Alloy polishing guide

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  • I just found this tutorial on how to get dull/old alloy to shine like a mirror.
    Thought some people on here might find it useful.

    http://www.clubpolo.co.uk/forum/index.ph­p?showtopic=85674

  • Jol did another good one in the bikeforums.net fixed gear resources thread too.

  • I just found this tutorial on how to get dull/old alloy to shine like a mirror.
    Thought some people on here might find it useful.

    http://www.clubpolo.co.uk/forum/index.ph­p?showtopic=85674

    I read a good article on the net about home anodising, although it envolves some nasty chemicals it seemed rather straight foward. Would be class to get the colours you want on what you want.

  • If you fancy shining up a set of rims maybe a variation on this method would work...

    http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id­=3680224

  • im doing my old campag cranks right now, looking good

  • im doing my old campag cranks right now, looking good

    Any one got any good photos of stuff they've polished up?

  • Got a tasty Campag Ti post that l been trying to buff with carbody cleaner to no avail.
    Lots of info on stripping and polishing anodised aluminum but what about Ti??

  • Ti is harder than steel, expensive tools are ruined on Ti frames - I dont think youll have much luck polishing your post unless you take it to a professional/invest in highly corrosive substances.

  • What is the finish on the seatpost now?
    If polished, then brasso / autosol will bring it up.
    If brushed finish then it will be a LOT of work to manually polish it, I would use a green scotchbrite pad and restore the finish it came with.


  • Sanding sponges are great on alloy seatposts, giving a fine brushed finish and they cost about 50 pence.

    Just tried one on a Ti stem with good results.

  • its a Chorus pin and has a brushed finish. The marks seem like some kind of chemical reaction rather than surface scuffs. Might have a go with a scotchbrite on small base section but brickin it. would a pic help? The marks are just above the clamp o/w l'd fit and ride.

  • Just tried one on a Ti stem with good results.

    Any chance of a pic? Cheers

  • One manufacturer (litespeed?) recommends green scotchbrite to maintain the brushed finish on their Ti frames.
    Use the pad in the direction of the brush-marks (I assume radially)


  • Sanding sponges are great on alloy seatposts, giving a fine brushed finish and they cost about 50 pence.

    Just tried one on a Ti stem with good results.

    dont believe him!

  • Did this a while ago but never posted since the photos are great.

    Click to Enlarge

    Campag alloy non-anodized seatpost with normal scratching below line and overall dull finish.


    The only tool you really need. Fine grit sanding sponge.


    Wrap the post with the sponge in one hand and twist it with the other.


    5 minutes later the seatpost looks better and is more valuable.

    I spent more time on this one and all the scratches were removed or considerably reduced.

    Titanium is harder so it may take longer to get the desired look.

    I'll post photos of my stem tomorrow.

  • I've got a brand new bench grinder.

    Must be a wheel/paste for the task, but I honestly have no idea.

    Welcome to borrow it in exchange for moving it from Old Kent Rd to Archway, via your own location.

  • Check with a jewelry repair supply house, look for something called 'Greystar' Its a compound used to charge large or small muslin buffs. I use the stuff at work for polishing gold, silver, platinum, stainless steel and even Ti when the need arises. http://www.progresstool.com/pd-grey.cfm You will need some sort of mechanical device that will drive a buff of some sort but if you have access to a bench grinder you can mount a buff like this on it and have at it. Note the size of hole in the buff and motor spindle size when shopping to get the proper fit. http://www.progresstool.com/pd-stitched-­muslin-buff-with-shellac-center---6-x-80­-ply.cfm That site has other buffs that can be mounted in smaller rotary devices like Dremels and the like if you choose to go that route. Just charge the buff with the Greystar often and you will end up with a highly polished item. BTW, this is a dirty job so try to do it outside or somewhere a fair quantity of black dust would be tolerated. If you go with the smaller buffs in a Dremel like device you will find this setup can also be used to polish rims, spokes (if they are stainless) cage screws, stainless cogs and lockrings and all sorts of other bike parts.

  • I've got a brand new bench grinder.

    Must be a wheel/paste for the task, but I honestly have no idea.

    Welcome to borrow it in exchange for moving it from Old Kent Rd to Archway, via your own location.

    Perfect, use the Greystar!

  • Phwoar... nice work! And after only 5mins scrubbing. l'm very intrigued to see how your Ti stem worked out!

    I'm trying to clear up bout 1.5" of marks:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3374/3411­888400_a3274f5ab5_o.jpg
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3635/3411­080159_30cdc18dbf_o.jpg

    Cheers for the offer Kowalski but l'm in MCR.

    Thanks for the links AuDoc. That Greystar stuff is American and l couldn't find it in the UK. I'll pop into a jewelers and ask.

  • If you cant find Greystar locally use the generic name "Tripoli" in your searches...... Should be able to find polishing compounds of all grits in a hardware store as well.

  • Here is an example of brakes I used polishing compound to polish. Granted it is aluminum but the same result can be had with stainless or Ti. http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3409/3412­090690_6af170df4a_m.jpg Took longer to disassemble and reassemble them than it did to polish, also was easy to remove deep scratches and casting blemishes as well. http://www.flickr.com/photos/37073270@N0­6/with/3411283385/

  • AuDoc,
    Fantastic info. cheers. The range of choice, cut and gloss factors is a bit worrying. Had a browse and decided to go for this:
    http://www.thepolishingshop.co.uk/acatal­og/menzerna.html
    1/3 way down - Menzerna 439T Green Compound 1.15kg bar

    I would like to retain the brushed finish as much as l can. Would this be a good choice over the Tripoli?

  • Green will work well but grey will be faster with Ti. No worries though green will be more versatile and can be used for other metals for when the polishing bug bites you. Good choice.

    If you want to retain a little brushed finish just don't exert as much pressure on the buff as you would if you are going for a high polish. I suspect you will have better results if you first go for the high polish.
    If you have long scratches, polish at a 90 degree angle to them and they will smooth right out.

    After everything is smooth and uniform add your brush finish with strips of fine sandpaper or scotchbrite. I think the brush finish looks better if whats under it is uniform to start with.

    BTW, the green compound on a soft buff can be used to polish out abrasions on carbon gelcoat as well with a very light touch paying close attention to not letting the carbon part heat up in the slightest. I did this on a second hand carbon seatpost myself that was used by a shorter leged person than I. I am certain however that some waranty personage somewhere would be wagging a finger at me if they knew, so I accept no responsibilities if you attempt to polish carbon yourself.

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Alloy polishing guide

Posted by Avatar for brain-flick @brain-flick

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