Can anodizing be taken off somehow to look decent?

    jim
    The red is paint.

    You could use the stripper but keep it off the areas where the tubes are joined. My guess is that the paint will come off post haste.

    Good luck.

    BTW, sorry to sound negative but you paid a pretty penny for that frame - particularly considering the rip off shipping price.
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

    Good/Bad Trader Listing

  5. #5
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    no shipping costs, local pick up, so it was not as bad as it seems. jim

  6. #6
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    and ouch. please lie to me in the future.

  7. #7
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Okay, $80 ain't too bad for this frame, but you are putting in a fair bit of work and unless you really wanted this particular bike...
    Chemical stripper should take off the paint easily, though I'm not sure what's aluminum-safe. I'd be careful but not particularly paranoid around the joint areas. You could try to polish the rear triangle with very smooth sandpaper, or you could "brush" the entire frame for a consistent look that doesn't show nicks as well.

  8. #8
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    I don't like the idea of bonded frames, but I gotta say: that frame's cool.

  9. #9
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    good idea to brush it. I will give that some thought.

    "ain't too bad"????? Is that all the better you can lie? I pity your wife/gf.

  10. #10
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgedwa
    "ain't too bad"????? Is that all the better you can lie? I pity your wife/gf.
    I'm not sure what you're implying, perhaps that you're on these forums for all of us to tell you that it's really really awesome?

    Here's what Habanero Cycles says about why they brush all of their titanium frames, and I think the reasons would all apply in your case...

    Brushed. This is the finish used on all Habanero frames. Once you own a brushed frame, you'll never want anything else. The brushed finish produces a soft, smooth silver finish (which I find much more attractive than bead blasted or polished, but chalk that up as personal opinion). It's very scratch-resistant, and minor abrasions are virtually invisible on the surface. If you do manage to scratch or otherwise mar the surface, a few passes with a ScotchBrite pad or 400 grit sandpaper restores the finish perfectly. This means that you should be able to keep your frame looking brand new literally forever!

  11. #11
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    Do not use caustic soda or caustic postash (lye) based paint stripper as they will dissolve the Al too. Be careful with non-lye strippers as they usually contain chlorinated solvents and may attack the glue used in the bond. You have a bad combination of materials and construction methods to remove paint from.

    Bare Al will corrode and get dull quickly if not painted, anodized or kept well waxed. BTW, Ti is vastly more corrosion resistant then Al and all Ti frames are welded so you can do things with them that you shouldn't even think about with Al.

  12. #12
    a77impala a77impala's Avatar
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    I stripped my '97 Trek 6000 and used steel wool to give it an overall satin finish. I just used regular paint remover, this is a bonded frame as well.
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    Treks, 79-710, 83-600, 85-420, 87-560, 90-930,92-970, 95-930, 96-930, 1220, LeMonds, 2000 Zurich, 05-Etape, 06-Versailles

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