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Thread: restoring alloy

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    restoring alloy

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Not exactly coffee related, but thought since there is so much experience here with restoration of metals, might ask anyway....will understand if its too far from the topic of coffee and gets deleted.

    Im restoring a motorbike that has been siiting outside, uncovered for the past, oh, 17 to 20 years less than 500metres from the ocean :(

    The engine is fine ;D

    The body and alloy is not so fine :( :(

    Could anyone please give me some advice in regard to restoring the alloy - I have tried sandblasting and it does help, but of course doesnt leave me with the deisired finish. Im beginning to think Im going to be spending $100s on wet and dry.

    Heres an example of what Im up against...and a bit of before and after, though even the after still needs more work


  2. #2
    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
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    Re: restoring alloy

    This will suit "Off Topic"!!

  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: restoring alloy

    Gday Dennis,

    Id try contacting this mob in the UK and see if they are willing to make some suggestions on what to do and what to use. Ive received very helpful advice from them in the past a couple of times,

    Mal.

  4. #4
    Flo
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    Re: restoring alloy

    There are a few places around who will polish those for you, but it will cost you. If the detail is not too intricate then you can use wetndry with some brasso. By using progressively finer grades (say up to 1200), you can achieve an almost mirror like finish. Autosol works well too.

    The other thing is to never "sandblast" alloy as its just too harsh. A better option is plastic bead or glass bead blasting instead.

    Finally, if the corrosion has made too much of a mess to polish out, then consider the plating option...aahhh Chrome!!!!!

    HTH. *:)

  5. #5
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    Re: restoring alloy

    Much of this sort of work Dennis is straight elbow grease. Wire brushing by hand, wire-brushing via electric drill attacments, steel wool, wet and dry paper. Cutting compound pastes.

    Im cleaning up miles of brass L -sections used as trim around furniture on my boat. They are an awful brown colour. I put a few lengths in a 60ml diameter plastic downpipe with one end sealed, and fill with citric acid.

    That strips much of the discolouration, then I finish with steel wool or wet and dry before polyurethaning. They come out gleaming brass.

    Much easier than your project, though Dennis.

    Oh, and as a token nod to this forum about coffee --- you then have a well-earned espresso.

    -Robusto

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: restoring alloy

    Mal, Flo and Robusto

    Thanks for the advice - I was hoping for an easier solution but for the most part, wll probably need to continue with the elbow grease option. I only want to send out what I realy have to as the satisfation of taking it for its first outing will be far greater - its just not the same when you buy the restoration.

    Will check out the website and definitely give the citric acid a go - do you know if it can be purchased by the kilo? ;) I know phosphoric acid will work but it discolours the alloy :(

  7. #7
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: restoring alloy

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1175051769/0#5 date=1175086854
    do you know if it can be purchased by the kilo? ;)
    Yes you can mate,

    Try visiting a couple of specialist Beer Brewing Supplies type shops and Im sure theyll have plenty..... and cheap,

    Mal.

  8. #8
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    Re: restoring alloy

    Careful with the citric acid.... do a test first, as aluminium alloy may not be too fond of it. *Might be all right, and if so, as Mal says it is available in beer brewing supply shops -- much cheaper than the $1.70 for 90 grams at Coles

    -Robusto

  9. #9
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: restoring alloy

    will do - thanks for the advice!

  10. #10
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: restoring alloy


    I vote for the bead blasting too (glass bead).

    ...but you will have to pull the whole motor apart to get a good job!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: restoring alloy

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Freeman link=1175051769/0#9 date=1175123456
    I vote for the bead blasting too (glass bead).

    ...but you will have to pull the whole motor apart to get a good job!
    Yeah Andy, I guess deep down I know that ;) - if I go this way I would drop the motor out of the frame and that might give sufficient access without stripping too much more off while I send the frame away and have it powder-coated.

    Would ultimately like it to be in concourse condition, so this is gonna be a very long-term project! ::)

  12. #12
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: restoring alloy

    I dont have any resto. tips, but are they by any chance the covers of a Plastic Maggot? If they are, youll know what Im talkin about! Good luck finding parts if so......

    Regards,
    Phil

  13. #13
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: restoring alloy

    Hi Phil

    You clearly know youre bikes ;)

    Main thing I need is an exhaust system - may have to get something tailor made for that, and a seat - shouldnt be hard. I still see sales of parts from time to time so not too concerned.

    And Phil - you almost live around the corner from me ;)

  14. #14
    Senior Member phil_jeffery's Avatar
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    Re: restoring alloy

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1175051769/0#12 date=1175335896
    Hi Phil

    You clearly know youre bikes ;)

    Main thing I need is an exhaust system - may have to get something tailor made for that, and a seat - shouldnt be hard. I still see sales of parts from time to time so not too concerned.

    And Phil - you almost live around the corner from me ;)
    Well, one or two of them anyway!

    Almost around the corner, eh? If the bikes paintwork is black, it might be an old friend of mine!



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