Author Topic: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum  (Read 5678 times)

IZRSSS

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Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« on: October 19, 2010, 05:27:54 PM »
If any of you have ever removed dents, sanded, polished and buffed aluminum you know how time consuming and labor intensive it can be.  If all goes well it looks great but the problem with aluminum is that you also end up removing the Anodized coating.  I am certainly not a chemist but I would have to assume that Anodizing serves as a protective hardener of sorts.

Here's my dilemma...I've completed work on the Rocker Panel Moldings of my '69 and no matter what contacts the surface, aside from microfiber, the surface gets scratched.  Is there something on the market that a person can use, preferably in a spray can that meets or exceeds this Anodized application?  If not, any recommendations would be appreciated.

jeff68

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 07:16:53 PM »
You will not find anything in a spray can that can compare to anodizing as far as hardness & scratch-resistance goes.
I think the best you could do is a clearcoat, but it can be difficult to get clear to adhere to polished aluminum.
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IZRSSS

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2010, 08:28:29 PM »
Thanks Jeff...Have you ever tried clearcoat and if so how well does it hold up? Another concern of mine is yellowing or amber discoloration over time. Is this an issue? Perhaps this is simply a matter of purchasing a quality clear?

You also mention problems w/adhesion. Any recommendations here?

Thanks again, any and all advise helps.

jeff68

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2010, 01:21:32 AM »
A while back I was looking into having some NOS 68 standard grille moldings restored.  Every place I talked to said to leave them bare after restoration and use a quality cleaner wax on them occasionally.  Even a few places that did anodizing said that re-anodizing did not always turn out that nice.  I have tried some of the Eastwood clears for bare metal, but I wasn't overly excited with them.  They weren't crystal clear.

You may want to look into a product called Zoop Seal.  I have never used it, but have heard good things about it
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IZRSSS

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2010, 03:22:40 AM »
There are quite a few sites on line that discuss this product "Zoop Seal".  Worth looking into and I'll check it out tomarrow.  However, not often I get to see the gazillion $ Yanks get whooped at home so its back to the game...

Thanks again Jeff.

IZRSSS

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2010, 01:31:20 PM »
Zoop Seal as you mentioned is a very good product and gives the protection I am looking for. According to the manufacturer it lasts up to 3 years. However, even though it is a good product those who have used it say its difficult to apply correctly.  According to them the manufacturer leaves out important application details. The first link is of an old thread that explains this.

When you get to the bottom of the thread someone makes reference to a product called Everbrite.  The second link gets you to this product.  This stuff seems a little less intimidating and might be worth a try.  If I mess up its only $19.95 and can be removed much easier than ZS.

Your thoughts?  BTW...great pic of your parents and their new '68!

http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/zoop-seal-coating-polished-aluminum-results-30516.html

http://www.everbritecoatings.com/automotive.htm

68Z22

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2010, 12:14:58 AM »
Since all the aluminum was anodized from the factory and when most Camaro's are restored the aluminum trim is polished,What would be correct for a Judged points car?
Polished and Sealed or,
Anodized as it was from factory or,
Either?
Mark
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327/275

IZRSSS

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2010, 01:35:49 AM »
This is a bit of a crystall ball question simply because judges are human and not programed like machines. Having said this I'll answer you the best way I know how. Simply put, most judges are more concerned with consistency.  All of your pieces wether it be aluminum, stainless or whatever, should be free of dents, scratches, blemishes etc. and have the same quality finish.

I have attached a doc for Concouse Judging that refernces this under VI (Judging areas) Section A which goes into much more detail.

Hopefully more Members will weigh in.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 02:27:42 AM by IZRSSS »

IZRSSS

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2010, 09:47:23 AM »
Concouse :o

Concours...it was late.
 

jeff68

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2010, 12:17:25 PM »
With all the emphasis being put on reasearching correct finishes, whether it be paint or plating, I would think that if the trim is supposed to be anodized, then it should be anodized for a judged car.  You can immediately tell the difference between a polished finish and anodized finish.  The problem is when a car owner gets caught up in quality & finish perfection. Let's face it, the anodized trim as it came on your car when it was new was not flawless by any means.

Here is a great example:  Back in the 80's I installed all new GM aluminum trim on my 68 (grille trim, wheel opening moldings, rocker moldings).  The car was driven regularly until it was torn apart for restoration in the 90's.  I wanted everything to look perfect, so I took all of this trim to a metal restoration shop and had it restored & polished.  It just didn't look right.  The finish was just too shiny, and every little imperfection or scratch stood out like a sore thumb.  I ended up tossing most of it and I went on a hunt for good GM NOS parts.  I was lucky to find most of the parts I needed as NOS, but more importantly I was able to find parts that had a very good finish & anodizing for GM parts.  They are not perfect, but they look (and are) correct.
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lakeholme

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2010, 12:56:07 PM »
What would be correct for a Judged points car?
It very much depends on where you are having it judged and knowing the standards for judging.
However, how it came from the factory is the starting place for judging.
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IZRSSS

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2010, 01:32:40 PM »
A person should first decide what level of competition he or she is intersted in. First, are you prepairing your car for the Camaro Nationals in Carlisle or for a home town points show? Second and perhaps the most important, what will your budget allow?

If you have the knowledge and the means to compete at CNC then my advise is that all shows you attend be consistant with this format and you prepair yourself and your car accordingly. On the other side of the coin, you'd be amazed at how many of these cars wouldn't fare well at local shows. Many local shows are purely subjective and the P word (politics) raises its ugly head more often than not adding to the frustration.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 02:31:36 PM by IZRSSS »

IZRSSS

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2010, 11:40:34 AM »
Since all the aluminum was anodized from the factory and when most Camaro's are restored the aluminum trim is polished,What would be correct for a Judged points car?
Polished and Sealed or,
Anodized as it was from factory or,
Either?

Was your question answered?

IZRSSS

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2010, 03:03:41 PM »
[quote author=jeff68 link=topic=7203.msg47421#msg47421 date=1287663445]
The finish was just too shiny, and every little imperfection or scratch stood out like a sore thumb.  

If the person knows how to properly polish and buff this wouldn't be an issue. However, you are right for some people they are too shiny. On the plus side most local shows are all about the glitz and the glitter. Again, it depends on which way you want to go...as for me, the rocker trim pieces are original to the car and I feel comfortable with this finish.  

68Z22

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2010, 11:57:54 PM »
I Would Like to here from a ACAA Judge on this topic.
Or even better From Lucas Restoration Since they prepaired that Fantastic "Top Flight" 68 RS/SS that was at the
2010 Camaro Nationals @ Carlisle.
Mark
68 Z22 Coupe
LeMans Blue
327/275

IZRSSS

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2010, 02:15:01 AM »
Any pics of the '68 RS/SS?

tom

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2010, 03:17:26 AM »
69 X11 Z21 L14 glide
looking for a 69 export model (KPH) speed
o

IZRSSS

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2010, 04:29:36 AM »
Tom, are you referring to Flash-Chrome?

I polished & buffed (power p & b) my window moldings & they look great.  As I am certain you know these are also stainless.  At some point I would like to try Flash-Chrome but at this time I do not think its necessary.

My question concerns aluminum, and please correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think you can use this same application on aluminum. 

Or is there something else on this thread I missed?

tom

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2010, 05:15:13 AM »
I was thinking the flash chrome. Or maybe I just wasn't really thinking....
69 X11 Z21 L14 glide
looking for a 69 export model (KPH) speed
o

IZRSSS

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2010, 02:17:41 AM »
Nice to know you guys are human :)

IZRSSS

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2010, 11:05:42 PM »
I Would Like to here from a ACAA Judge on this topic.
Or even better From Lucas Restoration Since they prepaired that Fantastic "Top Flight" 68 RS/SS that was at the
2010 Camaro Nationals @ Carlisle.


Wouldn't we all?

noschevys

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2011, 01:45:20 AM »
Hi, I'm the owner of the Grotto Blue 68 SS/RS Camaro.  Plainly put, all aluminum parts should be polished, than a caustic bath is used to remove old anodizing, than re anodizing.  Hopes this helps.

68camaroz28

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2011, 09:56:15 PM »
Hi, I'm the owner of the Grotto Blue 68 SS/RS Camaro.  Plainly put, all aluminum parts should be polished, than a caustic bath is used to remove old anodizing, than re anodizing.  Hopes this helps.

Hi Keith! Just wondering if the above is correct or that the caustic bath would be first before polishing?
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noschevys

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Re: Polishing and Buffing Aluminum
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2011, 12:56:26 PM »
I'm currently restoring the headlamp bezels for a 68 RS grille.  First step is to remove all paint and primer.  With that removed, you will notice the entire part is anodized.  You cannot successfully anodize on top of anodizing.  Next remove any dings or dents in the bezel.  Lightly sand in various stages the area that will be polished to remove any scratches etc.  Polish in different stages.  This process removed any anodizing in the area that is not painted on the finished part.  Next remove all remaining anodizing with the caustic bath.  Re-anodize the parts.  Lightly sand the areas to be painted, prime and paint to match the center sections of the grille.  Wipe and polish the anodized finished section.