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Discussion Forum

Dull Aluminum

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Daniel M.

02-05-2001 21:12:37

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What can I use, besides a sand blaster, to shine up some cast aluminum? I would prefer to soak rather than using elbow grease(does that make me lazy?) I have a fuel pump & a oil filter mount off of a F-14 that I want to spruce up before installing. Thanks for any info. Daniel M.

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Mike K

02-06-2001 20:58:07

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 Re: Dull Aluminum in reply to Daniel M., 02-05-2001 21:12:37  
Dan,The people who make Naval Jelly make a product called Aluminum Jelly,it works great if you`re looking for the look of new sand cast aluminum.Used it years ago on Harley engine cases with excellent results......Mike

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02-06-2001 16:02:18

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 Re: Dull Aluminum in reply to Daniel M., 02-05-2001 21:12:37  
I think the key word in your post is "cast". Cast aluminum won't "polish" as such but it will "clean up" . I would use some tripoli compound on a muslin cloth wheel. Easiest to use on a bench grinder if the parts are not to big , but could be used in a hand drill. De-grease before buffing. Hey nothing wrong w/ being a bit lazy, if hard work was the key to riches , bricklayers would be the richest guys on earth. Don't work hard -- work smart.

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02-06-2001 13:11:33

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 Re: Dull Aluminum in reply to Daniel M., 02-05-2001 21:12:37  
Mothers Aluminum Polish or Simi-chrome,available at motorcycle shops do a great job,leave an almost chrome finish.Flitz metal polish works good too.Believe Mothers contains/leaves a protective coating too,but not positive.

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02-07-2001 11:46:16

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 Re: Re: Dull Aluminum in reply to JoeK, 02-06-2001 13:11:33  
I've used these too, and they worked great. On the cast stuff, don't expect a mirror like finish...

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02-06-2001 13:06:42

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 Re: Dull Aluminum in reply to Daniel M., 02-05-2001 21:12:37  
I took some dull aluminum to a local truck wash.
They wash aluminum trailers with some kind of acid.Parts looked like new,shinned like chrome,
wasn't charged anything.

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02-06-2001 16:51:33

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 Re: Re: Dull Aluminum in reply to RayE, 02-06-2001 13:06:42  
Yup, the acid takes off the top layer of oxidation. It will eventually go dull again, though. But I agree, it sure does look nice!

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David A

02-06-2001 07:18:19

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 Re: Dull Aluminum in reply to Daniel M., 02-05-2001 21:12:37  
I use Brasso even though the can says not to use it on aluminum. (It's corrosive if left on there). It's a good polishing abrasive. SemiChrome polish or silver polish would also work.

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02-06-2001 06:32:50

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 Re: Dull Aluminum in reply to Daniel M., 02-05-2001 21:12:37  
Unless you coat it with something, the aluminum will eventually go back to its dull color(provided that the aluminum is not 96%-100% pure). The dull color is due to exposure to the air(its a form of oxidation), and it actually serves to protect the aluminum. Just a thought.

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02-05-2001 22:01:55

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 Re: Dull Aluminum in reply to Daniel M., 02-05-2001 21:12:37  
How 'bout an air powered die grinder with a fine brass wire head? A Dremel tool with polishing wheels would finish the job like chrome!

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02-06-2001 04:03:00

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 Re: Re: Dull Aluminum in reply to MoosieDog, 02-05-2001 22:01:55  
I have had good luck shining aluminum with fine steel wool. I know, elbow grease, but it does work. I work in the kitchen sink, with 000 or 0000 steel wool, scouring powder, and dish soap to keep it wet. Messy, and your hands will end up BLACK, but effective. You would want to use some form of motorized grinder or sander to get it as smooth as you can, then finish it with the steel wool.

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