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Polishing Ti

Old 03-26-09, 03:15 PM
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55/Rad
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Polishing Ti

Can someone take me through the steps - or point me to a good site - for polishing a Ti frame? I'm talking about taking it to a mirror like finish.

Muchas gracias....

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Old 03-26-09, 03:18 PM
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I've heard cleaner for smooth surface oven tops works wonders. But whether it polishes or not, I don't know.
-Gene-
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Old 03-26-09, 03:21 PM
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Brasso would work. Test it on a spot and see if you like the results.
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Old 03-26-09, 04:13 PM
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Call a local automotive paint supply (for dealerships). They can tell/show you what you need. 3M has many products to do what you want. Maybe Google PPG for your area too.
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Old 03-26-09, 04:36 PM
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It sounds very labor intensive. Lynskey lists it as an option for its titanium frames. A very expensive option-$1999 for a full polish. It looks incredible though!

http://www.lynskeyperformance.com/a/...l-titanium.php
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Old 03-26-09, 04:50 PM
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Ray writes about polishing aluminum, maybe it will help,

http://www.raydobbins.com/polishing/



Caswell has a good bit about polishing,

http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/buffman.htm
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Old 03-26-09, 04:52 PM
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Perhaps even try your local golf equipment retailer, I'm sure they could give you a number of some of the suppliers, and you could find out what they do to polish the Ti driver heads.
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Old 03-26-09, 04:58 PM
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unless the frame was once polished, or very close to it, this will involve very fine abrasives and lots of elbow grease. get some automotive wet/dry abrasive paper, a slow stream of water and have at it. Start at 6 or 800, and after you reach 2000 grit get a polisher and some polishing then buffing compound. take your time. its not rocket science at all, just takes work, there are no short cuts really. Ti is tougher than aluminum and so will take longer. If you're serious I'd try and get a short piece of ti tubing from the framebuilders forum and practice/experiment on that first.

have fun!
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Old 03-26-09, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad View Post
Can someone take me through the steps - or point me to a good site - for polishing a Ti frame? I'm talking about taking it to a mirror like finish.

Muchas gracias....

55/Rad
Does this mean the Tete has arrived?
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Old 03-26-09, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Revtor View Post
If you're serious I'd try and get a short piece of ti tubing from the framebuilders forum and practice/experiment on that first.
I agree . . . haste makes waste.
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Old 03-26-09, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt Gaunt View Post
Does this mean the Tete has arrived?
No...I have a Litespeed I'm restoring for a friend.

Tete is....I don't know where the Tete is.

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Old 03-26-09, 05:45 PM
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I think that I would have a natural aptitude for polishing pipes.
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Old 03-26-09, 05:47 PM
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I use aluminum / mag wheel polish and it works well. It takes a long time by hand. I would recommend some electric motor assistance.
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Old 03-26-09, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jamiewilson3 View Post
I would recommend some electric motor assistance.

Were you talking to me???
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Old 03-26-09, 05:52 PM
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I'm ready for these pics!
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Old 03-26-09, 05:57 PM
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If it already has a brushed finish you have a long way to go to high polish.
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Old 03-26-09, 06:00 PM
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i was once a tool and die maker, i have polished titanium once before, im pretty sure you dont want a mirror finish my friend. With a true mirror you will notice every scratch. how rought would you say the finish is right now? can you feel it with your fingernail?
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Old 03-26-09, 06:15 PM
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diamond polishing compound and alot of free time. Make scratches into smaller scratches, then repeat
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Old 03-26-09, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by wayman View Post
i was once a tool and die maker, i have polished titanium once before, im pretty sure you dont want a mirror finish my friend. With a true mirror you will notice every scratch. how rought would you say the finish is right now? can you feel it with your fingernail?
Okay...I'm revising my goal. "Mirror" was an overstatement and certainly more work than I want to take on for this project.

The frame is brushed and clean. I just want it to shine a bit more.

Thanks for the responses.

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Old 03-26-09, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad View Post
No...I have a Litespeed I'm restoring for a friend.

Tete is....I don't know where the Tete is.

55/Rad
Is it a bike with a brush finish now? Ti is very abrasion resistent. It is a huge amount of work. Basically you go down in steps of different fine grits until you are almost mirror. Using fine grit huge belt sanders it will be a lot of work. You would need to finish with a powerful bufffing wheel. Are you just repairing a small area to original full polish, or just returning to original brush finish, or hoping to do a whole bike? All very different things. It's like polishing hardened steel only more work. Know any custom knifemakers, gunsmiths, or toolmakers? Have them show you if possible.
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Old 03-26-09, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad View Post
Okay...I'm revising my goal. "Mirror" was an overstatement and certainly more work than I want to take on for this project.

The frame is brushed and clean. I just want it to shine a bit more.

Thanks for the responses.

55/Rad
I missed this response the first time. Pledge furniture polish is the best. You can't change it much, not at all like aluminum or steel. That's one reason it is used inside the body. It really does not tarnish.
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Old 03-26-09, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluechip View Post
It sounds very labor intensive. Lynskey lists it as an option for its titanium frames. A very expensive option-$1999 for a full polish. [/url]
For that kind of money you can get a stainless frame.
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Old 03-26-09, 06:52 PM
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Could try something like this

I use it on my aluminum (race) motorcycle frames.

Remember, once you start, you have to do the whole frame.
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Old 03-26-09, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluechip View Post
It sounds very labor intensive. Lynskey lists it as an option for its titanium frames. A very expensive option-$1999 for a full polish. It looks incredible though!

http://www.lynskeyperformance.com/a/...l-titanium.php
Man, that's cool. If I ever demote the Merlin to my "B" frame, I'm definitely gonna polish it.

Found this on the web; the description includes titanium:

http://www.watchpolishing.com/polish1.htm

They sell polishing wheels, so you could use your Dremel to speed the whole thing up.

Also found this re polishing Ti wedding rings:

"Q: Can I polish my titanium ring myself?
A: Yes. There are many polishes on the market for stainless steels in either liquid or waxy form that work well on titanium. These can be found in the automotive departments of many chain stores. They can be worked by hand with a cloth, or to speed things up, you can use a Dremel tool with a cotton polishing buff. Just apply the polish to the buff and go to it. If there are heavier scratches, it might take a light sanding with super fine wet sanding paper like 600 grit. For Brushed finishes, all that's necessary is to buff along the grain lines with a ScotchBrite pad. These are the scruffy pads used for pots and pans. This will bring the ring to as new condition any time. Also, don't forget my lifetime refinishing policy, where I'll do it any time you want as well."
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Old 03-26-09, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SpongeDad View Post
If I ever demote the Merlin to my "B" frame, I'm definitely gonna polish it.
Interestingly enough, I stripped and polished my Merlin Extralight a few years ago. It took several tubes of a metal polish called Autosol, many pieces of thin rags, and about 3 weeks of consistent effort. I didn't use any electric tools, and just relied on elbow grease and a lot of patience. In the end, my hands were blackened, my arms were tired, but the frame was dazzling. The main tubes were fairly easy to get shiny and the pain points were around the bridges where there wasn't a lot of space to maneuver.

Once the frame achieved the same level of polish as a factory Litespeed, I applied a set of Fondriest pro/sponsored/unobtainium Ti frame decals that a friend kindly provided. Only a knowledgeable eye can discern that my bike isn't one of the super-rare Fondriest Ti but "merely" a Merlin Extralight.

Attached is a picture of the seat cluster of the frame. It's actually a few years after the polish job when this picture was taken but it still gleams. Unfortunately, the top tube is reflecting the featureless ceiling of the carport so it's rather hard to judge the luster. And yes, the pundits are correct - a polished Ti bike is a pain to keep looking good because everything (fingerprints, sprinkles of water, dust, dirt) shows up very easily.
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