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Restore oxidized old metals

  • Devin
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Restore oxidized old metals was created by Devin

Please post here: on what technique you use to polish aluminum and other metals. I have had a fair amount of people ask me how I do this.

On aluminum cases, I prefer not to use a wire wheel. It is to abrasive and will leave scratch lines. I start with 80 grit to remove any large scratch marks or dings. This will remove any unwanted areas but will leave scratch mark's. I then progressively sand, to remove the marks, going finer and finer grits.

I did this all by hand. I would not suggest using a power sander, for sanding. It is to easy to burn thru the aluminium, especially around the corners and edges. For the polishing: A polishing compound works great with a electric buffing wheel. though I usually polish it by hand, unless its a hard to reach spot.

I did not time how long it took, for the below parts. It is a time consuming process (especially if you have a badly worn part) sometimes over 12 hours per part. OEM from the factory the finish was around 600-800 grit. Alot of people try to restore it to that level. I prefer the mirror like shine and take it up to 2,000-3,0000 range .

Commonly used grit sizes are:

40, 80, 100,120, 150, 220, 240, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000.

While you are sanding, keep your sand paper wet and go in one direction. You can use a sponge if you wish, it helps spread the pressure evenly and prevents high/low spots.

Once you complete the final sanding, use a high quality polish. This is the brand I have been using. I have not tried "Mother's" or other brands yet.

Turtle Wax T-284 Premium Grade Chrome and Metal Polish - 11oz


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Below are some parts I polished on a 1974 Yamaha DT 250

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This is a rear wheel hub. It is very hard to reach in the trenches, I used a sand blaster to remove all the old oxidization. I then used the above method to polish the metal.

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Now that you have a nice finish, you don't want all that work to be for nothing. Chemicals are made to protect the metal, and keep the nice shine. I was really impressed with "Clifford 's" work on his 1973 RT3. He used a product called "Glisten PC by POR 15". I tried using this product and it worked well, I would not suggest brushing it on, it will come out un-even looking

NOT MINE: Clifford's RT3 polish work with POR15 Glisten PC









I am looking forward to seeing some more polish work using other brands/testing using, mother's, sharkhide, clear coat, ETC. :OnFire
The following user(s) Liked this Post: Twist Grip, Wheels, James Hart
Last edit: 26 Nov 2015 17:47 by Devin.
16 Nov 2014 01:40 #1

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Replied by Scootern29 on topic Restore oxidized old metals

Kinda interesting that you started this thread as I did a little work on a vase that has been out on our sun porch.......a long time and very tarnished, so yesterday afternoon I had to see what a little polishing work would do to it.

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I started with a fine foam sanding pad only going in one direction to knock off the heavy stuff and it appeared as it was sprayed with something at one point or just over the years it had accumulated junk on it. Then I went up to 800 grit, then 1500, and finally 2000. It was pretty good at that point. I then took some #0000 steel wool and gave it a light buffing and then onto the cloth polishing wheel. I tried some Autosal polishing compound in my first attempt and it came out so so. I then tried some Mothers aluminum & metal polish and the results were much better. Here is where I am with it now. Maybe I will finish it up today and post better pics. It is quite a dramatic transformation.

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Question authority, think for yourself!
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16 Nov 2014 11:10 #2

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Replied by Scootern29 on topic Restore oxidized old metals

Finished it up. It's windy outside so got something accomplished today.

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16 Nov 2014 14:37 #3

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Replied by MarkT on topic Restore oxidized old metals

Wow. You're right, that is an amazing transformation! That corroded old vase really cleaned up nice!
1963 YG1-T, 1965 MG1-T, Allstate 250, 1970 CT1b, 1971 R5, 1973 AT3MX, 1974 TS400L, 1975 RD350, 1976 DT175C, 1976 Husqvarna 250CR, 1981 DT175G, 1988 DT50, 1990 "Super" DT50, 1991 RT180, 2017 XT250
17 Nov 2014 07:13 #4

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Replied by poppinwheelies on topic Restore oxidized old metals


Wow awesome work, curious as to what process and product you used to restore/repaint the recessed "Yamaha"?
17 Nov 2014 08:36 #5

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  • Devin
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17 Nov 2014 08:51 #6

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Replied by Devin on topic Restore oxidized old metals

Here is a Caswell manual "Introduction to buffing and polishing"
We have alot of cool stuff in the downloads section.

www.yamaha-enduros.com/index.php/other-manuals?task=document.viewdoc&id=19
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08 Dec 2014 23:27 #7

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Replied by CHUCK on topic Restore oxidized old metals

I just had to comment on the quality of your work! I used to think I was good at polishing until I see what you created! Absolutely Beautiful.
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27 Dec 2014 01:49 #8

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Replied by Two_Smoke on topic Restore oxidized old metals

Impressive! I think I know what to do with my engine case now....
Left in a trail of blue smoke.
1970 Yamaha CT1B - 175
1977 Kawasaki KE 100A
1991 Honda CR 500R
1993 Honda ZR 50R
2014 Yamaha Raptor 250
09 Mar 2015 18:32 #9

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Replied by Steve F on topic Restore oxidized old metals

The method I used is shown below.. :arrow:
The finish is at factory level and looks original..
They still need to be sealed but is to cold outside to finish that step.
Great thread..hope more post up..

This is the condition of the cases before polishing.

Products used and a couple of polished cases..
Time used, I'm guessing 4 to 6 hrs each
1.) wet sand with 320
2.) wet sand with 800
3.) used mother's mag & aluminum polish to finish
4.) clear coat to be determined. Will be visiting a store called FINISH MASTERS in the near future.
1974 DT250A
1974 DT250A
1977 IT175D "Alex'
1978 IT175E "Paul"
"And there ya have it"
Last edit: 11 Mar 2015 21:07 by Steve F. Reason: to add info
09 Mar 2015 21:23 #10

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