cleaning old aluminium parts

Lots and lots of aluminum polish, an elecky screwdiver and one of they furry polishing cloths that attaches to a plastic disc.

Apparently when one polishes aluminum one is actually dragging alu molecules across the surface. This along with the fact that alu is so soft means that its crucial not to either push to hard with the polisher or run at high RPM. Hence lecky screwdriver rather than a proper man drill. Keep the pad wet and keep it moving all over the surface, if you leave it in one place youll leave a trough in the work piece.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
I'm watching this post with interest...got a few less than perfect looking bits to either replace or clean up on the Raleigh Clubman

Ive got a mental picture now of it all....thats 3 hours done with metal polish an a lecky screwdriver..only another 14 hours to go :becool::tongue::wacko:;)

Mickle, am i to assume you apply the polish to the cloth / pad, which is attached to a battery screwdriver.
At first i thought you meant an electricians screwdriver...i thought...'what' :smile: hows that going to work then :becool:
 

Elmer Fudd

Miserable Old Bar Steward
1)* Thoroughly degrease / wash.
2) Rub gently with a fine "scotchbrite" pad or very fine steel wool (aka carpentry work), this will give you the brushed steel look.
3) Polish as mickle said, keep the polishing mop constantly moving or you will end up with "scorch" marks / thin alloy.
4) Once polished you need to stop it from beginning to re-oxidise asap so you need to keep ya fingers off it (!!!) and a protective lacquer finish will be required.
* If you want the dull but clean look on an intricate shaped casting, get yourself some caustic soda (sink un-blocker) and add this to warm / hot water and drop your piece of alloy in that. Keep an eye on it though as the Caustic eats the alloy returning it to its natural form, Bauxite (mud !). Also it burns your skin as its a v. strong alkali.
 
gbb said:
I'm watching this post with interest...got a few less than perfect looking bits to either replace or clean up on the Raleigh Clubman

Ive got a mental picture now of it all....thats 3 hours done with metal polish an a lecky screwdriver..only another 14 hours to go :becool::tongue::wacko::smile:

Mickle, am i to assume you apply the polish to the cloth / pad, which is attached to a battery screwdriver.
At first i thought you meant an electricians screwdriver...i thought...'what' :becool: hows that going to work then :becool:
Sorry I should have been more specific, a sub 15v cordless drill. ;)
 

vbc

Guest
Location
Bristol
Yes, I agree with twowheelsgood that you'll be removing any protective treatment and leaving the parts open to corrosion if you use any kind of abrasive.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
papercorn2000 said:
If you have access to an Ultrasonic bath, don't let them know that you are using it!
:biggrin::evil:Dagnabit.....i brought the wife one the other week....:biggrin::tongue: but chose the smaller version...ive got visions of her coming in to see me with half a chainset hanging out of it, and a sheepish look on my face....errr, errrr, you'll laugh when i tell you darling :biggrin::biggrin:
 

LLB

Guest
For high polish finish, use Autosol, and buff with a cotton based cloth then re laquer.

Caustic soda is what the Aluminium Extruders use for dissolving the ally in the press tooling, needs to be warm, and is very very dangerous to be around
 

Elmer Fudd

Miserable Old Bar Steward
linfordlunchbox said:
For high polish finish, use Autosol, and buff with a cotton based cloth then re laquer.

Caustic soda is what the Aluminium Extruders use for dissolving the ally in the press tooling, needs to be warm, and is very very dangerous to be around
Had many a happy time doing a Linford sprint to the nearest tap to wash it off (using cold water only of course)
 
Top Bottom