Image Map Image Map
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Aluminum restoration

  1. #1

    Default Aluminum restoration

    In short... tips for restoring the finish of aluminum components in vintage computers? Examples would include the case frame, expansion slot covers, drive bay adapters, and even screws. While I do not understand the full spectrum of metallurgical principles involved, I would like to focus this discussion on surface oxidation of otherwise factory surfaces as a function of long environmental exposure. I have enough examples ofextended exposure to spilled soda to understand that those situations will require a different approach.

  2. #2

    Default

    I can help you with this question.

    I have restored many items made of aluminium. For example it was interesting that in the UK, most of the chassis assemblies on vintage TV's tended to be Aluminium, versus in Steel in the USA. So on many an occasion I had been confronted with horribly corroded aluminum surfaces in UK made vintage TV's. Have a look at the post restoration photo, you will have to scroll to at least page 32 to see the restored aluminium chassis:

    http://worldphaco.com/uploads/BUSH_TV22.pdf

    But if you look at a typical pre-restoration chassis of this sort, you can see what the aluminium looks like here with bad corrosion and a pitted surface:

    http://www.radiocraft.co.uk/902.htm

    The way I was able to get the aluminium back to a good finish was to use 1200 then 2000 grade paper, followed by the amazing aluminum polish made by 3M:


    https://www.amazon.com/3M-Marine-Alu.../dp/B000RZPNNW


    After you have polished the surface, to get a less bright surface, if you want, you can wash the aluminium in a typical bathroom sink with about 4 tablespoons full of laundry powder, this alkaline solution fractionally etches the surface, this also eliminates the grey-black polishing residue.

    One really amusing thing that attracted me to the 3M polish, on the fine print on the label it said something like "3M will not be responsible for any damaged caused by this polish, regardless of any theory put forward by a Lawyer" As soon as I read that I was sold.

    It is interesting that global "class action litigation funders" are trying to capitalize on the corona virus crisis by encouraging class action litigation against companies that have had to lay workers off. In Australia, these class action litigation enthusiasts and the lawyers involved (supporting) them are quite rightly being defined as "Locusts" in the media. One good thing that might come out of it is they might be shut down by the government and then hard working people and companies trying to provide products might have a lot less trouble from these parasites, who just want to take from the world and give nothing constructive back. Certainly 3M must have had trouble with litigation over their Aluminium polish, or there would not have been such a remark on the label. Still, it might be beaten by a sweater my wife has that has a label on it that says "do not iron the sweater while wearing".
    Last edited by Hugo Holden; May 8th, 2020 at 01:35 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    34,340
    Blog Entries
    18

    Default

    A faster way is to polish the aluminum with a very fine abrasive, such as silica ("white rouge") if you have a power buffer. Results in a very uniform finish.

    For the dull anodized-looking finish, I've used trisodium phosphate in hot water. Lye will also work.

    If it's colored anodizing, vendors like Caswell Plating sell anodizing kits that work quite well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SE MI
    Posts
    4,725
    Blog Entries
    6

    Default

    Also NEVR-DULL (impregnated wadding). Find it a Auto Zone, Walmart, etc.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    34,340
    Blog Entries
    18

    Default

    Anodizing is touchy, nasty chemical stuff (e.g. sufuric acid, etc.) Probably not something to do if you've got kids around.

    However, if you need to impart color to the aluminium, there are other alternatives. I've heard that KG Gunkote works well on aluminum. Leave it to the bullet crowd to come up with a solution...

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •