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How to get that duralumin shine?

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How to get that duralumin shine?

Old 01-20-23, 11:36 AM
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ToniH. 
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How to get that duralumin shine?

Hi!

Iím updating an old french bike from the 60ís with some new parts that fit the overal esthetics but are bit too shiny. Like new fenders. I love the understated shine of old stronglight cranks and lefol fenders, but the new stuff is polished in to too bright to my taste. Any idea how to make new parts to look more like the vintage versions? Should I just go through them with fine sand paper?



Photo is from Kick My-Panís flickr. Just for example, the bike is not mine. https://www.flickr.com/photos/kickmypan/34908300995/in/photostream
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Old 01-20-23, 11:44 AM
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Is that a retro direct drive @TonyH ? I will use maroon Scotchbrite pads. But that may not be the exact finish that you are looking for. The other key element is oxidation which starts fast but then progresses more slowly over time.


Grey Scotchbite is a little finer and you won't see the scratches as much. Then some time to oxidize.

No, it is not a retro-direct drive because both chainrings would have chains on them and there is only a chain on the smaller chainring. Also there is a derailleur for the chainrings. But what is that chain on the left side of the bike? Is this ia tandem?

I looking forward to seeing more of the bike.

Last edited by Velo Mule; 01-20-23 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 01-20-23, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
Is that a retro direct drive @TonyH ? I will use maroon Scotchbrite pads. But that may not be the exact finish that you are looking for. The other key element is oxidation which starts fast but then progresses more slowly over time.


Grey Scotchbite is a little finer and you won't see the scratches as much. Then some time to oxidize.

No, it is not a retro-direct drive because both chainrings would have chains on them and there is only a chain on the smaller chainring. Also there is a derailleur for the chainrings. But what is that chain on the left side of the bike? Is this ia tandem?

I looking forward to seeing more of the bike.
Its a Herse tandem, but not mine. You can find more photos of it from flickr.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/kickmy...in/photostream


I try to post photos of my photos of my project next week. Thanks for your tips!
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Old 01-20-23, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ToniH. View Post
I try to post photos of my photos of my project next week. Thanks for your tips!
Please do! I have been looking around for the best way to do exactly this to some fenders that just don't match the rest of my Gitane and while there's lots of people saying "Do X" there aren't any before / after photos of people doing them.
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Old 01-20-23, 12:36 PM
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I'd start with a small bit of Mothers on the back of the crank before the use of any abrasives. (Yes, I know Mothers is technically an abrasive, but not nearly on the scale of sand paper or Scotch Brite).
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Old 01-20-23, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ToniH. View Post
I love the understated shine of old stronglight cranks and lefol fenders, but the new stuff is polished in to too bright to my taste.
I've always thought that the understated shine you refer to was how the nicely polished stuff looked after you were too lazy to polish it.

Anyway, try 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper to degloss. 0000 steel wool is worth a try as well.
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Old 01-20-23, 01:09 PM
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I'd start with auto cutting compound like Turtle Rubbing Compound.
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Old 01-20-23, 01:45 PM
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After I buff an old alloy part to a mirror polish, it doesn't look right on an old bike, so I knock back the shine with Aluminum Jelly. It's an acid that etches the aluminum, so there is some risk, don't leave it on too long, and make sure you rinse every bit of it off afterward. Here's a seatpost I did that to, after polishing out someone else's zigzag scratches:



Actually I ran out of Aluminum Jelly, and for a while it seemed to be off the market. So I bought this stuff called Alumanew Aluminum Brightener. It is more concentrated, probably too strong and should be diluted for use, because man does it work fast, under 5 seconds and a quick rinse to stop the reaction from going too far. Heavy rubber gloves, face shield, and don't get it on your skin or clothes.

You'd be better off just getting some Aluminum Jelly. Being jelly, it clings to the part, and works more slowly, doesn't instantly burn skin. (You still don't want it on you, it does burn, just more slowly.) Last time I reported (here, I think) that Aluminum Jelly was unavailable like taken off the market, someone posted links to where to buy it, so maybe it's back (or maybe I was just too lame at searching). Now I have a gallon of Alumanew, which might be a lifetime supply...

A high polish followed by a quick acid etch usually leaves the parts looking a bit better than new, but not too bright. It's a look I can live with.

Note, this will not work on anodized parts, or anything with a coating. I don't know if, say, Honjo fenders have any coating, never tried it.

Mark B
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Old 01-20-23, 01:49 PM
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Yellow scotchbrite (the smoothest) and Bleche-White wheel cleaner (strong acid) rinse quickly and often. Will shine with a "patine".
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Old 01-20-23, 05:14 PM
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Ditto on the ultra fine steel wool
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