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What is the best method of removing scratches & tiny gouges on aluminum alloy rims?

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What is the best method of removing scratches & tiny gouges on aluminum alloy rims?

Old 07-30-12, 03:44 PM
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rsg
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What is the best method of removing scratches & tiny gouges on aluminum alloy rims?

I have a set of ARAYA 27" aluminum alloy rims that need the rim surface & the inside bead smoothened out. I found these scratches & gouges after cleaning the old rubber & aluminum oxide off the rim surface with some Cameo Aluminum kitchen cleanser. There has been several tips & methods I have found on the web & this site but not sure which one method works the best for my application.

I have seen where rims have been turned in a lathe like process by hand using a piece of slate to give the aluminum rims to a 400 grit finish.

I have seen the #000 steel wool, metal sandpaper 200 to 1000 grit or metal finishing pad method for spot smooothening.

I have seen where scratches are filled in with filler then sanded smooth then polished to shine.

Which of these or any additional methods would work best for my application?

I like the lathe technique but would like to know if there is a more automated way of performing this process instead of by hand??

This is the manual lathe technique I found that did interest me?

https://www.instructables.com/id/bike...cing/?ALLSTEPS

My rims are heavily scratched & there are gouges on the inside of the rim bead, more on the back than the front. The front is only scratched in two places but are very deep. Was thinking to just have that lathe turned as well so the surface stays even & doesn't warp instead of just using the spot method.

Has anyone tried the filler method? Is this method more necessary for bigger areas of scratches/gouges? How does the result turn out? Is it better to go this route if you don't want to aluminum anodizing removed.

If the anodizing becomes removed can the aluminum rims be re-anodized?

Your thoughts & reply on this, thanks you for your time in reading.
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Old 07-31-12, 05:29 AM
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I think you may be better off finding a pair of NOS rims. It's probably going to be pretty time consuming to get yours back in shape, and you might not be pleased with the results of your hard work. I'm facing a similar dilemma with my classic Ritchey MTB. The rims are just too well-used to bring back.
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Old 07-31-12, 02:16 PM
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And be faced with the same problem as I got now?? Not a chance!

My rims do have smaller scratches too that simply can be buffed out, but I would like to have the rims turned if possible, so that the thickness of the rim remains intact & the same all around the brake surface.

I got a good feeling these can be restored to like new condition. This is the 1st time since 1983 that these rims were taken off the bike. The bike was not driven too hard & was seldomly used.
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Old 07-31-12, 03:05 PM
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A file and course sandpaper has always worked for me.
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Old 07-31-12, 03:16 PM
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If you've taken the wheel apart get a sisal wheel for a drill, it might knock back a lot of the scratches to an acceptable level. I put the drill in a bench vice since I didnt' have a bench grinder at the time.
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Old 07-31-12, 05:01 PM
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Are you asking about refinishing the brake surface or the non-brake surface of the rim? What is the "inside of the rim bead" you are referring to?

No one offers a service for "turning rims" because it makes no sense to go that route when perfectly good replacement rims can be had.

If the bike was not "driven too hard & was seldomly used", why are the rims in such bad shape? Assuming we are talking about the brake surface.

What kind of filler can be applied to aluminum and then polished to look just like polished aluminum? Polishing the brake surface to a "shine" will reduce braking performance.

Reanodizing the rims is possible but will probably cost more money than sourcing replacement rims. And if braking performance is your concern then reanodizing will only reduce braking performance.

Pictures would help.
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Old 07-31-12, 05:07 PM
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I would treat them like any other alloy part and use Keith's polishing technique: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...lishing-Thread

That's what I did when had to take a lot of scratches/gouges out of an Araya rim not too long ago (after running through a storm grate):

Before:


After
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Old 07-31-12, 05:26 PM
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A piece of slate! Seriously?
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Old 07-31-12, 07:24 PM
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I have used normal wet sanding techniques for aluminum rims to cleanup gouged and scratch braking services and to clean up corrosion on the internal rim surface. I finish up with basic aluminum polishing techniques (various buffing wheels with various compounds) on the internal surfaces. I usually do not heavily polish the braking surfaces. I don't have any before or after pics but I have turned horrible looking rims into some pretty nice looking and functional pieces. I am talking about unanodized rims here. I imagine you could remove anodizing like you can on any other aluminum but I have never tried that.
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Old 08-01-12, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
I would treat them like any other alloy part and use Keith's polishing technique: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...lishing-Thread

That's what I did when had to take a lot of scratches/gouges out of an Araya rim not too long ago (after running through a storm grate):

Before:


After

This is similar to the condition I got now. There was so much rubbed off aluminum & rubber I found the scratches after the rim was cleaned!

Will get pictures on here soon so all of us can talk more sensibly.
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Old 08-01-12, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
A piece of slate! Seriously?

That did interest me, never head of that technique, but it kinda does make sense??
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Old 08-01-12, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
If you've taken the wheel apart get a sisal wheel for a drill, it might knock back a lot of the scratches to an acceptable level. I put the drill in a bench vice since I didnt' have a bench grinder at the time.

Wheel is not apart at all, still all in one unit! Tires have been removed.
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Old 08-01-12, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by shnibop View Post
Are you asking about refinishing the brake surface or the non-brake surface of the rim? What is the "inside of the rim bead" you are referring to?

No one offers a service for "turning rims" because it makes no sense to go that route when perfectly good replacement rims can be had.

"If the bike was not "driven too hard & was seldomly used", why are the rims in such bad shape? Assuming we are talking about the brake surface".

"We are talking about the brake surface".

What kind of filler can be applied to aluminum and then polished to look just like polished aluminum? Polishing the brake surface to a "shine" will reduce braking performance.

Reanodizing the rims is possible but will probably cost more money than sourcing replacement rims. And if braking performance is your concern then reanodizing will only reduce braking performance.

Pictures would help.

If the bike was not "driven too hard & was seldomly used", why are the rims in such bad shape? Assuming we are talking about the brake surface.

"We are talking about the brake surface".


No one offers a service for "turning rims" because it makes no sense to go that route when perfectly good replacement rims can be had.

"The idea of turning the rims is so all of the braking surface area & the rim thickness itself is the same instead of wearing out one portion if it or causing them to warp."


"What kind of filler can be applied to aluminum and then polished to look just like polished aluminum? Polishing the brake surface to a "shine" will reduce braking performance".


"I brought this method up after seeing filler be applied to aluminum alloy car rims & wonder if the same could hold true for bike rims as well????"


What is the "inside of the rim bead" you are referring to?


"Where the actual metal wire tire bead of the tire rests on the bead of the rim. Got some gouges there, not big, but rough enough to cut down a tire."
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