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Anodized Aluminum - Good Result

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90077merc:
Tonight I attempted my first anodized aluminum trim restoration. I used a dual action polisher with a microfiber cutting disk and cutting compound for about one minute. Although the scratches and deeper marring didn’t come out the cloudiness was polished out.

My question is can the scratches be sanded out or will that remove the anodization layer? I have read the previous posts but they seemed inconclusive on this.

rparker:
Good day,
I've also been buying some pieces and trying various methods. The first is a polishing wheel which doesn't work as you need very aggressive polishing rouge to cut through the anodization and once its gone, the aggressive polishing rouge just cuts right through the soft aluminum underneath creating a low spot and its near impossible to get it right along the whole strip.

With regards to your question, I have also tried sanding which does remove the anodization however it creates the same problem as the polishing wheel as the aggressive sand paper that is gritty enough to go through the anodization will make mince meat of the aluminum underneath so the only way is to use a block sanding method, and even with that, the trim isn't 100% reflecting the light straight anymore as some areas have more aluminum taken away than others.

I'm probably at the stage where I will just high gloss hard chrome the trim and be done with it. I've also read that if you do manage to remove the anodized layer that the milkiness returns rather quickly and metal wax has to be reapplied quite religiously which adds to the extra work.

Anyone with better ideas? I haven't tried the oven cleaner method though. I do know that a high chrome finish isn't original but I kind of like the idea of bright chromework.

Cheers.

Ryan.

90077merc:
Perhaps using a fine grit sandpaper rather than the rouge on a wheel would avoid the low spots.

It seems the anodization layer is thin enough to get removed easily, which is not what I’m trying to do.

rparker:
Finer grit is certainly possible and do-able but with the patience of a saint.

From personal experience I can say that the anodization layer is indeed very thin. So any scratches that you can feel with your finger nails is probably gone through the anodized layer already.

Cheers.

rumb:
This is a deep rabbit hole to go down. I took a big batch to local plating shop to have the bright dip anodize removed. The first batch they over etched. Most of the other pieces came out ok. I have heard of oven cleaner and tried it once to no avail.  The anodize layer is very hard. In order to remove all the scratches the entire piece must be sanded somehow.  I have used 2" discs of 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 2000 grit and that is still very time consuming and hard to get all the imperfections out.  Next I have 8" buffing wheels and a good buffing machine, which is certainly required, and that is hard labor. It take a long time and various strength compounds. You go thru and get to fine polish and then see more scratches that send you back several steps. I probably have spent 8 hours on each piece I have done.

After all the polishing is done then they must be sent out for bright dip "anodizing" to put the protective layer back on.

What size wheel are you using?  I use 2 doubled up 8" ones at 1800-2000 rpm. I would even consider a 10" buffing wheel.

what rouge do you have? I have tried several from https://caswellplating.com/buffing-polishing.html

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