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Anodized Aluminum - Good Result

Started by 90077merc, 03 October 2021, 10:51 PM

marku

The sandpaper method does work although it is hard work. When I refinished the doors I thought that I couldn't put the anodised trim back as it really was in a poor state badly scratched. Tried to get some of it done professionally but they would not take it on. So with a deep breath tried sandpaper starting with 60 grit. Hard to get the anodised layer of and to remove the scratches. Then worked all the way up to 2500g wet and then metal polishing cream. Finished off with a clear brass lacquer applied with a very fine varnish brush. Looks OK but it is as good as the effort put in and takes along time. 
450SE silver green/bamboo velour/green vinyl roof

john erbe

The guy up there in WA, MercedesSource, had a info video on this topic a few years back experimenting with various techniques.

rparker

Quote from: john erbe on 15 October 2021, 05:45 PM
The guy up there in WA, MercedesSource, had a info video on this topic a few years back experimenting with various techniques.

Yes, my understanding is that his method is using his customized magic paste which is designed to balance the removal of the anodization and shine the underlying aluminum. It'll work but you'll have to apply metal wax quite often to keep the shine up.

Cheers.

Ryan
77' W116 280S, 4-Speed Manual

Flogrates

Having spent a long time as a truck driver I've spent an equally long time polishing.

I don't think you'll ever get it out. But, starting at like 240grit working your way up to say 1200 then use a 1800rpm buffer should have it pretty shiney.

It's just incredibly time consuming. My last truck was a weekend job for the bull bar.

john erbe

If i recall the product he used was Wipe-On Poly by Minwax applied with a  sander. I applied with a coarse pad following with soft cloth. Did a good job getting out the cloudiness. You're in effect buffing out and applying a poly coating.

Eyeman

Glad I read this before I started messing with my trim while I'm doing a strip then repaint.  Most of my trim is in very good shape largely because the prior owner overpainted much of it in 80s AMG style.  I carefully stripped the overpaint off in the mid 90s and have kept the car covered since.  But I do have some scratches to tackle.

On home chroming/anodizing, etc, that seems very difficult IMO.  I had a dedicated oven back in the day for chrome powder coating.  Works pretty well, and is easy.  I have a 190SL that maybe I'll eventually restore.  If I do, I'll get me another oven.

rparker

Quote from: UTn_boy on 08 October 2021, 03:59 PM
Quote from: rparker on 07 October 2021, 06:44 PM
I base this on some posts I've read previous unfortunately can't remember where at the moment. I also have my brother's W126 which has been sitting in a basement almost all its life, barely driven that is almost a time capsule. The trim is immaculate and the finish is indeed a fine satin (not from going milky, because it is consistent throughout the trim and on all trim pieces) , but having said that it is very near mirror finish, but just not quite there.

Thank you for the information on the W111/112 coupes, again good knowledge to know as these become so incredibly priced lately.

You've spent a lot of time on me, and I appreciate that sincerely. But some photos to illustrate your point would be very much appreciated. I'd also try to look up the old posts that have led me to the conclusion to show them.
Cheers.I
Ryan

We can't use a 30+ year old car for comparison to how the trim looked when new.  The trim will loose luster over the years regardless of mileage.  It's more so a matter of time rather than miles or having been outside or not.  Factors that also influence this range from the trim's exposure to acid rain, salty air, damp basements/climates, what kind of soap is used to wash the car with, how abrasive the sponge or cleaning pad is, how abrasive the drying towel is,, etc.  You see where I'm going. 

In the pictures below I've displayed 4 pieces.  The top piece is a new old stock trunk handle for a W126.  The second piece down from the top is a lower trim piece from the rear glass from a W116 that has been clouded from being out in the elements 40+ years.  The third piece down from the top is a new old stock flag staff holder that is actual chromium plated, and is the piece being used for comparison.  The last piece, the piece on the bottom, is a new old stock W116 trim piece that goes around one of the door windows.   

In the last picture I show a close up of the new old stock anodized aluminum and an actual chromium plated piece. 

As you can see, the aluminum trim looks almost like a piece of chrome.  I hope this rids any and all ideals about the pieces having been satin or dull when new.

Thanks for the reference points especially the NOS rear boot lid for the W126 and the base of the flag pole for comparison. Most of the anodized trim on my brother's car if of the NOS standard. I do believe we are on the same page with regards to the fineries of the pieces however I'd like to clarify that when I say satin, its a bright satin just like what you have shown, far from matte. A mirror finish (to me) would be your flag pole base. The ultimate purpose of this differentiation is that I want to try get the trim of the W116 mirror finish. It's my Everest however difficult it maybe.

FYI, did you know that Rolls Royce Phantom door handles are aluminum and chrome plated, probably used some new technology to bond the two metals in a buffer of copper and nickel. Something worth researching for me.

Cheers.

Ryan
77' W116 280S, 4-Speed Manual

UTn_boy

Quote from: rparker on 25 November 2021, 05:37 AM
Quote from: UTn_boy on 08 October 2021, 03:59 PM
Quote from: rparker on 07 October 2021, 06:44 PM
I base this on some posts I've read previous unfortunately can't remember where at the moment. I also have my brother's W126 which has been sitting in a basement almost all its life, barely driven that is almost a time capsule. The trim is immaculate and the finish is indeed a fine satin (not from going milky, because it is consistent throughout the trim and on all trim pieces) , but having said that it is very near mirror finish, but just not quite there.

Thank you for the information on the W111/112 coupes, again good knowledge to know as these become so incredibly priced lately.

You've spent a lot of time on me, and I appreciate that sincerely. But some photos to illustrate your point would be very much appreciated. I'd also try to look up the old posts that have led me to the conclusion to show them.
Cheers.I
Ryan

We can't use a 30+ year old car for comparison to how the trim looked when new.  The trim will loose luster over the years regardless of mileage.  It's more so a matter of time rather than miles or having been outside or not.  Factors that also influence this range from the trim's exposure to acid rain, salty air, damp basements/climates, what kind of soap is used to wash the car with, how abrasive the sponge or cleaning pad is, how abrasive the drying towel is,, etc.  You see where I'm going. 

In the pictures below I've displayed 4 pieces.  The top piece is a new old stock trunk handle for a W126.  The second piece down from the top is a lower trim piece from the rear glass from a W116 that has been clouded from being out in the elements 40+ years.  The third piece down from the top is a new old stock flag staff holder that is actual chromium plated, and is the piece being used for comparison.  The last piece, the piece on the bottom, is a new old stock W116 trim piece that goes around one of the door windows.   

In the last picture I show a close up of the new old stock anodized aluminum and an actual chromium plated piece. 

As you can see, the aluminum trim looks almost like a piece of chrome.  I hope this rids any and all ideals about the pieces having been satin or dull when new.

Thanks for the reference points especially the NOS rear boot lid for the W126 and the base of the flag pole for comparison. Most of the anodized trim on my brother's car if of the NOS standard. I do believe we are on the same page with regards to the fineries of the pieces however I'd like to clarify that when I say satin, its a bright satin just like what you have shown, far from matte. A mirror finish (to me) would be your flag pole base. The ultimate purpose of this differentiation is that I want to try get the trim of the W116 mirror finish. It's my Everest however difficult it maybe.

FYI, did you know that Rolls Royce Phantom door handles are aluminum and chrome plated, probably used some new technology to bond the two metals in a buffer of copper and nickel. Something worth researching for me.

Cheers.

Ryan

Be that as it may, I still don't think it's a good idea to chrome plate aluminum, especially the trim on a W116.  It'll cause fitment issues due to the extra thickness. 
1966 250se coupe`, black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3, papyrus white/dark red leather
1971 280sel Black/black leather
1973 300sel 4.5, silver blue metallic/blue leather
1979 450sel 516 red/bamboo

floyd111

Well, I would think that if he's able to increase things to a point of no fitment, that would be a fantastic thing. I had aluminum shock absorber parts sent for chrome coating to various large specialists in Taiwan, and as per their honest warning, the best job available was a thin layer that looked excellent but was very sensitive to scratches. There are thus clear limits to that process.
It also brought out surface imperfections in the otherwise perfectly CNC-ed and forged parts that had been previously hidden.
The advice I got, and already knew, was that a hard-anodizing of aluminum is more durable than the process where you add chrome to aluminum.
The sheen is also very different. Not just different from the original trim, but also different from the old-skool chrome parts since the chemistry has changed over the years, and sharp eyes can see the difference.
After that tryout, I have made full circle. When the time comes I will send my trim to the anodize factory.

rparker

Ok, update after many months, finally found a method to shine the aluminum to a mirror finish with the bench polisher. The trick is the use of the right wheel to remove the anodized aluminum and fine polishing it with platinum rouge after the anodized aluminum is removed. With the right wheel, it is more akin to pulling off the anodized aluminum rather than polishing it off.

I've made a video that I've attached, but at the first half the phone is focusing wrongly thus making the piece look a bit blur. I found out that Apple phones will focus on eyes, so at the end I had to open them up wide for you to see the reflective properties as you can see the sharpness of the shine. The piece you are looking at is the bottom of the W126 boot handle which naturally has a small lip, thus the distorted image.

I'll head down to the shop tomorrow to get the names of the items used for everyone's benefit.

Cheers.

Ryan

77' W116 280S, 4-Speed Manual

rparker

To remove the anodized hard shell:

https://shopee.com.my/XO-6''X1''-NON-WOVEN-MOP-WHEEL-(GRREN-RED)-A024-GREEN-RED-i.324438448.8942236517
using the red mop (320 grit), I used the red one, no idea what the green one is good for. I assume these are just copies of 3M products. There is a technique to this, once the mop start spitting out anodized aluminum, keep going as its much easier to pull it off with "one stroke" rather than little "shy" attempts.

For shine used Dialux White:

https://www.amazon.com/White-Dialux-Jewelers-Polishing-Compound/dp/B00CGMC6UC/ref=sr_1_3?crid=2KRZKKLMPR5DH&keywords=dialux+polishing+compound+white&qid=1649417876&sprefix=dialux+polishing+compound+white%2Caps%2C289&sr=8-3

However got the same result from cheaper Chinese products, namely the Green 1/2 kg polishing compound:

https://shopee.com.my/(-Grade-AA-)-500g-Polishing-Paste-Wax-Compound-GREEN-WHITE-BATU-POLISH-WAX-HIJAU-PUTIH-%E6%8A%9B%E5%85%89%E8%9C%A1-~Haha-Home-Hardware~-i.48555385.2344508427?sp_atk=d6be0e8c-6477-4d73-949e-c24df6187c17

All done on a regular 1,800rpm bench grinder turned into a polisher.

Cheers.

Ryan
77' W116 280S, 4-Speed Manual

tcj

fine.
And how do you want to continue?
if you stop now it will soon look weathered again after installation.
Regards,
Thomas
112.021
116.028
116.036

rumb

Looking around this may be similar wheel? It is 320g and I think yours is also.

Thanks for this info.  I have tried many different wheels and polishes and not yet found a satisfactory one.  I have orders some of this polish, and wheel and will try as soon as it arrives.

https://www.amazon.com/Metal-polishing-wheel-abrasive-Abrasive/dp/B07FPQNNQ4/ref=sr_1_34?crid=2TEEEEH85WGCN&keywords=3m+6%22x1%22+buffing+wheel&qid=1649445655&sprefix=3m+6%27%27x1%27%27+buffing+wheel%2Caps%2C115&sr=8-34


For bright dip anodize I have found a few companies in USA, There is one is Salt Lake UT I plan on using.

http://www.qualityplating.com

'68 250S
'77 6.9 Euro
'91 300SE,
'98 SL500
'14 CLS550,
'16 AMG GTS

rparker

Quote from: tcj on 08 April 2022, 09:30 AMfine.
And how do you want to continue?
if you stop now it will soon look weathered again after installation.
Regards,
Thomas

I'll report back in 3-6 months, installed on the car about a week ago and holding its shine nicely against the wind and rain so far. Re-polishing it will be a easy job as any trucker can tell you.

Cheers.
77' W116 280S, 4-Speed Manual

rparker

Quote from: rumb on 08 April 2022, 06:55 PMLooking around this may be similar wheel? It is 320g and I think yours is also.

Thanks for this info.  I have tried many different wheels and polishes and not yet found a satisfactory one.  I have orders some of this polish, and wheel and will try as soon as it arrives.

https://www.amazon.com/Metal-polishing-wheel-abrasive-Abrasive/dp/B07FPQNNQ4/ref=sr_1_34?crid=2TEEEEH85WGCN&keywords=3m+6%22x1%22+buffing+wheel&qid=1649445655&sprefix=3m+6%27%27x1%27%27+buffing+wheel%2Caps%2C115&sr=8-34


For bright dip anodize I have found a few companies in USA, There is one is Salt Lake UT I plan on using.

http://www.qualityplating.com



Hah, you're right...its 320 GRAMS. Went down to the shed and weighted it, however it does say on the Amazon one that you've sent over that it is "Grit: 320#", so a bit confusing or some weird coincidence. Anyway, my pack comes with a green one which is useless, doesn't scrub down anything and just leaves pools of plastic from the heat that it makes. Other than that, that's all the info I can give you.

I practiced on a few junk parts from my old mechanic which have a few rotting cars which I asked for the ugliest pieces to try. I started with the front grill bars, which have also come out great.

Cheers.

Ryan
77' W116 280S, 4-Speed Manual